My responses to three letters that addressed my April 13 letter are as follows:
The measles deaths I cited can be found via wonder.cdc.gov (click on “Detailed Mortality”). I used Medalerts.org to access CDC’s vaccine death records. CDC’s website is not usually considered to be “anti-vaccination” (Mary Garrard, Letters, April 22), nor its data “dubious” (Nancy Kerkvliet, Letters, April 23).
I agree with Brent Dalrymple (Mailbag, April 24) that statistics can be misleading, and I add that they can also illuminate. For example, while annual measles deaths fell from 364 to 0 in 55 years since the measles vaccine was introduced (1963-2018), during the previous 55 years (1907-1962) measles deaths had already plummeted from 4,302 to 406 per year (National Center for Health Statistics). This seems to indicate that the vaccine is much less responsible for the current low measles death rate in this country than is often thought.
In Madagascar, resistance to vaccination is due to “the influence of religion or traditional health care practitioners,” according to the April 14 Associated Press article. It does not say that some victims of the measles outbreak “were from families that were influenced by anti-vaccine propaganda,” as Ms. Kerkvliet asserted. She also incorrectly assumed that I didn’t vaccinate my children. Many people who vaccinate fully or in part are against House Bill 3063 because it coerces compliance, removing the right of parents to freely consent to medical procedures on behalf of their children.
No on HB 3063!
Corvallis (April 30)