Vaccines, Again

At the risk of sounding like a broken record – and on the subject of vaccines it’s a big risk – here is more evidence that this anti-vaccine hysteria is downright dangerous.

Auckland parents Ian and Linda Williams thought they had made an informed choice not to vaccinate their children, but after their son ended up in intensive care with a tetanus infection they realised they had made a terrible mistake.

It started when seven-year-old Alijah got a small cut on the bottom of his foot in December 2012.

“Of course we didn’t think it was too serious, it was just a little cut but a couple of days later he started getting symptoms like a stroke on the side of his face,” Mr Williams says.

“A couple of days later during the night he started to get cramps across his face. His face would contort and he was in a lot of pain.”

After 24 hours in Auckland’s Starship Children’s hospital, the doctors diagnosed Alijah with tetanus, and he was taken to intensive care.

Mr Williams recalls his son’s agony, “It’s a terrible thing… Your whole body arches, your arms go up in the air.”

“It’s like getting cramp but it’s everywhere, across the face as well. They are so tight your jaw locks.”

“He’s fine now and all you can see now is some scarring on his throat from the tracheotomy, he’ll probably have that his whole life.”

Anti-vaccine hysteria nearly claimed another victim. There is already a measles epidemic in progress right now in Wales of all places (1190 people affected). It’s a disease you don’t easily see in India because the MMR vaccine is given at an early age. It doesn’t help that famous but absolutely stupid people like Robert Kennedy Jr. spread lies – that’s what they are, not “half-truths” or “counterpoints” or “scepticism” – about vaccines.

Don’t be stupid. Vaccinate your kids. Your choice is between improving the bottom lines of pharma companies and having healthy kids (yours and those around them) or improving the bottom lines of emergency care hospitals and maybe even the baby coffin industry.

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