Scared Anti-Vax Parents are Vaccinating Their Kids In Washington

Scared Anti-Vax Parents are Vaccinating Their Kids In Washington February 7, 2019

Vaccination rates were up 500% in January in Washington due to a measles outbreak that has gripped the southwest portion of the state. Individuals that have been hesitant to vaccinate have been requesting two forms of the vaccine in clinics around Clark County. Doctors are thrilled to help improve the vaccination rates in the area, but some are distressed it took an outbreak for people to vaccinate their children.

State health department records indicate that 3,150 vaccines requests in January. In January 2018, the area reported 350 requests for the same vaccine. The spike is directly related to a current measles outbreak that has infected 50 people and has 11 suspected cases.

The reported vaccines came through the federal program ‘Vaccines for Children.’ Through the program, children, who otherwise could not afford them, get free vaccines. The 500% increase does not include children that received vaccines through private insurance or outside of the program.

Patients requesting vaccines have inundated clinics in Clark County. Vancouver Clinic that offers medical and urgent care centers gave 1,444 vaccines to patients. In January 2018, the clinic only administered 263 shots. Staff at the clinics report that they are giving vaccines to children whose parents were previously vaccine-hesitant.

Dr. Alan Melnick the health officer overseeing the Clark County response to the outbreak had mixed feelings about the jump in vaccinations. He told the Seattle Times, “I would rather it not take an outbreak for this to happen.”

In 2017-2018 Clark County reported a 76.5% vaccination rate for all entering kindergarten children. With the rate well below the needed 90% for herd immunity, Clark County was vulnerable to an outbreak occurring.

Officials in Washington have identified the strain of measles circulating the area. The strain is a wild form of the virus that is currently spreading in Eastern Europe. As a result, the outbreak started by someone traveling to Europe and bringing the virus back with them.

Clark County is taking precautions with anyone exposed to the virus. Exposed individuals can receive an MMR or MMR-V within 72 hours of exposure.

Vaccines provided within 72 hours of exposure can help prevent the virus from starting. When individuals receive a vaccine, they may still get the measles. However, people typically have a milder form of the illness.

As Washington tallies up more cases, neighboring Oregon has now reported their first cases. Oregon officials say that four people in the Portland area have tested positive for measles. The health authority believes that three of the people did not expose anyone to the virus.

“These individuals did everything right,” said Jennifer Vines, M.D., Multnomah County deputy health officer. “They stayed away from others while on symptom watch so we have no new public exposures to measles.”

Oregon Health Authority says the four reported cases are linked to the outbreak in Washington. Additionally, they said the amount of administered vaccinations tripled in the last week of January.

Nearly all of the cases of measles are in children that were not previously vaccinated. There are only two adults that have contracted the virus. Most of the children infected are under the age of ten.

Obviously, the spike in vaccinations is a great victory for the area. But an outbreak should not have prompted the surge in vaccines. Vaccines are safe and effective in preventing measles.

Parents that withhold vaccines from their children falsely believe that vaccines cause autism. More than a dozen studies have proven there is no link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

For the most up to date information on the outbreak, check out the Clark County Measles Website.


*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.

She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Mythblaster

    These selfish bastards should be injected with a live flu virus and quarantined for a month as punishment for stupidly exposing their children to this risk. I continue to lobby my state legislators to pass a bill criminalizing this level of stupidity.

  • Buffymom9

    Are you up to date on your MMR or are you a hypocrite? In 2020 the adult vaccination schedule will include MMR because if you had one as a child you no longer have immunity. Don’t be selfish, get ahead and get yours today.

  • Buffymom9

    I’m calling this article baloney for many reasons beyond fear mongering propaganda.
    If there has been a “500% vaccination” rate increase does that include all the flu shots too or are they referring to the MMR? Assuming it was MMR because the subject is measles, that would mean a lot of people out there, who according to the CDC, can shed measles virus for 21 days following the vaccination.
    Who are all these people flocking to get their MMR vaccines? According to CDC Washington state has a nearly 98% compliance on this vaccine. So if we have an ‘outbreak’ then it’s not the 2% that are exempted spreading the measles. It must be the MMR that is failing. Or this is a politically driven pharmaceutical funded push to remove all exemptions and increase their profits. The sponsors on both bills have received a lot of pharma money. That’s a matter of public record. The 76.5% vaccination rate in Clark County is not clear because it’s vague. MMR rates have remained high while many new vaccines added to the schedule have lowered the exemption rates because many are opted out. It’s disingenuous to not separate the vaccines that are exempted when making these claims.

  • WallofSleep

    I applaud your lobbying efforts and hope they bare fruit. What you do in that regard can only benefit us all. However I am curious, did the creator of that graphic really mean to use “decimate”? Because removing/eliminating only 10% of something doesn’t sound all that impressive.

  • Mike Stevens

    The strict definition of “decimate” is to reduce something to 1/10th, however the colloquial use is now taken to mean to reduce something significantly (often by more than just 90%).

  • WallofSleep

    Actually, the strict definition of “decimate” is to reduce something by 1/10th, not to 1/10th.

    The connection between decimate and the number ten harks back to a brutal practice of the army of ancient Rome. A unit that was guilty of a severe crime (such as mutiny) was punished by selecting and executing one-tenth of its soldiers, thereby scaring the remaining nine-tenths into obedience.

