WHO: Vaccine hesitancy a major global health threat
The movement against vaccinations has taken hold in a number of countries, including the United States. The percentage of American children ages 19 to 35 months who have not been vaccinated has quadrupled since 2001, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, Newsweek reported. A growing number of people in many U.S. states are antivaccination, according to a recent study in PLOS ONE.
"Since 2009, the number of 'philosophical-belief' vaccine nonmedical exemptions has risen in 12 of the 18 states that currently allow this policy: Arkansas, Arizona, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Utah," the study authors wrote, Newsweek reported.
The other top 10 global health threats include: air pollution and climate change; noncommunicable diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes; the global flu pandemic; antimicrobial resistance; Ebola and other highly dangerous pathogens; weak primary health care; dengue; HIV; and lack of access to basic health care.
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