Avoiding the needle, then deal with measles


Jacob WaringOpinions & Features Editor

I always tell people who do not vaccinate their children that they should invest in caskets that are firetruck red and dollhouse pink. I know that sounds harsh, but you know what? I do not care. They are risking their children’s lives and others with their unfounded anti-vaccine rhetoric which has been tiredly debunked.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 127 individual cases of measles confirmed in 10 states. Out of those 10 states, Connecticut is one of them: two adults in New Haven have contracted measles. Connecticut’s Department of Public Health has not found any links between the two adults, but did find out that both were exposed back in
January.

We have the medical technology to exterminate such diseases. Yet, we also have people who believe in the Jenny McCarthys and Andrew Wakefields of the world who claim that vaccines causes autism.

I will say unequivocally that vaccines do not cause autism, this bogus claim has been aggressively disproven by the scientific community. The anti-vaxxer community based their beliefs on a fraudulent study conducted by Wakefield. That was promoted by Jenny McCarthy who no scientific knowledge in the areas of vaccines and autism.

Yet, here we are dealing with outbreaks of measles due to anti-vaxxers’ hardheaded misconceptions. The only people who should not get vaccinated according to the CDC are people with life-threatening allergies to any component of the vaccine, pregnant women, nursing mothers, or those held back by age restrictions and immune-compromised individuals.

What protects those people is herd immunity via vaccines, which, according to World Health Organization, is where there is resistance to the spread of a contagious disease. It is only effective if around 95 percent of people in a community are vaccinated, according to the Center for the Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases.

Here at Southern, students have to have their vaccinations for measles and other illness before being able to register. I know this because I had to have my vaccinations updated and apparently, I needed one more round of the measles vaccination before I was even allowed to enroll last fall.

Due to that immunization requirement, we do have herd immunity on campus which protects those suspectable to such illnesses, such as those that have proved their religious exception, or suffer allergies.

Luckily, if more people come out of the woodwork with measles, we have our community herd to isolate us from such a scenario. Granted if the New Haven area dips below the threshold of a 93 percent then it could be cause of concern.

I personally have young nieces and nephews who are in the process of getting their vaccinations, and if a substantial measles outbreak were to occur in Connecticut, then I would be greatly concerned.I do not want any of them to be lowered into the ground in a child-sized casket, and I do not want anyone’s child to suffer that fate.

Vaccinate your kids and vaccinate yourself if you have not gotten vaccinated when you were a kid. The only reason why the outbreaks are not worse in those 10 states is because vaccinations shielded us from the worst of it. Utilize the scientific marvel that has nearly wiped out illnesses that plagued mankind for generations. Wiped to the point where I am existing within a generation where people have the audacity to claim measles or any other preventable illness is ‘not that bad.”

Those illnesses can be that bad, and by not vaccinating, you are just rolling the dice on whether you personally feel how bad they can be.

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