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Mortality of children under five in families in the poorest wealth quintile, compared to the richest.
Leyli calls. Vaccines Work. Protected together.
Leyli is a well-known singer who has been popular for many years, as part of the “Setora" band and later the “Setanho" duet. She is also a happy mother of two children, and she shares her views on immunization with us.
What are your views on vaccines?
Positive! Personally, it is hard for me to understand how a person can be against something that protects children from risks that are far more serious than just fever or being slightly under the weather. I personally know someone older who was stricken with polio at an early age and she lives all her life with only one functional leg. I also know a woman who contracted measles at the age of 2 and lost her hearing. I know people who lost their children to severe infections years ago. Knowing all this, and seeing that the number of such dreadful cases is decreasing, I cannot imagine an argument strong enough to be against vaccines. I believe that all those fears and accidents that are on internet are results of human error – like poor storage of vaccines, or not following instructions, or not doing the right medical checkup before vaccination. It is our responsibility, as parents to make sure that our child is healthy and ready for the next vaccine – that is why we should read, understand and follow the National Calendar of Immunization.
Why do you think after all the evidence, people still find reasons not to trust vaccines?
I think the good work that vaccines do unfortunately works against them. They work so well, that they create an illusion that there are no dangers. So people start picking on the slight side effects any medicine might have. And instead of thinking what horror it protects them from, they focus on small and temporary discomfort that they might cause. We all have to take the bitter medicine when we get sick, and when we are sick, we don’t already pick on the taste, right? We are ready to take whatever as long as it will cure us. That is the thing with vaccines too – they are there to prevent dangers. That is why only those who have seen and really know the risk are really able to appreciate what vaccines are saving us from.
What is your message to people?
I would like to tell everyone not to be afraid. Just try to do everything right and do whatever you can to protect your child. We never know what can happen to us tomorrow. It’s better to take some measures now to feel safe and be able to live, learn and enjoy instead of worry, be afraid and feel guilty or isolated later. Besides, we shouldn’t only think about ourselves, we all have social responsibility towards those who live with weaker immunities and who cannot be immunized. They rely on us, that together we will build a wall strong enough to protect them – our weaker brothers and sisters – from deadly diseases, which may God never send us again.
Vaccines work. Together, we are protected.