By SALLY C PIPES | PUBLISHED: May 20, 2019 at 9:35 am Daily Breeze
Measles is making a comeback. As of May 17, there were over 800 reported cases of the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s more than in any of the last four years.
This uptick is dispiriting but shouldn’t be surprising. More and more people are deciding not to get their shots. In the past decade, the number of nonmedical vaccine exemptions for philosophical reasons has increased in 12 of the 18 states that allow them.
A surge of misinformation about vaccines — including the thoroughly discredited theory linking them to autism — deserves much of the blame. But even today, millions of people struggle to access vaccines. That’s a tragedy, given how much good they can do at relatively low cost.
Freeing medical professionals like pharmacists to administer them would make vaccines more accessible and thereby boost vaccination rates — to the benefit of everyone’s health.
Vaccines are among the great triumphs of modern medicine. The numbers are staggering. Between 1963 and 2015, vaccines prevented nearly 200 million cases of infectious disease in the United States and saved 450,000 lives.
Many people don’t remember life in a world where they had to worry about the likes of polio, measles, mumps, or rubella. Consequently, the urgency to vaccinate has fallen. In 2011, 0.9 percent of children under the age of two had never received a vaccine. That figure had jumped to 1.3 percent by 2015.
The rest of this essay can be read here. Ms. Pipes’s op-ed raises some very good issues many people may not have known about.