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vaccination

New York State is joining a growing list of states that have banned religious exemptions for vaccines. And while the state passed the ban this year, most of the delegation representing the Rochester and Finger Lakes area voted to save religious exemptions.

Many local doctors have expressed their frustration about that. They join us to discuss the state of vaccines. Our guests:

  • Dr. Elizabeth Murray, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics and pediatrician at Golisano Children’s Hospital
  • Dr. Steve Cook, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics and pediatrician at Golisano Children’s Hospital
  • Dr. Michael Mendoza, M.D., Monroe County Public Health Commissioner

Alissa Eckert / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Officials in Livingston County confirmed another mumps case on Wednesday, bringing this year’s total to three.

Kathy Root, the county health department’s director of patient services, said the person with the newly confirmed case is a student in the Livonia Central School District who had contact with the two people infected earlier this year.

The school district did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Alissa Eckert / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Two people in Livingston County have come down with mumps, according to health officials there.

Both live in the county, and both were fully vaccinated, said Kathy Root, who directs patient services for the county health department.

Two vaccinated people in one county contracting the disease is statistically unlikely, but still possible, Root said.

“No vaccine is 100 percent effective,” said Root. “But we have to keep vaccination levels high if we want to prevent further spread.”

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

As a measles outbreak downstate has continued to grow, health care workers in Monroe County said they are monitoring the situation, but they do not see an immediate threat to the Rochester area.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

With more measles cases in the last month than in the entire previous decade, Monroe County health officials urged parents to take action.

A growing number of parents in the Rochester area – and across the state and country – are choosing not to vaccinate their children, said county public health commissioner Michael Mendoza.

Juan Vazquez and Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News


An outbreak of measles in Monroe County – the worst since the state health department began tracking yearly data – has now sickened seven children.

There is one clear commonality: “The important through-line that connects all of these – all seven measles cases in Monroe County – is that all seven of them are unvaccinated,” said Ryan Horey, the county health department’s public information officer.

We discuss the recent measles outbreak in the Pacific Northwest, where most of the victims were not vaccinated.

Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mike Mendoza says he wants to communicate with parents who are against vaccines to share the message that it is dangerous not to vaccinate children. He joins us, along with Dr. Elizabeth Murray and Dr. Lori Anderson, to discuss the outbreak and address parents’ concerns. Our guests:

National Institutes of Health

Monroe County has confirmed its first case of measles since 2014, and only its second in the last decade.

County health department spokesperson Ryan Horey said an unvaccinated female toddler is infected with the virus, which she likely contracted on an international trip to an area that was in the midst of a measles outbreak. He said he could not be any more specific about the trip location or the toddler's identity in an effort to protect the family’s privacy.

Robert F Kennedy, Jr. has become one of the leading opponents of vaccines in the country, and he met with Donald Trump this week. Kennedy emerged from the meeting and declared that Trump was putting him in charge of a commission on "vaccine safety and scientific integrity." Trump himself has said and tweeted many things about vaccines that are flat-out wrong. And even the Cleveland Clinic is backtracking after one of its doctors used the Cleveland Clinic platform to publish an anti-vaccine screed. The LA Times declared that Trump and the Cleveland Clinic are moving "vaccine anti-science back into the mainstream."

What can be done? We'll examine the research that indicates the best and worst ways to break through to parents who are resisting science on vaccines. Our guests:

  • Brendan Nyhan, New York Times contributor and political science professor at Dartmouth
  • Dr. Sharon Humiston, professor of pediatrics at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City Missouri
  • Dr. Mario Elia, family physician in Ontario, Canada

SHUTTERSTOCK

Vaccination skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said he would chair a panel to review vaccine safety, at President-elect Donald Trump's request.

The claim, however, is drawing criticism from vaccine experts at the University of Rochester School of Medicine who fear the panel would influence people to believe debunked theories.

“I would fear not. The currently licensed and sold vaccines are excellent,” said Dr. Geoffrey Weinberg, a professor of pediatrics who specializes in studying infectious diseases.

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