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Friday, September 15, 2023

Herd Immunity in Chicago

 In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. This bogus idea can hurt people by allowing diseases to spread   Examples include measlesCOVID, flu, and polio.

Jared Rutecki at WTTW:

Within the Chicago Public Schools district, almost half of the schools reported measles vaccination rates below 95% for the past school year, according to data from the Illinois State Board of Education. That mark is an important one, as measles, an extremely contagious disease with devastating consequences, requires about 19 of 20 people to be vaccinated to prevent its spread via herd immunity.


In Illinois, vaccine exemptions are allowed for religious or medical reasons.

Religious authorities in Christianity, Judaism and Islam broadly support vaccination, though the endorsement is not universal. Despite this, the highest rates of students unvaccinated for measles and other diseases in the state can be found at some religious schools.

The Muhammad University of Islam, a Nation of Islam affiliated school in the South Shore community area, reported 8% of its student body as vaccinated against measles last school year, according to ISBE data. In the 2017/2018 school year, the entire student body claimed a religious exemption for the measles vaccine. These exemptions were common for most required shots last school year.

The school is located about a mile from Paul Revere, the CPS elementary with the lowest measles vaccination rate in the past academic year.

The Final Call, published by the Nation of Islam, cites research by discredited individuals including Joseph Mercola, Robert Kennedy Jr. and Rizza Islam. These three were part of the “Disinformation Dozen,” spreading most of the false information about the COVID-19 vaccine, according to research by the Center for Countering Digital Hate.

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan also published campaigns against the COVID-19 vaccine.

Distrust in these communities is often buttressed by the fraudulent research of Andrew Wakefield, whose 1998 study falsely connected the MMR vaccine to autism, experts said. Despite being retracted following its publication, the damage from his work continues.