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Measles surges in the USA — we need more vaccinations

Despite the near eradication of measles in the USA, cases are surging due to insufficient vaccinations. Measles is a serious respiratory disease with possible deadly complications for children, particularly those under 12 months old who cannot be vaccinated. The CDC has responded to the 64 cases reported in 2024 with vaccination advisories. Vaccination remains the safest, effective prevention, disproving anti-vaccine claims linking MMR to autism. International travel has been linked to most U.S. cases; hence, vaccination is critical for those traveling.

a boy lying on the couch

Measles outbreaks in the USA are a public health problem

Physicians are concerned about recent measles outbreaks in the USA, citing misinformation as a contributing factor. Lack of public memory of measles’ severity, due to vaccine success, has lowered vigilance. Highly contagious, measles’ complications can be severe including death, with no cure but the highly effective MMR vaccine. Low vaccination rates and anti-vaccine sentiments risk exacerbating these outbreaks, undermining herd immunity and public health.

girl getting vaccinated

The Trump school vaccine plan will be a public health catastrophe

Donald Trump threatens to defund schools implementing vaccine mandates, possibly risking a public health catastrophe by endangering vaccine rates for diseases like measles, which is highly contagious and potentially fatal. Historically, school vaccine mandates have been crucial in nearly eradicating diseases such as polio and maintaining high childhood vaccination rates in the USA. The potential repeal of mandates could lead to outbreaks, strain hospital resources, and have severe health and economic impacts. Leading experts strongly oppose the plan, forewarning of its dire consequences.


Anti-vaxxers underestimate the dangers of measles

Measles is often underestimated as a benign disease, despite causing serious complications such as pneumonia, hearing loss, and a fatal brain condition called SSPE. The MMR vaccine is crucial for prevention, as measles can lead to death and long-term suppression of the immune system, making children more susceptible to other infections. Sadly, non-vaccinated individuals are enabling the spread of measles, exemplified by a case where a young girl named Angelina suffered and died from SSPE contracted as an infant. Vaccination is essential to prevent such tragic outcomes and protect public health.

measles cases

Measles cases appearing along the US East Coast

Measles, once eradicated in the USA, is resurfacing along the East Coast largely due to unvaccinated children. The highly contagious virus can cause serious complications like pneumonia and encephalitis. Recent cases have been linked to unvaccinated travelers from endemic regions. The MMR vaccine is the best prevention, debunking any autism linkage and proving 97% effective. As measles can swiftly spread, keeping vaccinations current is crucial for public health.

jenny mccarthy vaccines

Jenny McCarthy, with help from Oprah, misinforms about vaccines

Jenny McCarthy was once the MTV drunk college dating game hostess and former “journalist” on The View. I remember when she joined The View – there was widespread condemnation of her hiring from scientists, journalists, and yours truly because of her annoying anti-vaccine rhetoric. Clearly, no one of any note supported her being hired on the View, except for websites like the Age of Pushing Nonsense To Harm Children.

Read More »Jenny McCarthy, with help from Oprah, misinforms about vaccines

ICAN anti-vaccine rhetoric — getting it wrong about informed consent

This article about ICAN and its anti-vaccine rhetoric about informed consent was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about vaccination’s social and legal policies. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable diseases. She is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group on Ethics and Policy.

In a misleading “White Paper,” the anti-vaccine organization, Del Bigtree‘s Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) argued that “eliminating vaccine exemptions and curtailing criticism is unethical and un-American” because, they argue, it invalidates vaccination informed consent. The initial statement is wrong, and the arguments brought to support it are wrong. This article corrects the record.

Read More »ICAN anti-vaccine rhetoric — getting it wrong about informed consent
virus evolution

Virus evolution — debunking anti-vaccine myth that they become less virulent

Apparently, a 125-year-old debunked idea about virus evolution has circulated around the anti-vaccine world. They believe that if viruses are left on their own, they always evolve to become less virulent to humans. That’s why they falsely claim that the Omicron variant is almost nothing and very soon SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, will evolve into something that we can ignore.

The old Skeptical Raptor is going to take a deep breath and hope he doesn’t lose any brain cells repeating that to all of you. Anti-vaxxers and COVID-19 deniers are wrong, completely and utterly wrong. It’s as if they never took a class on virology, evolution, or anything else germane to the discussion.

I know that any of you spending time reading this article are already listing out a dozen things that debunk this myth. Because we all know that first, that’s not how evolution works, and second, there are dozens of viruses that are known from the dawn of human history that have remained virulent over thousands of years.

Let’s take a look at this nonsense. Maybe I’ll give you some information to debunk some anti-vaxxer or COVID-19 denier nonsense.

Read More »Virus evolution — debunking anti-vaccine myth that they become less virulent