Anna Dragsbaek is president and CEO of the Immunization Partnership in Houston. It’s a group that works to eradicate diseases for which there are vaccines.
She blames today’s measles cases on the false belief created years ago that the “MMR” vaccine causes autism in children.
She says, “The measles/mumps/rubella vaccine is a very safe and effective vaccine. And it’s been proven over and over again that it does not cause autism. And, so, unfortunately, the price that we have paid for that bad science is outbreaks of a vaccine-preventable disease.”
Dragsbaek says this outbreak should be of particular concern to parents because “measles is highly contagious. And in communities where they don’t have high enough immunization rates, it can spread very quickly.” She adds, “I don’t want to start a panic or anything like that. But I do think the timing of this is unfortunate with school about to start. So I would urge parents to make sure that your child is up to date.”
Dragsbaek says your doctor can tell you whether you or your children need a measles booster shot.
Infants are particularly vulnerable to contracting measles, because they can’t be vaccinated until they’re a year old.