Local officials stress the importance of vaccinations

Feb 6, 2015

The multi-state measles outbreak tied to Disneyland has local officials urging residents to get vaccinated. 

When it comes to the measles vaccine Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says there is no debate.

Dr. Stephen Turkovich, flanked by Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein and County Executive Mark Poloncarz, talked about the importance of vaccines.
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

"These vaccines are safe. And they will protect your child and yourself from catching a disease that could potentially be deadly," Poloncarz said.
Measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000. But infected travelers have brought it back from overseas and it's spreading among people who are unvaccinated.

Women and Childrens Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen Turkovich says large studies show there is no link to autism and the measles vaccine.

"In a time where we have access to a lot of ...information, whether it'd be through the Internet, through the media, through celebrities, you get a lot of noise. And unfortunately some people who have a microphone or who have a website have the ability to create a lot of noise," Turkovich said.

Turkovich says some studies show autism rates are lowest where vaccination rates are highest. And while some consider it a childhood disease,the measles can strike anyone who is unvaccinated.