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A picture of a health worker preparing to administer a measles vaccination

Opinion: Vaccinations and the loss of collective awareness

Two decades ago it appeared that measles, a disease that once claimed close to 3 million lives per year, had been nearly eradicated. But keeping it at bay depends on very high rates of immunization. As these rates decline, measles outbreaks have spiked again, spurred by the social phenomenon of “vaccine hesitancy.” Can a better way than the deaths of millions be found to restore universal dread of the dangers of contagious diseases?

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