Monday, April 21, 2014

My Current Personal Experience With Herd (Community) Immunity

Reason #27591 why herd immunity is so important: Even though I would really, reeeaaally like to, I can't get an MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) booster because I am immunosuppressed and could get sick from it. This is unfortunate timing for me since there have been cases of measles popping up in Seattle.

Most of you are healthy and will not get sick from this vaccine. Herd immunity has been suffering since healthy people have been choosing not to vaccinate themselves or their healthy children. (All vaccines and their timing are not created equal, but this is not the thread in which to discuss that.) One result of this has been the new cases of measles in Seattle. I cannot protect myself from it any further than I already have, so herd immunity is incredibly important to me.

HEALTHY ADULTS AND CHILDREN: Please understand - you can incubate measles and not get sick yourself, BUT you can pass it on to people like me who are more prone to serious complications from it.

I DO NOT WANT TO DEAL WITH MEASLES. Please don't give it to me. If you think you've been exposed, please let me know which rooms you've walked into recently so I can avoid the airborne droplets. As always, do keep inviting me to events and let me decide whether or not to show up instead of making that decision for me.

I don't want this thread to devolve into angry jabs, I just think it's extremely important that people have a face to put with this situation. It is very real.

***EDIT 4/26: My doctor and I discussed this issue further and he concluded that at my current level of immunosuppression, the risk of me catching measles at this time was more concerning than the possible side effects from the vaccine. I was admittedly a bit nervous because the MMR vaccine is live, but I got it four days ago and haven't yet noticed any complications beyond being extra exhausted. I am relieved that I have the added protection (even though it might not work as well because I'm immunosuppressed.)

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