I just read a fascinating article in the New Yorker entitled The Message of Measles. The subtitle went on to say, “As public-health officials confront the largest outbreak in the U.S. in decades, they’ve been fighting as much against dangerous ideas as they have against the disease.”
That pretty much says it all. But if you’re still not convinced, here are a few more facts that make it obvious that vaccines are important.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, before the first vaccines came out in 1963, this country saw 3-4 million cases of measles every single year. Of those, 400 to 500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 1,000 developed encephalitis (brain swelling) from measles.
With the vaccine, we nearly eradicated the disease. Then this FALSE information linking the MMR vaccine to Autism appeared and some people stopped getting vaccinations for their children. In the first 8 months of this year, we have seen 1,203 cases of measles.
Measles are extremely contagious. The airborne pathogens of an infected person can linger for 2 hours, so you don’t even have to come in direct contact with that person. So people who are choosing not to vaccinate their children are putting us all at risk.
Andrew Wakefield, the doctor who started this insane rumor, lost his license and is tangled up in several conflict of interest lawsuits. He’s considered the most reviled ex-physician in the entire United Kingdom. You can read everything you need to know about his incompetency on this Wikipedia page.
The other proponent of this utterly debunked fantasy is Jenny McCarthy. She’s an actress who never completed college, and has no medical training whatsoever. Yup. That’s someone that should be influencing your decisions about your child’s health.
There are people out there trying to say that measles can be prevented by breast milk and bone broth. If that’s the case, if it’s so easy to prevent, why have measles been around since 500 AD? And why have measles killed about 200 million people worldwide from 1855 to 2005?
According to this article, “In the U.S., the recommended immunization series prevents approximately 10.5 million cases of infectious illness each year and 33,000 deaths. Worldwide, 2.5 million child deaths are prevented each year by immunization.” These are trackable facts. The autism thing, on the other hand, is paranoid word of mouth. There are no reliable statistics, NONE, linking autism to the MMR vaccine.
If you are an anti-vaxxer, you’re not living in science-based reality. The statistics alone are enough to prove the efficacy of vaccines. The worst you can say about them is that vaccines will make you old and grey. Personally, those are side effects I’m willing to endure.
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