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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/5/19

Getting a measles vaccination isn't a personal choice -- it's a social responsibility

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From The Guardian

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The core issue is the common good. Measles travels through the air and if enough people opt out of vaccinations, they put everyone at a higher risk

Measles outbreak coincides with low rates of immunization
Measles outbreak coincides with low rates of immunization
(Image by YouTube, Channel: PBS NewsHour)
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I remember having measles as a kid. Believe me, it was no fun. Also, measles could cause birth defects if a pregnant women got infected. If you were elderly, measles could be fatal.

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Eventually, after vaccinations became nearly universal in America, measles was declared eliminated from the US in 2000.

But now the measles are back already surpassing 700 cases this year, in 22 states. So far, 66 people have been hospitalized, a third of them with pneumonia.

What happened? We stopped vaccinating everyone. More than 500 of the new cases are in people who had not been vaccinated.

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Last Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention renewed an urgent call for parents to have their children vaccinated.

We stopped vaccinating all children because some parents have had religious objections. Others haven't liked the idea of injecting a live virus into their little ones. Some just never got around to it.

And some parents succumbing to growing skepticism about science and burgeoning conspiracy theories believe vaccinations cause autism. The claim has been promoted by Russian internet trolls as well as Donald Trump.

In a 2015 presidential debate, Trump told of an employee with a two-year-old daughter who "went to have the vaccine and came back and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic."

Trump has finally stopped pushing this lie. Last week he tersely said "they have to get the shots," which is about as much of a concession to the truth anyone can expect from America's liar-in-chief.

In reality, there's zero evidence connecting measles vaccine to autism.

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Let's be clear. To eradicate measles and other dread diseases such as tuberculosis, polio and tetanus (which also protects from whooping cough and diphtheria) parents must have their children vaccinated.

Parents have a right to choose what happens to their own children, of course. But the right isn't absolute.

Parents who abuse their children may lose custody of them. Courts have ordered that children with cancer receive chemotherapy despite their parent's objections.

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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at

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The first three sentences of this article clearly show the wrong-headed thinking of those who push vaccines. Trying to fear-monger by referencing a pregnant woman with measles giving birth to a baby with defects or the likely mortality of the measles-infected elderly is disgusting. If those people had been allowed to get measles as children, their natural lifelong immunity would have prevented them from contracting it as adults, thereby eliminating the scare-tactic 'danger' of birth defects in newborns or mortality in the elderly. Mr. Reich, I am sure, is secretly thrilled that he had measles as a child, because he knows that he will never contract it as an elderly person and will never himself need a vaccine.

A mother who had measles as a child passes on her lifelong immunity to this illness (and others) to her breast-feeding baby. Isn't it interesting how breast-feeding is frowned upon and even discouraged nowadays in the U.S. ? It's almost as though they want us to get sick...

Submitted on Friday, May 10, 2019 at 6:30:29 AM

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