A mother reminds people to vaccinate their children after her cancer-struck daughter has contracted measles

Nicole Stellon O & # 39; Donnell contacted Twitter last week to remind followers of the importance of vaccines after her cancer-struck daughter had contracted measles.

In her thread, O & # 39; Donnell explained that her daughter could not be vaccinated herself because chemotherapy left her with a weakened immune system. She wrote that too the examination room of her daughter needed a "final cleaning" that disrupted other treatments for cancer patients. O & # 39; Donnell also mentioned other potential risks of not vaccinating children, such as other children with immunocompromation who need painful shots to increase their number of white blood cells.

O & # 39; Donnell & # 39; s thread illustrated what can happen if people skip vaccinations

Vaccinating children with a healthy immune system prevents situations such as O & # 39; s Donnell has gone through because these vaccines stop the spread of measles, polio and other potentially fatal diseases, according to the Mayo Clinic. These vaccines become especially important for children who can not be vaccinated because of compromised immune systems or allergies to components of the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

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Vaccines contain dead or weakened strains of the respective disease that protects each vaccine against, according to Nemours, a health system for non-profit children. When a person is vaccinated, the body makes antibodies that protect against the strain, so if a living version would enter the body, a person would be better prepared to fight the contracted disease. The CDC currently advises the measles vaccine for children aged 12 months and older.

In addition to providing protection for yourself, vaccines can protect an entire community thanks to a concept known as "herd immunity," meaning that the more people are vaccinated, the less likely a disease spreads, according to the US Department of Health and Human Health Services (HHS). When the immunity of the herd comes into effect, even those who can not get vaccines will have a lower chance of getting a life-threatening illness. If you stay on top of your vaccinations, this has far-reaching benefits for people with reduced immunity, whether it is a person with HIV / AIDS, type 1 diabetes or cancer like the daughter of O & # 39; Donnell.

O & # 39; Donnell did not respond immediately to INSIDER's request for comment.


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