Minnesota has seen a huge uptick in measles cases lately, coinciding statistically with a drop in immunization rates in the state. In addition to the antivaccine movement going on all over the country, Minnesota has a subgroup of activists who are also anti-immigration that has tried to convince Somali immigrants that vaccines are dangerous as a way to dissuade more Somalis from moving in. The first measles cases cropped up a month ago, and public health officials say it took just weeks to reach “outbreak” proportions. MMR vaccination rates among U.S.-born children of Somali descent used to be higher than among other children in Minnesota, but between 2004 and 2014 rates fell from 92% to 42%, according to the state health department. Immunization rates in the 92% to 94% range are considered necessary to protect communities against the spread of measles.
Measles Cases Skyrocket; Are Anti-Immigration, Antivaccine Activists to Blame?