Little Abby Peterson was only a couple of weeks away from turning six back in 2001 when she came down with a serious case of the chicken pox. The illness caused her to be so weak that she ended up with pneumonia and her small body just was not strong enough to fight against two different infections. After ten tormenting hours in the hospital, Abby passed away in her mother’s arms.
Chicken pox and pneumonia are both preventable through vaccine shots, but Abby’s mother, Shannon Peterson, who resides in the rustic town of Sleepy Eye, Minnesota stated that Abby’s pediatrician steered Shannon away from getting her daughter vaccinated.
She stated that she asked for Abby to receive them but the physician talked her out of it. He said that vaccines were just too new and suggested she expose her children to the diseases instead because he believed they would build up their resistance naturally.
Peterson declared that she now wishes she had questioned the doctor’s endorsements more vehemently. It was only discovered after her autopsy that Abby was born without having a spleen. That is an organ which is essential to the immune system. By her not having that made her particularly vulnerable to viruses and germs.
Since the little girl’s death, Peterson has become an advocate for vaccines, even speaking to the Minnesota state legislature and helping pass laws demanding childhood immunizations in that state. She explained that the tiny but loud minority of parents who refuse to get their children vaccinated due to fears of adverse reactions which include autism have well intentions but are actually negligent.
Shannon stated that parents who do not vaccinate are not taking full medical care of their children. The majority of the world’s medical establishment completely agrees with Peterson. Many different health organizations have stressed for years that vaccines are both necessary and very safe. They also state that the majority of children have to be immunized in order to protect both the children and also the entire communities from diseases such as mumps, measles and chicken pox.
Most parents know the importance of vaccines but still are fearful they could bring harm to a child’s developing immune system. Although the fact that changing the time that vaccines are given might appear to be a compromise but it still creates a severe health risk due to the child being able to catch vaccine preventable illnesses for various periods of time.
By delaying vaccinations, it raises the cost of health protection and even makes it more likely a child will not complete the entire schedule needed for defense against disease because vaccines spread out are basically vaccines not given.
Peterson explained that she believes all parents believe they have their children’s best interests at heart but they need to follow science and make educated choices. She stated that by vaccinating a child can end up killing a child.
Almost 10 percent of parents in a 2011 national survey refused to get any vaccines for their children. Another 25 percent deferred their child’s vaccinations, referring to safety concerns.
Abby Peterson was only a couple of weeks away from turning six when she came down with a serious case of the chicken pox. If she had been vaccinated, she may be alive today.
By Kimberly Ruble
Healthwise Daily News