July 7, 2013
Herd immunity is the clarion cry to press everyone into vaccination. It’s trumpeted by every health agency, in spite of the abject failure of the MMR in both measles and mumps. Even the vaccine’s failure is used to demand that everyone be vaccinated. There is no absurdity too great that it won’t be used to press for forced vaccination.
by Heidi Stevenson
(with appreciation to Hilary Butler’s insight into this issue)
The mumps portion of the MMR vaccine is failing, according to Public Health England (PHE). Therefore, according to the Guardian, they say that all those who are unvaccinated should be vaccinated. Seriously! The PHE says:
[S]ome waning immunity may be contributing to transmission.
So, the failure of the vaccine is somehow the fault of people who choose not to vaccinate!
But the insanity doesn’t stop there. During the recent measles outbreak in Wales, the death of a young man was blamed on measles, though it was later admitted that the cause of death was unknown. Now, though, they’re returning to the original claim that he did die of measles. The reason is that the official cause of death was giant cell pneumonia, which is generally believed to be caused only by measles.
It’s now reported by the pathologist Dr. Maurizio Brotto that he tested positive for measles. There’s a good deal more about this story, though, which we’ll discuss a bit later. For the moment, we’ll simply note that, for some reason, they were unable to come up with a positive measles test until after it was confirmed that he had died of a disease presumed to be cause by measles.
Herd Immunity: Moving Goal Posts
Herd immunity is the belief that, if enough people (or animals) are vaccinated for a particular disease, then everyone is protected from that disease. The problem is that the percentage of people who must have antibodies to provide that herd immunity is a moving target. Over time, the figure has increased. At various times, it’s been believed that everyone would be protected from measles if 55% … 76% … 85% … well, maybe 95% of the population were vaccinated for it. 
A 2010 estimate for mumps herd immunity by the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) Dr. Preeta K. Kutty was that 90 – 92% of the population must have mumps antibodies to protect everyone.
Whoops! Wales’ MMR vaccination rate, according to Health Protection England, is 95 percent. Apparently, herd immunity isn’t doing Wales much good in preventing the current outbreak of mumps!
So, although PHE has admitted that the MMR vaccine does not last long enough to produce herd immunity, they continue with their policy stating:
The immunity that MMR gives is probably lifelong. We know that people remain immune for at least 30 years against measles, 23 years against rubella and 19 against mumps.
Of course, that’s just plain ridiculous, so there’s a fair amount of shuffling going on. They would like to change the question, “Is MMR protection lifelong?” to “How long does protection from MMR last?” To that, they want to respond:
Most studies suggest that protection following MMR vaccine is very long lasting. For measles and rubella almost all people (more than 99%) will be protected after two doses of vaccine. In contrast, protection against mumps after two doses is a little lower (90-95%) and appears to gradually decline.
In other words, they would like to issue mealy-mouthed propaganda and pressure the unvaccinated to get vaccinated! Of course, they never even consider the fact that a vaccinated person could come down with mumps and be the first person to spread it around to others. In fact, they have not identified the first person who got mumps in Wales, so they cannot possibly claim that the outbreak was started in an unvaccinated person. But still, they blame the unvaccinated for the outbreak.
So, they just resort to using deceptive language, à la Brave New World—and, of course, blame the people who are actually paying attention and not falling for it, the unvaccinated.
Blaming Measles for Failure to Treat a Serious Illness
The young man who tragically died during the Wales measles outbreak died of giant cell pneumonia, also known as Hecht’s pneumonia, which is usually believed to be an adverse outcome of measles. Therefore, the pathologist blamed his death on measles and stated that he had confirmed measles. This is odd, since earlier, when the health department was coming under criticism for promoting his case, the public was told that they had not been able to confirm measles in him … but there’s more to this case than that.
Hecht’s pneumonia usually strikes only the very weakest and immune compromised, like people with leukemia. It’s virtually never seen outside of such severe underlying ill health.
The young man in question was in very poor health. The pathologist called him, “extremely underweight”. He had asthma, and on top of these problems, he was an alcoholic being treated with a detoxification drug for alcohol withdrawal.
I will not stand in judgement of this young man. No one knows what stresses he had to deal with. Nonetheless, the fact is that his health was far from good. But to make matters worse, it’s difficult to make a case that he was properly treated medically.
This unhealthily thin young man with asthma and an obviously severe alcohol problem went to three GPs the day before he died. His mother stated that he could barely stand. He was simply sent home. He went to a hospital. The inquest found that he had complained of a rash, fever, and hallucination. He was clearly extremely ill—but he was sent home.
And found dead the next day.
What was the cause of death? Measles? Hecht’s pneumonia? Alcoholism? Detoxification? Or could it have been lack of proper treatment by several doctors who saw him? No history was taken. He was not diagnosed with the pneumonia he had. Nothing that the hospital should have done was done. He might have survived if he’d been diagnosed and treated properly, but he stood no chance because the doctors turned him away—sent him home.
But there’s even more to this tale. It’s so very easy to simply say that Hecht’s pneumonia is a sequela of measles, but the truth is that it isn’t necessarily the case. It’s actually an opportunistic disease that can happen only to someone with a severely weakend immune system, such as that described by people with an AIDS diagnosis.
He may have been vaccinated with the MMR, or he may not. His mother originally said that he had been, but the doctors now say he wasn’t—and, of course, blame the lack of a vaccination for his death … though they apparently never considered whether he had a wise GP as a child who determined that his health was not robust enough to handle that vaccination.
So what caused this young man’s death? It’s easy to say that it was measles, but that’s simplistic. The young man’s health was severely compromised. On top of that, his lack of even a diagnosis on entering a hospital so ill that he had hallucinations and could barely stand suggests that the doctors should, at the very least, have acknowledged that his death was largely due to lack of proper treatment.
Who to Blame? Why, the Unvaccinated … of Course!
But it’s ever so much more convenient to blame measles … and then, to take just one more step and place the blame for measles on people who choose not to be vaccinated. And that is, of course, what’s happening. Those people who believe that health is not found artificially in vaccines and are not willing to risk the potentially terrible adverse effects of the MMR, such as autism, are now being blamed.
What they’re saying is that people who have damaged immune systems—even if they’ve done it to themselves—should be protected by forcing everyone else to be vaccinated. But what happens to those people who are maimed or even killed by their sacrifice? Is there any help for them? Do they get medals for their sacrifice?
No. They’re ignored … brushed aside as so much excess weight on society. These people—usually children—pay horrific prices to save the lives of others. Surely they deserve at least a bit of acknowledgment for their sacrifice, don’t they?
And those who suggest that the unvaccinated are responsible for people with weak immune systems also ignore the fact that even the vaccinated succumb to the diseases. They ignore the fact that their vaunted herd immunity has never been shown to work. It’s nothing but a theory, and the goal posts for it keep getting pushed farther out. They presume to have the ethical right to force the risk of harm on some to protect others. But they never explain why those others are more deserving of protection than the innocent child who is sacrificed on the altar of herd immunity.
4. Herd Immunity: History, Theory, Practice; Refer to page 285 for measles herd immunity estimates.