My take on measles Part 2 – Letter to the Editor of @theProvince

So after my recent post on our side of the immunization issue (I won’t call it a debate on principle), I was contacted by a couple of local media outlets who wanted to interview me. Well, the subsequent article in The Province newspaper made me angry enough to write a letter to the Editor. They didn’t publish it so I am doing it right here. I suppose there is a small victory – their original title for the article was something along the lines of “Pro-vaxxers vs Anti-vaxxers: the debate rages on.” Give me a freaking break!!!

To the Editor:

“It’s a tough time to be a crunchy mama.” Seriously?? That is how you decided to start an article about the so-called vaccine ‘debate’ (which really shouldn’t be a debate at all)? I’ll tell you which moms are having a tough time: the moms who are sitting by their child’s bedside at BC Children’s Hospital watching them fight for their lives because of organ failure; the moms who are holding their child’s head over the toilet while they vomit continuously from side effects due to chemotherapy; the moms who have to give their child toxic immune-suppression drugs because that’s better than whatever disease or condition has attacked their little bodies. Those are the moms who are having a tough time. And those are the moms who should have a chance to have their voices heard loud and clear. Moms who are choosing to ignore evidence-based science and decades of proven medical research should not.

My daughter Addison was less than four weeks old when she received a heart transplant. She was too young to get immunized for measles, mumps and rubella and will now not ever be able to get vaccinated. MMR is a live vaccine and even that small amount of weakened virus could make her gravely ill. Imagine what could happen to her if she was ever exposed to an infected person. Sadly, the only way Addison will be protected is if everyone else gets vaccinated.

After writing a blog post pleading with parents to get their children immunized, I was interviewed for this article, yet Addison’s voice was relegated to the very end, like an afterthought. If she was supposed to be the poster child for the voice of reason, what does that say about the Province’s opinion of this topic? I was sorely disappointed that this important message was considered minor compared to the plight of the crunchy mamas who feel like they are under attack for espousing rhetoric based upon opinion and innuendo.

The media must step up and shoulder its fair share of blame in the decline of vaccination rates. In an effort to be “politically correct” some outlets seem to have lost the ability to sift through legitimate experts and those who just shout the loudest. It is not our responsibility to give a forum to all opinions, especially those who refute clear evidence-based science. It is our responsibility to be responsible in our coverage, and that includes not legitimizing opinions which are harmful to the public at large.

Elaine Yong
Addison’s mother

11 thoughts on “My take on measles Part 2 – Letter to the Editor of @theProvince

  1. Love your article we need to protect our little ones that can not get the vaccine. Parents that have children that can get the vaccine should.

  2. I’m furious too! I can’t believe how many people aren’t vaccinating their kids. Herd immunity is so important as the effectiveness rate of vaccines isn’t 100%. I am so grateful that my daughter can be vaccinated against things that could kill her and it scares me how many children in our area could spread these deadly diseases. When she got a strange blister on her leg, my first fear was that she’s been exposed to something from one of the unvaccinated kids in the area. I’m covered in scars from chicken pox. How wonderful that my daughter won’t be. Roald Dahl’s account of his daughter passing away from measles was so so sad. I support you Elaine.

  3. I cannot believe they even “sensor” the letters to the editor!!! That was a pretty ridiculous article they had…but your “reply” was so well said!!! (Much better argued than the article!!) we will
    Help spread the word to vaccinate!!!!!

  4. Intelligent and well nformed people that read know the data MMR. has been given since 1962. There is more danger that came/ comes from LSD and other recreational drugs In the 60s then , and now , than immunizations let’s not ignore the mind bending drugs that change chromosomes and genes That’s my opinion. Immunizations save lives.

  5. You are bang on Elaine! I’ve always believed that if parents want to take a stand against vaccines, then they have the right to do so, but they should refrain from public places and especially public schools where they willingly put others at risk by their choice. My daughter can’t have the MMR vaccine and should the measles hit her school, she will be the one at risk, she will be the one who has to stay away and she will be the one who will have to miss out. Something is wrong with this picture!! Great, great letter.

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