To the editor:
I do not understand the logic behind the no-vac mentality gripping the country. I'm taken back that there is no mention of the risk that non-vaccinated people present to a large number of people who are immunocompromised. I'm one of those individuals as I have multiple myeloma. Mayo Clinic has been instrumental in extending my life.
My treatment involved collecting my stem cells, followed by a procedure to destroy my blood in order to kill the cancer cells. Next, my collected stem cells were introduced into my system to create a new blood supply. At this point, I'm at serious risk of contracting an infectious disease because along with killing my blood cells, my immune system was wiped out. I spent six weeks in a sterile environment recovering from the treatment, gaining back strength so that I could start to be vaccinated. The vaccination is good news and bad news for all people suffering from compromised immune systems due to the treatment of a major disease.
The good news is that we can be vaccinated with synthetic viruses that will protect against several diseases. The bad news is that we cannot be vaccinated with live viruses because our systems do not have any antibodies to create immunity against the live virus. The bottom line is that a large number of the population, old and young, who have been made immunocompromised by medical treatment are vulnerable to mumps, measles and rubella.
The recent measles outbreak is extremely dangerous to those of us that are immunocompromised. People have to avoid any crowd that has the potential for the spread of live viruses. This is tough to accomplish. I avoid mass transportation and large crowds and my movement is going to be further restricted as soon as there is a record of a case of measles in Minnesota.