top of page
  • Writer's pictureStudentGuiders

English 102- Cartoon Analysis

English 102- Cartoon Analysis

Recent Measles Outbreak: A Political Cartoon Analysis

Measles is one of the deadliest vaccine-preventable diseases among children worldwide. The United States claimed fifteen years ago that measles has been eradicated from the US through immunization/vaccination. However, a wave of furor has engulfed the entire country, recently with news of more than 100 confirmed cases of measles, being reported in the country emanating from the Disneyland. The prime reason of this recent measles outbreak is attributed to the continued decrease in the vaccination rates, especially against Measles Mumps Rubella, MMR, vaccines in children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, it is essential that at least 85-90% of the population be vaccinated for the vaccines to protect and work efficiently. The vaccine-exemption rights of the parents on moral, personal or philosophical grounds is being held the major cause of the majority of children going unvaccinated, and hence the outbreak of this deadly vaccine-preventable disease (Gambino). Highlighting the controversial anti-vaccine mindset of some parents behind this measles outbreak crisis, two times Pulitzer Prize winner cartoonist, Michael Ramirez has drawn the above cartoon demonstrating two vaccine bottles with one labeled parental ignorance and the other MMR II vaccine; the needle lying beside with cuff looking rings. Ramirez has made a bold use of symbols, including red color for labels of the two vaccine bottles, the syringe with cuff-rings, and the two bottles, the parental ignorance vaccine as the bigger and first one.

Ramirez uses the bold red color for labeling both the vaccine bottles to signal the deadly nature of both the disease measles and the parental ignorance. Ramirez also makes use of the red color to symbolize the significance of vaccines in the history of medical science, as these are one of the most effective and lifesaving technological advancements of the modern science. Millions of children are safe from preventable diseases, across the globe owing to these vaccines. According to the CDC, measles is the most deadly disease in the fever/rash segment among children. Thankfully, the MMR II vaccine is highly effective in preventing MMR, and has not reported any major or fatal side effects since its inception. However, the short term pain and anxiety that the child experiences seem to be too much for some parents to get their children vaccinated.

Further, Ramirez symbolizes this ignorant outlook of such parents through “handcuffing” the syringe, lying next to the vaccine bottles. Here, he vividly demonstrates the gruesome consequences of prejudiced minds of some parents, who demand vaccine-exemption for their children on moral, personal or philosophical grounds. Additionally, their arguments that vaccination, in particular MMR II, causes Autism Specter Diseases, ASDs, in children have no scientific base (AAP). The cuff-rings attached to the syringe rightly demonstrate how ignorance can hold back people from taking unbiased decisions.

Finally, the use of two vaccine bottles, the parental ignorance being the larger and first, signifies the need to make prejudiced parents aware, as well as, politicians discrete. Ramirez stresses upon the need to rise above petty politics, and self biased beliefs. He urges parents to embrace the benevolences of modern sciences, and not to get prejudiced by some fallacious reports. Indirectly, he also hints at repealing vaccination-exemption on moral, personal or philosophical grounds.

Thus, Ramirez has once again proved his brilliance at drawing powerful cartoons through perfect use of red color to symbolize the deadly repercussions of both parental ignorance and measles. He has also excelled at using shapes and sizes to emphasize the importance of parental discretion regarding vaccination. Overall, he succeeds at sending his message to get children vaccinated across his audience.

Works Cited

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). “Facts for Parents about Vaccine Safety.” March 2008. Web. 06 February 2015. <>.

Gambino, Lauren. “Measles outbreak: doctors see tighter 'philosophical' vaccine exemption as fix.” The Guardian 05 February 2015. Web. 06 February 2015. <>.

Ramirez, Michael. “Needed Vaccines.”[Cartoon]. US News 06 February 2015. Web. 06 February 2015. <>.

Recent Posts

See All

When infusing pantoprazole, use a separate IV line, a pump, and an in-line filter. A brown wrapper and frequent vital signs are not needed. A client has gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The pro

Your paragraph text(10).png
bottom of page