One of the more heartbreaking ripple effects of America’s opioid addiction epidemic is a massive increase in newborns experiencing drug withdrawal. Public health officials have tracked a 400 percent increase in such cases — technically known as neonatal abstinence syndrome — with one impacted baby born every 25 minutes as of 2012.
Another day, another study on the life-saving benefits of vaccines.
As a state, Texas’ infant mortality rate is below the national average, at 5.7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. But within the state, some communities experience much higher rates, with stark differences between ZIP codes sitting only a few miles apart.
On the risk of vaccine exemptions, the science is clear — it would take a relatively small decline in immunization rates to produce big jumps in disease and health care spending. The trick is keeping communities above the danger threshold.