The recent measles outbreak has caused another vaccine controversy upsetting many parents and unleashing an outcry from special interest groups. I seem to remember something like this coming up several years ago when it was suggested that the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine may cause the development of autism in children. The good news is that fear and upset was laid to rest when the source research doctor was found to be unethical (his M.D. license was revoked). So now the extension of this issue has to do with the government insisting that all the children in the U.S. must have vaccinations.
For those who want total freedom to decide what care is given to their children and do not want the vaccine, I respect their decision even though I do not agree with it. Measles is a very serious, highly contagious viral disease. It varies from person to person and some will become very ill. That may be ok for your children, but not for mine. Patients who have measles can easily and unwittingly move the virus through a population quicker than the common cold. If you live in a community where parents have refused to vaccinate their children and/or themselves, the potential to transmit the virus to others is strong. This is highly problematic for the unfortunate person who has an immune deficiency or someone who is undergoing cancer treatment. Additionally, it is an issue for anyone who does not have proper immune response or for a newborn nearby who has not been vaccinated. That is not good. I understand that people want to exercise their freedom, but when their decisions endanger lots of other people, then it’s time to get vaccinated.
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