Mum of cancer-stricken child pleads with other mums to vaccinate their kids
Her little girl, already battling cancer, got measles...
Even though it’s 2018, there are still debates about vaccination and if it can cause autism. Some parents are so fearful of vaccinating their kids they’d rather send them to pox parties, instead. However, one thing is certain: vaccines, like the measles vaccine for babies, prevent illness. It’s one thing to choose not to vaccinate your own children. But doing this can endanger the lives of others — as one mum of a cancer-stricken child has personally experienced.
Please give your little ones the measles vaccine for babies, says mum
US mum Nicole Stellon O’Donnell urged other parents on 21 November 2018 to vaccinate their kids. Her post on Twitter explains how her daughter, who had cancer, caught measles after coming into contact with an unvaccinated child.
Here’s the actual post:
— Nicole Stellon O’Donnell (@SteamLaundry) November 21, 2018
In her post, O’Donnell clarified that her daughter was unable to have a vaccination as chemotherapy crippled her immune system.
The social issues of a cancer-stricken child getting measles
She also described what happened to the little girl when she got measles. The disease, other than its symptoms, seemed to also cause social issues when Nicole brought her daughter to the doctor.
- was quarantined for one month. She couldn’t step foot outside her house in addition to being bald and suffering because of chemotherapy.
- arrived to her doctor’s clinic reporting the disease. Doctors had to stop other appointments and close facilities, which interfered with the treatment of other kids who had cancer.
- indirectly led to the closure of the examination room which needed to be thoroughly sanitised. delaying the appointments of other kids with cancer.
In addition, Nicole also explained that not vaccinating children had other risks, too. For instance, children with weak immune systems required very painful injections to increase their white blood cell counts. The pain is something “no children had to go through that”, writes Nicole.
Why vaccination is important
Nicole’s thread on twitter shows one of the possible worst-case scenarios if parents choose not to vaccinate their kids.
As explained by medical experts from Mayo Clinic, giving healthy kids vaccines helps to stop preventable diseases from spreading to people with weakened immune systems, as the vaccines halt the spread of possibly deadly diseases like measles, polio, and many more.
The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) explains that vaccines are particularly important for kids who aren’t allowed to get a vaccine, as they have weakened immune systems or are allergic to the vaccine ingredients.
In reality, vaccines are inactive or weaker strains of the illness it’s designed to prevent, according to Nemours, a nonprofit children’s health system.
After injecting or taking a vaccine orally, your body begins making antibodies which can combat the microorganisms causing the disease. Once the real pathogen does infect the body, the immune system would be ready to combat the disease.
As of now, the CDC recommends the measles vaccine for babies under 12 months old.
What is herd immunity? A win-win situation, really
Vaccination can help shield individuals from diseases. If everyone gets vaccinated, then a whole community can avoid the disease in question. This idea is called “herd immunity”.
According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, with “herd immunity”, increasing the number of vaccinated people reduces the chances of a disease spreading.
With herd immunity, other people can benefit, too. Notably, people who can’t be vaccinated will be at a lower risk of contracting a life-threatening illness.
Being vaccinated against multiple diseases deeply benefits people with weakened immune systems, including patients with HIV/AIDS, type 1 diabetes, or cancer. It also benefits very young babies who are not old enough to get certain vaccinations.
Some more facts about vaccines
Here are some facts about vaccines adapted from the WHO:
- Better hygiene and sanitation alone will not make diseases disappear, although they will help curb the spread of the disease. If people are not vaccinated, uncommon diseases such as polio and measles will quickly reappear.
- Vaccines are very safe and most reactions — such as fever or soreness around the injection site — are temporary. You or you child are far more likely to be seriously affected by a vaccine-preventable disease than an actual vaccine.
- Vaccines do not cause autism. The 1998 study which raised concerns about the possible link between autism and the MMR vaccination (otherwise known as the measles vaccine for babies) has been found to be seriously flawed, and the journal that published the paper has retracted it.
Why is childhood vaccination important?
According to the HPB, childhood immunisation provides:
- Protection against serious diseases, which can lead to lifelong complications — and sometimes even be fatal.
- Protection of all children. If enough children are immunised against a particular disease, the risk of it spreading from person to person is very low and the disease may be eradicated altogether.
Parents, we hope that you found this article about the measles vaccine for babies informative. Please share this article on social media so other parents can be informed about the effects of not getting their kids vaccinated.
This article was published with the permission of theAsianparent Singapore
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