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Olivia, my eldest daughter, caught measles when she was seven years old. As the illness took its usual course I can remember reading to her often in bed and not feeling particularly alarmed about it. Then one morning, when she was well on the road to recovery, I was sitting on her bed showing her how to fashion little animals out of coloured pipe-cleaners, and when it came to her turn to make one herself, I noticed that her fingers and her mind were not working together and she couldn’t do anything.

“Are you feeling all right?” I asked her.

“I feel all sleepy, ” she said.

In an hour, she was unconscious. In twelve hours she was dead.

The measles had turned into a terrible thing called measles encephalitis and there was nothing the doctors could do to save her.

That was twenty-four years ago in 1962, but even now, if a child with measles happens to develop the same deadly reaction from measles as Olivia did, there would still be nothing the doctors could do to help her.

On the other hand, there is today something that parents can do to make sure that this sort of tragedy does not happen to a child of theirs. They can insist that their child is immunised against measles. I was unable to do that for Olivia in 1962 because in those days a reliable measles vaccine had not been discovered. Today a good and safe vaccine is available to every family and all you have to do is to ask your doctor to administer it.

It is not yet generally accepted that measles can be a dangerous illness.

Believe me, it is. In my opinion parents who now refuse to have their children immunised are putting the lives of those children at risk.

In America, where measles immunisation is compulsory, measles like smallpox, has been virtually wiped out.

Here in Britain, because so many parents refuse, either out of obstinacy or ignorance or fear, to allow their children to be immunised, we still have a hundred thousand cases of measles every year.

Out of those, more than 10,000 will suffer side effects of one kind or another.

At least 10,000 will develop ear or chest infections.

About 20 will die.

LET THAT SINK IN.

Every year around 20 children will die in Britain from measles.

So what about the risks that your children will run from being immunised?

They are almost non-existent. Listen to this. In a district of around 300,000 people, there will be only one child every 250 years who will develop serious side effects from measles immunisation! That is about a million to one chance. I should think there would be more chance of your child choking to death on a chocolate bar than of becoming seriously ill from a measles immunisation.

So what on earth are you worrying about?

It really is almost a crime to allow your child to go unimmunised.

Roald Dahl, 1986

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TEAM VACCINE

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NINETEEN EIGHTY SIX.

roald dahl was calling out the anti-vaccination movement as self indulgent bullshit //thirty god damn years ago//.

(via ultralaser)

Over 1,000 preventable deaths and 128,000 preventable illnesses since 2007 and counting

And this is only in recent history. I can’t imagine the numbers if we had data all the way back to 1986.

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And thanks to anti-vaxxers, measles is back in the United States.

(via thebicker)

Psychologists have found that people’s belief in a just world helps explain how they react to innocent victims of negative life circumstances. People become cognitively frustrated when presented with stories of victims who suffer through little fault of their own. They can deal with this frustration in two ways: they can conclude that the world is an unjust place, or they can decide that the victim is somehow to blame. Most people reconcile their psychological distress by blaming the victim. Even when we know that suffering is undeserved, it is psychologically easier to blame the victim rather than give up the idea that the world is basically fair.
Melissa Harris-Perry [x] (via aerialiste)

valyrianstories:

What’s In My Purse?

My purse has evolved into a moleskin notebook (I use that accordion pocket in the back) so mine has: A bunch of cards (ID, Credit, Membership) and doodles from downtime at work,

Oh, lord, so much stuff. All the usual: wallet, checkbook, keys, sunglasses. And then a notebook, an emergency kit (full of very handy stuff!) from Sephora, bt headphones, gift cards, second wallet just for cards that don’t fit in my first wallet, pantyliners, three tubes of lip gloss, five kinds of medicine, gum, mints, markers, listerine, lotion, wall charger for phone, car charger for phone, SO MANY PENS, tide pen, screwdriver and measuring tape, lego loki keychain, tissues, business cards, appointment cards, receipts, swiss army knife…

(Source: girlcodeonmtv)

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