For Shawn Broomfield and his wife there was never a question of whether their four children should be vaccinated.
Broomfield, a software engineer and his wife, a veterinarian, confided in the comprehensive study of vaccines is safe.
"We never seriously considered [not having them vaccinated]," said the 39-year-old, waiting for his bus in a coffee shop in southern Washington city of Vancouver in Clark County. "We don't believe science supports it."
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Not everyone agrees. As Clark County rolls out from an outbreak of measles that has infected at least 54, almost all children, society needs to face some tough truths – that only about 75 percent of its children are vaccinated against a national average of 92 percent. . Over the state, the figure is 85 percent.
A combination of anti-vaccine propaganda, a state law that allows parents to choose their children without being immunized and a reported cultural suspicion of state medicine among elements of its immigrant population has made Clark County an anti-vaccination "hotspot."
Governor Jay Inslee last month declared the outbreak is a public health emergency. "Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in young children, "He said.
Dr. Alan Melnick, County Health Director, is making efforts to tackle the outbreak.
" There is a lot of diversity in our unvaccinated population, "he says." There is much anti-vaccine propaganda on social issues. media, and some of these things are quite sophisticated. It's dangerous nonsense. "
He says Washington is one of 17 states that allow parents to protest" philosophically "for their children to be vaccinated – not just for medical or religious reasons – linking the problem further.
The Quiet City of Vancouver, which sits across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon, is just the latest community to fight against an outbreak of measles that is fatal in one to two cases per thousand. The United States was in 2015, but the disease can also cause hearing loss, diarrhea and brain swelling, an outbreak of an orthodox Jewish population in New York in 2018 being the second-most year of measles since 2000. It is always more dangerous for children. 19659002] The state disease control and prevention centers say online: "In 2018, 349 cases of measles were confirmed in 26 states and the District of Columbia. This is the second largest number of annual cases reported since measles were eliminated in the United States in 2000. The largest was 667 cases reported in 2014. "
In November, a North Carolina school with an anti-vaccine community in its heart continued its worst outbreak of chickenpox for more than two decades.
In some of the outbreaks, such as. One who hit the Somali-American population of Minneapolis in 2017 pointed experts to the role of the disgraced British doctor Andrew Wakefield as a factor in people's decision not to have their children vaccinated. Wakefield, who in the 1990s claimed to have found a possible compound, was measles, dogs and rubella vaccination (MMR) and autism, was found guilty of professional misconduct and offended by the British Medical Council.
Over the years, he has moved to America, where he continues to promote his anti-vaccine perception. In the Washington state, one of the most senior anti-vaccine campaigns is Robert F Kennedy Jr., an environmentalist and nephew of the murdered President John F Kennedy.
The 65-year-old has been working to block state law that removes the parents' "philosophical" right to oppose children being vaccinated if they want to attend private or state school. (They could still object to religious or medical reasons.)
John Wiesman, Washington's health secretary, recently told politicians the proposal "on safe schools and the protection of vulnerable children".
At least 17 studies have shown no correlation between autism and the MMR vaccine, but Kennedy continues to argue the opposite. He did not respond to inquiries from The Independent but according to The News Tribune he told the legislature meeting: "We do not know the risk profile of the MMR vaccine. There is no safety test for the vaccine. "
Kennedy is a man of strong connections. In January 2017, he met President-elect Donald Trump, who during a primary debate mistakenly claimed that vaccines could cause autism.
Kennedy said Trump had asked him to lead a commission to investigate their security. This idea was never widespread. But some of them in Trump's circle continue to claim the dangers of vaccines, even though they are denied by the government's own scientists.
Earlier this month, the wife of White House communications director Bill Shine, Darla Shine, claimed "childhood diseases such as measles keep you healthy and fight cancer".
She also tweeted: "I had #Measles #Mumps #ChickenPox as a child and so did every child I knew – Unfortunately, my children had #MMR so they will never have the lifelong natural immunity I have. breathing on me! "
In the days when an emergency was declared in Washington over measles, residents have responded to different days. Officials ordered hundreds of children to stay home from school, parents canceled play dates, and some older residents apparently had face masks to visit the supermarket. There has also been an increase in the number of vaccinations of 500 per cent compared to the same three-month period last year.
Shawn Brannan, from the Sea Mar Clinic, says he has seen a jump in the number of parents who bring their children to be vaccinated. He says a number were from the area's 40,000-strong Russian and Ukrainian communities.
He says he had been told that some members of society were suspected of state medicine – a team over from Soviet days – and he had witnessed that parents were crying as their children were vaccinated. "Some of them have been in tears," he says.
In fact, at least eight of more than 20 outbreak sites in Clark County or Portland were in Slavic churches or schools. "Many Slavic immigrants endured the toughness of the Soviet regime during a totalitarian government," Yuriy Stasyuk, a data analyst with the Washington Health Alliance, told Komo News. "This has led to a lot of anti-government sentiment and a mistrust of academy, science and public health sponsored by the government."
Last year, US researchers said Russian social media trolls and bots associated with alleged efforts to interfere in the presidential election in 2016 had pumped anti-vaccine information into "creating social discord".
Scientists studying tweets produced by the St. Petersburg-based Internet research agency named in charges filed by the Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller found that it had filed claims, so there was "a secret state database of vaccinated children. "
David Broniatowski from George Washington University says:" A major part of the online discourse on vaccines can be generated by malicious actors with a number of hidden agendas. "It is not known whether the Russian-produced anti-vaccination has been read by people in Clark County.
Peter Tishenko, principal pastor of Christ the Savior, one of the Slavic churches named as an outbreak, says there is no ban on vaccinations. A member of the congregation who did not ask to be identified says that both of their children were vaccinated, and it was wrong if people in the city believed the Russian-speaking community against their use. "I know there is a social media genius going on," said the church member.
Recently, Hillary Parkin and her 15-month-old son and three-year-old daughter prepared to avoid the rain as they left a Dollar General Store in northern Vancouver. It is one of three locations of the discount chain listed among the outbreak sites.
Parkin, which is Mormon, is not worried about bringing her children to the store as they visit once a month. She says, "Both are vaccinated."
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