First of all, I spotted an article in GOOD about how 8 kids from one little church community died from measles in 1991.
"In 1991, nobody from First Century Gospel Church was prosecuted for failing to give measles vaccinations to the congregation’s children, a decision that resulted in eight of the kids dying from an outbreak of the illness."
They died because their parents falsely believed that vaccination was unnecessary because faith in God could fix their kids instead. Imagine if eight children who attended one church in your neighbourhood all died over a short period of time! How would any Australian community let those poor victims of religious delusion die from a disease which is totally preventable? I'm sure most people these days have NEVER seen anyone with measles. You probably don't have any relatives who are deaf or have lifelong brain damage from measles, either. This is all good. BUT some people who have never seen the symptoms think it isn't a risk any more and so DON'T vaccinate their kids. Do they realise that one of their kids' could easily catch it from a visitor or another unvaccinated child?
Now the US Centre for Disease Control is releasing some alarming statistics about the current rash of measles cases.
It's happened with Whooping Cough (pertussis) where many middle-aged adults whose childhood vaccinations have worn off, get nasty attacks of Whooping Cough that lay them low for weeks. Some cough for months, making work impossible or difficult- imagine being a miner? Note though, that adult Wooping Cough is easily stopped in its tracks by the antibiotic erythromycin, which you can get from your GP or local 24-hour clinic. It works quickly- I've had Whooping Cough as an adult and had to convince the old GP to do a swab to prove I had it.
From unvaccinated people and the expired immunity in adults, babies are starting to get Whooping Cough again. People may not realise that babies can catch it because the immunisation for this doesn't begin until 2 months of age (I think- please correct me if incorrect). This means that newborns who have doting grandparents as babysitters are completely open to infection and at high risk of serious illness or death! My efforts to encourage new grandparents to become re-vaccinated have been surprisingly unsuccessful. Some say- "I'd know if I was infectious, so I wouldn't babysit that day", or, as many nurses say about influenza, "I'm too healthy. I'd never get whooping cough". It's noticeable these days that people continually question public health advice as though the experts don't know anything. Now this sort of advice is based on so many years of work- generations in fact with some diseases (like smallpox), it needs to be accepted at face value. People should regard it as solidly as they would regard injunctions against punching out strangers in a crowd! But no. I keep plugging away, having a word in an ear here or on Facebook another day, hoping the message is persistent enough it will trick.
There is a great chart at this site you can print off that tells you what needles babies should get at what ages. It also has a handy guide to the main physical abilities of babies at those ages:
Visit these other more erudite blogs for more info, esp. if I haven't convinced you:
http://www.australianimages.com.au/opinion/vaccination.php [Has a video of a child with Whooping Cough just to show how awful it is].
Roald Dahl (yes, the story book guy) had a baby who died from measles- too young for the vaccine. Here's an interview with him talking to Cory Doctorow (yes, another book guy...):