Welcome home to Vancouver…and a measles outbreak.

France March 2014 12 05-59-55

I try to stay out of debates over parenting techniques and keep my opinions on sleeping, snacking and soothing to myself because frankly, everyone should do what they think is best for their family. But there is one thing that compels me to speak up. Vaccinations.

As we recover from jet lag, we are trying to keep Addison busy (and awake) during the day. However there will be no Aquarium, Science World, Granville Island, or anywhere else involving crowds of kids, especially during chaotic Spring Break. We can’t afford the risk of running into some nasty measles germs.  Our heart transplant daughter CANNOT get the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine because it is a live vaccine. She is completely unprotected and we are dependent on society as a whole to protect her from a disease which could kill her, or at the very least send her to the hospital for an extended stay. This only works if 90+% of people are immunized. Unfortunately, that isn’t happening.

It makes me angry and sad when I read about the more than a hundred children who have fallen ill. I am also taken aback by comments made by a pastor in Chilliwack who claims vaccines “interfere with God’s care”. Read the article here. The part that really boggles my mind is this pastor’s belief that it is ok to accept medical treatment after someone gets sick, but it isn’t acceptable to get a vaccine which will help prevent the illness. Where is the logic in that?

I could go on and on and list all the facts and figures from medical experts, but there is plenty of that out there already. I know the vaccination debate is contentious and fraught with emotion. And yes, as parents we are all entitled to decide what is best for our children. But as a society, we are also responsible for ensuring we take care of each other whenever we can and help keep all our children safe. We have rules about speed limits, our children use car seats, we buckle up our seat belts and don life jackets. We do all these things because society has decided they work to ensure safety and save lives. Why not vaccinate? I know my opinions probably won’t change anyone’s minds. Anti-vaccinaters tend to be vehement in their opposition. But at the very least, thank you to all of you who do vaccinate. Addison’s life depends on it.

Love,

Elaine, Aaron and Addison

11 thoughts on “Welcome home to Vancouver…and a measles outbreak.

  1. A measles outbreak????? REALLY?????? Oh man……… Well…..glad you guys had a FANTASTIC time in France… hope the flight back was OK….. good luck with the jetlag and staying healthy/germfree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XOXOX

  2. Glad you are home and Agree with you!! we need to keep our children safe and away from infections and germs that will harm them and keep them from being in the hospital.

  3. There is an interesting article circulating on Facebook right now showing the damage on world map brought on by the anti vaccination movement. I am not one to judge others but I felt compelled to post it to my page as people need to read more about this. Thank you for speaking up about this issue.

  4. Sorry you are caught up in the anti-vaccination backlash and consequences…. My sister did not vaccinate her 3 children as she had the same views as the Abbotsford preacher… like you i found it absolutely mind boggling, illogical and very frustrating as a Mom and Reg.N. ….it caused a lot of friction between us…. stay healthy and glad you enjoyed Paris… your photos were great and Princess Addison just gets cuter by the month…. hugs to the McYong clan…

  5. Vaccination is one of those things I learned early on to dodge as a conversation topic with other moms, like politics and religion it can turn friends into enemies! I am living in a region where vaccination rates are getting pretty low too…and whooping cough is making a comeback 😦 Check out this interactive map of vaccine preventable outbreaks since 2008 http://www.cfr.org/interactives/GH_Vaccine_Map/#map

  6. In this day of miracles I still find it hard to believe there are people so cought up in false theories of how vaccines are causing anything but saving lives. The perinoa surrounding this is incomprehensible I have lived through watching such sick kids die or go blind from measles. The only way to educate the parents is to show them this us not simply another cold but life threatening I hope that there are more classes on parenting that will show the devastation these illnesses bring. Juliette. , . A mother grandmother and friend

  7. I hear you loud and clear Elaine. It is so frustrating that we do everything in OUR power to rightfully protect our children and yet in the one area we can’t, and we rely on others to help us, selfishly, we are let down and our kids are put at SERIOUS risk.

  8. I absolutely agree with you 100% regarding vaccinations! Let’s keep all our kids healthy and safe!! Do you worry when you travel regarding all this? Just curious….

    • Rosa, we do get approval from our medical team before we travel anywhere, and we do research so we are aware of what’s happening in our destination country. We know there are some places we won’t be taking Addison because of health issues or lack of modern healthcare, but we just ensure we practice good hand hygiene constantly. As our doctors and nurses have told us repeatedly, that is absolutely the best way to stay healthy regardless of location. There is always a risk, but look at what’s happening in the Fraser Valley right now…safer for us to be anywhere else in the world but there – a mere 50km from our front door, I would venture to say. 🙂

  9. I completely agree Elaine. I find it really upsetting that in so many places on this planet people are needlessly dying because financially they cannot afford to vaccinate themselves or their children. Something we take for granted. Even in our own history how many have died because vaccines were not available. Its almost criminal to me to not vaccinate your child. When I see pictures of how they suffer when they become ill but even more tragic when an innocent child like Addison’s life becomes at stake.

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