If they don’t die, children are very likely to be maimed for life and this is not a desirable result either. Many measles deaths have been reported and such grim statistics will be included in the nationwide campaign to convince the parents who have refused to vaccinate their children that through their refusal, they could actually be killing their children. The campaign will also publicize the effects of measles on adults who are also susceptible to the disease if they did not receive any vaccination in their childhood.
It is important to bring in relevant real examples from countries such as Vietnam where a measles epidemic is decimating the population and it is actually targeting the adults more than the children; probably because the adults have not yet been immunized. The people being treated for measles by the National Hospital for Infectious and Tropical Diseases are all in comas and are said to be in critical condition (VOVNews 2009). In Old Europe, measles cases were prevalent and in their exploration of the New World, Europeans actually spread the disease to American population.
It is estimated that a total of 56 million people from the Americas died of old world diseases during this time and measles was a chief contributor of these dates. Central and South America were significantly depopulated as a result of measles among other old world diseases such as chicken pox (Strauss 2002, p. 140). The aim of taking people back in history is to remind them what it was like when measles ruled the world and demonstrate to them why they should not be willing to go down that road again, especially since it has already been proven that the MMR vaccine is safe.
The public is underestimating the effects of a measles outbreak and it is paramount that they be subjected to a reality check before they place their health, that of their children and the future of this country in real danger. Another component of the campaign will be to highlight how the disease is spread from one person to another so as to demonstrate the dynamics of an epidemic and why prevention may be better than cure. In the United States of America in the year 1974, there was a measles epidemic in a New York suburban elementary school.
Part of the rapid spread in this epidemic was attributed to the airborne nature of measles which facilitated such a dramatic spread of the disease. It is also believed that an inadequate immunization of some of the children may have contributed to the epidemic (Riley et al 1978). Creating awareness on how quickly measles is spread may induce the public to feel the need to get their children vaccinated so as to prevent them from contracting the disease in case of an epidemic as has been reportedly reported in recent times.
The campaign content may also include a projection of what is likely to happen if the necessary steps are not taken to ensure that all children get vaccinated. The principle aim behind publicising the adverse consequences of refusing to give children the MMR vaccine is simply to influence public opinion and convince parents to vaccinate their children if only to avoid these negative effects from happening.
As mentioned before, the public is averse to anything that threatens their health and well being and if they are convinced enough that refusing to vaccinate their children is of a greater risk to their well being than risking the perceived side effect of the vaccination which has actually been proven to be false, then they may go ahead and decide to vaccinate their children. The following is an outline of the proposed plan of action.