By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The measles outbreak is still focused on the west coast, but there are two unrelated cases locally. Today, the Pennsylvania Medical Society is reminding everyone about the dangers of not being vaccinated. Health reporter Stephanie Stahl has the update.READ MORE: Philadelphia Weather: Chance For Strong To Severe Storms On Tuesday, Damaging Winds
With measles fear spreading, some pediatricians are now refusing to see children who haven’t been immunized. “We didn’t want to spread measles in the waiting room,” explains Pediatrician Nelson Branco.
The measles outbreak is still mainly on the west coast, but there is a confirmed case in Pennsylvania, Cumberland County and one in New Castle County, Delaware – neither is related to California. Parent Judy Garnett says, “It’s irresponsible not to have kids vaccinated.”
The people who’ve recently contracted measles have not been vaccinated. While most schools require children to be immunized, there are exceptions. CDC numbers show PA has an 87 percent kindergarten vaccination rate, which ranks in the bottom five in the nation. Some feel the vaccine is dangerous.READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Large Group Of Noisy Dirt Bikes, ATVs Take Over Radnor Streets
Dr. Stephen Aronoff, the chair of pediatrics at Temple Univ. School of Medicine says, “There is no association that has been demonstrated in the medical literature and large studies that shows an association between autism and any vaccine. That’s largely been discounted.” Dr. Aronoff says MMR vaccine that covers measles has been proven to be safe and effective.
He says politicians, like New Jersey Gov. Christie, have caused unfortunate confusion by first saying parents should have a choice, which was followed by a clarification from his office saying children should be vaccinated. “I usually don’t go to politicians for my medical advice,” Dr. Aronoff said.
The national average of children in kindergarten who’ve received the MMR vaccine is just under 95 percent. That’s the rate in New Jersey. Delaware’s number is 96 percent.
Experts say part of the reason Pennsylvania’s number is so much lower is the large Amish population, which generally doesn’t believe in vaccinations. In Lancaster County, that has a big Amish population, there’s only a 77 percent vaccination rate.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia School District Superintendent Dr. William Hite Will Not Seek Contract Renewal After School Year
For more information, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/measles/