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Renewed concern about measles prompts doctors to advise parents to vaccinate children

The CDC said more than 22 million infants worldwide have missed their first dose of the measles vaccine during the pandemic.

DENVER — Childhood vaccination is just one area of preventative health care doctors say has fallen behind due to the pandemic. 

According to the CDC, 22 million babies across the world have missed their first dose of the measles vaccine, renewing global threats of outbreaks.

Dr. Reginald Washington, Chief Medical Officer at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, said there is particular concern surrounding measles in Colorado due to the state's below-average vaccination rates in general. 

"I think most people haven’t experienced measles, so they don’t have a healthy respect for it, but measles can be very serious," Washington said. 

Most cases tend to be mild, but in rare cases, measles can cause serious complications including encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, which can cause permanent damage. Children can also develop other illnesses such as pneumonia from the virus.

"We fear there will be an increase because there is more vulnerability in the community because of lack of vaccinations," Washington said. 

Measles is highly contagious and can spread rapidly in schools. It was considered eliminated from the US in 2000, largely due to vaccines. 

Washington advised parents to contact their children's pediatricians to ask if their children's vaccines are up to date, or to schedule the vaccine. 

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