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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 28th September 2018 > Vaccines

Vaccines

BY THE NUMBERS

They rank among the most effective public health measures of all time, reducing or eliminating deaths from smallpox, polio, measles and many other diseases. When a vaccine for whooping cough was developed in the 1940s, deaths from the illness nearly disappeared. But while vaccination rates have risen in the United States in recent years, so has the number of parents opting out— usually because of missed follow-up appointments with doctors. This is largely due to a mistaken belief that the shots cause autism (they do not). As a result, the country is seeing a resurgence in whooping cough and measles.

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THE PUTIN PINCH There used to be a bar in downtown Moscow called Sanctions, featuring caricatures of Western politicians and serving only Russian booze—a one-stop summation of President Vladimir Putin’s attitude toward the efforts of the U.S. and Europe to economically kneecap his country. Putin and his Kremlin-controlled propaganda machine have a history of shrugging off sanctions, despite a fifty five percent crash in the value of the ruble, a collapse in foreign investment and rising inflation. Russia, Putin boasts, will always survive the West’s efforts to destroy it. That narrative will be aggressively tested in the coming months should the U.S. government make good on the harshest economic sanctions ever imposed on Russia.
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