Measles - Making a comeback?
September 2 2019
Editors note: This week we received a “Whinge” on vaccinating our children. It’s a key topic, especially with the measles outbreak spreading across the country including Queenstown. While longer than a standard whinge, its important, passionate and a well written piece so we’ve dedicated the space to publish it in full.
As a mother of a 6 month old baby, the confirmed cases of measles in Queenstown this week have caused me such concern, we have considered staying home in order to protect my little bundle. Measles is a potentially serious, highly infectious disease caused by a virus. Measles is the most common vaccine-preventable cause of death among children throughout the world. Babies aren’t routinely vaccinated against measles until 15 months and if they do contract it, will most likely end up in hospital and very sick. So, it makes me absolutely angry to no end that people “choose” not to vaccinate their kids as this is why we are having so many people all over the country getting this preventable disease. The measles vaccine is one of the most effective vaccines. New Zealand has officially eliminated measles, with outbreaks occurring when visitors bring it from overseas. But if we don’t keep our vaccination rates up, we risk having the disease embed itself again in our country. I have seen parents argue on social media, how does their unvaccinated child affect vaccinated children? It affects the herd immunity and those unvaccinated people provide a way for the disease to spread through the community. The disease then (as seen in CHCh and Auckland) also gets contracted by those most vunerable that have no choice - babies and those with immunodeficiency who can’t get vaccinated. You choose not to vaccinate, but I can’t choose for my baby to not contract measles. Of the 773 cases across the country so far this year, 91.7 per cent were in people who were not vaccinated or did not know their vaccination status. (source: Newshub) They have set up a special children’s measles ward in Middlemore Hospital. I really don’t understand people who cherry pick what they like from science. You have your smart phones, the internet, anti-biotics, air travel, chemotherapy, cars, electricity, etc etc all these things science provided for our benefit and you choose to think that one of the biggest medical breakthroughs in human history is not for your children? I think not vaccinating your children is super selfish and dumb. A lot of people’s reasons for not vaccinating, is the fear of their child developing autism.
I would prefer my child to have autism than die of Measles complications. But luckily, I don’t have to worry about my baby developing autism after he gets his MMR shot. The widespread fear that vaccines increase risk of autism originated with a 1997 study published by Andrew Wakefield, a British surgeon. The article was published in The Lancet, a prestigious medical journal, suggesting that the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine was increasing autism in British children. The paper has since been completely discredited due to serious procedural errors, undisclosed financial conflicts of interest, and ethical violations. Andrew Wakefield lost his medical license and the paper was retracted from The Lancet. Nonetheless, the hypothesis was taken seriously, and several other major studies were conducted. None of them found a link between any vaccine and the likelihood of developing autism. Today, the true causes of autism remain a mystery, but to the discredit of the autism-vaccination link theory, several studies have now identified symptoms of autism in children well before they receive the MMR vaccine. And even more recent research provides evidence that autism develops in utero, well before a baby is born or receives vaccinations. (Source : publichealth.org) Babies are most likely born with autism... this makes sense to me. All other vaccines myths can be debunked also if you are asking. So if you have gained your special knowledge of vaccines off the internet from the likes of David Avocado Wolfe then I suggest you start reading some peer reviewed scientific studies on the matter, start trusting the medical profession or look up the meaning of the Dunning/Kruger effect. I am not saying don’t question anything, it is very much awesome to question everything in the world around us, but do your research properly. A scientific theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural world that can be repeatedly tested and verified in accordance with the scientific method, using accepted protocols of observation, measurement, and evaluation of results. Repeatedly tested and verified. In the last 100 years, the human population has gone from 2 billion to 8 billion.. why? It is largely down to sanitation, hygiene, nutrition, anti-biotics and vaccines. Kids just don’t die like they used to... amazing aye? Vaccinate yourselves and your children, for everyone’s sake.
P.S. Vaccines don’t cause autism, the Earth is not flat, Trump is not the Chosen one, climate change is real, and 1080 saves native birds. Ok? #science