Statement from March of Dimes on Measles Outbreak in Ohio

December 6, 2022

March of Dimes is concerned about the dangerous measles outbreak in Ohio, where health officials report a spike in cases among unvaccinated children – the majority of whom are children two years old or younger.

Having funded critical research that led to the polio vaccine in 1955, March of Dimes Board of Trustees Vice Chair Dr. David L. Lakey issued the following statement in response to this new threat:

“Measles is highly contagious disease and can be dangerous to the health of newborns, children and adults. March of Dimes encourages all families to vaccinate their children against measles and other vaccine-preventable illnesses. Pregnant women who contract measles are at risk for more severe complications of the illness, as well as at increased risk for preterm birth.

Vaccines are among the most effective means of preventing infectious diseases. We recognize that COVID-19 led to a further reduction in routine vaccination rates in the U.S., but now is the time for all families to ensure they are up-to-date on their vaccines. Women who are thinking of having a baby or trying to conceive are encouraged to protect themselves and their future baby by ensuring they are caught up on their vaccinations. The MMR vaccine is not recommended during pregnancy, and can only be given before conception or postpartum.

We urge families to speak with their primary care doctor about routine vaccinations or visit for more information on vaccines and links to find local providers who deliver no cost vaccines to eligible families.”

March of Dimes has a long history of supporting vaccines and has successfully advocated for the passage of legislation to eliminate non-medical exemptions in Maine, New York and Connecticut, as well as legislation in California that streamlines the medical exemption utilization.  These state policies help create community level immunity, which protect everyone from dangerous diseases.  Further, March of Dimes urges the federal government to increase investment in CDC’s Immunization program to bolster efforts to combat vaccine misinformation, as well as enhance every state’s ability to respond to outbreaks and support continued public health education and outreach efforts.

For more information on measles, visit March of Dimes.

About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every family can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 84-year legacy, we support every pregnant person and every family. To learn more about March of Dimes, please visit