Measles vaccinations have been in the news lately after an outbreak of the disease began at Disneyland in California. As of February 6, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that 121 people in 17 states and Washington D.C. had contracted measles, with 103 of them linked to the amusement park outbreak. The CDC reported that one case of the disease had occurred in Texas. In 2014, there were 644 cases in 27 states – the largest number since 2000.
Many parents are hesitant to get their children immunized, so the professionals with Addison Internal Medicine want to present some facts that will hopefully shed light on why this decision may be misguided.
The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) shot is the best way to protect against contracting measles. All children should receive it; not only is the vaccination effective in preventing measles it also has little to no side effects. Whatever side effects do occur are typically extremely mild, such as a rash or a fever.
One of the main reasons some people are leery about measles vaccinations is a bogus report that appeared in the British medical journal The Lancet in 1998. Andrew Wakefield, a medical researcher, published a study linking the MMR vaccination to autism. Even though the journal later retracted the study – and it was thoroughly discredited by researchers around the world – the damage was done.
The MMR shot has been thoroughly analyzed by researchers in the U.S. and other countries, and no one has been able to find an association between the shot and autism.