Social media users express frustration with low MMR vaccination rates in Colorado

In multiple news articles last week, Colorado public health officials urged residents to stay up to date on recommended vaccines as outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles occur across the country. One article reported that only 88 percent of the state’s kindergarten students have received their measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. And an article shared on social media received hundreds of engagements and comments as of June 25. Most comments on the thread expressed frustration with adults who refuse to get vaccinated and refuse to vaccinate their children.

Recommendation: Trending social media posts about measles outbreaks and MMR vaccines provide an opportunity for health agencies, community-based organizations, and other partners in Colorado to push out messaging outlining the dangers of measles and the importance of the MMR vaccine. Prioritizing messaging to parents of young children is recommended. Messaging may emphasize that experts attribute recent outbreaks of measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases to a decline in vaccination rates, which jeopardizes herd immunity. Explaining that measles can cause serious complications and death, especially in babies and children, and that the MMR vaccine is our best tool for preventing the spread of measles and reducing the risk of severe illness and death is recommended.