Thanks to the debunked theories that have been perpetuated by celebrities and pseudoscience websites, only about 51% of Americans believe that vaccines are “safe and effective.”
The latest CDC data shows the troubling resurgence of diseases that have been declared eliminated. Anti-vaxxers are gleefully and self-righteously turning back the clock on decades of breakthroughs in public health.
But it’s not often that we hear from people who are directly affected by the dangerous result that anti-vaxxers have wrought. April, better known by her blogging name Sick Chick, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and Dysautonomia. She relies on a wheelchair and her service dog, Dale, to maintain her independence and mobility. April uses her writing to advocate for service dog users and educate about living with chronic illnesses.
In her latest blog post, she has a pretty scathing message for the anti-vaccination movement. Read the entire post below:
With the recent measles outbreak there has been a lot of heated discussion about the choice of some parents not to vaccinate their children.
I have no intention of arguing the indisputable science behind the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. I will not discuss the serious and possibly deady implications of not vaccinating on your child’s health.
Why is it my business how you raise your child?
I have heard you staunchly defending your right to choose whether or not your children receive vaccines.
Your children. Your choice. Your rights. Afterall, if we allow vaccines to be mandated then what will be forced upon us next?
Here’s the thing though. Your rights end where my rights begin.
Choosing not to vaccinate your child isn’t like other parenting choices. Bottlefeeding vs breastfeeding. Cloth diapers vs disposable diapers. These choices have an impact on only you and your family, so please, by all means, do whatever you like.
The choice not vaccinate is different. Why? Because your choice not to vaccinate could directly be the cause of someone else’s death. MY DEATH.
I happen to be one of those theoretical people you hear about with a compromised immune system.
I am one of the many people, who for a myriad of VALID reasons, is unable to enjoy the luxury of being protected from preventable illnesses thanks to a simple shot in the arm.
We are not just a hypothetical imagined statistic invented for the sake of argument. We are the young and the sick. We are the newborn babies just beginning life. We are the cancer and transplant patients fighting for our lives.
I am a wife and mother of three. I suffer from a long list of serious medical conditions you have probably never heard of. I take strong immunosuppressive drugs in a desperate attempt to slow down the progression of my diseases. I am real and AND YOUR UNVACCINATED CHILD COULD KILL ME.
I cannot receive live vaccines. I cannot fight off infections like a normal person, even those I have been vaccinated for. I live in constant fear of the next cold or flu that could trigger a downward spiral and put me in the hospital, or worse. Everyday infections have the ability to take away my eyesight, voluntary movement of my limbs, or bowel and bladder control.
A disease like measles would be absolutely devastating to me and there is a high probability that I would not live through it.
Whatever your reason for choosing not to vaccinate, you also choose to put my life at risk. You may decide that your child’s immune system is strong enough to handle the measles, mine is absolutely not and your parental decision not to vaccinate could be a death sentence me.
The measles is easily spread through the air and is therefore highly contagious. Those infected with measles can spread the disease days before they begin to show symptoms. The virus can also survive in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours.
This means that without ever even seeing you or your measle ridden unvaccinated child who is not yet showing symptoms, I could enter a public area and be infected with an illness that will take my life.
This is YOUR choice? This is YOUR right?
I can only assume that you haven’t really considered the possibility that vulnerable people who depend on herd immunity might die as a direct result of your choice to not vaccinate. I have to believe that you haven’t simply decided that you are okay with killing sick people and babies.
Maybe you don’t think anyone in your town has a baby less than a year old. Perhaps you doubt anyone in your city has a suppressed immune system?
Let me clear this up for you, you are wrong. There are people around you who are not physically able to survive a measles infection, or any other preventable disease.
When you choose not to get your child vaccinated, you also choose to take innocent lives in your hands. My life. You make a choice for more than just your child. You make a choice the sickest and the weakest, the frailest and the most innocent around you, and that choice is quite literally life and death.
A sick person who isn’t ready to die for [your] rights.