Alabama Measles Baby in US Sparks Debate on Merits of Vaccination

Published May 7th, 2019 - 10:52 GMT
(Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP/File Photo)
(Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP/File Photo)

The story of the five-month-old baby girl who had been diagnosed with measles in Alabama, US, is making rounds in the media, sparking arguments over the anti-vaccination campaigners around the world including the Middle East.

The story of Alabama’s kid went viral in the US lately after her mother went to the media and confirmed it was her daughter, who is too young to receive measles vaccination. The baby's case is believed to be an infection she got from an unvaccinated man who traveled to Alabama and Mississippi while infected with measles, and according to local media reports. State health officials are now trying to reach hundreds of people in several states whom may have got infected from this man.

The baby and the mother have become controversial as the mother accused the anti-vaccination campaigners and parents who did not vaccinate their children for her baby's illness.

The mother went on to Facebook and wrote how she did “everything” to protect her child before the diagnosis, yet she got sick as a result of the negligence of other parents who choose not to vaccinate their children.

Recently, the controversy over the complications of vaccination contradicted medical studies that linked vaccination to autism and other illnesses; it was these that led people not to vaccinate their kids. This comes in addition to other ethical and legal issues that have been rising related to vaccines.

Online discussions about the Alabama baby have been on the internet rise, leading more people to engage in a social media talk, even in the Middle East, where anti-vaccination advocates are trying to influence public opinion.

Translation: “Anti-vaccination people are truly selfish who can't see what harm they can cause. This child has most probably became infected with measles from another who was not vaccinated. Please, don’t take us back 100 years or more, claiming this is freedom of choice. You are not only harming yourself or your child, but you are also harming other children.”

Meanwhile, anti-vaccine Arab advocates had their say on the issue.

Translation: “Vaccinations aim at eliminating epidemics, regardless of threatening the lives of 0.005% of kids to the risk of paralysis, death, and mercury poisoning. For the governments, this percentage is nothing if it is for saving the lives of the rest, while for any mother, I refuse to have my child among that 0.005 %.”

Other anti-vaccine advocates have suggested that vaccinations are the governments’ or pharmaceutical companies’ way to earn money from people in exchange for lies to the dangers of not vaccinating their children.

Translation: “This is all a lie from pharmaceutical companies to earn money by the name of health. Autoimmune diseases, autism, and mental illnesses are all side effects of this disaster [vaccinatino].”

Meanwhile, some people defended the anti-vaccination argument sharing their stories of losing their own children because of vaccination.

While the controversy continues and people are split between anti-vaccination advocates and their critics, it is still unclear whether governments would impose a law that would regulate the vaccination of children.

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