As the number of measles outbreaks continues to increase across the country health officials are urging for clear policies on when vaccines are required.
Dr. Phillip A. Kern is director of the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science. He said the concern about side effects from vaccines are overblown and not supported by science.
“The health risks are really, really minimal. I mean, do you not go outside because of the health risk of being struck by lightning?”
Kern said that the link between vaccinations and autism was debunked years ago. “In fact,” he said, “the person who published a paper on the link between the vaccine and autism that person I think he was convicted of scientific fraud.”
In spite of that, Kern said, misinformation continues to circulate. That results in increasing numbers of parents opting not to vaccinate their children.
Health policy could limit that, he said.
“I think policymakers need to be aggressive at countering misinformation and start to have clear-cut policies on who needs to get vaccinated.”
The CDC reports there are currently more than 500 cases of measles in 20 states, including Kentucky. The country is on pace to have a record number of cases in 2019. Kern was a speaker at a health policy conference in Lexington Monday.