Fair warning: I’m about to get on my soapbox. People are putting my children at risk because they are choosing to follow un-supported, poorly dispensed “advice” from people who are far from experts. These people choose to ignore the years of scientific research, studies, and fact-based evidence that shows vaccines are safe. There. You have been warned:
You’ve heard about the measles outbreak at Disney, I’m sure. Maybe you heard about it, but you wrote it off for one of the following reasons:
Only 50 some cases isn’t an outbreak.
It’s only affecting unvaccinated people.
This doesn’t affect me, I don’t live there.
My kid is protected because he is vaccinated.
But you shouldn’t. You should definitely not write this off. Measles was irradicated, done, gone, something that we in the United States shouldn’t have to worry about. But it’s back. For pregnant women, babies (like MY BABY) and immuno-compromised, like Smalls, this is a major deal.
And the fact is that this outbreak is being caused by people who know better. If you know better, do better, right? I cannot for the life of me understand WHY you would want to risk your child getting sick with a disease that is known to be deadly, especially in younger children.
Facts are facts. This should not be happening. My kid, MY KID is one of the ones who cannot finish his vaccines because of his Severe Aplastic Anemia. SMALLS is at risk.
Do some real research. This does not mean reading “facts” something spewed by celebrities who claim to have “cured” an incurable condition…and then have to retract said statements. Because, you know. They went to medical school.
Look at LEGITIMATE sources, like WHO.
Protect Those Who Cannot Protect Themselves
Not vaccinating is selfish, and to assume that you are “above” this is stupid. Vaccines are not 100% effective. Just like everything in life. Just like Smalls’ SAA (which, by the way, affects 1 in a MILLION people every year. And it’s completely random. Lucky him.).
Choosing not to vaccinate puts your kids (and others like MY SON) in danger. Vaccines fail. This is just the law of averages. What works is herd immunity.
Understand the Consequences
Herd immunity only works if a majority of the population is vaccinated. THIS is what protects both of MY KIDS. Not the vaccines, not yet. Smalls cannot get booster shots due to his compromised immune system, and the baby is too little to get his MMR. So I am depending on all of you to protect him. And the thought literally terrifies me.
Understand Who You Are Hurting
Because it’s not all about you. It’s just not. There are kids out there, like Smalls who cannot receive vaccines to protect them.
THAT, my friends, is why this outbreak is not okay. I am terrified to take Smalls out in public. A COLD could land him inpatient at the hospital (and by default, means that myself and the baby would also be there), so imagine what would happen if he was on his Make-A-Wish trip (yes he’s THAT SICK) and caught measles. ANY fever over 100.4 means an ER visit and massive doses of medication, blood draws, and worse.
It’s Not Too Late
Want to know what my kid wished for? DISNEY. That’s right. Did you know that the most frequent wish made by children with life-threatening illnesses is a visit to a Disney Park or a Disney Cruise? My child is no different. I should not be scared to take my child to the most magical place on earth, because dammit, he has been through literal Hell with his disease. He’s earned this trip.
In fact, I shouldn’t have to worry about measles or any other potentially fatal disease that should have been wiped out when I worry enough about the common cold.
And neither should any of the other kids who are dependent on YOU to make the right choice.
Educate yourself. Then get your kids vaccinated. These are preventable diseases, and preventable deaths. Enough is enough.