Measles Vaccination: The Good News and the Bad News

Measles VaccinationFever, runny nose, coughing, red eyes, sore throat and a widespread rash across the body is what the highly contagious measles did to 90,000 people that died from the virus last year. The good news is that the number of deaths from the virus dropped around 84 percent from 2000, which reported 550,000 deaths.

Vaccinations are to thank for this significant decline as they are saving 1.3 million lives every year. The doses of measles-containing vaccines have been provided to about 5.5 billion children since 2000, which have saved 20.4 million lives.

The bad news? 20.8 million children are still not receiving the measles vaccine. The world is striving for zero cases of the measles, reaching every single child with vaccinations, but the goal is still far out. Large outbreaks of the virus continue to erupt as the children not receiving vaccinations are typically contained in just six different countries.

Measles is known to be one of the leading causes of death in children even though there is a measles vaccination that is affordable and risk free. Other than death, being infected with measles can also cause blindness, brain swelling, diarrhea, and pneumonia. Measles is common in developing countries as 95 percent of deaths from measles occur in countries with a weak health care system and low income rate.

Unfortunately, measles affects not only the health and well being of lives, but also the inner-workings and institutions of a country. Children with the measles are not able to attend school, and if do have it but are unaware of it, they could potentially spread it to other children in school. The same goes for businesses and large institutions that contain many people. With the vaccines, more children will be able to attend school in developing countries, and parents will be able to send their children to school to receive an education without fear of contracting the potentially deadly virus. This is why the United States requires by its state laws that children must have the vaccine before attending childcare or public school.

Chloe Turner

Photo: Flickr