NY, THE MEASLES, & YOUR CHILD

March 19, 2019 at 5:15 am

Facing a rising number of cases of measles in New York State, lawmakers are proposing a bill that would let teens get vaccinated without their parents’ consent. But does that infringe on parents’ rights? We have the report.

Aired on March 18, 2019.

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>>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO
"METROFOCUS."
I'M JACK FORD.
NATIONALLY, MORE THAN 200 CASES
OF MEASLES HAVE BEEN REPORTED
SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS
YEAR.
ASTOUNDINGLY, HERE IN NEW YORK
OVER SPO130 CASES IN BROOKLYN
ALONE.
PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND HEALTH
EXPERTS ARE WARNING PARENTS
EVERYWHERE TO NOT ALLOW THEIR
CHILDREN TO ATTEND SCHOOL IF
THEY HAVE NOT BEEN VACCINATED.
GOING ONE STEP FURTHER, SOME NEW
YORK LAWMAKERS HAVE INTRODUCED A
BILL TO HELP UNDERAGED CHILDREN
GET VACCINATED WITHOUT PARENTAL
CONSENT IF THEY IN FACT WANT TO
BE VACCINATED.
HERE WITH SOME MORE INFORMATION
ON ALL OF THIS ONE OF OUR
FAVORITE GUESTS HERE DR. DEBBIE,
PHYSICIAN AND ASSOCIATE
PROFESSOR AT NYU SCHOOL OF
MEDICINE.
NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE.
>> IT'S GOOD TO BE HERE.
>> LET'S START OFF WITH A
LESSON, IF YOU WILL.
ABOUT MEASLES.
WE ALL TEND TO THINK WE KNOW
WHAT MEASLES ARE, BUT I WAS
ASTONISHED IN PREPARING THIS
SEGMENT WHAT I DIDN'T KNOW.
>> SURE.
MEASLES IS A DEADLY DISEASE.
NORMALLY WHEN WE THINK ABOUT
DANGEROUS AND DEADLY DISEASES,
YOU MIGHT THINK ABOUT HIV, ZIKA,
EBOLA, THESE ARE THE THINGS WE
HEAR ABOUT, BECAUSE WE HAVE
ALWAYS BEEN EXPOSED TO THE
VACCINE FOR THE MOST PART.
SO IT'S BEEN MUCH SAFER.
WE DON'T HEAR ABOUT PEOPLE
TYPICALLY DYING FROM MEASLES.
BEFORE THE VACCINE, BEFORE 1963
WHEN PEOPLE REPORTED THIS, THERE
WERE ABOUT 6,000 DEATHS PER YEAR
ACROSS THE GLOBE RELATED TO
MEASLES.
THAT'S CDC DATA.
SO NOW WITH MEASLES, THE
SYMPTOMS THAT PEOPLE HAVE ARE
TYPICALLY REGULAR COLD SYMPTOMS.
THEY CAN HAVE RUNNY NOSE, MAYBE
A COUGH, HIGH FEVER.
NOT SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD
NECESSARILY SPOT.
AS IT EVOLVES, PEOPLE CAN GET A
RASH THAT COMES HEAD TO TOE.
BUT IF IT PROGRESSES, PEOPLE CAN
GET HOSPITALIZED.
IN THE WORST CASES THEY CAN HAVE
BRAIN SWELLING, DEAFNESS AND
DEATH.
ANY OF THESE COULD POTENTIALLY
HAPPEN.
AND THE ESTIMATE RIGHT NOW IS
THAT FOR EVERY THOUSAND KIDS
THAT GET MEASLES, ONE TO TWO
WILL DIE.
>> TALK ABOUT THE VACCINE.
WHAT DOES THE VACCINE DO TO
PROTECT US?
>> THE VACCINE IS A TEACHING
TOOL, LIKE ANY VACCINE.
IT'S BASICALLY THAT YOU'RE
EXPOSING YOUR BODY TO EITHER A
WEAK OR, YOU KNOW, PART OF A
VIRUS.
SO ANY VACCINE WILL DO THAT.
AND THEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM CAN
FIGHT IT AND JUST LEARN FROM
THAT PROCESS HOW TO FIGHT THE
REAL VIRUS THAT EVER COMES IN
CONTACT WITH IT.
SO BASICALLY, BY GETTING
VACCINATED, YOU DON'T HAVE 100%
CHANCE OF BEING PROTECTED FROM
MEASLES.
BUT IT'S IN THE 90% RANGE.
SO IT DEPENDS.
93 TO 97%, DEPENDING ON HOW MANY
DOSES YOU GET.
EVEN A PERSON WHO HAS BEEN
VACCINATED TWICE IS STILL AT
RISK OF GETTING THE MEASLES.
IF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN VACCINATED,
THERE IS A MUCH HIGHER RISK.
THERE THE WORLD HEALTH
ORGANIZATION ESTIMATES IF 95% OF
PEOPLE GET VACCINATED, SO 95%,
THEN EACH PERSON WHO HAS BEEN
VACCINATED ACTS AS A SHIELD, A
HUMAN SHIELD AGAINST THE VIRUS.
EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE
VACCINATION, IF YOU'RE
SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE WHO HAVE
BEEN VACCINATED, YOU TOO WILL BE
