The success of vaccinations against much older viruses has been part of the rallying cry for people trying to convince others that it is not only wise, but the responsible thing to do to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Unfortunately, we collectively seem to have forgotten that we can’t afford to let vigilance lapse once we think we’ve tamed a virus. We could be at a precarious point with measles right now, for example. The past few years have been spotty across the globe, according to Progress Toward Regional Measles Elimination—Worldwide, 2000–2020, a report from the World Health Organization. While incidence fell globally between 2000 and 2016, measles cases actually increased in all six WHO regions between 2017 and 2019 before decreasing again in 2020. Even that year, though, the already suboptimal level of measles surveillance got even worse. It’s estimated that measles vaccination has prevented some 31.7 million deaths around the world, according to the report. The message is clear: Having a current crisis (COVID-19) doesn’t mean we can afford to take our attention away from older viruses that many have become complacent about. Find out the vaccine status of patients new and old.
We Can’t Afford to Forget: COVID-19 Isn’t the Only Deadly Virus to Worry About