Measles outbreak goads vaccine debate

If 2014 was the year of the selfie epidemic, then 2015 is shaping up to be the year the measles came back.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 121 cases of measles have been reported since Jan. 1. The outbreak, which originated in California, has spread to 14 states, reaching as far east as New York.

This is absolutely unacceptable. The vaccine, which has been licensed since 1964, is 95 percent effective, squashing rumors that the outbreak may have been caused by the ineffectiveness of the vaccine.

In a survey conducted by ABCNews.com, reportedly only 69 percent of Americans believe that children should be required to receive vaccinations, and of the slight majority, only 3 percent believe that exceptions should be given to those whose religion forbids them from getting vaccinated.

This is 2015, people. It’s time to get with the program. Measles was declared eliminated from the United States in 2000, and yet here we are, 15 years later, suffering from this same preventable disease.

Many vaccine opponents have argued that children can fight most infections naturally and that vaccines may trigger an onset of autism, attention deficit disorder and diabetes. The CDC has released a statement saying there has been no evidence to support this claim.

Even without the CDC’s statement of confirmation, it does not seem logical to assume that any of these neurological disorders or diseases could be caused by an immunization shot.

The solution is simple: vaccinate. If you weren’t vaccinated as a child, now is a great time to do it.

About Destinee McCulley

Opinion Editor, Co-Distribution Manager

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