• A Letter: Dear Mom Who Thinks I Need To Vaccinate My Kids Against Measles

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    Let’s talk measles for just a minute.  It once was widespread in the US.  It is now considered ‘eliminated’ in the US (not continually circulating in the population – only contracted through travel out of country).  Measles is highly contagious (>90% infectious) and can survive airborne in a room and infect someone two hours later.  Another fun fact is that measles is transmittable before it can be diagnosed – four days before the characteristic rash appears.  “Measles itself is unpleasant, but the complications are dangerous. Six to 20 percent of the people who get the disease will get an ear infection, diarrhea, or even pneumonia. One out of 1000 people with measles will develop inflammation of the brain, and about one out of 1000 will die.” That sounds fun!

    Yeah, I’m totally going there. I know this vaccination subject is pretty touchy with the undertones of intolerance, discrimination, and bigotry and all, but after seeing a letter written to a “mom who decided not to vaccinate her kids against measles,” I just couldn't sit by while parents are thrown under the bus and innocent kiddos get sick and die.

    To be perfectly frank, I was a bit offended that this letter wasn't written to dads too but for the sake of prioritizing stupid, there are more important things to address…like the fact that kids in this country do not “get sick and die” from measles. Hello? When was the last time a kid died from measles in America? Here’s a clue…it wasn't yesterday. Disney ain’t deadly and neither are the measles.

    So here goes.

    Dear Mom who thinks I should vaccinate my kid against the measles,
    I get it. You’re like a …

    Put simply, no person has the right to threaten the safety of his community. Like drunken drivers, the unvaccinated pose an imminent danger to others. They pose a lethal threat to the most vulnerable: the immunocompromised, such as HIV or cancer patients, and infants who have yet to receive their vaccines. Anti-vaccine parents are turning their children into little walking time bombs. They ought to be charged for endangering their children and others. They need to be isolated and shunned and not allowed to go to public schools. Though jail sounds  a bit drastic, it might be the only way to send a strong message about the deadly consequences of failing to vaccinate children. I feel bad for their kids since they are also the first ones who will suffer. They are the unwitting time-bombs who have no choice in the matter because they were unfortunate to have parents with some screws loose in their head.

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