Measles vaccine: Facts, not fear

Feb 10, 2015

Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Health Commissioner urging parents to immunize their children against measles.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Health officials continue warning parents to make sure their child is immunized against the Measles. There are confirmed cases in 17 states including New York and the Erie County Health Commissioner wants parents to understand facts,not fear, about vaccines. 

"This is something they should not fear and that it is safe," said Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Health Commissioner.

There are some parents who believe vaccines for the Measles could cause autism, but Burnstein says that research, tracing back to 1998 and UK researcher Andrew Wakefield who made the claim, has since been 'debunked.'
            
"Scientists have proven time and time again that that data is not valid and all the co-authors from that manuscript have actually retracted their authorship, and have admitted that those are not good data and it is not true," stated Dr. Burstein. "Wakefield has actually lost his license in the UK and he is not allowed to practice, however the myths persist."

Measles are highly contagious. The recent spread is being linked to an outbreak at Disneyland in California. 

Burstein is also speaking out against celebrity Jenny McCarthy, who claims vaccines cause autism. McCarthy has a son with autism.

"I am personally offended that people believe an ex-Playboy bunny more than they believe a physician who is a health commissioner," said Burstein. 

New York State has a high vaccination rate. According to the Center for Disease Control, there were two confirmed cases in the state.  There is also one confirmed  case across the board in Niagara Falls, Ontario. 

"We are very concerned about that case because it is very close to us," said Burstein.

Five other cases are also reported in Toronto.