It’s because some folks think that everything that happens to their kids is a vaccine injury.
Personal Stories About Vaccine-Preventable Diseases
If you are going to watch those videos and listen to their stories, getting scared in the process, be sure to also listen to the stories of parents who’s kids have suffered through actually getting a vaccine-preventable disease.
While it’s great that these diseases are much less common because most people vaccinate and protect their kids, one side effect of that progress is that we don’t have many reminders of just how terrible these diseases are anymore.Have you ever seen a baby with congenital rubella syndrome?
“Kimberly Coffey was buried three days before her high school graduation in the prom dress she didn’t get to wear. She didn’t have the opportunity to be vaccinated against Meningitis B.”
Kim’s Meningitis Story
In Kimberly‘s case, the Men B vaccine wasn’t yet available, but in many other cases, parents have shared their stories of unvaccinated children who suffered with a disease that was vaccine preventable at the time.
“From 2010 to 2016, young children continued to be at the greatest risk for influenza-associated pediatric deaths. Children without preexisting medical conditions accounted for half of all deaths. Vaccination coverage was low among influenza-associated pediatric deaths.”
Shang et al. on Influenza-Associated Pediatric Deaths in the United States, 2010–2016
Are the stories supposed to scare you into vaccinating your kids?
Of course not. Just like you shouldn’t let the myths and propaganda from the anti-vaccinate movement scare you away from vaccinating and protecting your kids.
Instead of being motivated by fear, you should make your decision because you understand that the many benefits of vaccines are far greater than their small risks.
What to Know About Vaccine-Preventable Disease Stories
Reading stories of vaccine-preventable diseases are a good reminder that these diseases are not so mild as some folks suggest, and they are instead life-threatening diseases that are best avoided by getting fully vaccinated.
And they certainly wouldn’t think that these are mild diseases that they wanted their kids to get, thinking natural immunity would be better than the immunity that they could more easily and safely get from a vaccine.
I know what some of you are thinking. And no, just because these vaccine-preventable diseases aren’t as common as they used to be doesn’t mean that any of these vaccines aren’t necessary.
Anti-vaccine folks often claim that health officials only worry about measles and measles outbreaks.
They can’t understand why anyone gets concerned by a few measles cases here and there, not understanding that a lot of work goes into containing measles outbreaks and making sure that they don’t grow beyond a few cases.
We do get concerned about measles outbreaks though.
“Whenever measles strikes, it’s more than just an outbreak of a single disease, or an indication that children aren’t receiving their measles shots; it’s also a warning that immunization coverage in general, for all vaccine-preventable diseases, is lower than it should be.
To put it another way: When rates of routine vaccination—children receiving all their shots on schedule, as a preventive measure rather than a reaction to an outbreak—start to fall, the first sign is usually a measles outbreak.”
Seth Berkley on Measles Outbreaks Are a Sign of Bigger Problems
The measles vaccine is among the most effective vaccines we have, so if we are seeing outbreaks, even though measles is very contagious, it means there is a problem.
“A focus on measles surveillance can help detect populations unreached by immunization systems and, by extension, program weaknesses. Measles serves as the ‘canary in the coal mine’ for detecting problems with immunization programs, a characteristic whose importance has recently been highlighted in the context of global health security.”
Orenstein et al on Measles and Rubella Global Strategic Plan 2012–2020 midterm review
As much as anti-vaccine folks like to try and minimize how serious measles can be, it is easy to see that measles is indeed a serious, life-threatening disease. We had good nutrition, proper sanitation, and modern health care in 1990, and still, a lot of people died with measles. Rates of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), a late complication of measles, went up too, in the years after these outbreaks.
“Measles is a wholly preventable disease, and it was almost eradicated from the country in 1983, when only 1,497 cases were reported. But by 1990, after Federal budget cuts and the end of the Government’s monitoring of immunization programs, more than 30,000 cases of measles and more than 60 deaths were reported.”
Panel Ties Measles Epidemic to Breakdown in Health System
Those outbreaks were fixed, as we improved access to help kids get vaccinated and protected. Unfortunately, the issue with outbreaks today isn’t about access to vaccines, at least not in the developed world. It is about parents intentionally skipping or delaying vaccines.
up to 15,000 deaths and 200,000 diphtheria cases each year until the 1940s
an average of 175,000 cases of pertussis each year in the early 1940s, with about 1,118 deaths from pertussis in 1950 and 467 deaths from pertussis in 1955
up to 20,000 cases of paralytic polio each year until the early 1950s
an average of about 186,000 cases of mumps each year before 1967, with an average of 40 deaths a year
up to 500 deaths and 500,000 measles cases each year until the early 1960s
a rubella epidemic in 1964-65 that caused 12.5 million rubella virus infections and “resulted in 11,250 therapeutic or spontaneous abortions, 2,100 neonatal deaths, and 20,000 infants born with congenital rubella syndrome”
up to 20,000 cases of invasive H. influenzae (Hib) disease each year, with more than half of them having meningitis, and about 300 to 600 deaths, mostly children under age 2 years. In 1980, 45 children died with epiglottitis and there were an additional 222 deaths from Hib meningitis.
