The Washington Post
Prevent a measles epidemic
I applaud the recognition in the May 5 editorial “A shadow epidemic” of the threat that measles could come roaring back due to vaccine inequities. I fear that it is already well on its way, with reported worldwide cases increasing 79 percent in the first two months of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.
As the executive director of Shot@life, a campaign devoted to increasing vaccine equity around the globe, I could not agree more with the editorial’s statement that “the global immunity gap must be met with renewed vaccination efforts, despite obstacles of the pandemic and war.” That gap is a threat to all of us. As the editorial noted, measles is highly contagious, and, as we saw from the Disneyland outbreak, it takes only one infected individual to start an outbreak.
But we are not helpless. Now that the alarm is sounded, we must act. We must rally support for UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the Measles & Rubella Initiative and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. They are capable of addressing and closing the global immunity gap, but they need the resources to do so.
Martha Rebour, Washington The writer is executive director