An essay was recently published on a woman named Amy Parker who was never immunized as a child. As a result, she ended up developing measles, mumps, rubella, a type of viral meningitis, scarlatina, whooping cough, annual tonsillitis, and chicken pox in the course of her childhood.
“My mother would have put most of my current ‘crunchy’ friends to shame,” writes Parker. “She didn’t drink, she didn’t smoke, she didn’t do drugs, and we certainly weren’t allowed to watch whatever we wanted on telly or wear plastic shoes or any of that stuff. She lived alternative health. And you know what? I’m glad she gave us such a great diet. I’m glad that she cared about us in that way. But it just didn’t stop me getting childhood illnesses.”
Of course, Parker got many of these illnesses because they were more common in decades past. Regardless of this fact, children who are immunized are not completely immune to illnesses like the aforementioned ones. However, the more people that are immunized, the less common the illness will be as well as the odds will be less that anyone will contract it.
According to the Center for Disease Control, sixty people contract measles each year in the U.S., on average, but there were 159 cases reported between January and August of 2013. “About 26 percent of these people got measles in other countries,” the CDC report stated. “They brought the disease to the United States and spread it to others. This caused eight measles outbreaks in various U.S. communities, including the largest U.S. measles outbreak since 1996.”
Keri Peterson, M.D., a physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and a medical advisor for Women’s Health Magazine said, “I think this woman’s story is just a perfect example of how these diseases are ruthless,” says . “If you aren’t vaccinated, no matter how healthy a lifestyle you have, it’s not going to protect you from these serious, serious illnesses. … So many people think, ‘It won’t happen to my kid,’ but it can happen to anyone—any child is susceptible.”
Vaccines may have potential risks, it’s true, but compared to having to suffer through the illnesses, the safe, researched vaccines are certainly worth it. “By not [getting your child immunized], you make not only them susceptible—you also create a health risk for the general population at large,” Peterson says.
Source: Women’s Health Magazine