anti-vaccination and autoimmune disease

08Feb15

With the Disneyland measles cases, anti-vaxxers have been in the news a lot. For instance, this article about the measles outbreak talks about several families, some of whom made the decision to vaccinate after the recent scare, and some of whom decided to stick to their guns.

The stubborn ones repeatedly argue that their child’s immune system is just fine, why should they need to put those toxins into their child’s body? (as I curse Jenny McCarthy yet again)

putting on public health hat

Well, it’s not just about you. And a lot of the articles have been good about addressing the herd immunity issue: if your child happened to get sick and bring measles (or whatever) to school, those not immunized, or those with weaker immune systems, are more likely to get sick. More children vaccinated = less illness all around for all, not just those with crazy immune issues.

What does this have to do with MS and other autoimmune diseases?

As I explained previously, those of us with autoimmune disease have immune cells that misbehave. And it’s not completely understood. For some people, their immunity doesn’t quite work the same, but I’m pretty vigilant about diet and exercise as a natural immune booster so that I’m hardly ever sick. The game-changer is the drugs that we take: they modify the cells of our immune system, often removing them from the line of duty so that they can’t attack our self-cells. This also means that, depending on the strength of the particular drug, we have reduced immune systems, having effectively removed immune cells from circulation.

Given the number of people with autoimmune disorders who are out there, presumably on a disease-modifying drug, I fear the anti-vax movement, for my community’s sake!

(We can empower ourselves, though, too–keep that immune system fighting strong by consuming natural antioxidants! Vitamins A, C, and E are really important. Have you gotten your fruits and vegetables in today? Go do it!)

Anyway, stirring the pot. For the sake of everyone’s health!

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3 Responses to “anti-vaccination and autoimmune disease”

  1. 1 Steve Yool

    Sound advice, this. Vaccination is a social responsibility, in most cases.


  1. 1 anti-vaccination: a personal consequence? | In Search of My New Normal

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