As the parents of a child with a weak immune system, I would like to share my thoughts on vaccinations. You’ve probably heard both sides of the argument, but here is my 2 cents.
tl;dr, Please seriously consider vaccinating your child.
Clark is currently out of “isolation”. Meaning, that it is now safe for him to come with me to the grocery store, play at the playground, and dig in the dirt. It is even now safe for Clark to catch a common cold, or even the flu. His immune system should be strong enough to fight these off (it is still a gamble, to some degree).
But to our chagrin, our post-isolation elation was short lived. As soon as we got the good news, measles started to spread in our area. Unfortunately close to 7% of the children in Marin are not vaccinated. That is a lot considering the national average is 2.5%.
Now you might ask – with only 7% risk in a small county next door, why panic? Frankly, at first we didn’t panic, until we learned a little more about the measles. Surprisingly, measles are extremely contagious. How contagious you ask? Try this on for size: if a person with the measles is in a room, breathing, and leaves the room – you can still catch the measles up to 2 hours after they have left the room. I know what you are thinking, “holy sh*t“… right?!? Don’t believe us? Here’s the quote from the CDC themselves:
Measles spreads when a person infected with the measles virus breathes, coughs, or sneezes. It is very contagious. You can catch measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, up to 2 hours after that person is gone. And you can catch measles from an infected person even before they have a measles rash. Almost everyone who has not had the MMR shot will get measles if they are exposed to the measles virus. Link: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/measles/fs-parents.html
There is a very high likelihood that Clark would not survive getting the measles. Because of this, we decided to continue to keep Clark in a “semi-isolation”. His immune system is not strong enough to fight off major diseases like the measles, chicken pox, etc.
My husband, myself, and our oldest child are all up-to-date with our vaccines. Clark’s vaccination schedule starts in late March, and I can’t wait. Not only does this prevent our family from catching deadly diseases, it also prevents us from spreading it to others.
So I beg you, please vaccinate your children.