Press Release

No Forced Vaccines: April 2, 2019

There’s no need for a national panic because there have been some cases of measles in New Zealand. 

Until the invention of the measles vaccine, measles was largely regarded as a normal childhood event that entailed some discomfort for a week or two. It was generally understood that measles was not a disaster but something to be welcomed under most circumstances, since having the infection in childhood almost always resulted in lifelong immunity thereafter.  The Ministry of Health acknowledges that people born in 1969 are likely to be immune to measles thanks to the regular cycles of measles outbreaks in the 1960s and earlier decades.

A measles infection in childhood can be seen as an investment in the health of the next generation as mothers who have experienced a natural measles infection in childhood are able to pass along antibodies to their unborn baby via the placenta and their breast milk will also contain antibodies that help to protect their babies from developing measles during infancy.

It has long been understood that measles can cause complications, but with good home nursing care and a well nourished patient, for children who are usually healthy, the risk of serious complications was low.

Several decades of measles vaccination in New Zealand has created a situation in which a considerable proportion of the population is susceptible to measles due to waning immunity from vaccination.  Unvaccinated children and adults who have not yet having experienced a natural measles infection (due to quarantining of people with measles during recently outbreaks) are also part of the pool of susceptible people. [1]

A useful approach to this problem would be to provide parents with information about the symptoms and treatments for measles so that they are able to provide good care to their children if they develop measles so as to minimise the risks of children (or adults) developing complications from this disease. [2]

Providing reassurance to people who are especially vulnerable to measles complications, such as those undergoing chemotherapy, and ensuring the availability of measles immune globulin should also be a priority.

Naturally, people who believe that they have been exposed to the measles and think that they are not immune should stay at home during the period in which they are likely to be infectious so that they do not inadvertently spread the virus to people for whom the infection can be dangerous. [3]

MMR vaccination* is also available to people in New Zealand who want to be vaccinated. 

Some parents (and many adults) choose not to take up the offer of MMR vaccine for themselves or their children due to reasons such as the risk of joint disease from the rubella component of the vaccine (which is reportedly higher in adolescent girls and women) [4], the ongoing MMR-autism controversy [5] or the fact that the rubella component of the MMR vaccines used in NZ is cultured on cells derived from aborted human foetal tissue [6]. Their decision should be respected.

References:

[1] http://www.noforcedvaccines.org/news/no-forced-vaccines-statement-to-tv-3-on-measles-cases-may-24-2016/

[2] This link provides basic information about measles http://www.noforcedvaccines.org/parents/information-about-measles-and-measles-treatments/ and this links provides information about measles, mumps and rubella and the MMR vaccine: http://www.noforcedvaccines.org/health-professionals/questions-and-answer-about-measles-mumps-and-rubella/

[3] This link of the NZ Ministry of Health’s website provides information about measles including the period during which someone who is not immune to measles who has has been exposed to virus is likely to be infectious to others: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/communicable-disease-control-manual/measles

[4] http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/m/MMRIIinj.pdf

[5] This link provides useful background information to the MMR-autism controversy: https://ahrp.org/laffaire-wakefield-shades-of-dreyfus-bmjs-descent-into-tabloid-science/, while this link discusses some of the research that links vaccination to autism: https://sharylattkisson.com/what-the-news-isnt-saying-about-vaccine-autism-studies/

[6] The use of cell lines derived from aborted human foetal tissue as a culture medium for the rubella viruses in MMR vaccines is disclosed on the vaccine datasheets; these cells are referred to as “human diploid cells”.
http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/m/MMRIIinj.pdf
http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/p/Priorixvac.pdf

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