Originally published Aug-22-2013
A textbook example of why we need community immunity vaccination plans.
Tarrant County health officials have zeroed in on a megachurch near Eagle Mountain Lake as where a measles outbreak began to spread.
A congregant contracted the viral infection during a visit to a foreign country and attended a service before he knew his diagnosis, according to a written statement from Eagle Mountain International Church spokeswoman Nancy Alto. The individual was not a member of the church and was visiting the facility as part of a multi-nation mission trip.
There have been 16 cases reported in Texas with the affected ages between 4 months and 44 years. The 4 month old was likely too young to have been vaccinated which is why everyone who can be ought to be vaccinated against such diseases – to aid in community immunity for those that can’t benefit from immunization.
I am a bit concerned that foreign travel was allowed without such vaccinations already. That’s an easy way to spread it, jumping from country to country. The church is promoting vaccinations.
UPDATE (24-Aug-2013): USA Today is reporting that the Copeland church was not so excited about vaccines prior to this event…
In an Aug. 15 statement, Eagle Mountain’s pastor, Terri Pearsons, said she had reservations about vaccines. “The concerns we have had are primarily with very young children who have family history of autism and with bundling too many immunizations at one time,” she said.
More than 20 studies have failed to find any link between autism and vaccines, even when children receive multiple shots at once. “At this point, this is not only sad, but silly,” Schaffner says. “This is a sadly misinformed religious leader.”
Measles cases put Texas megachurch under scrutiny.
Although church officials were quick to act after the outbreak — including hosting clinics in August where 220 people received immunization shots — and have denied they are against medical care or vaccinations, people familiar with the ministry say there is a pervasive culture that believers should rely on God, not modern medicine, to keep them well.
“To get a vaccine would have been viewed by me and my friends and my peers as an act of fear — that you doubted God would keep you safe, you doubted God would keep you healthy. We simply didn’t do it,” former church member Amy Arden told The Associated Press.
It went farther than vaccines. People were encouraged to pray instead of going to the doctor. I don’t think they learned anything from this measles outbreak.