The United Kingdom Has Lost Its Measles Elimination Status

Recently, measles has made a comeback in countries around the world where it was eliminated. Cases imported by un-vaccinated people have triggered local outbreaks in places around the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and Africa. Today, the World Health Organization and Public Health England have announced that measles is no longer considered eliminated in the United Kingdom. The United States and other developed nations where measles was once considered eliminated might be next.

The Economics of Immunizations

A few days ago, we posted about the measles epidemic in Madagascar and how the number of deaths had passed 1,200 cases, most of them children. One of the things that I found striking about the situation there is the cost of the measles vaccine. It is so expensive that families with several children often weigh which child will get the one vaccine dose they can afford. A family makes about $2 per day, with a vaccine dose costing upwards of $15. Imagine having to work more than two weeks to afford a single vaccine that can save your child’s life.