According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) between December 28, 2014 and February 8, 2015 a total of 125 measles cases with rash had been confirmed in U.S. residents whose common thread was a recent visit to one or both of two adjacent Disney theme parks located in Orange County, California. The “Disneyland Measles Outbreak” although a local event, received significant national media coverage having the appearance that this was an unusual event. While this single cluster was atypical the appearance of measles, despite media reports is not. For the six month period (January 2014-May 2014) prior to the Disney outbreak in December 2014 a total of 288 confirmed measles cases from 18 states had been reported to CDC.
In this commentary I will discuss how the proponents of mandatory vaccination successfully used the media and the benefit of the Disney trademark to advance a political agenda in the name of health. Also discussed is how the sensationalizing of events were effective in suppressing opposition to vaccination, including changes in state law regarding exemptions as well as the potential long term effects that this suppression may have on civil rights, parental rights and healthcare in general.
Author Keywords: Vaccination, dissent, suppression, controversy, Disney, measles, immunization
This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher; full text is available by subscription.