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Report: Measles An 'Imminent Threat' To Unvaccinated Children

    Report: Measles An 'Imminent Threat' To Unvaccinated Children
    Last updated: 3 days ago
    Image credit: AP [via Al Jazeera]

    Facts

    • On Wednesday, the WHO and CDC released a joint report warning that millions of children worldwide are vulnerable to measles as vaccination rates have declined to their lowest levels since 2008. [1]
    • According to the report, the decline in vaccinations is largely attributed to the COVID pandemic, which saw many forgo routine shots, with nearly 40M children reportedly missing a measles vaccine dose in 2021 — a record high. [2]
    • The world reportedly needs to reach an estimated 95% or greater immunization level to achieve herd immunity against measles. Currently, 81% of the world's children have received the first dose of the vaccine, and 71% have received a second dose. [3]
    • As one of the most contagious diseases known to humans, measles poses a significant risk for children younger than five, adults over the age of 20, and those who are pregnant or immune-compromised. [1]
    • The virus is spread through coughs or sneezes and can reportedly remain airborne for up to two hours. According to the CDC, an infected person will spread the illness to 90% of unprotected contacts. [1]
    • Symptoms include high fever, coughing, runny nose, and white spots that appear inside the mouth while a rash forms on the skin. A two-dose vaccine regime is reportedly 97% effective at preventing a person from contracting the virus. [1]
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    Spin

    Narrative A

    During the pandemic, the world — in a concerted effort to fight COVID — came to a screeching halt, and we're still experiencing the aftershocks of it today. With measles now posing a concerning threat to a large part of the world, it's time to re-apply that same effort and get vaccination rates back on track.

    Narrative B

    While the details of this report are concerning, the media has an obligation to present the facts honestly and accurately without spreading alarmism and without polarizing large portions of the population — as was done during the COVID pandemic. The reality is that outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases aren't a new concern, and talks of catastrophe are only counterproductive.

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