The media has hyperfocused on some recent cases of mumps across the country. The narrative, as per the usual, originally blamed the unvaccinated for their “careless” decision to pass on giving mumps, or MMR, vaccines to their children. One of the biggest media melodramas to play out was the case of the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) All-Star National Championship in Dallas, whereas Texas health officials claimed that 25,000 attendees had been exposed to a single mumps case. As it stands, not one further case has been reported.
Now, CNN has run an article which essentially blames a “waning MMR vaccine” for not offering enough longterm protection from Mumps. Translation: It is the vaccinated who are spreading mumps.
CNN cites a new study from the journal Science Translation Medicine that challenges mumps vaccine efficacy. The solution, according to a Harvard researcher, is, you guessed it, another vaccine, or, “booster.”
“The pattern we observed is a lot more consistent with what we would expect from a waning vaccine,” said Joseph A. Lewnard, co-author of the study and a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health. This is “a reassuring message” so far as it’s a relatively simple problem to solve.
Since 1977, children have been given two doses of the MMR vaccine, a vaccine that was marketed as a lifetime’s worth of coverage. Now the house of cards seems to be falling down and the unvaccinated are unable to be blamed. Instead, those who did get vaccinated haven’t been vaccinated enough. Are we at a point of coming so full circle that the vaccinated will become, categorically, the unvaccinated?
Of course, this leaves out the reasonable possibility that the vaccine’s potency isn’t waning, rather, mumps as a virus is navigating and evolving. That’s what viruses do, of course, just look at the flu’s response to flu shots and anti-bacterial wipes. Strains evolve and find ways to infect us. When they do circumvent our medical interventions, they tend to be more robust and powerful versions of themselves.