Editorial: More proof that child immunization is essential

Just as students were preparing to return to the classroom, JAMA Pediatrics shared a study that offers fresh evidence of why vaccination is essential in these breeding grounds for knowledge and, sadly, germs.

The report, “Public Health and Economic Consequences of Vaccine Hesitancy for Measles in the United States” posted on July 24, quantifies how the reluctance of parents to have children vaccinated exponentially increases the spread of what can be deadly childhood diseases.

The study, which used data from the United State Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, modeled children age 2-11. It found that a 5 percent reduction in measles, mumps and rubella vaccination coverage resulted in a three-fold increase in annual measles cases, and an additional $2.1 million in public sector costs. But that’s not all.

Researchers warn, “Even small declines in vaccination coverage in children owing to vaccine hesitancy may have substantial public health and economic consequences that will be larger when considering unvaccinated infants, adolescents and adults.”

The JAMA Pediatrics article also notes that the routine childhood vaccination decline in some areas of the county “risks the resurgence of many infectious diseases with public health and economic consequences.”

This study focused on measles, mumps and rubella, but it’s also important for parents of all school-aged children to note…