Advocates for safe vaccines speak out about measles cluster

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) — People, considered to be “anti-vaxxers” are getting the blame for a spike in measles cases reported in the Houston area, throughout Texas, and in different regions of the U.S., but these parents say they are not opposed to all vaccinations. They just want more research to combat what they call “a one size fits all” approach to vaccinations.

"It’s wise to consider all the possibilities because the consequences for vaccines injuring my family have been really horrific,” says Leslie Phillips, a mother to three children who claims her youngest son Andrew had an adverse reaction to vaccinations that he received as a baby.

Phillips is also a member of several non-profit groups and has dedicated her life advocating for her son, and for other parents, hoping to spare them from what happened to her.

"People have the right to look at the risk and benefits of any medical procedure and vaccines are no different," adds Phillips. "They have risks.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website, the last death due to measles was only one person in 2015.

Phillips says that website has great facts, but she advises to look deeper.

"But if you look at their vaccine adverse events reporting system, there have been more than 100 deaths by the vaccine, and if you look at the history, it’s even more troubled,“ explains Phillips. She suggests that like with most medical procedures, you may want to get a second opinion if there is something that concerns you about vaccinations.

"I think that this is the conversation, an honest conversation that needs to take place, but what you have is this almost religious fervor on the other side that, you know, were crazy 'anti-vaxxers,' when we have very legitimate concerns," says Phillips. "We’ve seen our own children get sick and regress, and sometimes, have lifelong consequences as does my youngest son.” 

Phillips and other advocates want a complete overhaul of the vaccine program and have more studies done.

The one thing that health professionals and advocates can agree on is that everyone should do their research to make the best decision for themselves and their families.