As a result of intensive efforts to vaccinate children, measles and its attendant complications of encephalitis and death have declined more than 99% from the prevaccine era. Similarly, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis has declined markedly. Measles vaccine has been demonstrated to be extremely safe, as well as extremely effective. The health and resource benefits due to vaccination against measles during the first 20 years of vaccine licensure have been enormous. In this period it is estimated that vaccination against measles has prevented 52 million cases, 5,200 deaths, and 17,400 cases of mental retardation, achieving a net savings of $5.1 billion. These substantial health and resource benefits of measles vaccination will continue to accrue in the future.

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