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A New Study Confirms Anti-Vaxxers Are Fueling The Rise Of Measles And Whooping Cough

"These unvaccinated individuals are like the tinder that starts a roaring fire."

A new NIH-funded study confirmed the association between vaccine refusals and recent U.S. outbreaks of measles and pertussis.

Measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, but in 2014 there were a record 668 cases.

Pertussis (whooping cough) hit a national low in 1977, but since 2005 there have been over 45,000 cases.

When too many people go unvaccinated, it can affect an entire population's "herd immunity."

Herd immunity protects people who are immunosuppressed or can't get vaccinated, such as cancer patients.

The study points out a need for more strategic policy to increase vaccine uptake among children.

NIH Director Francis Collins says the study is "an important reminder" of effective communication about vaccines.