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Slight Drop in Measles Vaccinations Could Triple Cases

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Tuesday, 25 Jul 2017 08:57 AM

Even a slight drop in the number of children receiving measles vaccinations could triple the number of cases of the disease, according to a US study released on Monday.

With the rise of the "anti-vaxxer" movement in the United States, researchers warned in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics of a disproportionate rise in measles, mumps and rubella among children.

Scientists from Stanford University School of Medicine in California were studying the effects of a growing reluctance by parents to give their children MMR shots because of fears it might cause autism.

"We found that a five percent decline in MMR vaccine coverage in US children would result in a three-fold increase in national measles cases in this age group," the researchers said.

They also pointed to a hefty price tag for such reluctance, noting that just an additional 150 cases of the common childhood disease could cost the public sector $2.1 million.

The report cited fears of autism promoted by websites and celebrities for driving the hesitancy among parents to have their children inoculated at an early age, despite the fact that it said the claims were unfounded.

The study said that while many US parents believe there is little chance of their children contracting the illness, "our study conclusions find that measles still poses a substantial threat for large outbreaks in children... especially under scenarios with further decline in vaccine coverage."

"Furthermore, the safety of MMR and other vaccines is well established in the scientific literature, including the finding that MMR vaccination has no association with the development of autism," it said.

Most states allow exemptions on the grounds of religious belief, and 18 states also allow it on the basis of personal conviction.

"The routine vaccination of children is declining in Texas and other areas of the United States where they allow for personal belief and other nonmedical exemptions to childhood vaccination requirements," the JAMA Pediatrics report said.

© AFP 2017

   
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Even a slight drop in the number of children receiving measles vaccinations could triple the number of cases of the disease, according to a US study released on Monday.With the rise of the "anti-vaxxer" movement in the United States, researchers warned in the Journal of the...
US, vaccines, health, illness
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2017-57-25
Tuesday, 25 Jul 2017 08:57 AM
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