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: Social media posts about measles outbreaks and MMR vaccines may prompt questions from Colorado patients about measles and how to protect against it. 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. Measles can cause serious complications and death, especially in babies and children, and the MMR vaccine is our best tool for preventing the spread of measles and reducing the risk of severe illness and death. Two doses of the MMR vaccine reduce the risk of contracting measles by 97 percent. The CDC recommends that children receive their first dose of the MMR vaccine between the ages of 12 and 15 months and their second dose between the ages of 4 and 6 years. Unvaccinated adults born after 1957 should also receive two doses of the MMR vaccine.