Measles Outbreak Caused by People Opting Not to Vaccinate?
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After being wiped out two decades ago, measles has returend with 1200 cases of the virus in America in 2019. The Doctors examine why some are reluctant to vaccinate against this highly contagious virus.
Dr. Paul Offit, a self-proclaimed measles vaccine crusader and the author of “Deadly Choices," joins the show. He feels one reason many people are reluctant to vaccinate their children is they do not remember how sick and how deadly measles can be.
"Vaccines are a victim of their own success. People aren't compelled by the disease as much anymore," he says, explaining that many people did not grow up with the disease and have not seen how devasting it can be. He feels this lack of first-hand experience with the disease is how bad information and misinformation have proliferated and spread.
OB/GYN Dr. Nita Landry says some of the parents in her practice who are reluctant to vaccinate their children fear vaccines will cause autism. Dr. Offit says that claim has been debunked by 18 studies in 7 different countries that looked at hundreds of thousands of children. All these studies found you are at no greater risk of getting autism if you get vaccinated for measles. mumps, rubella.
"I'm not sure what else the public health community can do, to respond to that question," he says. He also shares that he strongly agrees with states that are legally requiring children to get vaccinated.
Also joining the conversation is a vaccine-hesitant parent, Heather, and infectious disease researcher Dr. Ravina Kullar.
Heather says she is not against vaccines but has questions about the schedule for getting them. She expresses concerns about possible reactions like fevers and seizures, and also the aluminum amounts in vaccines. Dr. Kullar explains vaccines do contain things like aluminum but in very small amounts. She notes it is used as a booster to make the vaccine more effective, and she says there are no negative effects from the aluminum.
As for a febrile seizure (a convulsion in a child caused by a spike in body temperature), Dr. Kullar notes this occurs in less than 1 percent of children who get vaccines. She also notes that a febrile seizure is usually benign and usually does not have any long-term effects.
Find out more about the serious and possibly deadly effects measles can have on those who are not vaccinated in the video below.