An old episode of the “The Brady Bunch” now used to discourage measles vaccinations has actress Maureen McCormick seeing red, NPR reports.
The 1969 episode “Is There a Doctor in the House?” includes a story in which all six Brady kids come down with measles, USA Today reported.
In one scene, eldest sister Marcia, played by McCormick, cheerfully declares, “If you have to get sick, you sure can’t beat the measles,” CNN reported.
Now vaccination skeptics, who blame vaccines for an array of ailments, are using the clip to bolster their claims that concerns about measles are overblown, Fox News reported.
“I think it’s really wrong when people use people’s images today to promote whatever they want to promote and the person’s image they’re using they haven’t asked or they have no idea where they stand on the issue,” McCormick said, NPR reported. “As a mother, my daughter was vaccinated.”
McCormick also told NPR that she contracted the measles as a child - and unlike “The Brady Bunch” episode, it was “not a fun thing.”
Lloyd Schwartz, son of “The Brady Bunch” creator Sherwood Schwartz, said his father also would not be happy about the show being used to spread anti-vaxxer beliefs, NPR reported.
“Dad would be sorry, because he believed in vaccination, had all of his kids vaccinated,” Lloyd Shwartz said.
Measles cases in the U.S. are at the highest on record “since the disease was declared eliminated nationwide in 2000,” CNN reported.
The U.S. has seen 704 cases across 22 states in 2019, Fox News reported.
Most outbreaks have centered on communities with low vaccination rates, CNN reported.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that children receive two vaccinations against measles, administered along with vaccines for the mumps and rubella.
Measles is highly infectious, resulting in the signature red spots and rashes along with a high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes, the CDC says.
Complications can include ear infections leading to permanent hearing loss, pneumonia, swelling of the brain and death, the CDC reports. Out of every 1,000 children who contract the disease, one or two will die.