Increase In Measles in Italy Linked to Austerity Measures Interview with:


Veronica Toffolutti PhD
Research Fellow in Health Economics
Bocconi University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Austerity has been linked to several health damaging effects such as suicides, increase in unmet needs, disease outbreaks that affect vulnerable peoples such as malaria in Greece, HIV in Greece and Romania during the current economic crises or in the earlier economic crisis cuts in public health expenditure have been linked with diphtheria and TB.

Europe is experiencing declining vaccination rates and resurgences in measles incidence rates. Italy appears to be particularly affected reporting the second largest number, second to Romania, of infection in Europe in 2017. Starting from the point that the primary reason for the outbreak in the decline in the measles vaccination we test the hypothesis that large budget reductions in public health spending were also a contributing factor.

Using data on 20 Italian regions for the period 2000-2014 we found that each 1% reduction in the real per capita public health expenditure was associated with a decrease of 0.5 percentage points (95% CI: 0.36-0.65 percentage points) in MMR coverage, after adjusting for time and regional-specific time-trends.  Continue reading

Measles Mumps Rubella Vaccine in Adults: CDC Reports Excellent Safety Record

Rachel Pryzby, MPH, CHES Health Communications Specialist Chenega Government Consulting Immunization Safety Office, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

FreeDigitalPhotos Interview with:
Tom Shimabukuro, MD, MPH, MBA
Captain, U.S. Public Health Service
Deputy Director
Immunization Safety Office
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: CDC conducted a study looking at reports of adverse events (possible side effects) following measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination in adults. Researchers reviewed the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database for U.S. reports of adults aged 19 years and older who received MMR vaccine from January 1, 2003 to July 31, 2013. During this period, VAERS received 3,175 U.S. reports after MMR vaccine in adults. The most common signs and symptoms for all reports were fever (19%), rash (17%), pain (13%), and joint pain (13%).

The study included adults only, a population for which there is limited safety data for this vaccine. This study further supports the MMR vaccine’s safety.  Researchers did not find any new or unexpected safety concerns.

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