I’d like to correct the disinformation Marian Clements shared. First of all, measles is a killer disease with – on average – 1 or 2 in a thousand cases causing death.
I am a pediatrician who has cared for patients with measles in the hospital. One out of four people who get measles are hospitalized. One out of a thousand get brain swelling which can lead to brain damage.
I agree that we are not currently experiencing an epidemic; however, we are poised to experience one if parents continue to choose not to vaccinate their children. We have local school populations where 30 percent of children are not protected for measles. We need the majority of students to be immunized to protect someone who doesn’t respond to the vaccine or has a medical reason not to be immunized.
There are babies and children with cancer or immunodeficiencies who cannot be immunized who are put in jeopardy by unimmunized, unprotected children. With the introduction of vaccines for measles, HIB, polio and rubella we’ve seen a 99 percent decrease in each disease.
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Vaccines are a scientific achievement. You cannot carry and pass on the disease from the vaccine. There is no connection between MMR and autism. These are facts. I’d encourage parents with concerns to talk to an expert knowledgeable about vaccines. I, for one, am tired of non-experts spreading disinformation and needlessly scaring parents about one of the most important things they can do for their children: immunize.