New cases of measles in the U.S. 1950-2022
The main reason for the decrease in measles cases and deaths is due to high vaccination rates. The widely used MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella and is safe and effective. In 2020, around 92 percent of adolescents in the U.S aged 13 to 17 years had received an MMR vaccination. However, in recent years there has been a rise in measles cases in many parts of the world due to vaccine hesitancy.
Vaccine hesitancy refers to a refusal or reluctance to have children vaccinated despite the overwhelming evidence that vaccines are safe and effective. This hesitancy comes from a misunderstanding of the ingredients in vaccines and how they work, a mistrust of doctors and pharmaceutical companies, and belief in the unfounded associations of vaccines with other diseases and disorders.