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Getting shot-down… a reader corrects me

February 15, 2015

P.1On February 9th I published a posting entitled, “Getting shot…the American way!”, and the response either in comments or direct emails was for the most part positive. I did have one significant comment correcting me about the statements that I had written in this article. A reader living in Mexico took me to task over the generality of my statement about South American countries and their immunization history.

This reader commented, “Most of the children coming from Mexico and Central America have better immunizations than kids in the US. I happen to live in Mexico……..There are hospitals and doctors and pharmacies all over the place. In fact, there are doctors located at many pharmacies. Medical care is free for citizens. No reason to avoid vaccination. “

This was in response to the following three statements in that blog posting, “I believe it is a mater of the state and local school boards worrying about law suits and unvaccinated illegal immigrants….Many nations in South America have little oversight on the vaccination of its children…….Could one of the children or even a day care worker be unvaccinated, or possibly an “immigrant” from a country that has no mandatory vaccination program? “

Unlike Mr Brian Williams I do not try and embellish my life with war ‘stories’, I offer to you on my blog real life experiences that may in some way echo the opinions or thoughts I have written about and I believe you may find interesting. I do however read all comments and when questioned on the validity of something I have written I will not wait a decade to correct any errors. So in response to these comments I went back and dug further into the facts.

In a pamphlet entitled “Immunization Summary” (the 2014 edition) published by UNICEF and WHO, the World Health Organization, I found the following statistics related to my posting.

(1) In the country of Mexico and most of South America the vaccination rate for all diseases was between 76% and 91%
(2) Immunization coverage in Mexico with measles vaccines as of 2013 was 80%

In the United States measles was essentially non-existent until the recent multiple outbreaks, so where did it come from? My conclusion was based on the fact of a high probability that a few of the thousands of people flooding across our borders had to be carriers of undiagnosed diseases. Yes it is also true that fewer American children are being vaccinated because of their parents fear of side effects of the vaccination, but the crux of the situation still exists in that the diseases did not happen out of thin air someone had to bring it to our country.

So though the statistics I based my posting on were wrong,
and if the outbreak of measles and other diseases
did not originate in the United States
where did they come from?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2015 9:14 am

    Hey Buddy – understand that just because a virus based illness is ‘non-existent’ (i.e. undetectable) in a population for years rarely is it dead and gone. It is merely hanging on by it’s ‘fingernails’ and always searching for that organism which it can attack and does not have resistance. I’d bet the measles probably found a few locals who were not inoculated or whose resistance had worn out and infected them. Bring such folks to a huge gathering of similar organisms (human beings) which puts many in very close contact and you have the ingredients for an outbreak. This is why fiction writers often use conventions, large shows or similar locations as the place where terrorists – no, Mr Liar In Chief, not ‘freedom fighters’! – unleash a biological agent.


  2. February 16, 2015 5:29 pm

    One of the problems in this (and other scare tactic stories) is the distortion of information. It is a problem with liberal and neutral sources, conservative sources end up banging a hateful, jingoistic drum whether it is about ebola or measles. Snopes has a full description of the fact patient zero was not identified as an alien, quoting the CDC.

    On a personal note: I was going to get an updated MMR but got my titers tested first and I didn’t need a new one as the antibodies are there and strong. Immunizations often require a booster. The best way to find out if it is needed is to get a titer run.

    I have a family member who is an anti-vaxxer. Anti-vaxxing is largely a prosperous white family stance. Chances are greater than average that the person with the measles who was at the theme park is either the child of an anti-vaxxer or someone whose titer levels were not high enough to ward off infection from someone with that e measles that they were exposed to.
    We have measles cases in the US all the time. I believe about 600 last year. The difference is that they didn’t get a lot of play time on national TV and the jingoists didn’t start beating the hatred drum.

    No one HAD to bring it to the US. We have our own low-level infection rates going around. And certainly there are some with sub-clinical symptoms. I have mumps titers without ever having evidence of having the mumps. Just as many people caught polio and had flu symptoms and nothing worse while others go the full blown effects from withered limbs to being in an iron lung.


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