Somali & Other Communities

A Public Service for Somali & Other Cultural Communities in the U.S. and WA.

As a public service to the Somali and other cultural communities in the United States and in Washington State, we are providing the following information so that community members can recognize Public Health methods of promoting vaccinations to them. Informed Consent cannot be given in the presence of coercion and without full information. Members of other cultural communities face the same pressures and lack of factual information.

Current science reveals that every individual reacts uniquely to environmental exposures, including vaccination. Many factors impact an individual’s reaction to a vaccine or a round of vaccines. Genetics plays a substantial role, as explained by vaccine expert Dr. Gregory Poland, editor of the journal VACCINE, in the below video.

From the Mayo Clinic regarding the video: “Somali Americans develop twice the antibody response to rubella from the current vaccine compared to Caucasians in a new Mayo Clinic study on individualized aspects of immune response. A non-Somali, African-American cohort ranked next in immune response, still significantly higher than Caucasians, and Hispanic Americans in the study were least responsive to the vaccine. The findings appear in the journal Vaccine.”

No studies have yet been done to reveal what the higher/lower antibody response to the rubella portion of the MMR vaccine means for health outcomes, but Dr. Poland explains that individual responses to vaccination account for variations in protection and in risk of side effects. No studies have yet been done on vaccinated verse non-vaccinated health outcomes in any community, but some individuals in the Somali community have reported they see adverse reactions happening (from the WithinReach PDF below):

“We do not have it [autism] back home, but Somali kids have it here [in the U.S.]. And I called a Somali doctor, my cousin, and he said it’s not good to do three shots in the same day; they do not give multiple shots on the same day in Somalia.”

Single measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines are not available in the United States.



Below are materials from Washington State’s WithinReach and the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. These materials are designed to teach Public Health and others how to overcome “hesitancy” with a goal of securing agreement to vaccinate. They provide no information on Informed Consent, contraindications, possible genetic differences in adverse reactions to vaccination, or up-to-date science on the limitations and unintended consequences of vaccine products.



When discussing autism on their website, the CDC-cites a study that had no non-vaccinated control group. It compared children who received vaccines with few antigens (the bacterial or viral component) to children who received vaccines with more antigens and found both groups experienced autism, concluding the level of antigens was not associated with autism. This indicates other factors, such as genetics, are likely responsible for determining who experiences injury following vaccination that leads to a diagnoses of autism. The authors stated:

“It can be argued that ASD with regression, in which children usually lose developmental skills during the second year of life, could be related to exposures in infancy, including vaccines.”

The below report from the Minnesota Department of Health does an excellent job in attempting to find solutions to help support families who are experiencing autism, but it does not investigate environmental causes or genetic susceptibility. While some parents in the Minneapolis Somali Community have reported regression into autism following receipt of Merck’s MMR II vaccine, the government has done no studies to look into their unique genetic susceptibility and has no explanation. They say say, “The reasons behind the high prevalence of autism in Minneapolis, and the greater severity of the disorder among Somali children are unknown.”


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