Friday, November 4, 2011

Reckless parents endanger children by not vaccinating

Measles are back.  Mumps are back.  Whooping cough is back.  All thanks to senseless parents that have decided not to vaccinate their children for these diseases, or delay vaccinations from the recommended schedule.  So far this year there are 152 cases of measles, double a typical year; the biggest outbreak in 15 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  In the pre-vaccine days, this disease killed between 3,000 and 5,000 Americans a year.

These irresponsible families claim the right to decide what is best for their children, but overlook the fact that what they are doing is affecting their entire community.  And this could spread nationwide if these crazies continue their crusade.  It all started with a nutcase doctor in Great Britain who published a study saying that a combined measles-mumps-rubella shot caused autism.  Many U.S. parents panicked and stopped their children’s vaccinations.

There were over twenty studies showing no link between the vaccines and autism, the incorrect study was retracted, and the doctor who submitted it was stripped of his license to practice medicine.  Yet alarmist parents continue to resist vaccinating their children: “…40% of parents say they have deliberately skipped or delayed a shot for their children.” 

This continued denial after debunking the autism study is possibly due to the book, The Vaccine Book, by pediatrician Robert Sears, who says "I'm not a proponent of mandatory vaccination for schoolchildren.  …vaccines should be a parent's choice.”


Forty-nine states allow parents to pass on vaccinations for religious reasons; 21 for their own individual reasons.  From 1991 to 2004, the number of unvaccinated children in states allowing philosophical exemptions more than doubled,” according to a study in Journal of the American Medical Association.  And then there are those unvaccinated travelers bringing disease into the U.S. 

Diseased child
Cancer survivor Catherine Anderson, 41, contracted measles from a fellow passenger, even though she had measles as a child.  This was made possible because her migraine medications suppressed her immune system.  Children with cancer are even more vulnerable.

In another national survey it was found, “…that more than 1 in 10 parents vaccinated their children outside of the recommended schedule developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”  Others did not trust the recommended schedule and it was found that 13 percent used an alternative schedule.  A whopping 81 percent of parents who skipped or delayed vaccinations didn’t “agree” that what they were doing was harmful, thus, a complete lack of awareness of the consequences to the community.

The lead author of the study, Amanda Dempsey, says prior experience, or lack of, with the diseases could contribute to the attitude.  Those they would most likely skip were flu and chicken pox.  Dempsey also confirmed one of the reasons for skipping the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine was the bogus study on autism.  Also, they may never have seen someone with the disease and therefore can’t relate to the effects.  Doctors and scientists say this creates a dangerous situation where these parents fear the vaccine more than the disease.

Some pediatricians refuse to treat children that aren’t vaccinated.  But the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not to “fire” them, rather they should work with them.  But this could pose a conflict.  If the doctor treats, does that mean he or she condones not vaccinating the child?

NEXT: Parents exposing their children with mail order diseases

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