Parents have a responsibility not only to their own children, but to their communities—it’s only by achieving a very high level of population immunity that outbreaks can be prevented. Vaccination is particularly crucial for children with cancer and other diseases that cause immunosuppression. They cannot be vaccinated safely, but are at high risk of severe consequences if they are infected—and, thus, they depend on the community’s so-called “herd immunity” for protection against a potentially fatal illness.
While some parents continue to express concern about a possible link between vaccines and autism spectrum disorders, the original report claiming this connection has been debunked and retracted. A large number of carefully designed follow up studies have been carried out, and the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence shows no evidence for such a link. That’s why it continues to be so important to get the word out to parents: Have your kids vaccinated.
South and North America have eradicated Rubella virus with use of vaccines (which DO NOT cause autism)!! This is the third virus that has been eliminated from the Americas using vaccines. More info here at NPR.
The Americas have led the way when it comes to eradicating diseases. It was the first region in the world to eradicate smallpox in 1971 and then polio in 1994. And the PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) already has its sights on another target.
However, elimination of this virus, or others, does not mean people should stop vaccinating. It demonstrates the importance and effectiveness of vaccination.
The eradication of rubella doesn’t mean we’ll never see the virus again in the U.S. People still bring it here from other countries. But it doesn’t spread far because so many Americans are vaccinated.
Despite the success of vaccines in eradicating these harmful and lethal diseases, there is still more to do!
“With rubella under our belt, now it’s time to roll up our sleeves and finish the job of eliminating measles as well,” Etienne (director of PAHO) said.
I guess PAHO should start in California, hahahaha (not really funny). Who said vaccines are ineffective??? And what did they base that lie on??
Measles was eliminated from the United States in 2000 – with elimination defined as “the absence of continuous disease transmission for 12 months or more in a specific geographic area”. But in 2014 things began to unravel when the US experienced its largest number of measles cases ever, and later at the beginning of 2015 when a measles outbreak began in Disneyland and subsequently spread to multiple states. The primary cause of the California measles outbreak was parents who chose not to vaccinate their children because of unwarranted fears that vaccines were linked to autism, despite the fact that such connections have been disproven in the scientific literature. As both a parent of a child who is severely disabled by autism and other mental disabilities and a vaccine researcher and head of a non-profit vaccine product development partnership, I like to also point out the absence of any scientific plausibility for connecting autism to vaccines (Thoughts on World Autism Awareness Day).
I am troubled – the world looks to the United States as a trend setter in many different fields ranging from cinema to the sciences. Vaccine hesitancy is a trend that should never be imitated.
– Peter Hotez, President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Developmentannouncing the launch of PLOS Currents Outbreaks collection on Vaccine Hesitancy
Check out the STORIFY I wrote summarizing a twitter discussion about vaccines… or so I thought. It involves an anti-vaccine troll ignoring facts and science to argue against vaccines, while spewing misinformation and conspiracy theories! Language warning – some of the tweets include swearing (not from CauseScience). Thanks to @divyaramjee and @sassyinmyheart for supporting vaccines. Trolls like this are not far removed from the anti-vaccine movement, and represent what science is fighting against when it comes to vaccines.
In recent weeks we’ve seen an alarming outbreak of measles; a highly contagious and serious virus, especially in babies and young children who have not been vaccinated. This outbreak is particularly disturbing because measles was effectively eliminated from the United States in 2000 thanks to nearly universal vaccination, the single best way to prevent the spread of this disease.
Vaccination works with the body’s natural defenses to help it safely develop immunity to the measles. When more people are vaccinated, there are fewer opportunities for the disease to spread. A community generally needs more than ninety per cent of its members to be immunized against the virus in order to protect those who can’t be.
Before the first measles vaccine was approved in 1963, hundreds died from the disease each year. Others developed pneumonia, lifelong brain damage or deafness.
Let’s not return to these grim statistics. There is no shortage of measles vaccine. It should be used by everyone who has not been vaccinated to prevent measles and the potentially tragic consequences of the disease.
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health – Seven Myths About Measles
Melissa Stockwell, MD, MPH, a pediatrician and assistant professor of Population and Family Health at the Mailman School of Public Health and assistant professor of Pediatrics at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, both at Columbia University, debunks seven common myths about measles and vaccination.
Remember Kaci Hickox? The nurse that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie quarantined when she returned from West Africa during the ebola outbreak because he ignored the science and gave into Ebola fear-mongering? She is now calling out the Governor for his anti-science stances, this time when it comes to his recent statements on vaccines. Turns out Kaci has a heck of a lot more experience with measles than Chris Christie!! More info on Kaci’s statements here.
I think this is a good example of Gov. Christie making some very ill-informed statements. We heard it a lot during the Ebola discussion, and now it seems to have happened again.
We know that vaccines are safe, and we know that vaccines save lives. I have worked in a measles outbreak in northern Nigeria before. We were seeing about 2,000 children a week with measles. It is a scary disease. I know that these families of these 100 people who have the disease now could tell you a little bit about what the disease looks like and how much misery it causes. After the vaccine was implemented in 1963, there was a large reduction in cases, about 98 percent. And I believe it was 1989 to ’91, there was a resurgence. … The stakes are high. We have to protect our most vulnerable populations. – Kaci Hickox