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The underestimated importance of vaccines

The underestimated importance of vaccines

Zachary Khouri, Scot Scoop Editor

April 9, 2019

Three-hundred and fourteen individual cases of measles were recorded between January and March of this year in 15 states of the U.S. Of the 157 cases recorded in Rockland, New York, 82% had not gotten a measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. It’s been 2015 since the last person died of measles in the U.S., and another 12 years before that. Eighty-one flights traveling in the U.S. in the past year had at least one person on board with the disease. But why is this a problem? If one person in the vicinity is infected with measles, 90% of the individuals around them will also be infected. The disease was declared eliminated from the U.S. in 2000. And it’s not just measles. For the first time in 30 years, a child has contracted tetanus in Oregon. It took $800,000 to save him, but, according to most doctors, would have only taken a single shot to prevent it from happening at all. For epidemiologist Jennifer Pavon*, this rapid rise of illnesses is due to vaccine resistance, which she attributes to a lack of education on the subject.  “I think with any misinformation crisis, it really boils down to an educational crisis, where people aren’t educated enough to seek out fact-checked, correct information,” Pavon said. “People...

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