Misconceptions About Vaccinations: Why Measles is Back

 In General, Health News, Vaccinations

Measles has a made a comeback, not just in the news, but in reality. Efforts to combat and eliminate this extremely contagious and harmful disease first started nearly 30 years ago. In the year 2000, measles was declared eliminated in the United States after intensive vaccination efforts mandated by law that required all children to receive the vaccine before starting school. However, just a couple of years later, an anti-vaccination movement that started due to a published paper in the UK – stating that there was a correlations between vaccinations and autism – began to gain traction.

This study was widely denounced by researchers and doctors around the world and eventually it was shown that its writer had received payment from a drug company. However, when finally this movement gained celebrity attention and endorsement, the CDC and other health agencies, particularly in first world countries, began to see noticeable declines in child vaccinations.

Parents believed that their children risked developing autism due to vaccinations and that fear drove them to opt out and in many cases, even receive reprieves from schools that allowed them to enroll their children even though they had not received the customary, required vaccinations. At first, there were no immediate signs of this questionable behavior having an impact on the children at large. However, in 2015, there has been an alarming resurgence of Measles. Although though by experts to have not originated her in the U.S. (particularly California), but brought from oversees from Europe, the measles virus has taken root and begun to spread again amongst this new wave of unvaccinated individuals.

Percentage not Vaccinated?

The percentage of unvaccinated individuals has increased over the last several years. Some of this is due to fears of side-effects. Another reason is that some people have simply become apathetic, thinking that certain diseases have been eradicated for good and there is no danger of them resurfacing. What they fail to realize is that most of these viruses originate in nature, and while eliminated from our homes, cities, and urban centers, they can continue to eke out an existence far away from us much like they always have. Here is a diagram of the percentage of unvaccinated kindergartners by state.


Why Being Vaccinated is so Important

Science shows that while long-term studies of vaccinations and their life-long effect over time still have to be studied, that the immediate benefits they offer to individuals and the health of society of the whole (herd community), are unquestionable. Even with the best vaccine it can take decades for a particular virus strain to be fully mitigated and “eliminated”, but it takes only a short amount of time for a resurgence when the percentage of individuals forgo these helpful tools of modern medicine.

If you can’t remember the last time you were vaccinated or if your child is up to date on theirs, call your physician to set up and appointment. At Be Well 365, we are all about preventive care to maintain health and happiness. Using every avenue of science as a preventive measure to ensure your well-being only makes sense.

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