For purposes of this article, Rubella (measles) will be our bell-wether disease/vaccine, but similar data, studies and conclusions are available for nearly every such combination out there. In other words, whatever I say about Rubella, I could say about polio, smallpox, Pertussis (whooping cough), diphtheria or any other similar disease for which there is a vaccine.
It is estimated that in the year 1980, approximately 2.6 million children died from complications of rubella because vaccination was available on a widespread basis only in developed countries. By the year 2000 the number was significantly reduced, but still... more than a half-million people worldwide (548,000 according to WHO), mostly children under the age of five, died from rubella. An accelerated worldwide vaccination was begun under the auspices of WHO (the World Health Organization, an agency of the United Nations). By 2011 more than one billion children in high risk countries were vaccinated against the disease through mass vaccination campaigns ― about 225 million of them in 2011 alone. And in 2011 the number of children globally who suffered death from Rubella had dropped 71% from 548,000 to an estimated 158,000.
In short, over a period of roughly 30 years, barely more than a generation, global deaths from rubella have declined 94%, from 2.6 million to 158,000, primarily in “high risk” undeveloped and underdeveloped countries and regions. Arguments that these improvements are the result of better general health care simply won’t wash. The only substantive difference that occurred during those years was the provision of rubella vaccine.
Unfortunately, during that period, the insanity of anti-vaccination campaigns had struck in countries like the USA and Great Britain that were not considered "high risk," but were populated by educated people who seemed to lose their critical thinking capability in the face of bogus claims of vaccines being more dangerous than the disease, and claims by one defrocked doctor and his apostle-like followers that the vaccines being used created autism at an appalling rate (there is no evidence of this that stands up to scientific scrutiny). Worst of all, the people leading this campaign have begun claiming that vaccines in general are being used to kill children deliberately in a worldwide eugenics campaign. The argument is self-evidently hogwash based simply on the data presented above. If that were the goal, allowing these lackwits to win the argument and stopping vaccinations would better accomplish the purpose.
As an example of the basic dishonesty within the anti-vaccination campaign, I offer the following. Two children in China became ill and died after being given a vaccination. There is no evidence save proximity in time that the two events are connected. Nonetheless, anti-vaccination forces are hyping the deaths as proof of their alleged worldwide eugenics campaign. However, assuming for the sake of discussion that the paralysis and the vaccines are connected, putting that anecdotal data point up against thirty years of vaccination and the dramatic drop in rubella cases, unless there's a third choice I'm not seeing... vaccination still wins.
At base, the reality is this... there is no medication that is not, to greater or lesser degree, dangerous to some people. This includes vaccines. Anyone allergic to eggs will have a problem with flu vaccine, because the matrix in which the mother cells are developed is poultry eggs. Anyone who is allergic to horse dander may react to tetanus anti-toxin (not the vaccine), because the anti-toxin is grown in horses.
Rubella and Pertussis outbreaks in the USA and the UK are in the news nearly daily, and polio has been identified in Syria (yes, it matters... there are airfields in Syria). Herd immunity has been compromised badly over the past decade, thanks to these people and their foolishness, and there are some classes of people they have put especially at risk, but who can do nothing about it. Essentially there are five such groups: people whose previous immunity has degraded (especially a problem with pertussis which seems to fade worse than other vaccines, be the immunity natural or vaccination induced), children who are unvaccinated (duh) or have not completed vaccination sequences, the elderly or people with compromised immune systems, infants (they don’t get vaccinations until they’re a year old) and finally fetuses. Rubella is a terratogen (it causes distortions in a developing fetus). Fetal impacts can range from mild abnormalities to vision or hearing issues to spontaneous abortion. It is, by the way, interesting to me that the greatest opponents of vaccination, who are, almost to a person, strong foes of abortion under any circumstances, completely blow off the horrific fetal impacts of rubella infections.
So, here follows some arguments based on information not in evidence above, but about which no one with the ability to think critically will argue. First, worldwide, 99.9% of pediatricians, epidemiologists and general practitioners will agree that vaccination has eliminated smallpox, and has virtually eliminated every other childhood disease where vaccination has been broadly and aggressively promoted and used. Second, countries and regions of the world in which various diseases have been eradicated are experiencing reinvasions of some diseases (particularly pertussis and rubella), as vaccinations are to a steadily increasing extent, refused. Finally, the thoughtless champions of ignorance and misinformation promoting this reckless policy, and their astonishingly well educated sycophants respond to appeals to their responsibility to their neighbors and the unborn in pregnant mothers they may come across with a truly chilling rejection of any idea that it is their responsibility (legal or moral) if their little snowflake infects a fetus and causes blindness, permanent hearing damage or death. “We, each and all of us need to be responsible for ourselves,” is their mantra.
“Yeah,” I think, “that’s just denial of reality. What you really need is to accept responsibility for the damage you do.” But I know that will never happen.
Solution? Yeah I’ve got one, and it’s not even difficult. Stop all exemptions for vaccinations save provable anaphylaxis. No vaccinations? No school, no public venues (parks, concert locations, airports, etc.). Vaccinate or stay home. You don’t get to put us at risk... period!