Non-vaccination hotspots a growing problem
Non-vaccination hotspots—areas where there are high numbers of children who are not fully immunized—are a growing problem in the U.S.
Some families are choosing not to fully immunize their child(ren) because they believe the diseases that vaccinations prevent don't pose much risk, or they are concerned about vaccine safety. With the recent measles outbreaks, this trend is even more concerning.
"Non-vaccination hotspots put everyone at risk. We depend on herd immunity— the protection we all get from keeping disease rates so low that we are unlikely to be exposed to the infection—to keep all of us safe,"says Rajiv Naik, MD, FAAP, Pediatrics-Onalaska. "This immunity is especially important for those who cannot get the vaccine or for whom the vaccine doesn't work, such as newborns or those with compromised immune systems."
In 2000, measles was nearly eliminated in our country. As of June 2019, more than 1,000 cases were reported in 26 states.
How did this trend of skipping vaccines begin?
A 1998 article written by Andrew Wakefield for the British Medical Journal Lancet claimed that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine could be linked to autism. His research was debunked, and countless studies have since found no link between vaccinations and autism or any other serious side effects.
The article was retracted, and Wakefield's medical license was revoked for serious professional misconduct, including falsifying information and using faulty science. Unfortunately, uninformed people continue to spread misinformation, which is impacting vaccination rates.
Importance of vaccines has never been higher
If parents decide against vaccinations for their children, our protection as a population is greatly affected. Do your research, talk to your healthcare provider and help reverse the trend.