Let the numbers speak
It is indeed odd that Mesdames Aldridge and Pattison, representing Otamatea Grey Power, should view me as a fanatic for putting before the public accurate statistics about immunisation. If I have beliefs about immunisation they are at least well-founded, which is perhaps more than one can say for theirs.
They now wish to persuade us that measles immunisation is ineffective by quoting two papers. The first, using data from a high school gathered in 1985, found that 14 out of 1806 students with a 99 per cent immunisation rate acquired measles during an outbreak, about 1 per cent of the total.
The second paper, from 1990, showed that 36 out of 37 (97 per cent) unimmunised people got measles during a community outbreak, while 29 out of 198 immunised people (15 per cent got it in a “significantly milder” form. As the average age of the population studied was 13 years, many must have been immunised before full implementation of a two-dose schedule.
The scientists at OGP might care to read Western Pac Surveill Response J. 2015 JulSep; 6(3): 43 — 50 in its entirety. This studied all proven measles cases in Australia between 2006 and 2012 (n = 189), and after rigorous statistical analysis concluded that one dose of vaccine had 96.7 per cent effectiveness and two doses had 99.7 per cent effectiveness. Similar figures are found from other studies world wide, except for the Ukraine, where the effectiveness was found to be 93.1 per cent.
It is simply not tenable any more to question the effectiveness of the measles vaccine. This has nothing to do with the Bill of Rights, global warming, compulsory medication or fluoridation.
Something left out of the recent correspondence has been that the measles vaccine is now combined with vaccines against mumps, chicken pox and rubella (German measles). Trivial though the latter illness may seem to be in children, it can be devastating if acquired in the womb.
Many will be miscarried or stillborn. Those who survive may suffer damage to the heart, brain, vision and hearing.
OGP might like to reflect that if their views prevail we will once again see, as I did in the early 1970s, more cases of congenital rubella syndrome, added to those damaged by the complications of measles. mumps and chicken pox.