I told myself I’d never do a Babble post on vaccines, but here I go.
This image from the Council on Foreign Relations depicts vaccine-preventable outbreaks. It scares me. I’ve spent a significant portion of my career working with adults with autism and I’ve always thought that even if vaccines posed a vulnerability to autism, surely a child with autism is more valuable than a child dead from a preventable disease. Or, at least a disease I could have tried to prevent via vaccinations. According to the Center For Disease Control and Prevention, more than 95% of the people who receive a single dose of MMR will develop immunity to all three viruses. A second vaccine dose gives immunity to almost all of those who did not respond to the first dose. Despite my mom religiously following-up with my immunizations, I still got mumps as a preschooler. When I was 19 years old and living in Japan, I contracted rubella. I didn’t help matters by walking around with my rubella germs insisting I merely had a rash because I assumed, given my MMR vaccine, it would be impossible for me to contract. It was only after blood work and a phone call to my pediatrician back in the States that was I convinced that my MMR hadn’t worked and I was lacking rubella antibodies.
I’m incredibly grateful that I’ve never gotten measles. I attribute that privilege to growing up in a community of people who responsibly got their vaccinations. But I’ll stop there, because I’m probably preaching to the choir.
Also from Rebecca this month: