July 20, 2015 – California Vaccines
Anchor lead: Childhood vaccine regulations in California are being modified, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Parents in California now have fewer loopholes for avoiding vaccination for their children with the passage of new legislation. Mike Klag, dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins, says the parental standpoint of fear of vaccines is misplaced.
Klag: Their views are often based on only being concerned about the risks of vaccines. We know that the risks are being way overplayed. They don’t understand the benefits because they’re not familiar with the diseases. There’s been a whole generation that’s been protected by vaccines so they don’t understand the risks of not taking the vaccine, and that’s what we have to do a better job of. The measles epidemic is a terrible thing. Measles is a disease where you can get late onset neurologic disease that can kill you, acute effects can be terrible. But the good thing is I think it’s refocused the discussion in the US on the benefits of vaccines. :33
Children who develop measles are also very infectious to others, including immunocompromised people and the elderly. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.