Rollercoaster Mum: Thoughts on Vaccinations and Measles

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Monday, 8 April 2013

Thoughts on Vaccinations and Measles

I am fully expecting to get slated by some for what I am about to write (unusual for me as I rarely write anything controversial) but here goes...

Watching the news yesterday I was horrified, if not surprised, to see the report on 600 cases of measles in a part of Wales and the consequent queues for the measles vaccine. I get so angry that people do not go and have the MMR jab, or other vaccines, when they are scheduled. Why not go - I cannot understand - the whole autism link was discredited years ago now - partially in 2004 and fully in 2010. By not being vaccinated you are not only putting your own children at risk  but also the whole 'herd' immunity. A 2011 journal article has described the vaccine-autism link as 'the most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years'. So why oh why are there STILL people who refuse to have it until the frightening reality of the possibility of measles comes and slaps them in the face.

Measles is a horrible and extremely serious disease - a fact which seems to be overlooked by many. My mother had measles when she was a child and the doctors were concerned she would lose her sight and possibly even die. That is the reality of measles - even now in 2013.

I had my own frightening moment when Little Miss Sunshine was just 1. She had been due to get her first MMR but could not be given it because she had a horrid cold. The cold turned into bronchiolitis which she was given penicillin for. A couple of days later she was covered in a serious, itchy rash. In typical fashion it was a bank holiday weekend so we first went to the pharmacist who frightened the hell out of me by saying it could be measles(and it did look very like a measles rash.) I was incredibly worried because she had not had the MMR (not for want of trying). We got to see a doctor the next day and he advised it was probably an allergic reaction to the penicillin which seemingly it was but it still frightened the hell out of me and as soon as she was better she was carted off for that MMR.

Little Miss Sunshine's rash - actually penicillin allergy but was thought it could have been measles
To be honest the autism link was not enough to put me off anyway. I am a great believer in vaccination as it has saved millions of lives the world over with vaccines for diseases such as smallpox and polio. If you can have a vaccine to stop getting a serious disease why wouldn't you? Having been an inveterate traveller to some of the less salubrious parts of the planet BC (before children) I have had many vaccinations and felt much safer because of it and I have never suffered ill effects. The only reason I might have not had a vaccination for something was purely financial.

If you can prevent people from getting a disease that can kill then why not do it. Imagine if you could vaccinate against malaria - how wonderful would that be - and how many lives could be saved in the developing world. We are incredibly lucky that in the UK we have free access to such things and the NHS to fall back on when we do get ill. We should be campaigning for vaccines not avoiding them.



I am adding this post to the Slow Blogging Carnival over at Tots 100 - at least I think I'm going to - I'll have to think about it - slowly!

Tots100 Slow Blogging

3 comments:

  1. Well said! People can afford to make the decision not to immunise only because most of us choose to immunise. The "dont immunise" position is only "safe" because the kids are unlikely to come in contact with the pathogen. People dont seem to get this idea!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Stewart - currently big news back in Blighty with the measles outbreak in Wales (which at the moment is still rising)

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  2. Couldn't agree more. What people are failing to realise (through lack of understanding and not wanting to know) is that autism will most likely run in a family therefore it is hereditary. When you have one member in a family on the autism spectrum, it will almost be guaranteed there will be another. Autism was around LONG BEFORE the MMR was invented. The media have a lot to answer for with this and as a parent of a child with autism, it makes me very angry to think these people know so little about autism yet still believe the MMR will cause it. In fact, it actually makes me sick of society.

    CJ x

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