When the measles vaccine was introduced around 70 years ago, it was hailed as a modern miracle. And for good reason: before we had it, there were between 3 and 4 million cases of measles annually.
By the year 2000, vaccination rates had led federal officials in the United States to declare measles eradicated.
But now, all of that hard work is being undone.
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Measles is coming back – with a vengeance. And if current low vaccination rates continue, it’s only a matter of time before a serious outbreak tears through Australia.
In 2018 alone, there were 41,000 cases of measles reported in Europe, and 40 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation.
“People are dying from measles. This was unbelievable five or 10 years ago,” says Dr. Alberto Villani, paediatric infectious disease doctor at Bambino Gesù Paediatric Hospital in Italy.
Globally, around 90,000 people died from measles in 2016.
Meanwhile in Papua New Guinea (PNG), a nine-year-old child has been confirmed as the first death from polio since the country was declared polio-free 18 years ago. Keep in mind that parts of PNG are only a few kilometres away from the Australian coast!
A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said in a statement that Australia had recently announced an additional $10 million in funding to combat the problem in PNG, including $3 million for emergency polio vaccination and treatment.
How is it possible that people, mainly children, are dying of polio and measles – diseases that, thanks to the marvel of modern medicine, were considered virtually eradicated only a decade or two ago?
These statistics are truly hideous. And they are only possible because of the dangerous and irresponsible anti vax movement, which is, in my view, 100% responsible for these preventable deaths.
If you are unsure about vaccinating your children, please: do the research. Look into these diseases. Check into the real risks of the actual side effects of vaccinating. They are so very small compared to the very big risks we face, which is the very real possibility that these illnesses will come back, if we don’t improve vaccination rates.