Almost everyone in the US should be vaccinated against measles.
That’s the conclusion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the agency’s website.
The current outbreak of the disease has been blamed on the refusal of some parents to vaccinate their children, the Baltimore Sun reports.
“Measles is due to a failure to vaccinate,” the Sun quoted Jane Seward, deputy director of the division of viral diseases at the CDC, as saying at a recent symposium on measles conducted at Johns Hopkins University.
The vaccine, which also covers mumps and rubella, is said to be about 93 percent effective after the first dose, which children should receive at age 12 to 15 months, and 97 percent effective after the second dose, normally given when children are 4 to 6 years old.
A recent report in the Chicago Tribune shows that the number of schools in Illinois at which fewer than 95 percent of children have been immunized against measles has been trending downward, but some parents still worry that others who choose not to vaccinate their children are not “doing the right thing.”
“Measles is one of the most contagious viruses in humans,” the Tribune quoted Dr Yvonne Maldonado, vice chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Infectious Diseases, as saying. “Delaying vaccination leaves children vulnerable to measles when it is most dangerous to their development and also affects the entire community.”