Hi Reddit! I am Dr. Amber Robins, a board-certified family medicine physician. Last year, I was the health and media fellow at Georgetown University and the PBS NewsHour. I am a graduate of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and the author of "The Write Prescription: Finding the 'Right' Spiritual Dosage to Overcome Any Obstacle.” Ask me anything about the ongoing measles outbreak in at least three states and the importance of getting vaccinated.

Here is my proof!

Comments: 56 • Responses: 15  • Date: 

NewsHour21 karma

Let's get back to the basics:

Information from the CDC

Signs and Symptoms of the Measles

  1. High fever (may spike to more than 104F)
  2. Cough
  3. Runny Nose
  4. Red, watery eyes
  5. Rash breaks out 3-5 days after symptoms begin.

If you have any concerns that you or someone you know may have these symptoms, please call your primary care doctor.

arch_android14 karma

  1. Can you explain why parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children?
  2. Can children attempt to get vaccinated without parental consent?
  3. What does this mean for children who are unable to get vaccinated due to the lack of parental consent? What are the health risks for these children?

NewsHour18 karma

This is an area that I think medicine is really just starting to address. It's a tough call to make. Yes, vaccines can be helpful. Yes, children can think differently about getting them than their parents. What is the right thing to do...I think the jury is out for now. Traditionally, parents have to consent to all medical treatment for children under the age of 18 except for when it comes to their sexual health. Vaccines are considered part of that medical treatment.

Why aren't parents choosing to vaccinate their children? That is the question many of us in healthcare are scratching our heads about since the measles vaccine works so well. Each family may have their own reasons of why they don't want to get vaccinated. It's important for more of us to have these conversations.

Are children who have not gotten the measles vaccine at risk? YES!!! Nine out of 10 people who are unvaccinated or have not had measles previously, can contract measles if they are exposed since it is just that contagious.

Duncandonut92711 karma

First off thank you for doing this! Just for the sake of clarity, are there any common complications that come with the measles vaccine? Or other vaccines, ie flu shot. I understand that major complications are rare, I'm just trying to get into the heads of all the anti-vaxxers in my community so I can try to turn them to the lightside.

For the record I'm vaccinated up to my eyeballs after travelling extensively and losing my all medical records in my teens.

NewsHour9 karma

So I absolutely love the handouts that we give when patients get vaccines because they have so much great information. Here is one you may be familiar with for the MMR vaccine: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/mmr.pdf

In it you'll find minor, moderate, and severe adverse events that may occur due to getting the vaccine. Some common that may occur are: Sore arm from the injection, Fever, Redness or rash at the injection site, or Swelling of glands in the cheeks or neck. Some of the more severe events which are rare include: Deafness, Long-term seizures, coma, or lowered consciousness, or Brain damage.

true_gamer_11 karma

What is the measles fatality rate?

NewsHour21 karma

Measles is an illness that has recently been on the rise. According to the CDC, in 2000 the measles was declared eliminated from the U.S. mostly because the measles vaccine has been so effective. The annual number of cases has increased over the last few years. The CDC reports that "one or two out of every 1,000 children who become infected with measles will die from respiratory and neurologic complications."

NewsHour9 karma

Hi everyone! I am excited to take your questions! Ask me anything!

Soccerismylife5 karma

1) I hear a lot about anti-vaxxers but have rarely, if ever, encountered someone in my life who legitimately believed vaccines are not necessary. How much of this 'movement' do you find truthful vs. media-influenced? Do you see/interact with significantly more anti-vaxxers than say 10 years ago?

2) If the anti-vaccine movement is as popular as media platforms make it out to be, it stands to reason that there has been a shift in vaccine public perception from necessary to optional/case-by-case. What influences might have elicited this change?

NewsHour8 karma

These are great questions! As a primary care doctor, I come up close and personal with people from various backgrounds. This question not only covers the measles vaccine, but all vaccines. I often ask my patients who refuse a flu vaccine, why they do that. The answers vary. I can say that all my pediatric patients get the vaccines that are recommended. But this is not the case everywhere. Each community is different with various thought processes on what is the right thing to do. The fact that more measles cases are arising let's us know that "anti-vaxxers" do exist. Is it more than previous years? It's hard to say...Either way, we know that measles is becoming more rampant. It's up to ALL of us to spread the word about it, have conversations, and encourage people to get vaccinated.

