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113 Countries Have Higher Measles Vaccination Rates Than US

By    |   Wednesday, 04 February 2015 04:13 PM

You might not think to rank Libya, Russia, China, Zimbabwe, and Iran among the nations with the best healthcare systems in the world. But all five have higher measles immunization rates than the U.S., according to the World Health Organization.

The WHO recommends infants be vaccinated with at least one dose before their first birthday.
But with measles vaccination coverage of 91 percent, the United States is more vulnerable to measles outbreaks compared to many other countries, according to 2013 data from the WHO. In addition, while other nations are posting increases in vaccination rates, the U.S. immunization rate against measles slightly declined from 2012 to 2013 by one percentage point.
Some Latin American nations, as well as many African countries, have even lower immunization rates than the United States. Among the world's worst: the Central African Republic with only 25 percent, as well as South Sudan with 30 percent.
But many countries have been more successful than the United States in vaccinating their 1-year-olds at least once. Among them are: Canada, Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Cuba, Algeria, Morocco, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kazachstan, China, Australia, Thailand, Russia, Kenya, New Zealand, nearly all European countries, Vietnam, Mongolia, Turkmenistan and Turkey.
The WHO suggested one reason for the disparity is that measles seems to have been "eliminated" in the U.S. As a result, officials may be more to "relaxed" about immunization, which makes the nation more vulnerable to renewed outbreaks, as the current cases show.
"Measles vaccination is sometimes the victim of its own success. When disease fades from memory and living standards rise, hesitancy to vaccinate children increases," Hayatee Hasan, an officer at the WHO, told The Washington Post.

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More than 100 nations have higher measles immunization rates than the U.S., according to the World Health Organization.
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Wednesday, 04 February 2015 04:13 PM
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