It’s a common debate – especially on internet forums – but one aunt is sharing the very real results of not vaccinating your children. While there are various reasons why some choose not to vaccinate — those same reasons have been consistently debunked by health professionals.
Alecia Rankin shared a photo her of seven-week-old niece to Facebook, proving vaccines are a major contributor to public safety. The baby was infected with the Hib flu – an extremely rare virus.
“Reason #1736493983283763 to vaccinate your kids? My seven-week-old niece has Hib flu. So rare that her doctor hasn’t seen it in her career because this bacteria caused by Hib flu was all but eradicated by vaccines,” she wrote.
There’s nothing more heartbreaking than seeing a baby in pain — and because some parents are refusing vaccination, more babies are contracting viruses they wouldn’t normally get. Diseases like polio and measles are even threatening a return.
“I think that there are many people out there that have been impacted by an adverse reaction to a vaccine and that fear has lead them to believe the anti-vaccine ‘hype’,” Rankin told Scary Mommy. “Anything can cause an allergic or adverse reaction and we normally don’t even think about it until it happens. One of my sons is allergic to penicillin, however, I understand this doesn’t happen with everyone and the benefits to most people outweigh the risk. It’s the same concept with vaccines.”
According to the Government of Canada website, Hib flu is most common in developing countries in children less than six months old. Before the widespread use of the Hib vaccine, resource-poor countries were most at risk of illness and death from the disease.
Symptoms of the disease range from mild to potentially life threatening — such as a bloodstream infection. Children receive their first vaccination for Hib at two months old. Unfortunately Rankin’s niece was only seven weeks old, so hadn’t yet been treated.
“So before you decide not to vaccinate your children because ‘it’s your choice’ and ‘those who are vaccinated won’t be affected’ remember that babies can get sick before they have the chance to get their vaccine,” she said. “They ran blood work and eventually a spinal tap and diagnosed her with Hib… She ended up having to have a PICC line because the IV in her head and arm stopped working.”
Baby Aryn is now recovering at home. However, despite her niece’s positive outcome, Rankin continues to preach the importance of vaccinations.
“I fully believe in vaccinating our children and the fact that I had to see my niece in pain and extremely sick from an illness that can be prevented by vaccinations, further solidifies that belief.”