Nonmedical vaccine exemptions for measles need to be eliminated across the U.S. |
Oct. 14, 2019
NBC News – The year was 1992 – the last year the country recorded more measles cases than we have so far in 2019.
As of Oct. 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 1,250 cases.
From 1989-91, the country experienced the worst measles outbreak since the measles vaccine came into widespread use in the 1960s.
Over 55,000 cases and 166 deaths were identified during the epidemic.
The outbreak led to a rapid change in vaccine policy, as physicians and researchers realized that a single dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) was not sufficient to protect a high enough proportion of the population to prevent widespread measles transmission.
With the resurgence of measles, it’s time for another policy change:
eliminate nonmedical exemptions to vaccinations for school entry, across the board.
Consequently, a second MMR dose was added to the childhood vaccination schedule; currently, children get the first dose at a year old and the second typically around age 4. With the resurgence of measles, it’s time for another policy change: eliminate nonmedical exemptions to vaccinations for school entry, across the board.
The addition of a second MMR vaccine dose eventually led to the elimination of endemic measles transmission in the U.S. in 2000, meaning that every outbreak we’ve seen since that year has been the result of an imported case of measles infection.
In 2019, an outbreak in Washington state started when an infected traveler returned from Ukraine.
In Rockland County, New York, a traveler from Israel returned to New York and started an outbreak that began in October 2018.
Both Ukraine and Israel are currently experiencing measles outbreaks … Read more.