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Your Notebook: Inoculating infants against measles Measles is the most infectious of diseases. What is it like to raise a child while contracting a deadly disease? Comment By Ryan Pfeiffer Posted Jul. 9, 2014 @ 9:23 pm The Journal News News Your Notebook: Inoculating infants against measles From a purely practical standpoint, it’s difficult to underestimate the benefits of inoculation. Those who have had measles often cite the terrifying experience of contracting the disease during pregnancy or infancy. Those who are immunized do not. Aides to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who met with an immunization rally in the state Capitol today, point to the death of little Norwood Johnson, who died of measles after being unvaccinated, as the most compelling example of the benefits of vaccines. Norwood Johnson was 2 years old, and his death prompted an eight-year-old boy to be removed from a class of 10-year-olds at a local Christian school. The father of the 10-year-old boy said that the school’s policy of allowing unvaccinated children to attend class seemed “inhumane.” The school had an attendance policy of allowing unvaccinated children to remain in school as long as they were not contagious, which the school clarified to mean not symptomatic. Given the seriousness of measles, it’s important that parents who choose not to vaccinate do so with full knowledge of the risks they are undertaking. For parents who have chosen to have their children inoculated against measles, the benefits are apparent. Medical experts generally agree that the risk of harm from a preventable illness like measles is higher than the risk of harm from the shots themselves. Today, vaccines like the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) are given to infants and children as a routine part of their health care. Those who choose not to have their children vaccinated are placing their children’s health in grave jeopardy. It’s up to us to do everything we can to protect infants and children from diseases like measles.