Measles outbreaks lead states to reconsider vaccine exemptions

Desiree Burns
March 1, 2019

"Over and over again, dozen of studies have demonstrated that measles vaccine is safe and effective". For a child with a compromised immune system, measles can be as unsafe as a gun.

Sixty-five cases have been confirmed in the Clark County of Measles and also one suspected case.

Since the start of 2019, measles has been reported in 10 states. Spread via the respiratory tract, the measles virus can remain infectious in the air for up to two hours, making the possibility of contraction very high in densely-populated regions. This vaccination comes with the combination of other vaccines also.

Measles outbreaks continue to lacerate communities from coast to coast, and there's absolutely no reason for it.

The importance of herd immunity is proved by data emerging from Clark County, Washington, where there are 62 confirmed cases of measles since January 1 and only 78 percent of school-age children have had both recommended doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Notably, each year there are children not vaccinated against measles because of parental hesitancy or refusal.

But many parents, embracing scientifically debunked fears about vaccination health risks, have declined the inoculation of their children with the doses for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). And 1 out of every 1,000 people with measles will develop brain swelling due to infection (encephalitis), which may lead to brain damage. Prior to the development of a measles vaccine in 1963, there were 2.6 million deaths from measles worldwide per year.

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Dix said one of government's biggest steps will be to make it easier for people to access their immunization records to know what shots they actually received and when. The virus is hearty, and can live for up to two hours in an airspace where an infected person coughed or sneezed.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aggressively monitors and responds to emerging outbreaks - an epidemiological firefighting function it performs with state and local health departments.

"It's extremely important that people understand that measles vaccine, like all the vaccines that we have, undergo rigorous ongoing scientific safety evaluations", says Professor Katherine O'Brien from the Department of International Health and Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Those born in 1970 or later are eligible for an MMR vaccination if they did not already receive two vaccines.

"There is a group of people out there who, even if you take as much science as is available, you won't change their minds".

Measles outbreaks across the nation are prompting state lawmakers to consider eliminating vaccination exemptions for religious and personal beliefs that have been claimed by the parents of some children. "These are not related to the school outbreak", said Henry.

Proponents of non-medical exemptions to school vaccine requirements will say they are protected by the First Amendment's free speech and free religion protections. Those parents would be provided with help in obtaining vaccinations for their children. Those came mostly from western North Carolina.

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