Monday, February 16, 2015

vaccines

The measles outbreak in California has people there worried, understandably enough. But isn't it is amazing the reaction a few people getting sick after a trip to Disneyland receives?

The facts of that incident, according to the US Centre for Disease Control report dated February 13th, are that 125 people got measles, of whom 28 were intentionally unvaccinated, and 17 needed hospital treatment. Thankfully, nobody died.

Contrast this with the global figures. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) measles fact sheet, which was updated this month, 145 700 people died from the disease in 2013. That equates to 16 every hour every day (down from one a minute in 2000). Most of these were children under the age of five, the majority of whose lives could have been saved if they had been given an inexpensive vaccine that the WHO calls 'one of the best buys in public health.'

It would be great if California gets its vaccination problem under control as a result of this incident. It would be even better if a first-world health scare was translated into life-saving global action. UNICEF Ireland has an Immunisation Appeal page on its website. If anyone would like to help save children's lives, that would be a good place to start.

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