Some teenagers who have never been vaccinated against diseases such as measles or chickenpox are questioning the anti-vaccine movement, even as health officials condemn parents who chose not to vaccinate their children for a measles outbreak in 10 states.
One of those teens is Mayci, an 18-year-old from Augusta, Georgia who went to Reddit for advice on vaccination after hearing about the measles outbreak.
While growing up, Mayci thought her mother’s negative views of vaccines were normal.
Her mother used a religious exemption so Mayci wouldn’t be required to be vaccinated in school, and told her friends to do the same.
The Washington State Health Department says about 530 people were immunized against measles in January 2018.
In 2000, measles was declared eliminated in the United States, thanks to the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine that has been part of routine childhood shots for decades.
Measles is a highly contagious disease, but people who get the proper doses of the vaccine rarely contract it, even if they are exposed.
A very few who get both two doses of the measles vaccine will still get measles if exposed to the virus, albeit a milder form of the disease.
The recent measles outbreak is a reminder that herd immunity — which occurs when enough people are vaccinated against an infectious disease to protect others in the community who are not — has broken down in some communities.
So far, Mayci has now received the TDAP vaccine and a flu shot.
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