"The greater danger is the disease the vaccination prevents", CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said in the statement.
"We were able to eliminate measles in the United States for two main reasons", the CDC said.
The statement highlights New York State as a major contributor to the measles outbreak, with the state battling the disease for almost eight months.More news: Ramaphosa consolidates economic cluster as part of streamlined Cabinet
The CDC says losing that status would be "a huge blow for the nation and erase the hard work done by all levels of public health". Before the measles vaccine, an estimated 3 to 4 million people in the US contracted the disease every year, resulting in 400 to 500 deaths and 48,000 hospitalizations, according to CDC data.
Although the virus was eliminated from the United States in 2000, meaning the disease was no longer a constant presence, outbreaks still happen via travelers coming from countries where measles is still common, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He continued, "Your decision to vaccinate will protect your family's health and your community's well-being". Specifically, it mentions Rockland County and New York City which have both declared public health emergencies in efforts to combat the spread of measles, though not without pushback.
The measles elimination goal was first announced in 1963 and was accomplished in 2000, according to the CDC, which described the feat as a "monumental task". "Concerns based on misinformation about the vaccine safety and effectiveness, as well as disease severity, may lead parents to delay or refuse vaccines".More news: The Best Ghostbusters Game Is Getting Remastered
Instead, parents who might have questions about vaccines should ask professionals who know.
In addition, everyone 6 months and older should be protected against measles before traveling internationally, the CDC recommended. Everyone age 12 months and older needs 2 doses.More news: New Hampshire repeals death penalty after lawmakers override Republican governor