To prick or not to prick: measles outbreaks in Russia

In Russia continue to fix the measles outbreak. In Novosibirsk sick 52 — according to data on Wednesday, February 27. 35 people got infected in Yekaterinburg, in both cities the vast majority of infected — unvaccinated children.

Cases of measles recorded since the beginning of the year in many Russian regions: Orel region, on Yamal, in Voronezh, in the Kama area, in the Nizhny Novgorod region, a number of other territories. Some schools have ceased to put on classes for those who have not submitted a certificate of vaccination.

Particularly tense situation in Novosibirsk — there’s an outbreak of measles occurred among the parishioners of the Baptist Church. A number of media published the information that the followers of this religious movement is taboo for vaccination. However, it was denied by the senior presbyter of the Association of churches of Evangelical Christians-Baptists of the Novosibirsk region Andrey Melnikov.

Andrey Melnikov: There are individual believers who adhere to the belief that it is not Howdy Doody. We as a Church no position in this matter is not produced. It is the personal responsibility of each member of the Church, we do not interfere in personal life. Position such as to prohibit the making of vaccination, no. And many Church leaders children vaccinated, and among the leaders also the same position: someone is vaccinated, someone not vaccinated. There is no religious ban on doing shots.

RFI: And personally, what is your position on this issue?

Andrey Melnikov: My children are all vaccinated — I have four children. I myself am vaccinated against measles.

According to candidate of medical Sciences, member of the Medical Christian Association of Russia (MAR) Dmitry Leahy, who also belongs to the Baptist Church, a measles outbreak associated with the increasingly popular rejection of vaccination.

Dmitry Leahy: “We in any case do not call the believers Christians are not vaccinated and are not talking about what is bad and wrong. Moreover, the Social concept of Evangelical Christians-Baptists says that we motivate people to engage in prevention and protect your health. A vaccination just refers to it. However, among the Baptists can be individuals who generally decide for themselves not to be vaccinated. It’s their decision, but in General such doctrine or bias there.

I would also add that in a Protestant environment, and Baptists belong to the Protestant, there is such an Association, MAR Medical Christian Association of Russia, one of which aims to educate believers on medical ethical issues. Including on vaccination. Our position is to explain at the popular level complex scientific questions and to provide faithful information about the benefits and the correlation of this use with the risk of vaccination.

Of course, vaccination is not a kind of panacea or perfect solution. We must admit that there are difficulties associated with the method of vaccine introduction, there are adverse events following vaccination. Of course, this is all too true. However, in medicine there is the principle that guides us: it is the ratio of potential benefit and risk. And here is to say that the vast majority of cases of vaccination, of course, dominated by the use of. Because of this most medical experts believe that vaccination is one of the ten greatest discoveries in medicine, and I agree with this entirely. Moreover, the vaccination made it possible to extend the average duration of human life on planet Earth.

(When you have) outbreak of measles or any other infection in developing countries, this may be a consequence of the economic decline and the lack of a vaccine, but in Europe and in our country it is rather a response to some ignorance and the trend of vaccine refusal, which is observed. It’s very simple: as soon as the percentage of unvaccinated people up to some figures, there is an exacerbation of any infection. The same thing, in fact, is happening now.”

People who prefer to refuse to vaccinate and not to vaccinate their children, often guided by their conviction that vaccination is unnecessary and dangerous interference with the human immune system, which can cause unpredictable and dangerous consequences. Their concerns with the RFI shared young women who consider themselves “antipresidential”.

Elena, a psychologist, a mother, Moscow: “I see the major difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated children. The fact that I had to see a lot of families and to work with those who have children have mental disabilities. The parents are convinced that it’s genetics that mom and dad somehow have that kind of heredity that the child becomes an idiot. But it’s ingrained. I ask, since when there have been signs. They remember, I remember, and suddenly there is a vaccination on the horizon. Here the child smiled, spoke, everything was fine, everything was fine, and then was vaccinated, he ached, and after the disease had disappeared with it, he felt sick to move. It’s a very common story when the decisive place is vaccination. And from time to time I somehow did not connect — well inoculation and vaccination. Although she was strongly against. But when it’s the antiprivivochnaya movement began to expose the facts, began to show people their opinion doesn’t somehow connected with one another — indeed, almost all the time, which started the mess, was still vaccination”.

In the opinion of the inhabitant of St.-Petersburg of Catherine the doctors, calling to instill in children, primarily guided by personal greed.

Ekaterina, Saint-Petersburg: “I oppose vaccination because they believe that it does not need interference in the immune system. This mixture, which is poured into the child immediately enters the bloodstream, bypassing the natural protective barrier of the body. Besides, in my opinion, doctors are not interested, that the children were healthy. Because they have a plan of vaccination — not only vaccination, which is to be performed.

