Superstitions Still Surround Vaccines

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An August 9, 2006 article by John Johnston noted a piece by ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross, reacting to an item in New England Journal of Medicine, about the importance of vaccination:

"The [recent Indiana measles] epidemic would have been much more widespread, with many hospitalizations and probably some deaths, if the community near the index case had not been over 90% immunized, slowing and stopping the spread of the virus," Ross said...

"These episodes demonstrate that our lack of experience with the devastating effects of vaccine-preventable childhood illness leads us to become blase about maintaining vaccination rates. In the recent measles outbreak, fully 32% of those who had not been vaccinated came down with the potentially deadly disease."

Worldwide, 30 million contract measles each year -- and 450,000 die. In the U.S., the toll was twenty-seven in 2004, "thanks to the MMR vaccine," Ross said.