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Opinion Pieces Discuss Need For Collective Efforts To Protect Against Measles, Other Infectious Diseases

CNN: Measles cases are up nearly 300% from last year. This is a global crisis
Henrietta H. Fore, executive director of UNICEF, and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization

“We are in the middle of a global measles crisis. … It is a collective responsibility to support parents and build a more positive environment for vaccination … [I]t will take much more — not only from … online platforms but from governments, individuals, and the health community — to make sure all children get their vaccines at the right time. It will mean empowering all health workers to be champions for vaccination, so that they can engage effectively with the parents and communities they serve. It requires each of us to stand up for science, for health, and for the importance of vaccines. It means building basic scientific literacy — ensuring people can interpret and understand information about their health and vaccines. It means governments must invest in primary care and immunization, and make sure these services are affordable, accessible, and truly responsive to parents’ needs — especially those in the poorest, most disadvantaged communities. … Ultimately, there is no ‘debate’ to be had about the profound benefits of vaccines. We know they are safe, and we know they work. … But children are paying the price for complacency. It will take long-term efforts, political commitment, and continuous investment — in vaccine access, in service quality, and in trust — to ensure we are, and remain, protected together” (4/15).

USA Today: Measles outbreak drains resources we may need for a future epidemic or bioterrorist attack
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, co-chairs of the bipartisan Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense

“…The measles outbreak [in the U.S.] is particularly troubling, because unlike many other infectious disease threats, there is an effective vaccine for measles. Not only should state and local governments continue to strongly advocate for the use of vaccines, families, individuals, and civic organizations all have essential roles to play in encouraging their use to mitigate the effects of infectious diseases like measles. We cannot afford to ignore the lessons that measles, Ebola, pandemic influenza, plague, Zika, and other diseases have been teaching us — and continue to teach us — about our vulnerabilities. Eventually, those vulnerabilities to biological events could overcome our national ability to respond and recover. Emergency declarations will not be able to help us then. Let’s do the work today to effectively prepare for what we know will one day come” (4/16).