Mom Writes "Angry As Hell" Rant After Anti-Vaxxers Expose 15-Day-Old Baby To Measles
Vaccinations have changed the face of the planet. Diseases which were once deadly are now very much a thing of the past, all thanks to vaccines' ability to trick our body into developing immunity to diseases we've never even had (not properly, anyway), The Immunisation Partnership Reports.
This is done by injecting people with a vaccine dose - which consists of a pathogen (a virus or a bacterium), that has been altered and combined with stabilizers, preservatives, and other vaccine ingredients. This ensures that it won't actually cause the disease, but will allow their body to create antibodies to fight it.
However, these life-saving vaccinations are not without their critics - despite the fact that the argument in favor of them is overwhelmingly compelling. Anti-vaxxers, as they're known, believe that vaccinating children is a bad thing because of other substances found in vaccines.
Thankfully, while herd immunity does exist, it only exists to a certain extent, which is why the World Health Organisation's report that cases of measles have increased from 5,273 in 2016 to a whopping 82,596 (and the deaths of five children) is so shocking. Unlike many other potentially fatal illnesses, measles is preventable, but only when we vaccinate our children.
This is why one mom was horrified when her newborn son was exposed to measles because of the actions of anti-vaxxers. Taking to Facebook, she recounted the incident which left her son's life in danger.
She began by explaining that it all started with a phone call informing her that she, her mother, and her 15-day old son, Griffin, had been exposed to the virus while they were attending a weigh-in appointment designed to protect Griffin's health.
The person who called Jennifer told her that the disease, which until recently had been almost entirely eradicated, can be airborne and therefore pose a risk for unvaccinated persons for "up to 2 hours after the infected person has left."
While Jennifer and (presumably) her mother were both protected from the disease, which was rife prior to the development of a vaccine in the 60s, Griffin wasn't. He was, after all, still a newborn baby and therefore too young to have any vaccinations.
The British medical body the NHS recommends giving a child their first vaccinations when they are eight weeks old. As a result, because anti-vaxxers are growing in numbers, should they contract any preventable illnesses, they will be putting some of the most vulnerable people in society at risk, as babies' immune systems are only just adapting to the world.
After informing Jennifer that she had been exposed to the virus, because of the risk it presented to young, unvaccinated children, she was told to avoid them. However, as a mother of two young children, one of whom wasn't fully vaccinated, this was unavoidable and meant that both of Jennifer's children had now been put at risk.
Unfortunately, the only option left for Jennifer was to remain isolated and hope that her children didn't develop any symptoms.
The mom then wrote that she was as "angry as hell" that other people's actions led to this situation, slamming them for their lack of understanding about what the "potential outcome" of exposure to measles could mean for her children - and theirs.
She cited one of the anti-vaxxers' most prominent arguments: that vaccinations can cause autism, despite the fact that there is no medical evidence to back up this claim. (It was the result of a 1993 study by a doctor who claimed there was a link, but he has now been struck off, the NHS writes on its website, and studies since then have found no link between vaccines and autism.)
Jennifer then slammed some anti-vaxxers for going as far as allowing their children to deliberately put themselves in harm's way by, for example, eating dirt, despite the fact that anyone with half a brain knows this a bad idea.
She explained that the only reason the majority of unvaccinated children don't get sick is because of herd immunity.
Herd immunity is defined by Vaccines Today as the following:
"Herd immunity is a form of immunity that occurs when the vaccination of a significant portion of a population (or herd) provides a measure of protection for individuals who have not developed immunity.
"It arises when a high percentage of the population is protected through vaccination against a virus or bacteria, making it difficult for a disease to spread because there are so few susceptible people left to infect.
"This can effectively stop the spread of disease in the community. It is particularly crucial for protecting people who cannot be vaccinated. These include children who are too young to be vaccinated, people with immune system problems, and those who are too ill to receive vaccines (such as some cancer patients)."
In short, if everyone took the same stance as anti-vaxxers, many diseases would once again become rife and millions of lives would be lost.
Jennifer then made the tragic revelation that she had already suffered the trauma of losing a young child, and explained that had she the chance to vaccinate her late daughter against the illness which claimed her life, she'd have done it in a heartbeat.
Having already suffered such a devastating loss, it's no wonder that Jennifer was livid that her other two children had been needlessly exposed to disease - all because of the quite frankly selfish actions of an anti-vaxxer.
As is the case with so many things in the modern world, anti-vaxxers are taking to the internet to promote their cause, which goes a long way to help spread their message.
Needless to say, Jennifer's post garnered a lot of attention on social media; once again acting as a poignant reminder of the dangers of not getting your children vaccinated - not only for their sake but for the sake of other people's children.
Reddit used CGCrono completely agreed with Jennifer's words but lamented the fact that it was unlikely they'd reach any anti-vaxxer.
On that note, HisBabes remarked that the only way an anti-vaxxer will change their mind is if their child falls seriously unwell.
IncaRose empathized with Jennifer's situation, writing that her sister had a similar experience.
Whereas IcantDecideMyUsername compared the actions of anti-vaxxers to those of child abusers and attempted murderers.
We can only hope, however, that Jennifer's words reach the people who need to read them. Modern medical science is only getting better by the day, and the small risk of complications from a vaccine, which is virtually nonexistent, is a small price to pay for the ability to save not only your child's life but ensure that you aren't putting anyone else's in danger.
We'd also like to take this opportunity to wish Jennifer and her children all the best.