PROTECTED.
SO THERE IS A PUBLIC HEALTH
ISSUE HERE.
AND AT THE SAME TIME, IF YOU
HAVE A CERTAIN THRESHOLD OF
PEOPLE WHO DON'T GET VACCINATED,
EVEN IF YOU ARE VACCINATED, YOU
ARE STILL AT RISK.
THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST
CONTAGIOUS VIRUSES ON EARTH.
SO IT CAN BE SPREAD JUST BEING
IN THE SAME ROOM.
EVEN IF A PERSON WHO HAS MEASLES
LEFT THE ROOM FOR TWO HOURS, YOU
CAN CATCH IT.
>> WHY HAVE WE SEEN MOST
RECENTLY THIS ANTI-VACCINE
MOVEMENT?
>> WELL, I'VE SEEN A COUPLE OF
DIFFERENT THINGS EVEN IN THE
PAST TEN YEARS.
ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO, THE MAIN
CONCERN BROUGHT UP WAS AUTISM,
THAT VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM.
>> THE REPORT THAT GOT OUT THAT
HAS SINCE BEEN DISCREDITED.
>> EXACTLY.
SO IT'S BEEN DISCREDITED.
THE PERSON WHO WROTE IT WAS
ACCUSED OF FRAUD.
ON TOP OF THAT THERE HAVE BEEN
SEVERAL STUDIES THAT SHOW THAT
THAT'S NOT TRUE.
AS TIME EVOLVED, I HEAR OH, IF
YOU GET THE VACCINE, YOU GET THE
ILLNESS.
YOU CAN GET SICK FROM THE
VACCINE THAT IS NOT TRUE EITHER,
BUT NEVERTHELESS, THE NEWEST
THING I'M HEARING WHICH IS THE
MOST CONCERNING IS MORE THIS
ATTITUDE THAT WE DON'T NEED THE
VACCINE BECAUSE THIS ILLNESS HAS
BEEN ERADICATED, WHICH UP UNTIL
RECENTLY, FOR ABOUT 20 YEARS WE
THOUGHT WE HAD DEFEATED MEASLES.
SO THE ISSUE THERE IS THE PEOPLE
WHO PROMOTE THIS IDEA UNDERSTAND
THE HERD EFFECT TO SOME DEGREE.
IF YOU'RE SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE
WHO ARE IMMUNE, THEN YOU MIGHT
BE PROTECTED AS WELL.
BUT THE ISSUE THERE IS IF YOU
DON'T GET VACCINATED AND
EVERYBODY ASSUMES THAT SAME
ATTITUDE, THEN NONE OF US ARE
PROTECTED.
THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE ARE
GOING TO HAVE A SIGNIFICANT
BENEFIT FROM HAVING THE VACCINE.
AND NOT ONLY, THAT YOU PROTECT
THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU.
>> IF THIS PROPOSED LEGISLATION
GETS PASSED, WHICH ESSENTIALLY
SAYS THAT CHILDREN WHO
ORDINARILY WOULD BE CONSIDERED
UNDERAGED, THEY CAN GET
VACCINATED EVEN WITHOUT THE
CONSENT OF THEIR PARENTS.
IF IT GETS PASSED, OBVIOUSLY, AS
A PHYSICIAN, YOU HAVE THE WEIGHT
OF THE LAW ON YOUR SIDE.
WOULD IT BE CONCERNING DO YOU
THINK EVEN THOUGH THE LAW WOULD
BE ON THE SIDE OF PHYSICIANS TO
HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS NOTION, A
PARENT SAYING NO AND THE CHILD
SAYING YES?
>> I THINK IT'S DIFFICULT.
SO FIRST OF ALL, I AM IN FAVOR
OF THE KIDS GETTING VACCINATED,
EVEN IF THE PARENTS ARE OPPOSED
TO IT.
I THINK IT'S BETTER AND SAFER
FOR THE CHILD.
>> AS OPPOSED TO GETTING
SOMEBODY ANGRY.
I THINK THAT'S AN EASY DECISION.
>> EXACTLY.
BUT IT'S NOT CONSEQUENCE-FREE.
SO THE ISSUE IS LET'S SAY YOU
HAVE A CONFLICT WITH THE PARENT.
YOU COULD HAVE LEGAL ISSUES
RELATED TO THAT.
PEOPLE COULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT
MALPRACTICE, RIGHT.
THEY COULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT
INSURANCE ISSUES, WHOSE PAYING
FOR THIS.
AND THEN MORE IMPORTANTLY THAN
THAT, I THINK IF YOU HAVE A
CONFLICT WITH THE PARENT, MAYBE
THEY WON'T BRING THAT CHILD TO
SEE YOU AGAIN.
AND MAYBE THERE IS ANOTHER ISSUE
THAT COULD BE DEALT WITH OR
TREATED OR SOME OTHER HEALTH
CONCERN THAT THE CHILD HAS OR
THE PARENT HAS.
IT'S REALLY VERY TRICKY.
>> IT'S NOT ALWAYS SIMPLE.
IT'S A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU
HERE.
I ALWAYS FEEL MUCH SMARTER AFTER
I TALK YOU.
YOU DO A GREAT JOB EXPLAINING
THIS WELL FOR US.
YOU DO.
>> THANK YOU.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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