Last year, nearly 40 million children missed a measles vaccine amid lockdowns and a growing anti-vaxx movement, CDC report finds
- 25 million children missed their first shot and another 14.7 million their second
- 1,274 measles cases were confirmed in the US in 2019 – the highest number since 1992
- Measles is an “imminent threat in every region of the world,” according to the WHO & CDC
A record high of nearly 40 million children missed their measles vaccine last year, the CDC reports.
Vaccination rates for measles – one of the most contagious human viruses yet completely preventable – have fallen consistently since the start of the Covid pandemic.
Misinformation related to Covid vaccines has also led large segments of parents to reject regular childhood vaccinations, despite vaccines being the most effective way to protect children from measles.
A joint report from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) found that 25 million children did not receive their first dose and another 14.7 million missed their second injection.
The drop is a blow to global efforts to eradicate the virus and leaves millions of young children vulnerable to infection.
Researchers from the University of Liverpool analyzed Google Trends and found that vaccine searches “have had a continued and growing presence during the pandemic.”
As of November 17, 2022, 51 measles cases in the US have been reported to the CDC.
In 2019, 1,274 cases were confirmed in 31 states — the highest number since 1992 — with most cases in people who had not been vaccinated.
Twenty-five million children did not receive their first dose and another 14.7 million missed their second measles vaccination, delaying the global initiative to eradicate the virus
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “The paradox of the pandemic is that although vaccines against Covid were developed and deployed in record time in the largest vaccination campaign in history, routine immunization programs were severely disrupted and millions of children are missing out on life-saving vaccinations against deadly diseases like measles.’
He added: ‘It is absolutely crucial to get immunization programs back on track. Behind every statistic in this report is a child at risk for a preventable disease.”
About 90.8 percent of Americans are vaccinated against measles, CDC estimates suggest.
This is just above the WHO’s recommendation of at least 90 percent of the population to avoid a major outbreak.
However, in several states, rates are already below this benchmark.
According to last year’s figures, they are Georgia (88.5 percent), Idaho (86.5 percent), Kentucky (88.9 percent), Maryland (87.6 percent), Minnesota (89.8 percent), Ohio (89 .6 percent). , parts of Texas, Wisconsin (87.2 percent), and Washington DC (78.9 percent).
There was a rise in the pre-Covid anti-vaxx movement, but the push to get everyone vaccinated against that virus has fueled the problem.
Conspiracy theories and fake news about vaccines spread on social media during the pandemic and received more attention than ever before.
Skepticism about the Covid vaccines would have eroded confidence in other traditional jabs.
In 2021, about nine million cases of measles emerged worldwide, as well as 128,000 deaths.
A total of 22 countries were affected by outbreaks.
The decline in vaccination coverage has led to “measles posing an imminent threat in every region of the world,” according to the WHO and CDC report.
WHAT IS MEEAS, WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS AND HOW CAN YOU CATCH IT?
Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that spreads easily from an infected person through coughing, sneezing, or even just breathing.
Symptoms develop between six and 19 days after infection and include a runny nose, cough, sore eyes, fever, and rash.
The rash appears as red and blotchy spots on the hairline that pull down over several days, turn brown and eventually fade.
Some children complain that they do not like bright light or that they get white spots with a red background on their tongue.
In one in 15 cases, measles can cause life-threatening complications, including pneumonia, convulsions, and encephalitis.
Dr. Ava Easton, director of the Encephalitis Society told MailOnline: ‘Measles can be very serious.
‘[It] can cause encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain.
“Encephalitis can result in death or disability.”
Treatment focuses on staying hydrated, resting, and taking pain medications if necessary.
Measles can be prevented by getting two vaccinations, the first at 13 months old and the second at three years and four months to five years old.
Source: Great Ormond Street Hospital