When I was pregnant with my second child and came to the reception with the first child, I had a big belly — it was evident that soon to give birth, and nurse said what area I’m going to register. Because with the first baby I was at the doctor, but to the wrong address, but because they wanted so, that has changed the doctor, roughly. And when I said I’m not doing the second child any vaccinations, because the elder I have stopped doing at that time, I the nurse answered, then it is not necessary to our plot, because we don’t want you to lose the premium. This is a verbatim quote of a nurse clinic in which we observed. From what I can conclude that the doctors were not interested the health of my child and other children. She did not say that you will not vaccinate if your child gets sick with diseases that are vaccinated… Because she never thought about it, she immediately thought, minus one person without vaccination station means deprivation of the award. Very hurt by this.

Anyway, my opinion, if a person begins to study the information, which a lot of network, it never decides in favor of vaccination! Therefore, those who are vaccinated, in my opinion, those who question this are simply not studied. Because in fact, those illnesses that are vaccinated, are not so fatal”.

Another resident of St. Petersburg Julia stopped to put your child’s vaccinations when he researched a number of sources on the subject of vaccination.

Yulia, Saint-Petersburg: “Coming to a medical office with my first child, I was asked to talk about the benefits and possible adverse effects of vaccination, and received the answer: there is a schedule of vaccinations that we are required to comply with. I told the paramedic that a week ago we had a cold, and asked if we could do an inoculation if the organism is still weak after an illness. On what received the answer: Yes, of course. After that, I thought, and began to read a lot of literature about the negative impact of vaccinations on the body. When the child was seven years old, we stopped vaccinations to put.

I read a lot of information from different sources and I want to say about the cons of vaccination. First, not conducted long-term research vaccine safety. Secondly, the vaccine consists of a mixture of heavy metals, carcinogens, pesticides, live and genetically modified viruses, and so on. Mercury is included in vaccines is second in toxicity substance following the radioactive uranium, which can in a short period of time can have a devastating effect on the entire nervous system.

Children’s vaccination is the most profitable business, not only for producers but also for doctors, and mass its implementation is achieved by intimidation of the parents. My second child 3.5 years, and we have not put any vaccination, including the hospital. Now I came across a piece of paper — she recently was ill with cancer, and me the medic handed a sign — which indicates that available to me in the form I explained the aims, methods, medical care, associated risks, possible options for medical intervention, their consequences, including the likelihood of complications, and so on, so forth. When I asked the medical worker to tell you about all the consequences, she just smiled and gave it to me and said to sign”.

The progress of medicine and vaktsinoprofilaktika give people the illusion that measles is not dangerous, says doctor of medical Sciences, Professor of the Higher school of economy Vasily Vlasov.

Vasily Vlasov: In fact all men are not reasonable, and their actions are not based on the probability (the chance of getting, say, 1% per year), and in their representation of the danger. It can be very strongly modified, for example, illness of their child. And, as the saying goes, your own toothache is worse than the suffering of millions of Chinese. The progress of medicine and vaktsinoprofilaktika give people the illusion that measles is not dangerous, and it almost does not exist. They do not see the circle himself sick children, has not heard of death from measles. Therefore, they estimate the probability of harm from naprawianie as low. They underestimate the risks, increase the risks to others, because their children may get sick. It’s almost irrational behavior. Just for this kind of mothers is more important than what they read in the blog some healer that happens. Sometimes, a lot of things. But their probabilities are not interested. Most of these moms don’t even understand what is probability and how it is expressed.

RFI: However, it is difficult to condemn people who believe that the vaccine can damage the child, and the probability of catching this infection, in their opinion, not too high…

The risk of vaccination is very low, the incidence of complications can be found on the website of the world health organization, the producers of vaccinations. In my opinion, even on the website of Rospotrebnadzor it is. It is a safe vaccine, and what is very important — it is very effective, well protects vaccinated.

In your opinion, are all vaccines are equally safe, all vaccinations are worth a bet?

Most vaccines safe enough. Some studied better, some worse studied. For example, when vaccinated with BCG can be quite serious complications, but they are quite rare. Therefore, it is believed that it has a right to exist when grafting in children. And other vaccines, being new, are studied much worse. Today, a vaccine for which there are quite legitimate doubts of whether vaccination is a vaccine against HPV. Here is an example of such a vaccine and an example of a hot discussion underway now about this vaccine.

What shots yourself put you and your family, if not a secret?

I am an expert and his recommendations build on what my stomach tells me flair, or how does my wife, I try to base it on scientific data. So my own views are quite secondary importance. Stress: guidelines for people should be based on the best scientific evidence, not based on the preferences of the individual doctor, no matter how good he is and pretty.


Measles outbreaks are recorded not only in Russia. The situation in some other countries much harder. According to Rospotrebnadzor, the incidence of measles in Russia in 2018 and 17.3 cases per 1 million people. In 47 of the 53 countries of Europe in the past year, measles has infected more than 82,5 million people. It was recorded 72 fatal cases. The most unfavorable situation exists in Ukraine, where 1209,25 cases of measles per 1 million people and in Georgia (563,8), Montenegro (322,6), Greece (196,8) and a number of other countries. From 4 to 18 March, the CPS has set up a hotline for the prevention of measles — said in a statement on the Agency’s website.
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