Vaccine Refusals Linked to Outbreaks of Preventable Diseases

More than 50% of recent measles cases in the United States occurred in children whose parents refused vaccination, and at least one-quarter of pertussis cases in the 5 largest statewide outbreaks also occurred in unvaccinated or undervaccinated individuals, according to a literature review published in the March 15 issue of JAMA.
 
One study estimated that unvaccinated children were 35 times more likely to contract measles compared with vaccinated children.
 
Another study found that the risk for measles among children who were exempted from vaccination was 22 times that of vaccinated children
 
Pertussis differs from measles in that it remains endemic in the United States. Pertussis prevalence reached a nadir of 1010 cases in 1976, but at least 10,000 cases have been reported annually since 2006.
 
In 5 large studies of pertussis outbreaks, the rates of unvaccinated or undervaccinated individuals ranged between 24% and 45%.
 
The healthcare team can help reduce the impact of preventable diseases through active surveillance of vaccination rates among children and adults.  Any questions or concerns, come and discuss them with the doctor at DRS Medical Associates, conveniently located in downtown Jersey City, near the Grove Street PATH.  We’re open everyday, including Sunday.

Author
Ray Santos, MD and Ritu Sharma, MD

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