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Raising little Westies, and life as parent of a special needs son
I’ve read today a story in mainstream news that has given me the horrors.
Given the weather and fires we are facing in Australia, and the fact that there is world class tennis happening in Sydney, there should be no shortage of topics to make me horrified. However, the issue at hand is “kids health.”
I’m specifically going to stay well away from naming the author, publisher, book title, or even the newspaper which has written the article about the book I disagree with. However I will talk about the premise that the newspaper article quotes from the book: “for most children it is a good thing to get measles.”
If enough children get measles for it to be a good thing for most of them… then far more of those children will suffer tragic complications, compared to if that same number of children were vaccinated against measles.
The worst possible complication for either the disease, or the vaccination, is one of two outcomes: death, or a debilitating disability that lasts the rest of the childs life. If 100,000 children have measles, then one of them will be expected – in first world countries – to suffer subacute sclerosing panencephalitis. Which is fatal. The parents of most children, though, won’t have to worry about that – because it’s only about 375 times more likely to happen to them than winning Lotto Strike (a state-run lottery in New South Wales where I am from). Given how many people are happy to buy a “lotto ticket” I’m surprised that many would be willing to gamble on something that is 375 times more likely to kill their child.
This compares to the MMR vaccination. The best source of data – which yes I am a strong fan of – for post vaccination health is from Finland, due to the structure of their health system and records. The UK NHS report that studies of post vaccination outcomes from patients vaccinated between 1982 and 1993 – with a sample size of 1.5 million vaccinated – showed zero long-term negative outcomes (“sequelae“) as a result of the vaccination.
I don’t doubt that there are people who are predispososed to have negative responses to all types of medications.
But all of us are predisposed to having negative responses to virii such as Mumps, Measles and Rubella.
On that basis my own opinion is – unless you can show that your child is more likely to have an advers response from the vaccine than the disease the vaccine is intended to protect your child from. You should carefully consider any decision to not vaccinate.
Vaccination programs prevent more lifetime disabilities and death, than vaccination avoidance campaigns. Regardless of which option you are chosing for your own child – base it on real information.