A former anti-vaxxer whose 23-year-old daughter contracted a life-threatening case of the measles is now begging other parents to vaccinate their kids despite unfounded yet widespread fears.
Debbie Roscoe’s daughter, Ellie, now 25, didn’t complete the full course of inoculations because of anti-vaxx beliefs that were exploding at the time, just as they are now. When her daughter almost died from measles outside of her childhood, Debbie Roscoe chose to fight for science instead of digging in her heels on the misinformation.
Roscoe was recently interviewed on This Morning in the U.K., where Dr. Sara debunked myths about vaccines and autism. The infamous “study” by Andrew Wakefield, which linked the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism and has been discredited for several years, was published in 1998 – around the time Roscoe would have been deciding what to do about her daughter’s vaccinations.
“At the time, autism was in the newspapers and it was a great fear of mine because I had seen what autism could do,” Roscoe said in the interview. “The facts were not really available at that time because were going back many moons ago. Now you can get the full facts.”
Roscoe’s voice may be welcomed by the pro-vax community now more than ever, especially considering rampant measles outbreaks around the world and a reduced number of children getting all 13 childhood vaccines in England. Health Secretary Matt Hancock is also said to be “looking very seriously” into making vaccines mandatory for kids in England, according to the show.
Roscoe, who is from Birmingham, said her daughter who wasn’t fully vaccinated came down with measles in 2017 and the doctors didn’t properly diagnose it. As a result, Ellie almost died.
The decision appeared to have no effect on Ellie’s life until December 2017, when she suddenly broke out in red blotches and her temperature soared to 39C (102.2F).
She was initially misdiagnosed with chicken pox, prescribed antibiotics and sent home by her local GP.
It wasn’t until she went to Heartlands Hospital and was transferred to the infectious diseases ward that she was properly diagnosed.
Her mother is now speaking out about the dangers of skipping out on vaccinations.
Roscoe said part of why she didn’t vaccinate her daughter even several years later was that measles was becoming less and less common, and ultimately became “eradicated.” The irony, however, is that reduced vaccination rates have started bringing it back.