up to 11,000 hospitalizations and 100 chicken pox deaths each year until 1995
up to 17,000 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease in children younger than 5 years each year (before 2000), including 13,000 cases of bacteremia (blood infection) and 700 cases of pneumococcal meningitis, with 200 deaths.
just over 400,000 visits to the doctor and up to 272,000 visits to the emergency room, 70,000 hospitalizations and 20 to 60 deaths each year in children under age 5 years because of rotavirus infections until 2006
But that deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases aren’t common is hardly a reason to skip or delay your child’s vaccines, as some might suggest. It is just testament to the fact that vaccines work.
That these deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases quickly rise as rates of vaccinations drop is a tragic reminder that vaccines are necessary.
And what makes it even more tragic is that this was all predicted and could have been prevented if folks didn’t listen to anti-vaccine propaganda that scares them away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.
Worldwide Deaths from Vaccine-Preventable Diseases
Of course, talk of deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases shouldn’t stop with the developed or industrial world.
Even as a lot of progress is being made, as more and more people get vaccinated, worldwide, there were:
about 89,780 measles deaths, mostly young children
about 215,000 deaths from rotavirus infections
at least 1 million deaths from hepatitis B
almost 200,000 deaths from Hib
over 4,200 deaths from chicken pox
about 50,000 deaths from meningococcal infections
about 160,000 deaths from pertussis
about 826,000 deaths from pneumococcal infections
almost 60,000 deaths from rabies
just over 70,000 deaths from tetanus
about 222,000 deaths from typhoid
between 30,000 to 60,000 deaths from yellow fever
As you can see, most of these diseases are still big killers around the world.
“You hear about people who don’t like to vaccinate their kids in the Western world, which I suppose is a personal choice, but when you’re out there, the result of your children not being vaccinated is that they’ll likely die, or be horribly maimed. So yes, I saw a real desire to have their children protected, and also a real understanding of it – I didn’t seem to come across anybody who went ‘What is it?’ Or ‘What does it do?’ They all seemed to know about it.”
I don’t think that you are either stupid, uneducated, crazy, or that questioning vaccine safety is always associated with believing in conspiracy theories.
I understand and appreciate that you do care about your children, that you care about their health, and that you want what’s best for your family.
I actually do get that. I really do.
But I know that while you believe that you have done years of research and investigation to help you decide that the potential benefits of vaccines don’t outweigh their risks, going out of your way to find information to support your decision and ignoring all of the rest that says you are wrong, isn’t really doing research.
“What if doctors never actually learn about vaccines, their ingredients, or adverse events, in medical school? What if the medical textbooks are written with an enormous amount of funding from the pharmaceutical industry? What if the CDC owns patents on vaccines? What if the pharmaceutical industry is corrupt and funds studies which conveniently stop monitoring test subjects before adverse effects begin to manifest? What if vaccines contain toxic substances at levels which can cause chronic illness when children are repeatedly injected with them? What if we are trading temporary illness for the development of autoimmune and neurological disease later in life? What if the threat and danger of these “preventable” diseases has been inflated to push more vaccines? What if these vaccines are not even truly effective as we have been led to believe and we will always need more booster shots to try to make up for that fact? What if there is evidence for all of the above, you just haven’t seen it yet?”
Ashley Everly Cates
If you don’t want to vaccinate your kids, then don’t.
Please take caution and know that I don’t do this to be popular. I don’t do this to make friends, get likes on my Facebook page, or sell vitamins and supplements in an online store.
Truly. The only reason I speak out is to protect my children and your children from unnecessary harm.
After all, is it really so hard to believe that the great majority of pediatricians, infectious disease specialists, immunologists, toxicologists, and public health experts in the world and throughout history are right about vaccines?
Remember, there are multiple types of hepatitis, including A, B, C, D, and E. These are all caused by different viruses, even though they all cause hepatitis.
And since 2006, the incidence of hepatitis C has been climbing sharply. Tragically, so have the number of deaths. In 2016, there were 18,153 deaths from hepatitis C, which is not yet vaccine-preventable.
Hepatitis deaths are increasing.
All strains? Nope. Just the non-vaccine preventable strains. Deaths from hepatitis A and hepatitis B have greatly decreased since the pre-vaccine era.
All ages? Nope. Children have been protected from rising hepatitis deaths, as they are not typically at high risk for hepatitis C, which is causing the surge in deaths, and they should be vaccinated and protected against hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
What to Know About Viral Hepatitis Deaths
Viral hepatitis deaths are increasing, but only for non-vaccine preventable strains.