Via Le Monde, Switzerland may be the homeland of many pharmaceutical companies as well as the World Health Organization, but it has also become the ground zero for cases of measles. A study published in The Lancet compared measles cases in several EU and non-EU European countries. The authors conclude that contrary to WHO projections, it will not be possible to eradicate this infectious disease in the short term in Europe.
Moreover, 85% of cases were detected in only five countries: Germany, Italy, Romania, Switzerland and the UK. None of these states had managed to reach the herd immunity rate of 95% coverage. This news comes on the heels of the measles death of a 14-year old girl in Switzerland due to lack of immunization. Some Swiss health care professionals are questioning what they call the "laxism in immunization" there.
The Lucerne region remains the heart of the epidemic with over a hundre cases, which is twice the national average. In the German-speaking areas and some German Länder, immunization coverage is less than 90% in children under 2. Several canton leaders have denounced the lack of political will to fight back against the anti-vaxers. Steiner schools have also been questioned especially after approximately forty cases were found in one such school near Lausanne.
Doctor Bertrand Kiefer, director of La Revue Médicale Suisse, blames "an active minority of doctors who refuse to immunize and who, in spite of all the evidence, question the efficacy of immunization." He also invokes the extreme individualism that prevails within the Confederation along with scientific denial whereby people who refuse immunization forget that they are protected by those who are. Switzerland is now a hotbed of potential reinfection for countries who cannot afford mass immunization. For Doctor Kiefer, this is utmost irresponsibility on the part of rich countries.
And the picture is not much better for the UK:
For him and his colleagues, time to switch from recommended immunization to mandatory immunization. I am sure Paul Offit would agree. After all, the quacks and the crooks are all on the anti-vaxer side.