Top critical review
22 March 2018
Aside from the fact that this book is appallingly written, it is just wrong. Does Stephanie Messenger know what a vaccine is? It's a small dose of a disease, which may cause symptoms but will not kill you. It builds up antibodies in the immune system so that when we encounter the real, pathogenic killer, we can fight it. Vaccines are one of medicine's miracles and their effect is the same as a child catching the killer disease and surviving, only they do not cause suffering or lifelong disability.
I see Messenger lost her baby son and blames it on his vaccines. However, reading deeper, the child had Alexander Disease, a rare genetic condition, which undoubtedly caused his death. It is clear to me that rather than slating Messenger for writing Melanie's Marvelous Measles (which is spelt is incorrectly), we should have sympathy for her. She is a heartbroken mother who lost her son and would rather blame a vaccine than her own or her husband's faulty genes. It is easier to blame a vaccine than to accept her child was sick from birth. This rampage is emotionally driven and for that we can't blame her.
Sympathy aside, it is fricking dangerous to write a book like this and messed up that it is aimed at children. Messenger grossly downplays the symptoms of measles and makes light of a disease that kills, causes blindness and other potential lifelong disabilities. Vaccinating a society stamps out a deadly disease. Smallpox is all but eradicated from the UK now because of vaccination. If some people go on the advice of people like Stephanie Messenger, then we haven't eradicated a disease because some people will still be at risk of catching it. It is still out there and just supposing someone comes from another country who hasn't been vaccinated. They would get the disease and there would be an outbreak, a completely unnecessary outbreak.
This case tears me in two. On the one hand I feel for a mother who has lost her baby son. On the other hand, she's acting like an idiot and potentially putting people at risk.