Yes, Your Choice To Skip Vaccination Puts Other Lives In Danger
Politics and Activism

Yes, Your Choice To Skip Vaccination Puts My Life In Danger

I'm one of those who can't afford to get sick.

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People who have had an organ transplant (like myself), cancer, and/or have their immune suppressed are at a greater risk of getting sick. We have to take a medication called anti-rejections to suppress our immune system. So in order for our body not to reject the new organ, due to it being "foreign," these medications are a must have.

These medications lower your immune system so they don't "attack" the organ thinking it's a foreign invader. However, by lowering your immune system you are more susceptible to illness. There are two different types of vaccines, "dead" virus vaccines, and "live" virus vaccines. Typical dead virus vaccines include Hepatitis A and B, Flu (shot only), DTAP, TD, TDAP, Hib, and PCV. Typical live virus vaccines include Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), and Chicken Pox.

Vaccines are a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or more diseases. Most of us get vaccines when we are born through right before we start kindergarten along with the yearly flu shot. But with a resurgent anti-vaccination movement, more of these diseases that were once eradicated are now coming back.

People who have had transplants, cancer treatments, and/or immune system issues are at greater risk of contracting these diseases. And in some extreme or rare cases, people who have had organ transplants have to undergo an antibody treatment called plasmapheresis that permanently wipes out their antibodies; including childhood vaccines which lead them virtually defenseless.

Plasmapheresis is a method of removing blood plasma from the body by withdrawing blood, separating it into plasma and cells, and transfusing the cells back into the bloodstream. This is performed especially to remove antibodies in treating autoimmune conditions. By doing this, all of the childhood vaccines are eradicated and you can't go back and get them again. Most importantly, organ transplant recipients cannot get live virus vaccines because it puts them at risk for rejection.

You may be wondering, "how do these people not get sick?" And that's partly where you come in. We can wear a mask in public and do all these other things to keep us from getting sick but if you choose not to vaccinate, you are hurting everyone around you, including your child. By not vaccinating you are joining the collective that is slowly bringing diseases, that were once extinct, back to life.

When I was little, I got all of my shots (live ones included) but once I went through plasmapheresis, they were wiped out. If I got, for example, measles, I would have to immediately be admitted to the hospital, quarantined, and dosed with the most evasive antibiotics and hope it would get rid of the measles.

If I got it and chose not to go to the hospital, I would end up dying of complications because my body is not able to fight illnesses/viruses. And this can happen to anyone, not me or any other transplant recipient; it can happen to you or a loved one.

If you are worried about the theory that vaccines cause autism then you should know that Andrew Wakefield, the doctor who came up with this theory, ended up getting his medical license revoked, his paper regarding this theory discredited because of serious procedural errors, under closed financial conflicts of interest, and ethical violations in which his article was taken out of "The Lancet."

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