Fact: Nationwide, just 1 percent of children have not been vaccinated.
The outbreak of measles (154 U.S. cases as of Feb. 24) has renewed the debate over vaccinations, to the consternation of public health officials.
Dr. Ronald Waldman, professor of global health at the Milken Institute of Public Health at George Washington University, said the measles vaccine has reduced deaths from the disease from 2.6 million around the world in 1980 to 150,000. From a global perspective, he said the vaccine has the ability to eliminate measles as a public health issue.
Even so, resistance lingers. Extremist groups like Taliban and Boko Haram, for instance, think the vaccine is a U.S.-led plot, Waldman said. Their suspicions were fueled by the CIA’s guise to use free vaccination as a ploy to get inside Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.