Dear Readers, Please Don’t Send Me Your Anti-Vaxxer Narishkeit

To those of you who have tried to enlighten me about the dangers of vaccinations since my last post – you are wasting your time. As to the email I woke up to this morning beseeching me to watch a 1 1/2 hour video of complete bs, I can’t bring myself to sit through that, even for the purpose of educating myself on the misinformation being spread about vaccines.
I know better than to argue with anyone brainwashed by this bunk, so I’m not even going to try. The only thing I can do is attempt to keep myself and my family safe from the total misguided ignorance of those who think they know better than medical professionals in this matter.
There is now a confirmed measles case in Chicago. The victim was a baby who had received their first measles vaccine on schedule, right before traveling to Lakewood. There, they were exposed to someone with measles. Although the child had just gotten vaccinated, it takes a few weeks for the vaccine to kick in. As such, the child wasn’t protected when they were unexpectedly exposed to the disease. Most parents are unaware that the vaccination is not immediately effective, and we haven’t had to be aware since measles was thought to be virtually eradicated.
The child returned to Chicago and their daycare (they had no symptoms yet but were contagious), exposing a number of other young babies to measles. Now all those babies are under quarantine for 2 weeks with terrified families. I know because my husband is fielding calls from some families for advice on what to do and what to look for. Shuls and schools are worried and have had to issue warnings about exposure from the child and other potentially exposed children who were out in the community before the case was confirmed.
The woman who runs the daycare has to pay a professional cleaning service to sanitize her home and worry for her own family. She also must be losing at least 2 weeks worth of income.
These are people who are all victims of the anti-vaccination movement. Every single person affected in Chicago so far has been a vaccinating family put at risk by people who have chosen not to vaccinate.
Now, everyone is just holding their breath that none of the other babies come down with measles and that the infant who does have it will be alright.
Also, those of you trying to argue with me about the safety of vaccinations might not have read the part of my post about my son being immunosuppressed after a recent bone marrow transplant. The transplant effectively wiped out all the vaccinations he has gotten since birth. He has to get them all again on a controlled schedule when his immune system has reconstituted itself to hang onto them.
His doctor has assured us that a case of measles would be life-threatening for my son, and he can’t get the live measles vaccine until 2 years post-transplant because it could trigger graft vs host disease. He is counting on herd immunity, which means other citizens doing the responsible thing and getting vaccinated!
If there is a larger outbreak in Chicago we might have to consider moving back near his hospital out of state until things die down in the Chicagoland epicenter. This will disrupt my son’s life even more than it has been. We have already been away from home for 6 months earlier this year and things are finally returning to a semblance of normal, even though he still can’t go to school or be around lots of kids or crowds.

A Facebook friend gave this to her physician husband for Chanukah, and I thought it was quite apropos for this time in cultural history. My own pediatrician husband could use the same mug too.

HT Alex Fleksher

Sorry, but you picked the wrong person to preach to about not vaccinating. I wish all of you and yours luck being vaccine free. If any of you live in a frum community, you’re going to need it, as this outbreak isn’t dying out anytime soon – especially with the upcoming Yeshiva week winter break where travel, mixing and mingling are on the agenda for many families.
G-dspeed to us all.

10 thoughts on “Dear Readers, Please Don’t Send Me Your Anti-Vaxxer Narishkeit

    • I think people care about both, but they are focusing on where the current crisis is. However, the measles vaccine is definitely part of a larger problem of non-compliance with vaccines in general.

      • People are now hypocrites they bash people when they fail to follow science when it deals with risk to life from flu. Unacceptable.

        • I’m not sure what you are trying to say. “They bash people when they fail to follow science when it deals with risk of life from flu.” How is it hypocritical if people “bash” those that don’t get flu shots, just as they “bash” those that don’t get vaccinated in general? It’s all the same. The majority of people in America get vaccinated and expect others to vaccinate as well.

  1. Sharon, so sorry to hear you are being subjected to the anti-vax propaganda. You don’t need that along with everything else going on in your life.
    I don’t know how we switched to discussing the flu vaccine when we started with hazards to children from measles and the other childhood illnesses. It is worse when people use their irrational thinking to damage children who are just starting out in life and have no say in decisions that can affect their whole life.

  2. Not all vaccines are equally effective. No vaccine is 100% effective. Because of this, vaccines in the general populace, ie most vaccines with the exception of vaccines for rabies, bat bites and scratches, etc, rely for their efficacy largely on the herd effect.

    Vaccines for the current strains of influenza on late 2018 are completely different to the MMR vaccine. The strains of influenza – don’t call it ‘flu – mutate rapidly. Measles, mumps and rubella viruses don’t.

    If you don’t understand why this is, then you know very little about vaccines and immunology. In which case, you need to educate yourself. Not by visiting self-indulgent mom groups on Facebook but by buying secondhand copies of older editions of graduate-level immunology text books. Unless, of course, like every anti-vaxxer, you are too lazy, too stupid or too arrogant and opinionated to do this.

    With due respect, most American physicians don’t have a very good understanding of the details of the precise ways that vaccines work for the simple reason that immunology is highly complex and an ever-evolving science.

    Even fully trained, experienced academic immunologists don’t understand fully why vaccines protect some immunised persons better than others. Why? Because immunology is in part a technology, in part a science. And science never has all the answers.

    The average human IQ is 100. The distribution is roughly normal. The standard deviation is about 14. Hence, roughly one sixth of the US populace, or about fifty four million, has an IQ of less than 86.

    Most people, especially Americans, have no more idea what their IQ is than what their BMI is, or how quickly they could run 100 metres or the mile. They fondly assume their IQ is above average. If they have to have it tested, say for entry to the armed forces, many are shocked to discover that their measured IQ is in the 90s or 80s, so below average.

    If your IQ is less than 86, then typically you’re not the sort of person who will buy a used medical text book, use Google Scholar, or Cochrane Reviews or PubMed. Further, even if you’re a qualified medical doctor, if you belong to any inward-looking religious sect, then with due respect you’re not going to win a Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology. You just don’t have what it takes.

    Know thyself.
    Nothing in excess.
    Never make a pledge (you can’t keep).

    The above epigrams were engraved into the rock face at the entrance to the Oracle at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Their subtle wisdom predates that of the Abrahamic religions.

    Don’t be vain. Don’t be arrogant. Don’t think you know more than you do. Know thyself. Learn from the past. Nothing in excess. Be humble. Learn from your intellectual betters.

    Better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you’re a fool, than open your mouth and prove it.

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