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Ohio Public Radio

Health officials plan to oppose a bill in the Ohio House that would block employers from requiring workers to get vaccines. 

Ohio Public Radio

Prominent attorney Robert F. Kennedy Junior says vaccines are making children sick. 

Updated at 4:33 p.m. ET Friday

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Thursday ending vaccination exemptions based on religious beliefs, the latest attempt to address the growing measles outbreak, the worst the U.S. has experienced in decades.

States are debating whether to make it more difficult for students to avoid vaccinations for religious or philosophical reasons amid the worst measles outbreak in decades, but children using such waivers are outnumbered in many states by those who give no excuse for lacking shots. 

The toddler looking up at Dr. Melanie Seifman in her Washington, D.C., exam room seems a little dazed.

It could be because she just woke up from a nap at daycare. It could be that she remembers the shots she got last time, and she knows what's coming.

The little girl is catching up on some vaccines she's behind on: missing doses of the DTaP and polio vaccines. She's over two years old — both of those shots are supposed to happen at a baby's six-month check up.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration just approved one of the most sought after vaccines in recent decades. It's the world's first vaccine to prevent dengue fever — a disease so painful that its nickname is "breakbone fever."

The vaccine, called Dengvaxia, is aimed at helping children in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories where dengue is a problem.

In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared measles "eliminated" from the United States. But with measles continuing to spread and at times flourish in many parts of the globe, the U.S. has been unable to remain immune to the disease.

This year, the U.S. has its highest number of measles cases in 25 years. As of this week, the CDC has recorded 704 cases in 22 states.

The reemergence of measles is linked to parents who have chosen not to vaccinate their children against this highly contagious disease.

As the nation battles a measles outbreak, there's a new bill in the Ohio legislature requiring parents be told there are exemptions to the law mandating kids to be vaccinated to attend school. 

As the number of measles cases nationwide rises to levels not seen since before the virus was declared eliminated in 2000, some people who oppose vaccines cite an odd cultural reference as evidence that the concern about measles is overblown: a 1969 episode of The Brady Bunch.

Some former Brady Bunch cast members aren't happy about it.

Updated at 6:23 p.m. ET

Hundreds of students and faculty at two universities in Los Angeles have been asked to stay home unless they can prove that they've been vaccinated against measles.

The LA campuses of the University of California and California State University imposed the quarantine after they became aware of people infected with measles who had potentially exposed hundreds. At UCLA, a student exposed at least 500 people earlier this month; at Cal State, someone with measles went to a library and encountered hundreds.

Updated on April 19 at 10 a.m. ET

Washington state has moved a step closer toward making it more difficult for parents to receive exemptions from having their children receive a required immunization.

Columbus Public Health and Jewish Family Services are teaming up to offer free measles vaccinations. 

Measles is surging. Last week the U.S. recorded 90 cases, making this year's outbreak the second largest in more than two decades.

So far this year, the U.S. has confirmed 555 measles cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday. That's 50 percent higher than the total number recorded last year, even though we're only about a quarter of the way through 2019.

And the virus isn't slowing down.

New York City on Tuesday ramped up the battle against the spread of a measles outbreak in a Brooklyn hot spot, declaring a public health emergency and calling for mandatory vaccinations.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the emergency covers four Brooklyn ZIP codes, including most of Williamsburg and Borough Park, which have seen more than 285 cases of the measles since October.

The world has two kinds of measles problems.

In low-income countries like Madagascar and in strife-ridden countries like Yemen, the disease takes a toll because vaccines are not available or accessible or affordable. In Madagascar alone, there have been nearly 80,000 cases and an estimated 900 deaths since September.

Updated Friday at 8:35 a.m. ET

Facebook announced on Thursday it is taking steps to combat the spread of anti-vaccine information across the social media platform by reducing the distribution of misleading medical advice and relying on vetting from leading global health organizations that "have publicly identified verifiable vaccine hoaxes."

time.com

A Norwalk teen who got vaccinated against his mother's wishes testified Tuesday before a U.S. Senate committee examining preventable disease outbreaks.  

All U.S. states require most parents to vaccinate their children against some preventable diseases, including measles, mumps, rubella and whooping cough, to be able to attend school. Such laws often apply to children in private schools and day care facilities as well as public schools.

Incoming Ohio 7th and 12th graders must be immunized against meningitis under a new state law.

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The Columbus City Schools and Columbus Public Health have launched a campaign to get students vaccinations.

Back to school time means it's time for parents to get updated vaccinations for their children. 

CDC

State health officials say influenza activity is on the rise in Ohio and residents should get vaccinated.