Letter: Government must build trust by answering measles questions

Editor:

This is not an “anti-vaccine” letter. In the interests of building trust and providing reliable information, government and medical officers would do well to answer a few practical, logical questions that come up with the measles vaccine issue.

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The Centre for Disease Control says people with severe allergic reactions to any component in the vaccine should not get vaccinated. 

1 - How are people to know if they or their child has, or may have, a severe allergic reaction without actually experiencing it from a vaccine?

2 - What are the effects of a severe allergic reaction, what does it look like?

3 - If someone does get vaccinated and a severe allergic reaction ensures-, what should be done? 

4 - And, is their compensation for any disability or loss of life that may arise from an adverse reaction to a vaccine? 

5 - And, if there is no such compensation, will the government introduce compensation?

6 - What percentage of the population is expected to have each of the different types of severe allergic reactions, including death?

7 - WHO statistics on the impact of measles include the entire world and all our struggling impoverished nations. (By the way, this includes nations like South Africa from which our government seeks to attract scarce medical personnel to work and live here which must have an adverse impact on the health of people there.) Canada is not one of these impoverished nations but has many readily accessible medical resources and very high standards of hygiene. What are the statistics on outcomes for those who have measles in Canada? 

B. Mink

*Editor’s note: Many of these questions have been answered by multiple government agencies, both locally, across Canada and around the world. For example, we looked up the chances of getting encephalitis – a dangerous swelling of the brain - from the MMR because the letter writer is worried about side effects. The chances are one in one million from the vaccine. The chances, however, of getting encephalitis if you don’t get vaccinated and contract measles, are just one in 1,000. Click here for the HealthLink BC page that offers a long list of facts about the MMR vaccine.

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