Does anyone know of any other way of preventing a measles epidemic? Didn’t think so. Measles is about 10 times more infectious than flu. No amount of hand-washing and mask-wearing will stop you from catching it, if you don’t have immunity. Sufferers are usually infectious for two days before they develop symptoms and a rash. Only an effective vaccination program will make any difference at all. As for safety:
Risk of death from measles 1:1000
Risk of severe reaction from vaccine 1:10,000 (no reported deaths; no permanent disability)
Risk of measles encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) 1:1,000,000 (no reported deaths but about a 10% rate of permanent brain damage)
now for the math…
Assuming 50% of the approximately 150,000 un-immunised children get measles that translates to 75 deaths
Assuming all un-immunised children get measles vaccine that translates to 15 severe (but recoverable) reactions and an absolute risk of about 0.015% of a child developing encephalitis and being left with permanent brain damage (relative risk of death from measles is three times higher than this).
Get your child vaccinated against measles as soon as possible.