Common Thread - A Measles Outbreak

A Measles

Why are so many Romanian
children contracting measles?

Vulnerability, complacency,
vaccine stock-outs,
misinformation, barriers to
registration, families unable to
prioritize vaccinations – a
perfect storm of risk factors.

 Common Thread - A Measles Outbreak
 Common Thread - A Measles Outbreak

Our Solution

In Collaboration with

With a team of researchers, we recruited, trained and placed observers in clinics across Romania to study the spoken and unspoken interactions between health staff and patients – especially those families most at risk of contracting measles.

Data Data References


Over 33,000 measles infections have been recorded in the EU between 2016 and 2019. In that timeframe, Romania has been disproportionately affected by the outbreak – with nearly half of all cases in the EU.


Over sixty children have died in the first two years of the Romanian outbreak.


Only 84% of Romanians are vaccinated against measles (2018). The WHO recommends a vaccination rate of 95% for effective control of this deadly disease.


The most vulnerable children are 30% less likely to receive the measles vaccine (MMR) than their peers in Romania. Over 95% of children who contracted measles had received no vaccination at all.


Up to 160,000 undocumented people could be living in Romania, with limited access to the healthcare system.


An estimated 7 million to 8.5 million vulnerable Romanians live in Europe. Traveling, unvaccinated children pose a significant threat for disease outbreaks in the rest of Europe.


 Common Thread - Map romania

Unchecked anti-vaccination myths is only one reason Romanian children are undervaccinated. Marginalized, often poor and without documentation, many families don’t receive regular vaccinations because they are “invisible” to Romania’s health care system.

 Common Thread - Children romania
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