In Texas and beyond, hot spots for vaccine refusers alarm officials

Sep 3, 2013

An outbreak of measles among unimmunized members of a Texas megachurch is fueling new health worries about pockets of vaccine-wary parents — just as more than 50 million public school kids head back to class across the nation.

More possible measles cases are being reviewed in Tarrant County, Texas, where at least 21 people have been sickened this month at the Eagle Mountain International Church, whose ministers have been critical of vaccination. Local officials say several more cases of infections with fever and rash have been reported, but not confirmed.

“It’s concerning. It’s something we jump on,” said Russell Jones, a Texas state epidemiologist who’s been tracking the situation. “It could get into the schools.”

Public health officials say that the northeast Texas outbreak is just the latest in a small but growing number of places — think San Diego, Calif.Boone and Hamilton counties, Ind., and, most recently, Brooklyn, N.Y. — where vaccine resistance has sickened children and put the wider community at risk for potentially deadly infectious diseases.

“The rate of change has sort of accelerated,” said Dr. Saad Omer, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Emory University in Atlanta who studies clusters of vaccine exemptions in public schools.

“Tarrant County was not on my radar,” he added.

He’s more familiar with places such as Marin County, Calif., where rates of new kindergarteners excused from mandatory shots nearly doubled from 4.2 percent in 2005 to 7.8 percent at the start of last year, county figures show. There, at the small New Village School in Sausalito, 74 percent of entering kindergarteners said no to vaccinations.

Written By: JoNel Aleccia
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0 comments on “In Texas and beyond, hot spots for vaccine refusers alarm officials

  • The same is happening in my country Latvia, where more and more people, for example, are saying that everybody must suffer childhood diseases while being a child because then ko complications would develop (of course….). Then, of course many keep telling the old story about vaccines and autism, allthough I bet that if these parents were asked to define autism …, then there is opinion that a combined vaccine will turn into excessive stress to the organism.
    But the worst case is an American Latvian, sort of immunologist, and too many people here believe that all american is good, and they will never check the records to find out that this immunologist had lots of problems with qualification exams, they just listen to his preachings that vaccines would leave childred defenceless…..

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  • 3
    faithless1 says:

    Insurance companies should deny coverage to those who opt to forgo vaccinations. Hitting these morons in their pocketbooks may be the only way to change their behavior.

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  • 4
    ikinmoore says:

    just a thought …say if there was an outbreak of Smallpox which kills I wonder what these so call clever christians would do.

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  • 5
    paulmcuk says:

    It’s annoying. I want there to be a devastating outbreak that sweeps through these fools…then I remember that the victims would be the kids of the fools.

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  • In one sense this is a good thing. Christians are committing suicide. There will be fewer of them to cause trouble. The sad part is they are killing kids in their superstition.

    It is time to fine people $60 for not getting their kids vaccinated. Perhaps it could be disguised by “fining”/taxing everyone, then refunding the $60 for anyone who got vaccinated.

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  • It’s odd that this article is posted on a secular site-which I enjoy by the way. A majority of people refusing vaccines according to the schedule or the volume are not doing so for religious reasons, but due to critical analysis. Let’s say that it’s not “science” that is being refuted, but rather the “medical industry.”

    Let’s acknowledge that vaccines do not necessarily cause “autism.” I will use another example of absolute medical advice: Further research has determined that induced labor where a baby has fetal distress (which occurs quite often), is recently tied to higher rates of autism. Medicine up to this point has encouraged more inductions as a necessity. Well, I venture to guess that they will begin backing off of this procedure, just as they have backed off cesareans due to recent data. Medicine waits for testing before making a determination, however at whose expense? And furthermore, how do you determine which vaccine caused the issues if you insist on cocktails of 3, 4, 6 vaccines-in-one shot? And in infants who have not yet reached the developmental level of showing behavioral issues, how do you determine the cause?

    It’s common sense that the volume and schedule of vaccines is out of control – and although there are higher stats of brain damage in in more cases than there are stats of disease breakouts, they insist on a schedule that begins at 8 weeks.Here’s an idea: rather than give out a Hep B vaccine (a sexually/blood transmitted disease) on day one, how about testing the mother for the disease?

    Doctors should start acknowledging and listening to concerns and coming up with a plan to work with critical parents. The real truth is that more than likely if your child is healthy they will recover from measles, mumps, chicken pox. It’s inconvenient to stay off work for a sick child, but at what expense are we making life more convenient for ourselves? Before you judge people, better accept that they may be making an informed decision based in what is moral for their child- not religious- not herd mentality. The stats are concerning enough to have forced parents away from the table of discussion.

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  • 8
    Len Walsh says:

    In reply to #7 by BKens:

    may be making an informed decision based in what is moral for their child …

    BKens, what guarantee can you supply that your cult of ignorant parents will stop at epidemiology.

    If we allow scientifically-illiterate parents to redesign vaccination programs they won’t be satisfied with that you know. Power is seductive. Next thing you know these same people will insist they can redesign more moral aeroplanes. Would you prefer to fly on a plane designed by scientists BKens, or the one built by anti-scientist parents?

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