Currently Samoa is having a terrible measles outbreak which has killed about 70 people. The reason for the outbreak is, because of anti vaccine misinformation, vaccination rates for measles were at 31%. They are working hard to vaccinate as many people as possible and believe they currently have the vaccination rate up to about 91% of “eligible” people, whatever “eligible” means. Vaccination rates have to be 93% to 95% to prevent the spread of an outbreak. An anti-vaxxer was recently arrested for publicly opposing the vaccination efforts in Samoa, even as children were dying of an easily preventable disease.
I certainly hope that the medical community is taking note of this. By gathering the numbers of the percent of the population vaccinated before and after AND the percent of the population diagnosed as autistic before and after they can finally definitively show without question that there is no link between vaccines and autism. Tripling the number of vaccinated people in a matter of weeks would easily show any correlation between vaccines and autism just a few years down the road. Since anti-vaxxers believe that vaccines give children autism you don’t have to wait 20 years to see if they have autism then. You only have to wait a year or two to see that, predictably by all current medical understanding, the numbers do not spike.
While this is terrible for the people of Samoa I hope the medical community is seeing this as an opportunity to definitively put this disinformation down once and for all. Tragedy aside, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to definitively debunk this dangerous disinformation in short order.