Saturday, March 9, 2019

How did Maine do with respect to 14 Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in 2017?

* Statistics obtained from the Maine CDC and federal CDC publications, collated by Meryl Nass, MD.   I contacted the Maine CDC and was directed to online documents that had the data I was seeking. (I could not find them in searches:  the URL was dictated to me.)  Let me know if you want more detail and I will post raw documents that have rates of disease going back over decades, and other documents that have additional information on rates of vaccination for the different vaccines by year. These data put to rest claims by CDC and media that rates of vaccination are dropping; they are not dropping,  nor are rates of diseases unexpectedly rising.

Given what we know of primary and secondary vaccine failures, coupled with diseases caused by vaccine strains in certain individuals, the rates of diseases occurring in the United States are at expected levels .  It is important to scrutinize the actual data to learn what the truth is. Thanks for your interest in doing so.

The following data reveal that there is no crisis for any vaccine-preventable disease in Maine's children.  Current rates of vaccination successfully keep preventable diseases at a low and stable level.  "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." 


410 new cases 
6% under a year old
66% were up to date on vaccinations
83% had received at least one dose of vaccine
*  Probably no Maine deaths (about 10 pertussis deaths in USA/year)


1 imported 2017 case, no additional spread
First Maine case in 20 years
Occurred in an unvaccinated female aged 15-24
last US child death was in 2003, in a 14 year-old male, 3 months after he received a bone marrow transplant; no source for his infection could be found


1 case, no additional spread
Occurred in a vaccinated female aged 15-24
Recovered; "no US mumps deaths in recent years" per CDC


0 cases, and no cases since 2008


1 case
Occurred in an unvaccinated female aged 15-24


198 cases
78 cases in children and 16 in people aged 15-24
70% of pediatric cases were vaccinated
No deaths (About 1 child death per year from varicella in the US)

Hepatitis A

7 new cases, average age 59
fecal-oral spread; children with access to clean water and food are rarely affected
does not become a chronic illness

Hepatitis B

77 new cases, average age 42
53% injected drugs, 33% had been incarcerated, 14% had multiple sex partners, 7% received an 'unlicensed tattoo'
1 new case, the youngest, in a person 15-24

Pneumococcal disease:  pneumonia or meningitis, untyped

141 cases, average age 62
49-65% had been vaccinated (the Maine CDC document lists both numbers)
7 cases in children and an 8th case in a person 15-24
The 3 pneumococcal vaccines cover only some serotypes

Hemophilus influenzae:  pneumonia or meningitis, untyped

5 cases in children, serotype uncertain, while the vaccine covers only serotype b


Severe 2017-18 season, 80 plus deaths in adults
No child deaths. 
*  There have been 2 child deaths from influenza in Maine during the past ten years

Meningococcal disease, untyped

1 case
The A,C,W,Y vaccine only covers 4 of 12 serotypes


0 cases in last ten years in Maine
3 cases in the US since 2005, all due to vaccine-strain polio


0 cases in last ten years


Brian said...

Welcome Back, Meryl!

Can you please share any specific links so that we can look this data up for our states?

We've missed you :-)

Meryl Nass, M.D. said...

I called the offices of the Maine CDC and public health surveillance staff to get the information specific to my state. They directed me to websites where it had been posted, but which had not come up in my searches.

Above is the corrected MMR (measles mumps rubella) vaccination rates for about half the states, from an initially incorrect CDC chart of October 2018. Maine's rate is about the highest of all.