By: Omar Awan
Our children are suffering and continue to suffer, yet very little is being done about it.
Since early November, there have been at least 82 documented cases of Measles in the state of Ohio, nearly all in unvaccinated children. Although 82 cases may not appear striking at first glance, there should be 0 cases of Measles in the state of Ohio and in the entire United States. Measles was declared eradicated in America in the year 2000, mostly because of the success of childhood vaccinations whereby kids usually get vaccinated against Measles, Mumps, and Rubella between the ages of 12 to 15 months and then again between the ages of 4 to 6.
Why has there been a resurgence of Measles and why is this a problem? The answer is not straightforward and there are likely a multitude of reasons for increasing anti-vaccine sentiment amongst parents. The use of vaccines, particularly in the case of Covid-19 was largely politicized with conflicting partisan messaging with respect to the efficacy and urgency of Covid vaccines. This likely led some parents to question whether other vaccines, such as the one against Measles, were really useful for their own kids. In addition, the sheer misinformation about vaccines has also prevented parents from readily taking their kids to pediatrician offices to receive routine childhood vaccines against diseases such as Measles that are usually required before attending public schools.
As an example, fears surrounding the association of autism development in children with the use of vaccinations has hindered parents from participation in vaccination programs. Although this anti-vaccine rhetoric remains popular amongst some parents and social circles, the association between autism and vaccines has not been shown to be true based on evidence-based scientific studies.