Editorial board: Anti-vaccine movement puts children at risk

2014-04-29T05:00:00Z Editorial board: Anti-vaccine movement puts children at riskStar-Tribune editorial board Casper Star-Tribune Online
April 29, 2014 5:00 am  • 

More vaccines, less disease. More vaccines, more lives saved.

That’s been the case throughout history, and it’s still true today.

Proving the point this time, surprisingly, is a recent wave of anti-vaccination sentiment, which experts link to an increase in the number of whooping cough cases in Wyoming and an increase in the number of measles cases in the United States. That disease was considered eradicated in the nation in 2000 but since has made a resurgence, and experts say that’s directly linked to the anti-vaccination movement.

Parents who won’t vaccinate their children are simply irresponsible. They put their own families at risk, and they knowingly risk the lives of other children, too. We call on parents to do the right thing, the sensible thing, the loving thing, and reject the anti-vaccination movement.

There’s no medical evidence that avoiding vaccinations is good for children, and there’s certainly no compelling medical evidence that it is linked to autism, which is some parents’ biggest objection. Autism can be a devastating mystery, and it might seem comforting to blame something. But experts don’t know what causes autism, and all the evidence shows that common-sense vaccinations are not the culprit.

It’s important to note that the vast majority of children in Wyoming are properly vaccinated before they start school, and we commend their families for that. But just one unvaccinated child puts others at risk, whether that’s in the classroom or the emergency room.

Some doctors won’t even treat unvaccinated children. The waiting room situation is just too fraught with risk. Parents who wisely vaccinate might think twice about taking their children to a place where they’d be at increased risk.

What’s fueling the anti-vaccination trend? Some in the medical field suspect it’s that these parents, many of whom are young, aren’t appropriately concerned about the effects of these diseases. Measles, meningitis, whooping cough – these can all be truly scary. They can be lethal, and they can leave bodies and families ravaged for life. Some objectors also say they’re afraid of the long-term effects. The only proven long-term effect, however, is survival.

Throughout history, it’s hard to imagine that worried, devoted parents who might be all too acquainted with these illnesses would reject proven vaccines that could keep their children safe. Our past is full of darker eras where people lived in fear and these diseases, which are now preventable, were all-powerful.

Please don’t let this become another one.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(4) Comments

  1. Lodgepole
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    Lodgepole - May 01, 2014 10:00 am
    The terms used for this condition are subject to a process called the euphemism treadmill.

    This means that whatever term is chosen for this condition, it eventually becomes perceived as an insult. The terms mental retardation and mentally retarded were invented in the middle of the 20th century to replace the previous set of terms, which were deemed to have become offensive. By the end of the 20th century, these terms themselves have come to be widely seen as disparaging, politically incorrect, and in need of replacement. The term intellectual disability is now preferred or ID.

    Cognitive disabilities are mild, moderate and profound. The older terms have been wiped out....along with mental institutions and homes. Down's Syndrome is an offensive term. Many find "Special Olympics" to be offensive, too.

    The Autism Spectrum paints a broad brush. Everything falls under this umbrella because of our history and offensive terms.
  2. Lodgepole
    Report Abuse
    Lodgepole - April 30, 2014 6:36 pm
    In many cases, autism is genetic. Few want to take a look at that or examine family history.

    For some reason, the parents of many home schooled children are choosing to reject vaccines.

  3. mindus
    Report Abuse
    mindus - April 29, 2014 12:45 pm
    LVHS77: You generalize mightily about a subject you obviously know very little about. A: how is it okay to accuse doctors of over-diagnosing autism without citing reputable sources to back up your careless claim? How is that any better than blaming vaccinations for causing autism? B: Big Pharma is indeed involved, but you can't have it both ways; either they are puffing numbers so they can treat more kids, or their vaccines may be linked to autism...oh, wait...maybe you can have this one both ways. C: I personally know at least a dozen autistic children, and not one of their mothers smoked, drank, took drugs, or parked their children in front of the tv...far from it; they are all conscientious moms. I'm pretty sure that causation has already been debunked.
  4. LVHS77
    Report Abuse
    LVHS77 - April 29, 2014 11:36 am
    These lunatics blame vaccines. What about the fact that A. Autism is over diagnosed and is a scam for doctors, and ambulance chasers to get rich. As well as big Pharma selling drugs to help with autism. B. The fact that many infants and toddlers are put in front of the television for hours every day. The very bright lights flashing, and changing quickly, as well as the loud noise can NOT be good for their tiny brains trying to form proper neurological path ways. C. how many of these mothers smoked, drank or used drugs when they were pregnant? These are things that must be investigated before even thinking of blaming vaccines for autism.
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