Anti-Vaccine Drive Continues Despite Increased Number Of Measles Cases In Minnesota

Anti-vaccination activists continue their drive against vaccines in Minnesota even as measles cases in the state continue to grow in Hennepin County’s Somali-Minnesotan community. Anti -vaccine groups state that the measles vaccines administered are not safe and can cause autism.

The children of the Somali-American community residing in Hennepin County have a low rate of vaccination. This is primarily due to the community’s belief that the measles vaccine can cause autism in kids.

Anti-Vaccine Group Links Autism With Measles Vaccine

According to Minnesota’s health department, 32 measles infection cases have been identified. Out of these, an alarming 28 are in the Somali-Minnesotan community.

On Sunday, April 30, the Vaccine Safety Council of Minnesota, a non-profit group advocating parental choice for vaccination, organized a public meet specifically for the Somali Community. The group aimed to inform them about the seriousness of measles, its effects on children, the importance of vaccines, and also the state’s laws regarding vaccine exemption rights, which allows families to delay vaccine administration or opt out completely.

The meeting was held at Minneapolis’ Safari Restaurant and saw a gathering of 90 people. They came to hear national speaker Mark Blaxill speak on the dangers of measles vaccine and its supposed link to autism in children.

Blaxill is of the belief that measles vaccines trigger autism in children. He urged the Somali-American parents who attended the meet to choose what’s best for their children after gaining detailed information about the disease, it risks, and preventive measures.

Blaxill claimed that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has lied and publicized fraudulent results in a 2004 study pertaining to the association of measles vaccine and autism. Health officials in the United States have denied the existence of any known link between measles vaccine and autism and the study went out to point the same.

“It should be the right of every parent and family to make their own decisions,” Blaxill asserted to the attendees in the public meet.

He stated that his stance is not anti-vaccine and that he simply aims to inform people about Minnesota’s vaccine exemption laws.

In Minnesota, the law states that parents have the choice of opting out of vaccinations for their children. Blaxill provided attendees with forms and access to public notary to opt out of vaccinations if they deem it fit for their kids. Several other non-profit groups that advocate parental option for vaccinations were also present at the meeting.

Many paediatricians present in the Sunday meeting differed from Blaxill’s views. They remarked that he was minimizing the seriousness of measles in a community, which was uninformed and already grappling with measles outbreak.

What Is The Minnesota Health Department Doing?

The Minnesota Health Department states that “all Minnesota children 12 months and older who have not received a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine should get it now.”

Due to fears of developing autism in children, health officials state that vaccination rates have seen a sharp decline in the Somali-American community. However, health department officials are relentlessly trying to educate the community about measles and importance of vaccination with the help of the community leaders.

Isha Ku Hay Alljubland Media

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