Monday, February 9, 2015

Blood boiling

So this whole measles outbreak makes my blood boil.  Normally when science and politics meet, I check out.  Usually it doesn't effect me and/or I believe it will all work out.  But measles? People who choose not to vaccinate their children?  My blood is boiling and here is why.  90% of unvaccinated people will get measles if they come into contact with it.  Children under the age of 1, those who are allergic to an ingredient in the MMR vaccine and those who have a compromised immune system cannot receive the vaccine and rely on herd immunity to protect them.  And this group of people are those who are more likely to not just get these viruses  but face very serious complications from them, even death.

Well guess what?  I have an immunosuppressed child.  He can never receive the MMR vaccine (or varicella or any other live virus vaccines).  Megatron is completely exposed to these highly contagious viruses.  And as a parent, the thought that other parents choose not to protect their own children, therefore exposing my child, breaks my heart.  It makes me angry because I have spent the past 18 months doing everything in my power to keep this child alive.  And for him to have survived liver disease only to be put as risk for a virus that was nearly eradicated from the western world makes my blood boil.  I don't care if I have friends who choose not to vaccinate or if they feel like everyone has the right to choose what they do with their bodies.  I absolutely agree that we should question everything we put into our bodies and shouldn't blindly follow what big politics/big pharmaceuticals tell us what is safe.  However, there is overwhelming evidence that show vaccines are safe. Evidence from multiple sources from all over the world, not just from the pharmaceutical companies.  They do no cause autism.  Yes, there are isolated cases of terrible, terrible reactions from vaccines.  And to those who have suffered from something like that, my heart breaks for you as well.  But overall, it is my belief that vaccines are safe.

You have to prove your pets have all their immunizations before you can take them to a kennel.  Many schools are either nut-free or have nut-free areas in the cafeteria.  Both scenarios that I whole heartedly agree with for what its worth.  We hold pets to a higher standard of health care?? If your kid can't bring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to school, then they shouldn't be able to bring a highly contagious, yet highly preventable disease.

Here's where it gets tricky for me.  Megatron could be a carrier of the measles (as anyone who is not immune).  And we wouldn't know it for days, potentially weeks.  So yes, when he starts to attend school, he could potentially bring it to school.  So the line is blurry there.  Obviously I think schools should require immunizations for all students who can safely be vaccinated.  If you don't want your child vaccinated, then you need to find an alternative method of education.   If every other kid was immunized, then Megatron's risk of exposure would drop drastically.

And once Megatron is in school?  Say someone in the building does come down with measles (or mumps or chicken pox).  Megatron would have to leave school for the entire incubation period to make sure that there are no other cases and that he is not infected. This happened in a school district nearby.  All unvaccinated children had to stay home for 28 days after one child was diagnosed with mumps.  So Megatron and kids like him have to suffer because of someone else's choice.  It just doesn't seem right.

I hate that this has come to be an issue again.  Now, of all times!  I have an immunosuppressed child for whom I would do anything to protect. These diseases were eradicated and were brought back because of one doctor who lied in a report and started this insane anti-vax movement.  These people brought them back and they now put immunosuppressed people unnecessarily at risk.  And that makes my blood boil and my heart break at the same time.

I didn't provide any sources for my facts in here because only about 20 people read my blog and they are either pro-vaccine already and know this information to be true or are anti-vax and probably wouldn't click on any links anyways and will probably stop following my blog.  Hopefully this post will make them stop and rethink their stance and cause them to do their own (legit and science backed) research.

End soap box rant.

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