Vaccines

Scientists find even a small dip in measles vaccination numbers could spark a major outbreak

LIFESTYLE

Scientists find even a small dip in measles vaccination numbers could spark a major outbreak

A new study sheds light on the potentially disastrous consequences of not vaccinating. Photo / Getty

A reducation as small as five percent in the number of people getting vaccinated for measles could lead to three times the number of annual cases of the disease, a new study shows.

Researchers from the Standford University School of Medicine and Baylor College of Medicine have found that it doesn’t take a big dip in the number of people getting vaccinated for an outbreak to happen.

In fact, a five percent reduction in the number of children ages two to 11 getting the measles vacinne could see the number of cases of the disease as much as triple for that age group.

The numbers would be substantially higher if unvaccinated infants, adolescents, and adult populations were also considered, the study also warned.

The researchers also calculated that the public health costs of such a scenario could be as high as US $3 million.

“We focused on measles as a case example of the effects of declining vaccine coverage because it is highly infectious,” Nathan Lo, the study’s lead author, said…