Measles vaccines and the potential for worldwide eradication of measles.
The annual number of reported measles cases in the United States has declined from between 3 million and 4 million in the prevaccine era to <100 cases in association with the highest recorded immunization rates in history. Because of continued importation of measles into the United States, young children who are not vaccinated appropriately may experience more than a 60-fold increase in risk of disease. Unsubstantiated claims suggesting an association between measles vaccine and neurologic disorders have led to reduced vaccine use and a resurgence of measles in countries where immunization rates have declined below the level needed to maintain herd immunity. To address the possibility of worldwide control of measles, efforts to ensure high immunization rates among people in both developed and developing countries must be sustained.
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