Another day, another study that underscores the societal benefits of vaccines and the consequences we’d face without them.
The anti-vaxxers were out again this week, spreading misinformation and debunked science about an intervention that’s saved millions of lives and prevented immeasurable human suffering. It’s unconscionable.
Because taking health insurance away from millions of Americans isn’t bad enough, President-elect Trump has reportedly asked an outspoken critic of vaccines — a man who supported the thoroughly debunked notion that vaccines are linked to autism — to lead a commission on vaccine safety.
Another day, another study on the potentially life-saving impact of vaccines. This time it’s a new study on the vaccine against human papillomavirus, or HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that can lead to cervical cancer. Earlier this week, researchers announced that since the vaccine came on the scene, rates of HPV among young women in the U.S. have plummeted.
I usually shy away from getting too personal in my work. But in the spirit of Thanksgiving and as a new mom, I was thinking about things for which I’m particularly grateful. One of the first things that came to mind as a public health reporter? Vaccines. So, in that vein, let’s celebrate some new and promising numbers on the worldwide effort to eliminate measles.
When it comes to immunization rates in the United States, the story is a mixed one. Among children, we’ve absolutely excelled. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the nation’s childhood vaccination rate as one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. But when it comes to American adults — 50,000 of whom die every year from vaccine-preventable diseases — it’s a very different story.
In a somewhat frightening illustration of anti-vaccine trends, a new report estimates that among groups affected in the recent measles outbreak, the rates of measles-mumps-rubella immunization might have been as low as 50 percent.
Vaccine safety is one of those topics that has become so tragically mired in misinformation and myth that there can never be enough supporting evidence. So, here’s some more.