There are several reasons people choose not to vaccinate their children, primarily born from misinformation from anti-vaccine advocates.
Ignorance, false claims to expertise and scientific illiteracy are threatening our children's health.
Today, most people don't remember the heartbreaking and sometimes lethal effects of not vaccinating and hence can't see their own vital role in public health.
When fiction becomes confused with fact, we sever our critical tether to reality. The conclusions from years of careful research, scrutinized by competing scientists and published in peer-reviewed journals carry no more weight with the public than the random thoughts of a bloated pundit.
Vaccines are one of the greatest public health accomplishments, and they have led to the significant reduction of several infectious disease in the United States. However, in recent years, vaccination rates have decreased, and vaccine-preventable illnesses are making a comeback.
We must learn from responses to such epidemics in the past if we are to succeed today. Such lessons will be difficult to craft, requiring expertise in culture as well as medicine, but need to be integral parts of our global response.
Lisa Scharoun, PhD is a professor in graphic design teaching at Australia's University of Canberra. She's also a mother to Noah, who was born with a cleft palate. Lisa spent much of Noah's first nine months in hospitals.
There is a tragic irony in leaders from across Africa discussing the progress of their countries with President Obama in Washington, D.C., last week even as the Ebola virus is brutally exposing the lack of capacity, antiquated health systems, and absence of governance in one corner of the continent.
It's time for governments, cancer organizations, and the cancer industry to devote their resources primarily to immunotherapy and give it urgent priority.
It is becoming clear that researchers working on these pathogens don't agree on how best to study these particularly dangerous viruses and two groups have now emerged with different views.
I don't like to use scare tactics to convince parents to vaccinate their children, but the experiences I have had working in a hospital are very real, and I have watched children suffer terribly because they weren't immunized.
As an autism parent, it offends me that my children's condition is being used to scare people away from life-saving medical treatments.
In keeping with previous Global Citizen Festivals, the goal is to celebrate the achievements made toward ending extreme poverty by 2030. But this year, we're working to change the systems that keep people poor.
What -- if anything -- can be done about a situation that forces patients to choose between two undesirable options: risk succumbing to a preventable illness or pay the exorbitant amounts the companies are charging?
They couldn't find anything for the DTaP vaccine or the HIB vaccine. They couldn't find any association with autism. And they couldn't find any risk from giving a lot of vaccines at once; in fact, one study found that getting several vaccines may help protect children against leukemia.
One of the most contagious viral diseases ever known, measles claims the lives of 330 people every day. Tackling this formidable disease takes a unique kind of determination.