In the midst of a measles outbreak in Washington state, where the state’s governor has even declared a public health emergency in one county because of the highly contagious disease, vaccines rates are now surging according to Kaiser Health.
In Clark County alone the health department has recorded more than 50 cases of the measles, leading doctors and health care officials to urge parents to get their kids vaccinated. New figures from the health department show vaccines orders for the measles were up by nearly 500 percent in January compared to the same time last year. The numbers jumped from 530 vaccine doses to 3,150. According to Kaiser Health, these numbers include people who once shunned the vaccine.
Vaccine orders for the entire state of Washington jumped about 30 percent. Health care providers recommend the MMR vaccine to provide long-lasting protection against the measles, the vaccine will also protect against mumps and rubella. Babies and children who need two doses usually get the first dose at age 12-15 months and the second dose at 4-6 years. Parents should discuss with their pediatrician about their child’s vaccine timetable to find out exactly when their child should be vaccinated.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect your child from the measles virus which is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children. In Washington State, most of the infections have occurred among children under the age of 18 who were not vaccinated against the measles. In 42 of the cases reported, the individuals were not immunized, in six cases the state was not able to verify the immunization and in one case only a single dose of the vaccine was received.
For any parents with concerned about getting their child vaccinated, research has confirmed that vaccines do not cause autism, which is a common reason many parents cite who are opposed to vaccinations.
Of course, there are completely valid reasons why a child may not be vaccinated. Speak with your doctor to determine the best course of action for your family.
If you are concerned about an outbreak in your area, first check with your health department to see if there have been any reported cases. You can also always double check with your healthcare provider to make sure your kids are on schedule and have received their vaccinations to protect them against the measles.