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American Academy of Pediatrics CEO Urges Public Officials to Cite Credible Science When Discussing Measles

2/3/2015


For Release: Feb. 3, 2015

Statement by American Academy of Pediatrics CEO/Executive Director Errol R. Alden, MD, FAAP

"A measles outbreak has grown to more than 100 people in 14 states. As public officials discuss the outbreak and the immunizations that could have prevented it, the American Academy of Pediatrics urges each of them to research the issue first, using credible, science-based sources of information. It is incumbent on public officials to speak from the facts when shaping public perception and policy. This is crucial when it comes to our children's health and safety.

"Getting the measles vaccine is much safer than getting the measles infection. Numerous peer-reviewed research articles have documented the safety record of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, which is one of the most effective vaccines we have available today. A vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing side effects, but usually these are mild, such as pain or swelling at the injection site and a fever that lasts a day or two. The risk of the measles vaccine causing serious harm is extremely small – less than one in a million people who receive the vaccine will experience a severe reaction. In fact these reactions are so rare it is hard to tell whether they are due to the vaccine. But we do know that of people who get measles, 1 or 2 in 1,000 will die.

"We encourage public officials to employ sound science in communicating about such an important topic. Our children's health is at stake."

More information about MMR vaccine is available here​ and on www.HealthyChildren.org.  

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 62,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org or follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.