RELEASED: 19:07 November 11, 2018
Sharon Griffiths says small children need to be vaccinated against measles as the virus disease increases
Measles is no fun – and it is on the rise.
At best, it means unfortunate, unpleasant, scratchy days in a dark room – because the light hurts the eyes. In the worst case, this means death.
In between there are all sorts of other complications.
My friend Sian – long dark hair, good to skip and sing – got meningitis as a result of measles. She died at the age of six.
A happy, healthy young brother of a friend developed an inflammation of the brain after measles, was physically and mentally handicapped, and spent the rest of his life in institutions.
Of course, in the old days this was before the introduction of the MMR vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella.
Do you think you would not think that the most reasonable caring parents would take the chance to protect their children from such horrors?
No, vaccination rates are falling. For four years, it goes steadily downhill. As a result, measles rates are increasing throughout Europe. So much so that France has introduced a vaccination requirement. In the US, you must present proof of vaccination before starting school.
If you do not have your child vaccinated, it will not just affect the child. That would be bad enough – but they would like to pass on the measles beetle to vulnerable people, especially for babies who still have vaccines, with catastrophic consequences.
Mass vaccinations work because all people are insured. Ideally, we need about 95% of children to be vaccinated to make measles virtually unknown. But we fell 87% and fell. In Europe, 37 children died this year from something completely unavoidable.
Last week, the head physician, Ms. Sally Davies, blamed the weird, unsuspecting social media idiots for rushing over a once-alleged connection between MMR and autism, a connection based on dodgy research
These parents act from a misguided principle. Others do not allow their children to be vaccinated for simple informality.
In Australia, parents receive a cash payment when their children have completed the vaccinations. It is not just so important for every single child, but also for every other child.
Mass vaccinations are like an extremely strong safety net. However, if a safety net has too many holes, it is worse than useless. Therefore, we have to convince the parents of the importance of vaccination for life and death.
Todays parents of babies are too young to remember Life Before vaccinations when a little girl went home early from play because she did not feel very well, as if she was actually going home to die.
Sian's parents gave everything they had for vaccination.
Have your babies vaccinated for Sian and any other children who may still be at risk. You're welcome.
Are we really that hopeless?
Everywhere we go, we are ruled by anonymous voices telling us that the floors can be slippery in wet weather, hot drinks could be hot, surfaces could be hot, and if the weather is hot, we should take water with us.
My car is constantly beeping to keep me in line. Supermarkets will not allow me to buy more than two packs of acetaminophen at once (although I could buy some fun drinks if I wanted to) and even the keyboard I type on this will be displayed with a health alert.
We are reminded to wash our hands, to look in both directions, to avoid sharp objects, not to eat our hand cream or drink the flower food and keep away from children.
And now we have instructions on how to write a birthday card …
On the back of a card I bought last week from Marks and Spencer, there is a note: "If you use a fountain pen, wait a few seconds for the ink to dry."
"Really?" My goodness. Anyone old enough to use a fountain pen might have figured it out.
I wonder what bright spark thought such a message was necessary and how much he or she was paid for it.
As M & S has just announced a decline in sales and a decline in sales, they might want to think about more important things than an occasionally smeared birthday card.
Take care, as you go …