Vaccinations

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There are now 121 cases of measles in the U.S., with one confirmed case in Michigan. That’s according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control. Of those cases, 85% are linked to an outbreak at Disneyland.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Health experts hope a change in Michigan's vaccination waiver policy ensures more kids are immunized in a state with the country's fourth-highest percentage of kindergartners exempted from at least one vaccine.

The new rule was sought by Gov. Rick Snyder's administration and approved by lawmakers. It took effect Jan. 1 and comes amid a rise in whooping cough and measles cases.

Vaccine informational sheets.
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The measles outbreak has made it to Michigan.

After the mounting headlines about an outbreak that seems to have begun in California’s Disneyland, the first Michigan case was diagnosed late last week.

The diagnosed individual is an adult in Oakland country and according to Dr. Matthew Davis, the Chief Medical Executive with the Michigan Department of Community Health and a Professor at the University of Michigan, this case may well be connected to the Disneyland outbreak.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State health officials are once again urging more parents to get their children immunized against preventable diseases.

Michigan has the fourth-highest percentage of parents who choose for non-medical reasons not to have their children vaccinated against whooping cough, measles, and other diseases.

Patricia Bednarz is a school nurse in Lansing.  She says school nurses are concerned about Michigan’s falling immunization rates.

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Winter doesn't just mean freezing temperatures  – it's also a time when we are more likely to get sick. Which leads us to our next question: Do you vaccinate your kids?

It seems for more and more Michigan parents, the answer is no. 

When it comes to kids not getting vaccinated because their parents claim some personal or religious exemption, Michigan ranks number four in the nation. 

But resistance to vaccinations didn't just start with Jenny McCarthy or the study by British doctor Andrew Wakefield that alleged a link between vaccines and autism – a study that has since been discredited as being based on faulty science. 

It goes back long before that.

Gender and medical historian Jacqueline Antonovich has studied and written about the history of our relationship with vaccinations. 

Antonovich recently wrote in the blog nursingclio.org about this topic, and it was pretty personal for her, as someone who has had whooping cough.

Morguefile

The United States needs to do a better job of fighting the spread of infectious disease. And so does the state of Michigan.

That's according to a report released today by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The report looked at whether states met ten key indicators showing their capacity to prevent and control infectious disease. Michigan met only five out of ten.