UR Medicine, Community Pediatricians Team Up to Encourage Vaccinations

Feb. 7, 2019

In the wake of the measles cases that have arisen in the Rochester area over the past several weeks, pediatricians throughout the region have collaborated on a video in the hopes of spreading awareness about the benefits of vaccination.

The video, an appeal to parents who may be undecided about whether to vaccinate, includes pediatricians from Elmwood Pediatric Group, English Road Pediatrics, Genesis Pediatrics, Lewis Pediatrics, Long Pond Pediatrics, Mendon Pediatrics, Parkway Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, and UR Medicine.

“Vaccines are among the single most important advances in public health. Now is not the time to take that for granted," said Dr. Michael Mendoza, Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health. "To those who are hesitant about vaccines, please talk to your family physician or pediatrician to understand the  benefits of vaccines – and especially the benefits to your child, and to the health of those in our community who because of their age or health circumstances are unable or can never be vaccinated.”

“Because we haven’t seen it for a long time, people don’t necessarily understand what can happen with the measles when it goes unchecked,” said Patrick Brophy, M.D., physician-in-chief of UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital. “You can get encephalitis, you can get pneumonia, and you can die from it. This disease can be exquisitely severe.”

Common measles symptoms include fever, rash, runny nose, and red eyes. About 25 percent of those infected with measles will require hospitalization. Even with the best care, 1 or 2 out of every 1,000 people infected with measles will die.

The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is highly effective in preventing measles, with a 93 percent efficacy after one dose, and a 97 percent efficacy after two doses. Prior to the advent of the vaccine in 1963, 3 to 4 million people contracted measles every year in the United States.