Disaster Zone

Anti-Vaxxers Should Be a Concern

We are only a pandemic away from a disaster.

by Eric Holdeman / January 25, 2019

We have lived in an era when many diseases that used to ravage our communities have been banished to history books, but once again are knocking on our emergency management doors. See this New York Times editorial, How to Inoculate Against Anti-Vaxxers.

This is not some remote threat happening "somewhere else." This is here, in all our states, in well-educated communities among some of the most knowledgeable people on earth. Bad propaganda against getting vaccinations for their children is winning the day. The editorial makes the case that we are not doing our part to give good scientific evidence in response to a relentless push by people who are motivated to kill our modern immunization system.

My next International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) column (February 2019) will be on rumor control and the rise in active disinformation campaigns. The anti-vaxxers are a great example of how an active disinformation campaign by nation states or others looking to sow dissent, distrust in the larger community is an ideal campaign to promote.

Eventually, it could end up that it is not a pandemic flu event that we plan for as emergency managers, but instead, a communitywide measles outbreak that has closed all the schools and now is impacting adults who were not vaccinated as children. 

We are going backward!