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  • Aug 05, 2019

Let's Talk About Vaccines

You may have heard about recent outbreaks of measles, which the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said was gone in 2000

It's definitely back with over 1,000 cases in the United States over the past two years. How could this be? Measles is highly contagious because it spreads by air. According to the CDC, "It's so contagious that if one person has it, up to 9 out of 10 people who are not protected will get it."i

Measles is a major health concern because fewer babies in the U.S. were vaccinated over the past decade. Now we have the outbreak that pediatricians and health officials warned us about.

"I've been practicing long enough to know what it was like when babies didn't get vaccinated," said Dr. Greg Hagan, Chief of Pediatrics at CHA and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. "A lot of babies suffered." Watch Dr. Hagan talk about why vaccines are so important for children (1:41 minutes).

It takes 95%

Did you know some of your neighbors need you to stay healthy? To prevent a disease outbreak, up to 95% of the population has to be vaccinated.ii Because infants and certain high risk people (older adults, people with certain diseases) can't be vaccinated, we can never achieve 100%. So by getting vaccinated you protect yourself and other, more vulnerable, community members.

Flu season is coming

Flu season is just a few weeks away. So it's a good time to remember that flu can be more than uncomfortable, it can be deadly. It is spread by coughing, sneezing or touching someone who has it. Getting vaccinated can help protect you and others from getting sick. People with diabetes, heart disease, COPD or are over 65 are at higher risk. So don't wait. As soon as this year's flu vaccine is available, please get your shot at a CHA Pharmacy or your CHA Care Center.

Protect your children from cancer with a vaccine

Everyone wants the best for their children. So please talk to your child's doctor about HPV vaccine. Each year, 14 million people are infected with Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer, anal cancer, vulvar and vaginal cancers and genital warts. The first vaccine for HPV became available in 2006. So there is now a 10+ year record of success. You can learn more at your child's Primary Care Center or at a CHA Teen Health Center – Cambridge Teen Health Center, Everett Teen Health Center, Somerville Teen Connection.

Back to Measles ...

Oh, and if you're worried about measles, the best thing to do is make sure that you and your family are up to date with your MMR – measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. You can check your immunization record in MyCHArt and contact your Care Center if you need a vaccination.



This articles provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this article, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider.

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