    These days it seems that the “colloquial use” of any word/phrase equates to “whatever I want it to mean” by the writer. For instance I’ve started to see many people lately (not just on the internet, but in newsprint as well) use the word “wondering” when they mean “wandering”.

    At any rate, I do not mean any of this as a slight against you or Mythblaster. I’m afflicted with an odd sort of pedantry where I don’t give a hoot about nearly every typos/spelling mistake/etc., with the exception of a few words or phrases that have become pet peeves. Decimate, irregardless, “… for all intensive purposes…”, and now the whole wondering/wandering thing, get under my skin more than they should.

    But this is my problem, not yours, so please feel free to ignore me and my ranting, and I’ll just go back to yelling at kids to get offa my lawn or something.

  • Mike Stevens

    You are correct, it is to reduce by 1/10th.
    Thanks. Like you, I value accuracy!

  • WallofSleep

    And thank you for making me feel a little better about my oddly specific, pedantic pet peeves. I don’t know why just a few things get to me while I can easily ignore so much else. I don’t know why I could hear my grandma say “akrit” (read: accurate) all day without a twitch, but one “irregardless” and I get itchy. I have issues.

  • Mike Stevens

    I’ll have to put you on hold, my sekitary is on the other line.

  • WallofSleep

    She’s probly gonna aks you for a raize.

    ETA: Once I was able to determine a co-worker of mine was an immigrant based on the observation that her elocution was too perfect. I guessed Eastern Europe; she turned out to be Russian. She was rather proud of her mastery of the English language, as well she should be. I doubt I could learn to speak Russian that accurately, even under duress.

  • ValentineGecko


  • We are organizing to lobby together. Join us at Thanks for what you do.

  • I am astonished, in a very good way, at how my community has come out against the antivax misinformation. It is sad that it took a measles outbreak to wake everyone up but we are now WOKE! Join us here to keep Washington healthy

  • Is she calling you from the liberry? (like scratching fingernails on a chalkboard)

  • islandbrewer

    So, something twice decimated is at 81% of it’s original value, right?

  • Careful, you’re getting into algebra and will lose any anti-vaccinationists who may be looking in… They can’t pass a 4rth grade math test so math is just another part of the global NWO Aluminutty pHARMA Vaccine Konspiracee!!!!!!11!!

  • Thank goodness something’s brought these anti-vaxxer parents to their senses. Their kids don’t deserve to suffer for their parents’ woo beliefs.

  • People forget, the old days before medicine. I had a classmate who had polio, and people were afraid of getting it, or other diseases that have been eradicated – by vaccinations.

  • It’s the height of arrogance for people with otherwise healthy children (meaning there is no health reason to withhold vaccinations) to rely on the herd immunity instead of properly vaccinating one’s children.

  • WallofSleep

    My calculator says you are correct, but I don’t know if I should trust that thing. Sometimes it will display 80085 for no reason. I think it might be an adolescent FNC viewer.

  • Jim Baerg

    ‘they bare fruit’
    Is that the same as peeling fruit?

  • WallofSleep

    Heh, could be. Bear?

  • cecilia

    LOL, when I hear people say “irregardless” I want to punch them, so, I feel your pain.

    My mother (a teacher for about 40 years) can go ON AND ON about the idiots reading the ‘news’ and every single grammatical mistake they make. She’s like the flippin’ Grammar Police. She’d have everyone arrested if she got her way.

    I love it. It’s quite funny and I always learn something.

  • swbarnes2 has signed on to the new more drastic definition of “decimated”. And some dictionaries have signed on to the new definition of “nonplussed” as meaning “unperturbed”.

  • WallofSleep

    Our language is a living language. It’s also a thieving one.

    “English doesn’t borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over and goes through their pockets for loose grammar.”

  • CatCatCat

    You know which one really gets me? Vocal “chords.” OMG.

  • (((J_Enigma32)))

    A phonetic approximation according to the spelling of “Maize” (that is, the type of corn), perhaps?

  • tatortotcassie

    Well, well, well. So you’re not sure vaccines are really the best thing for your children until their lives are literally in danger, and NOW you’ve decided that science is right? Selfish idiots.

    Don’t get me wrong — I’m very glad that the unvaccinated kids are finally getting their immunizations. But I have no patience or sympathy for the parents who were anti-vax until a preventable disease was staring them in the face. Especially since the sudden huge demand is causing shortages in the area now.

  • Jim Jones

    This happened in BC, Canada too.

  • Jim Jones

    Russian doctors, I am told, learn English from high school through medical school. However it is all book learning, not spoken English. That’s why there’s a learning curve when they emigrate.

  • Jim Jones

    Trees bear leaves and nuts.

  • Jim Jones

    I got the Salk vaccine in high school. It was like being released from death row.

  • Jim Jones

    The US has a very poor health care system, and a very poor legal system. This is the result of a very poor educational system.

  • I got mine, was a drop of red serum in a sugar cube, in a little paper cup, handed to me from behind a folding table, after church. There was a national drive.

  • Jim Jones

    That would be the Sabin vaccine. Salk was always a needle AFAIK.

  • Greg Stueve

    Waiting to act until an emergency has occurred is the American Way!

  • Ah .. something I didn’t know.