Measles Outbreak Traces to Vaccine-Refusing Megachurch
A measles outbreak in Texas traces to a congregation of a megachurch whose leader, Kenneth Copeland, reportedly has warned followers away from vaccines, advocating for faith healing and pushing the debunked notion that vaccines cause autism. One of Copeland’s churches, Eagle Mountain International Church in North Texas, is the epicenter of the outbreak, which now has hit at least 20 people. According to USA Today’s Liz Szabo,
Those sickened by measles include nine children and six adults, ranging in age from 4 months old to 44 years old. At least 12 of those infected were not fully immunized against measles, Roy says. The other patients lack documents to show whether they were vaccinated.
Just as Wales is paying the price of the autism-measles vaccine panic begun 15 years ago, so is this Texas community. In the wake of the outbreak, the church’s pastor and Kenneth Copeland’s daughter, Terri Copeland Pearsons, was urging congregants take advantage of a couple of free vaccination clinics the church suddenly has on offer or to self quarantine at home for two weeks if they didn’t want to receive vaccinations.