SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Health officials are discussing why people aren’t vaccinating their children, and what this means for efforts to stop the outbreak.
“We are seeing cases of measles in the US where we had not before,” Chatham County Nurse Manager Tammi Brown said.
Brown is the nurse manager at the Georgia Department of Public Health. She says the misconceptions about the Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine have no merit.
“There's a lot of misinformation out there. Things have been proven to not be true about the vaccine being linked to other disorders. No scientific proof of that,” Brown said.
Dr Melissa Carrion, an associate professor at Georgia Southern University, has conducted extensive research on this topic.
“My research draws from interviews with mothers who have refused vaccines for their children,” Dr. Carrion said.
She says there are many reasons for this.
“Ranging from things to do with their individual child, trust in regulatory agencies like the FDA, experiences with their physicians,” Dr. Carrion said. “Fundamentally, it comes down to the perception that the risks of the vaccines themselves like side effect or vaccine injury is a greater perceived threat for them then the vaccine preventable diseases that these vaccines are aimed at protecting against.”
But for those unvaccinated, Brown says the risk is dangerous.
“It's likely someone who is infected with the measles can infect 90 percent of the people they can encounter if they don't have immunity,” Brown said. “The risk of them catching the measles from someone who's tested positive is very high.”
And while Dr. Carrion feels parents who don't vaccinate their children have good intentions.
“I don't think we do anyone any favors by demonizing parents who make these choices,” she said. “These are parents trying to make the best decision for the children.”
Brown says the evidence speaks for itself.
“As a community, we can work together so we don't see any outbreaks in our area,” Brown said. “Please, please get your vaccine.”
Several mothers reached on social media who chose not to vaccinate their children, none of them wanted to go on camera.
Brown says if you have any questions or are hesitant about vaccinating your child, please talk to your doctor.
The CDC admits the vaccine isn't 100 percent effective and they admit that everyone should not get it. These people shouldn't get vaccinated: anyone diagnosed with a weak immune system, anyone who is pregnant, and anyone who recently had a blood transfusion.