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Immunization Rates Remain Strong
Measles outbreaks highlight importance of adhering to recommended immunization schedule
September 4, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Amy Pisani, 202-277-7587, amyp@ecbt.org

September 4, 2008 (WASHINGTON, DC) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today announced the latest results from the National Immunization Survey. National immunization rates have remained at record high levels, rising in the past year to 77.4%. Despite this high coverage, recent measles outbreaks demonstrate that growing pockets of people across the country are refusing vaccines due in part to unsubstantiated fears about vaccine safety.

The measles outbreaks this year have infected 131 children thus far and continue to spread; 91% of the children infected were not vaccinated. A study published in the journal Public Library of Science One once again confirmed that the measles vaccine is not linked to autism.

"The MMR question has now been asked and answered, over 20 times," said Amy Pisani, executive director of Every Child By Two. "The MMR vaccine does not cause autism. We now need to use limited autism research dollars to look where the answer might actually be, not where we know the answer clearly is not. Our children are at serious risk of contracting devastating, but wholly preventable, diseases."

"We are seeing outbreaks of measles again, a disease we had almost eliminated in the United States," said actor Amanda Peet and celebrity spokesperson for Every Child By Two's "Vaccinate Your Baby" campaign. "The rumored link between vaccines and autism has been clearly disproven, yet the threat of these diseases is very real. Parents have to get the facts: vaccines save lives."

Every Child By Two's new campaign with Ms. Peet urges parents to immunize their children against vaccine-preventable diseases. The "Vaccinate Your Baby" campaign addresses misinformation about vaccines that causes confusion among parents and puts children at risk. To get the facts about vaccines, visit www.vaccinateyourbaby.org.

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Every Child By Two, the Rosalynn Carter/Betty Bumpers Campaign for Early Childhood Immunization, works to ensure that all children receive timely immunizations and continues to seek methods to institutionalize vaccine delivery and ensure access to vaccines for all children. For more information, please visit www.ecbt.org.