To the editor:

As an upcoming graduate of a nurse practitioner program I was happy to see the front page article, "Measles Alert," reiterated the importance of vaccination in children. Even with the most recent measles outbreak I feel the media has not stressed this enough.

Some parents believe the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine can cause autism and seizures. However, both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics report there is no link between the MMR vaccine and autism. The CDC reports about 4 out of every 10,000 children (0.04 percent) who receive the MMR vaccine develop febrile seizures. This percentage is far lower than the 0.1-0.3 percent mortality rate for children who develop the disease.

Yes, having a child who develops a seizure as a result of a vaccine can be terrifying, but having a child who develops measles, a highly contagious and deadly disease, could be catastrophic.

The MMR vaccine prevented an estimated 15.6 million deaths worldwide between 2000 and 2013, so why not vaccinate our children. I hope the recent measles outbreak will be an eye opener for parents to realize measles is still a serious disease in the United States and the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks.

Lisa Tylus

Andover

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