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Infographic – U.S. Leads in Unvaccinated for Measles

Chart: Unvaccinated children

Click on image for full-size view (Statista)

27 Apr. 2019. New statistics from Unicef show far more children in the U.S. did not receive their first measles vaccine dose between 2010 and 2017 than children in other countries. Data from the Unicef statistics, issued on 24 April, are portrayed in this weekend’s infographic, compiled by our friends at Statista.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that spreads through coughing and sneezing, and currently has no specific treatment. “The measles virus will always find unvaccinated children,” says Unicef executive director Henrietta Fore in the statistical statement. “If we are serious about averting the spread of this dangerous but preventable disease, we need to vaccinate every child, in rich and poor countries alike.”

Health authorities recommend protecting children with a vaccine preventing measles, mumps, and rubella. That vaccine requires 2 doses, and Unicef says global coverage of the first vaccine is 85 percent, as of 2017. For the second dose, however, that number drops to two-thirds, or 67 percent. At least 95 percent coverage is needed to achieve herd immunity, where enough of the population is vaccinated to prevent spreading a disease to the unvaccinated.

In sheer numbers, according to Unicef, the U.S. leads the world in children not receiving their first vaccine dose between 2010 and 2017, with about 2.6 million children. France and the U.K. are in distant second and third place with 500,000 to 600,000 children not unvaccinated for measles. Argentina and Italy follow with more than 400,000 unvaccinated children. Last month, Science & Enterprise reported data from Unicef showing the Ukraine has the fastest growing number of new measles cases, but that country is not among the leading 10 countries with unvaccinated children.

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