I may be biased about media, but as a doctor I have found that media allows those patients who don't come into the clinic often to be exposed to medical information they need. The thing I am happy about is that we are getting the word out that people need to be sure they are vaccinated.

Lithsdith3 karma

Recently saw some reference to the measles themselves causing the immune system to lose memory of illness/disease it had prior to having measles, so therefore it shows a correlation of measles vaccine and less instance of other common childhood illness. What, if any, is the consequence on the immune system of contracting measles and surviving. Is there an "immune system memory" reset?

NewsHour4 karma

I have not heard about this before. From my understanding, this likely is not the case. However, could measles or any severe infection lead to being immunocomprised (meaning you are so sick your immune system may have difficulty fighting against other diseases)? Yes. This could happen. However, this is not common.

ruggerbear2 karma

I had the measles years ago (there was an outbreak in Houston back in 1991) and I contracted them even though I had been vaccinated. Are there significant health threats that I should be concerned about now?

NewsHour6 karma

Generally, if you have been exposed to the measles and have been vaccinated, you are less likely to get the measles. The vaccine has been found to be 97% effective if you have received the two part vaccine. Keep in mind, it is always hard to determine if there are any medical risks for you specifically. It would depend on your general health. Be sure to contact your personal medical provider to determine if you are at risk.

TMcFly2 karma


NewsHour5 karma

You usually would get it twice. Most children have their first vaccine between the ages of 12 to 15 months and the second given between the ages of four to six years.

Var1abl32 karma

Is the HPV vaccine dangerous? What if any side effects?

NewsHour8 karma

The HPV vaccine is generally not dangerous with very few side effects. Yes, some people may have some adverse effects from the vaccine, but this is not a common occurrence. If anything, the vaccine can cause some tenderness in the area that the shot was given which only last for a day or so. In case you have not heard the great news...the HPV vaccine is now available to those from ages 11 to 45. It can be a two-part of three-part vaccine series depending on which brand type you receive.

YuShiGiAye0 karma

I was vaccinated as a kid/teenager, and am definitely not part of the anti-vax crowd. I realize your time is valuable, but could I ask you to take a look at the following article regarding dangers associated with the HPV vaccine? I have a degree that focused heavily on human biology, but I'm far from having close to enough of a medical education to evaluate whether this is alarmist or valid. Thanks in advance-


NewsHour4 karma

Oh wow! I just took a quick look at the article. I am not familiar with this doctor or his site. From what I know the HPV vaccine does not pose much harm. There are rare occasions that adverse effects may occur. Of course, there is room for more research on the vaccine. In this case though, the benefits may actually outweigh the risks. I am excited about the potential of this vaccine decreasing the number of women with cervical cancer for generations to come.

NewsHour2 karma

Thank you for all of your excellent questions! You all are the best! Please keep spreading the word about how important it is to get vaccinated! You can follow me on twitter @dramberrobins. Thanks and Happy Early Valentine's Day!

orangejulius1 karma

Do you think the answer to this is forced vaccination?

NewsHour3 karma

Hmmm...well I can say that forcing anyone to get anything done to them in medicine usually is not my approach. My deepest hope is that by giving people factual information, the decision to actually get the vaccine would be more favored. I am aware that there are many clinics who do not allow patients to stay at their clinic if not vaccinated. It's a tough place to be in for both the provider and patient. So for me, just like I don't force medications, I do not feel that forcing vaccines is the right thing to do.

thullbama1 karma

Even non measles or vaccines questions?

NewsHour1 karma

Sure! But only a few...

bf5005-13 karma

What's your thoughts on DNA in many vaccines? Have you done your research on all these added chemicals and unnessesary ingredients?????

Edit. Wrong wording.

NewsHour8 karma

Interesting question. I will refer you over to the CDC's site. I can say with confidence that the vaccine works. I believe their site may give you more information about the exact ingredients: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaccines/mmr-vaccine.html