I did not read all of the responses. From personal experience, I had measles at age 25. My temp was almost 105 and I felt incredibly ill. My body was covered with the measles rash. It did not itch. I felt hot and weak. I thought I had meningitis and thought I might die. I really felt so bad, I didn't care. My liver was also enlarged and my liver enzymes were elevated. I was vaccinated as an infant, but earlier than the recommended time. Since I had been vaccinated, they had a difficult time diagnosing my illness. Another person at the hospital where I worked was diagnosed with measles and the health department wanted to test me. It turned out, I had atypical measles syndrome which occurs in vaccinated people exposed to "wild" measles. Atypical measles syndrome: unusual hepa... [Am J Med Sci. 1981 Jan-Feb] - PubMed - NCBI
Never, ever would I want my children or grandchildren to be as ill as I was. I have parents born in the early part of the 20th century who had these diseases as children. They suffered terribly and knew of other kids who died. If you can avoid these diseases, why not take the precaution? Death is not the only consequence. Children can suffer lifelong sequelae, including neurological impairment. The rare child will have a serious adverse reaction to a vaccine. The risk is of death or disability is substantially less than the risk we take when we go on a car ride with our kids. It is true, as in my case, that sometimes vaccines are not effective. That too is the exception, not the rule.
It never ceases to amaze me who parents choose to believe when it comes to vaccines. The propaganda spread by Andrew Wakefield was a lie meant only to advance his position and prestige. Jenny McCarthy is an uninformed celebrity and the mom of a child suffering. Of course, she wants something we can identify and blame to explain her son's illness. That is human nature. It does not mean what she says is true. You would not go to a wood cutter for heart surgery. Why do you think that celebrities and known liars know better than respected scientists, pediatricians, and our nursing colleagues? Vaccinations save lives. What one does for one's own family, is to a great extent a private matter. However, because there are some children who cannot get vaccinated due to health conditions and those for whom vaccines do not confer immunity, by decreasing the percentage of vaccinated individuals, a parent's uninformed choices may put many people at risk.