Immunization Week

The yearly calendar is full of days and weeks devoted to building awareness for various causes, or social problems, or health concerns. This week has a special theme that deserves a lot of attention — it is National Infant Immunization Week.

What makes this week especially significant is that the United States is currently suffering through the biggest outbreak of measles in the past 25 years. According to the Center for Disease Control, at least 704 people have been sickened by measles this year. Consider that in 2000 the disease was declared eliminated in the United States.

How is this disease able to make such a comeback? Simple. Too many people are not getting vaccinations. Too many parents are not taking their children in for this simple, safe procedure that protects them against measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, whooping cough, dyptheria, and a host of other highly preventable and potentially dangerous diseases.

According the CDC, there have been 13 outbreaks of measles in the U.S. this year. An outbreak is defined as three or more cases. More than 500 people who were infected in 22 states were not vaccinated. Sixty-six people have been hospitalized. More than one third are children under the age of five.

About half of these outbreaks were concentrated in close-knit religious or cultural communities where traditions and suspicions keep people away from vaccinations, and set up a fertile ground for measles, which is a highly contagious disease, often spread before the visible signs of the disease appear.

We find it hard to believe that educated people still buy the lies and false studies that claim immunizations cause autism. They don’t. There is no reputable scientific study that says there is any connection.

We urge parents to make sure this week that their children are up to date on their vaccination