Posted by: Lisa Pampuch | October 21, 2009

Innocent victims of vaccine fear mongering

Kids with cancer. At 19 months, my daughter was diagnosed with leukemia and endured a 2-1/2 year chemotherapy treatment during which we constantly worried about chicken pox exposure, unwashed classmates’ hands after handling her preschool’s turtle, parents who sent their kids to preschool with runny noses and coughs spewing god-knows-what viruses and bacteria.

Here’s Stephanie Tatel writing on Slate about her inability to get child care at all for her 2-1/2-year-old son with leukemia thanks to unvaccinated but perfectly eligible for immunization kids:

While the purpose of chemotherapy is to kill the cancer, it also kills the good cells—most notably the infection-fighting white blood cells. That means my son has limited ability to fight off anything. A single unimmunized child in an ordinary child care setting is the equivalent of a toddler time bomb to him. …

According to Paul Offit, the chief of the infectious diseases division at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and author of Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure, the danger that nonvaccinated children pose to immunocompromised children couldn’t be clearer. Those who cannot be vaccinated, including young babies, transplant, and cancer patients, depend on the immunity of the herd to protect them. In recent years, in communities where many parents opt out of vaccinating their children, the herd has diminished. As a result, unvaccinated children have died from totally preventable infectious diseases such as measles, meningitis, and pertussis.

It’s why the pseudo-science-based fear-mongering about vaccines being conducted by “authorities” like Bill Maher, Jenny McCarthy, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and others is so dangerous. And so selfish.

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