To moms who are hesitant to vaccinate their children against the measles, mumps and rubella, trust me when I tell you, I’m also guilty of having the same doubts.
Growing up, we relied on natural remedies–the thought of injecting your child with a harmful substance is scary. I also tuned into parent discussions and followed the latest news on the topic, so I’m fully aware of findings that show links to autism and reports of the vaccine containing harmful metals. However, with news of outbreaks gaining national attention, it wouldn’t hurt to consider getting your child vaccinated.
One story that caught my attention is about new parent, Jennifer Hibben-White, who lashed out on hesitant moms. Her Facebook post went viral after pointing out other mom’s ignorance about the matter.
“You think you are protecting them by letting them eat their shovel full of dirt and reducing antibiotics and eating organic? You aren’t,’ she wrote.
‘”And you would be the first to line up if you had an inkling of what the death of a child feels like.”
“You would be crawling through the streets on your hands and knees, begging, begging to get that vaccine into your precious babies,” she wrote.
Hibben-White was reacting from news that her newborn son–only 15 days old–had been potentially exposed to the disease at the doctor’s office in Pilkington, Ontario. And her son Griffen is too young to receive the vaccination, so he is unprotected. Hibben-White previously lost her daughter who died in her sleep due to an undetected blood infection, which made things much worse.
She urges parents to get vaccinations for their children and feels that Griffen shouldn’t have to suffer for what she calls our “reckless abuse of protection.”
When parents refuse to vaccinate children, it increases the chances of measles cases in people with weaker immune systems such as cancer patients, infants like Griffen, and the elder population.
The disease spreads in numbers. It will spread if enough people decide to go unvaccinated, which is what is happening right now. A wide range of people become vulnerable to the disease, and that’s how it came back into the U.S after we had already gotten the number of cases down. As of February 11, a total of 125 measles cases have been confirmed in the U.S in an ongoing measles outbreak linked to the Disney theme parks in Orange County, California. Many are pointing the finger at anti-vaxxers who are keeping their children from getting vaccinated.
Instead, more moms should worry about what would happen if their children got the measles than what’s in the vaccines–it is a deadly disease. It is pneumonia, brain infection and the leading cause of child blindness around the world.
Debunking The Myths
For moms, some concerns are that injections are linked to autism through an ingredient used as a preservative in childhood vaccines called Thimerosal. But the ingredient was removed since 2001 in all vaccines except influenza. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not support an association between Thimerosal and autism. A review by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) also rejects any relationship between Thimerosal containing vaccines and autism.
According to the CDC eight studied vaccines are generally safe, and any serious adverse events following these vaccinations are rare.
Well, why is it that children who are vaccinated still get the measles? Even vaccinated children may receive symptoms when exposed to the measles. Nevertheless, the measles vaccine is 99% effective, which means one in 100 people who receives two doses of the vaccine could still get it. They may even get a few symptoms, but not as severe as unvaccinated children.