Measles vaccination vital for our children

It probably was only a matter of time for Ohioans to become part of the measles outbreak that has hit about half the states. For a few months, it appeared the Buckeye State might be spared involvement.

Now, it has been reported that a young adult from Stark County contracted the disease during a visit to one of the states where measles is staging a comeback. The last confirmed case of measles in Ohio was in 2017.

As a result of widespread immunizations, public health officials in 1992 declared measles was no longer a threat. Failure by many people to get themselves and their children immunized resulted in the new outbreak, which has affected more than 1,100 people in 28 states.

The new case in Ohio is a reminder to local residents — including West Virginians — of the importance of vaccination, especially for children.

If your child has not been vaccinated against measles, get it done as soon as possible. If you cannot afford the cost, your local health department can help. Do it for your children — and for those with whom they come in contact.

Nearly all public school students are required by law to be vaccinated in West Virginia. Ohio’s requirement is less strict, though it appears most parents comply.

But obeying the law is not the most important reason to get your children vaccinated. Protecting their health — and perhaps their lives — takes priority.

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