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The anti-vaccination movement: March of the lemmings

The anti-vaccination movement: March of the lemmings
Infectious Disease News, April 2015
Marjorie P. Pollack, MD; Donald Kaye, MD

As physicians who have actually seen patients with tetanus, diphtheria, smallpox and poliomyelitis, we are appalled at the effectiveness of the anti-vaccination movement in the United States. The issue today is the resurgence of measles, but tomorrow it may be any one of the other vaccine-preventable diseases.

To focus on the current epidemic of measles, a disease that was essentially eliminated in the U.S. in the last century, the size of the current epidemic in the U.S. is undoubtedly in large part due to the anti-vaccination groups. As of Feb. 11, 49 (45%) of the 110 cases of measles in California were unvaccinated, and an additional five (5%) had a history of a single dose of measles-containing vaccine.

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