Doctors Weren't Listening To Somali Immigrants' Autism Concerns. Then Anti-Vaxxers Did.

Deeqa Hussein can’t put her finger on exactly how or when the vaccination disconnect happened in her community. For years, the large number of Somali immigrant parents in the Twin Cities area vaccinated their children at rates as high as 92 percent ― outpacing virtually every other ethnic group. And then, Hussein said, many parents just stopped.  “I felt like there was a lot fear and anxiety surrounding the MMR vaccine,” said Hussein, a special-education teacher with the Minneapolis Public Schools who also serves as the vice president of the local Somali Parents Autism Network and has two sons with autism. “In the Somali community, it’s very close-knit,” she said. “Word of mouth is much more powerful.”  Children of Somali descent in the Twin Cities are now vaccinated at about half the rate of non-Somali children. Those same children are the ones primarily affected by the ongoing measles outbreak in Minnesota that public health officials are scrambling to contain.  The Minnesota Department of Public Health now provides a daily update of the increasing totals. As of May 10, there were 51 measles cases confirmed across three counties, with the majority clustered in Hennepin County. All but five of the cases are Somali Minnesotans, and nearly all of them are children.  Public health experts and community advocates like Hussein all point to targeted, ongoing efforts by anti-vaccination activists like disgraced B...
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news