Why vaccination should be compulsory
There is no link between the MMR vaccine and autism
Which of the following is the most contagious?
- The common cold
If you chose Measles you’d be right. Yet in the developed world there is no reason to fear Measles, there are vaccines that protect from it. The MMR vaccine also protects from Mumps and Rubella (German Measles). But as the uptake of the MMR vaccine goes down, the incidence of Measles goes up.
Measles is a killer. in 1990 Measles killed 182,000 people throughout the world, that’s just the reported number it may be much higher. In 2017, after a dip, the number was back up to over 100,000. The symptoms are:
- First fever of 39 degrees C (103 degrees F) or higher combined with a cough, a runny nose, swollen eyes, loss of appetite and lethargy.
- A few days after this a rash develops first on the face spreading to their torso and limbs.
- In the UK, one in twelve developed ear infection or diarrhoea.
- As many as one out of sixteen developed pneumonia, particularly those with already compromised health: those who were pregnant, in chemotherapy, recovering from an organ transplant, suffering from an autoimmune disease, the elderly, the very young.
- One out of every one to two thousand developed encephalitis, the swelling of the brain.
- According to the CDC, one to three out of every one thousand children who contract Measles die of respiratory and neurologic complications.
So why do people not get immunised, it only takes two vaccinations for a lifetime of cover?
- They cannot be bothered to take it up. This has to be a big contributor to the number of people not immunised.
- They are scared of complications. All vaccines can have side effects, complications from MMR according to the cdc.gov website are mild and soon go away.
- Prime Minister Tony Blair. Whilst in office Prime Miniter Blair of the UK declined to say whether his children had been immunised. After his term in office Prime Minister Blair’s wife, Cherie, said that they had been immunised.
- Fear of autism. The report by Andrew Wakefield in 1998 that there is a link between the MMR vaccine is false. The sample size was too small for a meaningful result and Wakefield had a conflict of interest. This is the NHS announcement. Repeats of Wakefield’s experiment and other experiments have shown that there is no link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Wakefield has been struck off by the GMC and can no longer operate as a doctor in the UK.
As an autistic person, it makes me angry that some parents would rather watch their child suffer and die rather than risk them be autistic like me. I do have difficulties, but I have a very good life.
The best way to combat Measles in my non-medical opinion, I am writing as a person with autism, not as a doctor, is to make immunisation compulsory. I understand the rights of the individual under law but consider the risk to society at large from Measles to be greater than the right of the individuals. It only takes pockets where immunisation is low and a mobile population for a contagious disease such as Measles to spread. Compulsory immunisation, whose risk is minuscule, would be the best way to protect against Measles, whose risk is great in comparison. But while there is still a choice I urge all parents to see that their children are immunised and all non-immunised adults to take action to protect themselves.
As well as medical websites in the USA and the UK, and references to UK law, I have used information from the blog https://thebaffler.com/salvos/herd-immunity-neumann in writing this blog.