1. I am very angry. Seriously angry. But I don’t talk about it because of the love-issue. Parents who choose not to vaccinate are doing it out of love and I love some of those parents and I don’t want to hate them. But then I see pictures of measles and I run for kids who have leukemia and I think about how they can’t get vaccinated and I get angry all over again.

    If anything good comes out of these outbreaks, I hope that we start to understand the value of vaccinations in our society again.

    • Rebecca Cuneo Keenan

      This comment almost made me cry, Laura. I hope you’re right and we start to see that shift.

  2. Tessa W

    What about the fact that it is vaccinated people who brought measels with them from a different country and vaccinated people who are contracting the disease? Or what about the vaccine actually shedding and causing the disease to come out and go around? Or the fact thst the vaccine is just a chance at immunization whereas actually contracting it is a permanent immunity that passes on to a baby through pregnancy and breastfeeding? There are so many more factors at play here. Obviously vaccines can protect some people but is it possible that the fact the previous generation all contracted measles naturally and then passed immunity to the next generation the cause of the decline in measles rates instead of a vaccine that has already been proven not to prevrnt people for contracting the disease?

    • Mother Folker

      Tessa W: NONE of those things you mentioned are fact. None. Not one. Vaccine shedding is not a fact. Genetic immunity through pregnancy and breastfeeding is not a fact. Vaccines as a “chance of immunization” and “natural immunity” as a “permanent immunization” is not a fact. High doses of vitamin A and letting the fever run its course are not “proven treatments.” Please stop spreading misinformation.

      • Chris

        seriously Tessa Sort your self out moron. If you disagree fine. But don’t just make shit up to and pass it off as factual information.. dumb ass

  3. Tessa W

    To add to my prevoous comment, there is a treatment protocol for measles. It has been proven that high doses of vit A and letting the fever run its course are the best treatment.

    • Rebecca Cuneo Keenan

      Well, yes. Clearly you can “treat” a virus by trying to boost the body’s natural antibodies, etc. But there’s no medicine that will treat the disease per se. I don’t know anything about whether or not the people who contracted measles overseas were vaccinated or not. Do you have a source for that? But the fact remains that we are seeing a resurgence of measles as immunization rates drop. All the major news outlets, government and health sources I can find state that as the cause and urge people to make sure their vaccinations are up to date. And yes, once you contract measles, you yourself have a permanent immunity. Given the fatality rate and other complications of measles most people would rather not have to suffer the disease. Finally, generations upon generations of people were contracting measles and it was only when a vaccine was introduced that rates fell. It seems highly likely that it was the vaccine that eliminated the disease.

      • Irina Yu

        “once you contract measles, you yourself have a permanent immunity”
        I know that’s what a lot of doctors say but it is not true at all. I’m not the only person who have contracted Measles twice either.

  4. Cj

    Talk to doctors. What about talking to parents? The parents whose children have bad a negative reaction to the vaccines? A mother whose 18 month old son went to get his MMR shot and never talked again. He’s 18 years old and still hasn’t talked. What about talking to the parents.

  5. Tara

    Okay. Here goes. I am hijacking your blog, because I don’t have one of my own. 15 years ago, when I had my first son, I chose not to vaccinate, until he was 6. I worked at an alternative health clinic, so that heavily influenced my choices. The biggest deciding factor for me was seeing a totally (seemingly) healthy 18 month child go from fine, to not fine, to full blown Autism. The murmurs, books, and talk on the street back then (hard to believe I have a “back then” child already) was immunizations were causing this. It was on the end backlash of antidepressants, and people were revolting against pharmas and traditional medicines. I made what I thought were the right decisions for my son. I filed the forms, I bypassed the laws, and he went to school not vaccinated. 15 years have gone by, and people, scientists, and the entire Autism community have not been able to prove there is any connection. And they want to! I believe everyone wants to find out why this keeps happening to people’s babies, but they CANNOT connect it. I now believe I was wrong. I get a terrible feeling in my stomach, knowing that it was considered “eliminated” in 1998, and am pretty sure it’s no coincidence this is right around the same time people stopped vaccinating. So, the diseases are back, and I may be part of the reason. The most bothersome thing for me is, that I feel like not vaccinating has become a trend, more than something based on personal beliefs, like parental bragging rights, like cloth diapers or fancy strollers. This is a dangerous trend. The science with vaccines is not questionable. It’s hard facts. Maybe not with the new ones, like the HPV or H1N1, (I don’t actually know) there may be questionable information there, but the MMR? Science. SO, if you haven’t vaccinated, and now you feel sheepish, just go get it done. Your doctor, who probably fought you on it in the first place, won’t give you an “I told you so”, she will just give your child a needle, and hopefully we can start mending this medical fuck up we’ve caused. Thanks.

    • Rebecca Cuneo Keenan

      Thank you! I don’t think it’s too late and if people can be as open and honest as you are we can still reverse the trend.

      • Tara

        Thank you. It really does weigh on my mind. I would also like to mention that I don’t believe things from the CDC, or their reports and numbers. I have Lyme disease, diagnosed, but because it was done outside of Canada, they do not count my case. So I know their numbers don’t add up. But, this is different. Proof for me is an entire community of children getting measles. I also have the “tip of the iceberg” feeling on eradicated diseases. I hope I am wrong.

  6. Rebecca Cuneo Keenan

    Here is a quote from a public health notice issued by Health Canada last year that states that the measles were contracted by people who weren’t vaccinated. I can’t find specific information about the most recent cases.
    “Two Canadians –one from Ontario, the other from New Brunswick — who had travelled outside Canada, became infected with measles. They were not vaccinated against the disease. The disease spread to two other New Brunswickers — also not vaccinated against measles — who were close contacts of one of the two individuals.

    Measles is a highly infectious disease that, in rare cases, can cause serious illness, including brain damage, and even death.

    Measles is relatively rare in Canada due to effective immunization programs; Canadians are reminded to keep their immunizations up-to-date.” http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/phn-asp/2013/measles-0325-eng.php

  7. Well said, Rebecca. This a great article that appeals to reason. My husband has a Masters in Molecular Biology and has worked for a pharmaceutical company in the past. Needless to say, we support evidence-based medicine and had our son vaccinated. Whenever the topic comes up, hubby is pretty excitable, but we also use some natural remedies and don’t rush to the Emergency room every time our son has a fever.

    • Rebecca Cuneo Keenan

      Yes, Karen. I don’t think my kids have ever had antibiotics and basically think less is more when it comes to meds and well kids. Vaccines are a whole different story.

  8. Mother Folker

    Tessa W: NONE of those things you mentioned are fact. None. Not one. Vaccine shedding is not a fact. Genetic immunity through pregnancy and breastfeeding is not a fact. Vaccines as a “chance of immunization” and “natural immunity” as a “permanent immunization” is not a fact. High doses of vitamin A and letting the fever run its course are not “proven treatments.” Please stop spreading misinformation.

  9. I really appreciate your courage in writing this article. As a fellow blogger, I must say I have never had the nerve to tackle this topic. But maybe I should. Why has the anti-vaccination movement gathered so much steam? I think because the pro-vaccine community was slow to react, maybe thinking it was just a fad. Or maybe because professionals working in this arena are too busy developing life-saving vaccines to stop and advocate for themselves. Either way thank you for speaking out. I agree that parents all make choices for their children from a place of love but these parents not vaccinating are seriously misinformed. It’s sad. I think if parents are going to opt-out of vaccinations they should be required to complete an educational course on vaccines. Maybe this generation is lost, I don’t know. Maybe all we can do is try and reach the children through their science curriculum at school. Thanks again!

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