Vaccinations save the lives of children

Vaccines have provided us with an additional way to help preserve and protect life and our health.

In response to Kimberly Hayek’s letter, “Measles warnings just scare tactics” (Progress, March 21), I believe that immunization should be mandatory.

Ms. Hayek states that “immunization does not prevent diseases,” but research shows that immunization does help prevent diseases. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s A Parent’s Guide to Immunization (2009), “Immunization has saved the lives of more babies and children than any other medical intervention in the past 50 years,” but this is achieved with regular booster shots. Immunization on its own does not prevent diseases. However, immunization is a way to help strengthen the immune system against an attack.

Just because there is a resurgence of a virus does not mean that it was once eradicated. This simply means that either the new generation has not received vaccinations or the initial virus has mutated. I believe that it is a combination of the two. Viruses mutate and we need to revisit the chemical makeup of vaccinations. No matter if the vaccinations are up to date for the new virus strain if people do not get vaccinated, there will be outbreaks. This population includes visitors from abroad.

I believe that the bullying and scare tactics that Ms., Hayek refers to in her letter is simply the research information that is released to the public. I have never felt bullied by drug companies, provincial regulations, or health authorities. If someone disagrees with the research that is published they needn’t go far from the Internet to find additional research on the topic.

Chemicals used in vaccines have changed over the years. Newer vaccines contain only a part of the virus or bacteria gene and no longer contain mercury as a preservative. This exposure is used to stimulate the immune system to attack the invading virus or bacteria. Many vaccines are based in egg proteins which people consume every day.

In sum, vaccines have provided us with an additional way to help preserve and protect life and our health. There is a lot of information about vaccinations for those who look for it.

Shaun Darcy