The boys all needed a ride home after school. Conor was with me. After our eye doctor appointment we popped some tags at Value Village, checked out the 33% off sale at Time Masters and grabbed a few beers - root beers that is!
Liam finished at MQP at 2:25, Aidan was not going to be finished until 3:00, so we dropped into MacDonalds for a milkshake and free Wi-Fi. While checking the latest news on my iPhone, I overheard a conversation at the next table about booster shots and immunization.
These three ladies, grandmothers in their mid fifties were being lectured by another lady about the dangers of immunization shots. They cause cancer, Alzheimers, Autism and Asthma - to name a few she claimed. Scientific studies have confirmed it she said, speaking with a sense of authority.
Biting my tongue, I just listened to the scaremongering, as the women all swore they would not let their children have these shots. If vaccinations caused illnesses, scientists explain, large-scale studies would find positive correlations between vaccines and illness.
The scary part is that the anti-vaccination movement is doing a great deal of harm. Diseases that have been have been stopped in their tracks are making a comeback because of these anti-vaccine propaganda. Infectious diseases do not respect international borders. Pockets of immunized people are a threat to everyone because it impacts rates of coverage.
Vaccine-preventable diseases in developed countries are on the rise. The Council of Foreign Relations says the West is increasingly seeing outbreaks of the whooping cough, measles and mumps because some of the public has been hoodwinked by celebrities like Jenny McCarthy and discredited medical studies.
Check out the Council of Foreign Relations interactive world map of Vaccine-Preventible Outbreaks. Decreases in vaccine coverage are known to lead to dramatic increases.
This map is a real eye opener.
Here is a story I found on Science Daily that puts the issue in perspective:
In 2008, a measles outbreak spread in California. It was traced to a child whose parents had decided not to vaccinate him. He brought the disease back from Europe, infecting other children at his doctor's office and his classmates. The boy's parents had signed a personal belief exemption affidavit stating that some or all of the immunizations were against their beliefs, thereby allowing their son to go unvaccinated before entering kindergarten.
And another about Tyler Ludlum who went from being a healthy 10-year-old, looking forward to the pool, to an emotionally and physically traumatized preteen who'd traded both of his feet, and half the fingers on his right hand, for his life.
Don't let your child become a statistic -- make sure they get their vaccinations.