Herd immunity saves lives

From the WHO Fact Sheet:

  • Measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available.
  • In 2015, there were 134 200 measles deaths globally – about 367 deaths every day or 15 deaths every hour.
  • Measles vaccination resulted in a 79% drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2015 worldwide.
  • In 2015, about 85% of the world’s children received one dose of measles vaccine by their first birthday through routine health services – up from 73% in 2000.
  • During 2000-2015, measles vaccination prevented an estimated 20.3 million deaths making measles vaccine one of the best buys in public health.

In 2015 the Italian populist 5 Star Movement started circulating scare vaccination scare stories. Inevitably, this has led to a measles epidemic in the country:

In the first quarter of 2017, there is a six-fold increase in registered cases, with Health Ministry officials reporting 1,500 registered cases, up from 840 in 2016 and 250 in 2015. The United States Center for Disease Control issued a warning to tourists about the potentially fatal disease, Reuters reports.

No-one has died. Yet.