By the Num­bers

Vac­cines

Newsweek International - - CONTENTS -

They rank among the most ef­fec­tive pub­lic health mea­sures of all time, re­duc­ing or elim­i­nat­ing deaths from small­pox, po­lio, measles and many other dis­eases. When a vac­cine for whoop­ing cough was de­vel­oped in the 1940s, deaths from the ill­ness nearly dis­ap­peared. But while vac­ci­na­tion rates have risen in the United States in re­cent years, so has the num­ber of par­ents opt­ing out— usu­ally be­cause of missed fol­low-up ap­point­ments with doc­tors. This is largely due to a mis­taken be­lief that the shots cause autism (they do not). As a re­sult, the coun­try is see­ing a resur­gence in whoop­ing cough and measles.

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