Governors, senators, scientists, health officials, the CDC, parents, school officials and even the president have shown grave concern about the development of the measles infection in the country. Will one voice matter. This time it’s from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s commissioner.
Describing the latest measles outbreak as “alarming,” Dr. Margaret Hamburg, outgoing commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said on Tuesday that the measles vaccine “should be used by everyone who has not been vaccinated.”
Her concerns were published in a blog post on the FDA’s website is a response to the country’s fight to contain the return measles infection. The virus was supposed to be eradicated since 2000 but returned last year with 644 cases. What started in Disneyland last December had become a full blown epidemic, if it isn’t yet.
She said, echoing what other experts say that the only way to deal with the infection is to get vaccinated.
“Simply put, these vaccines are safe and effective, and serious side effects are rare,” she said.
Currently, there are already 120 confirmed cases across 17 states infected with the measles virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Before the measles vaccination program started in 1963. Approximately three to four million die of the diseases each year. The number of death numbered from 400 to 500 and the 48,000 were hospitalized due to complications such as pneumonia, brain damage and deafness.
“Let’s not return to these grim statistics,” Hamburg said.
What makes things worse this year is the increasing number of parents who refused to get vaccinated together with their children. The autism issue has added more to the parents’ resistance to have their children vaccinated.
Other excuses include personal choice, religious beliefs and medical reasons. Some states such as California and Washington have started considering to pass laws abolishing some of the exemptions.