Ideas

Big Number

143

Amid a measles outbreak that’s revived concerns about parents who fail to immunize their children, the New York Times mined a little-known database that offers insight into the safety of the shots. Over roughly the past dozen years in the United States, the newspaper reported, people received 126 million doses of the vaccine against measles, and just 284 people filed claims of harm with the federal government. About half were dismissed, and 143 were compensated through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Measles once infected millions of children and killed 400 to 500 people per year.

Advertisement