As Anti-Vax Movement Grows In Missouri, Families With Sick Children Fear For Their Lives

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As Anti-Vax Movement Grows In Missouri, Families With Sick Children Fear For Their Lives

Vaccinations not only protect your health, they protect the health of the community by slowing or stopping the spread of illness.

But Missouri now has some of the lowest measles vaccination rates in the nation, and that’s especially troubling for families with children who can’t get the shots for medical reasons.

When Izzy Lightle of Savannah, Missouri, was almost 2, she was diagnosed with leukemia, and doctors put a halt to her getting vaccines.

The illness, combined with chemotherapy treatment, left her with an immune system so weak that her parents, Christie and Jason, had to rush her to the hospital at the first signs of a cold or flu.  

To stay healthy, she relied on herd immunity, the collective effect when a large majority of people get vaccinated.

On social media, the family gave regular updates to the community on their daughter’s condition, trusting neighbors would do their part to keep her well.

“Because I don’t know how many times it was posted, ‘Please pray for us because we’re on the way to the emergency room,’ I felt people knew how serious her situation was, how immuno-compromised she was, how susceptible, how serious it would be for her to catch something,” Jason Lightle says.

Read more from KCUR.