From its description on Amazon.com, “Melanie’s Marvelous Measles takes children on a journey to learn about the ineffectiveness of vaccinations and to know they don’t have to be scared of childhood illnesses, like measles and chicken pox.”
A children’s book teaching kids that they don’t have to fear measles and other childhood illnesses? I don’t know what’s more ridiculous, the story line, or the image of the young girl dancing on the cover – apparently delighted to be free of immunizations that children around the world so desperately need.
First of all, don’t compare measles to chicken pox. Measles is responsible for the deaths of thousands of children each year. In some parts of the world, there are female vaccination workers who risk their lives walking miles through treacherous slums and villages so children can get the vaccinations they so desperately need. It seems the author, Stephanie Messenger, has taken her own personal wounds and launched a crusade around them.
One of her children died of what doctors expected was complications from “Alexander’s Disease.” This child underwent routine vaccinations – her other children did not. She blames the death of her child on adverse reactions to the vaccinations. This led her to launch her anti-vaccine crusade, beginning with a book called Vaccination Roulette and culminating with Melanie’s Marvelous Measles.
I’m fortunate to not know the pain of losing a child. I don’t like to judge parents that have experienced this hell. But I do believe that the pain of losing a child coupled with being duped by the anti-vaccine movement leads grieving parents on crusades that they have no business pioneering.
2011 was the worst year for measles in the last 15 years thanks to low vaccine rates. 2012 was the worst year for whooping cough in six decades thanks to vanishing herd immunity. We have a serious problem. We are turning against the most important scientific advances of modern civilization and opting to return to a time when sickness was a given for children – and for what reason? There has been no proven scientific evidence that vaccinations cause anything except immunity from disease. Yes, there are rare adverse reactions, but they do not trump the benefits of herd immunity against such diseases as small pox, polio, measles and whooping cough.
I’m sorry the author lost a child – I really am. But it doesn’t excuse the incredibly irresponsible tactic of spreading anti-vaccination propaganda to kids.