Mario Ancalmo receives an influenza vaccination  in Miami, Florida in October 2018.

Mario Ancalmo receives an influenza vaccination in Miami, Florida in October 2018.

All right folks. Let’s be frank: vaccines work.

There’s no evidence that getting vaccinated leads to autism. And vaccines can keep us safe from diseases like polio, measles, mumps and rubella.

But around the world, cases of measles are on the rise, and the World Health Organization is blaming some of the spike on the refusal by some parents to vaccinate their children.

Here’s more from NPR’s Goats and Soda blog:

And now there’s a rise in measles in other countries, often wealthier ones, because of what’s being called “vaccine hesitancy.” Parents are opting out of the routine vaccination, which has been available since 1963 and is credited in helping to nearly eliminate the disease.

That hesitancy has played a role in outbreaks around the world. Japan is facing the worst measles outbreak in a decade, with at least 221 cases. Since the start of 2019, more than 70 people have been infected in southwest Washington state, and there have been 17 cases in Vancouver, British Columbia. And in Costa Rica this year, an unvaccinated French boy brought the first case of measles to the country in five years.

The article also notes that some of the increase in measles cases is due to a lack of public accessibility to vaccines in places like Madagascar and Yemen.

Now, some states like Minnesota, Vermont and New Jersey are considering making it harder for parents to decline to vaccinate their children.

And an Ohio teenager testified in front of Congress recently about why he chose to get vaccinated once he turned 18.

Why have anti-vax myths taken such strong hold? What role has social media played in spreading vaccine misinformation?

Produced by Kathryn Fink.


  • Dr. Meredith Wadman Reporter, Science Magazine; author, "The Vaccine Race: Science, Politics and the Human Costs of Defeating Disease"; @meredithwadman
  • Dr. Richard Pan State Senator, California's 6th District; pediatrician; @DrPanMD
  • Dr. Sean O'Leary Pediatrician, Children's Hospital Colorado; associate professor of pediatrics, University of Colorado-Denver; spokesperson, American Academy of Pediatrics

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