I’m going to lose some friends over this.
Like you, I looked into the scientific evidence surrounding vaccinations with an open mind. I came to the same conclusion as my overprotective mother, my homeopathic-nature-is-best holistic mother-in-law and my skeptic husband – I would go through any lengths to vaccinate my children. This should not really come as ground breaking news, there is nothing edgy about siding with most parents, nearly all the world’s governments, the WHO and the vast majority of medical researchers, scientists and practitioners.
Both my children are vaccinated/being vaccinated, I just cannot justify taking the slightest risk with their lives, can you? If you’re surprised by the Measles and Mumps outbreaks that have recently struck South Africa, The United States (California and Ohio being the most severe), New Zealand, the Phillipines, and the United Kingdom amongst many others – you underestimated the costs of your choice, which you’d be smart to reverse as soon as possible.
I understand that you think that you are doing the best for your child, but you are not. Here is why…
That’s a solid fact and has been proven in study, after study, after study, after study. Science has repeatedly disproven a link between vaccines and autism. Go read about Andrew Wakefield, the asshole that started this crap and how his paper that claimed a link between the MMR vaccine and autism has been withdrawn, and his medical license revoked. Here’s another thing that drives me mad -. Autism and neurodiversity are far from the worst things that could happen to you as a parent or your child, but don’t take my word for it – take Sarah’s. Do you know who else has Autism? Daryl Hannah, Temple Grandin, Courtney Love (I Know, not the best example), Dan Akroyd, Adam Young, Susan Boyle and Matt Savage – amongst many other successful and ridiculously intelligent people.
Jenny McCarthy once said, “If you ask a parent of an autistic child if they want the measles or the autism, we will stand in line for the f___ing measles.” I don’t know. If someone offered me a medicine that might make my child typical but came with a 4 in 1,000 chance of an excruciating painful death, I think I’ll pass. Plus, I’m not really one for taking life vs. death medical advice from former Playboy bunnies to begin with.
So we have established that it has been scientifically and medically proven that there’s no link between vaccines and autism, but I think it would be great for you to re-evaluate why you think so negatively of Autism. Autism is not a catastrophe. Have you actually ever spoken to someone with Autism? Have you read their blogs? Followed their accomplishments? Do you know how your ridiculous argument makes them feel?
ARGUMENT NO. 2 – YOU CAN DIE FROM MEASLES.
Because the public hasn’t needed to worry much about this once-contained threat in quite some time, most people probably don’t know that measles can kill, or leave children permanently disabled. If you need any more convincing – See Roald Dahl’s story about his daughter for a particularly affecting testimony.
Measles, a viral respiratory infection, killed over 500,000 children in 2003, more than any other vaccine-preventable disease. The measles death toll in Africa is so high – every minute one child dies – that many mothers don’t give children real names until they have survived the disease. Measles weakens the immune system and renders children very susceptible to fatal complications from diarrhoea, pneumonia and malnutrition. Those that survive may suffer blindness, deafness or brain damage.
I know what you are thinking – “If you’re vaccinated, you’re safe, so why do you care what I do?” This is why. 14 of the 32 measles cases in California this year were children who were intentionally not vaccinated for ideological (not medical) reasons. These children fueled an outbreak that put infants too young for the vaccine (like mine), and individuals with compromised immune systems at risk. Which takes me to…
ARGUMENT NO. 3 – YOU ARE COMPROMISING HERD IMMUNITY AND PUTTING LIVES AT RISK.
First of all, it is common knowledge that vaccines aren’t always 100% effective, so it is possible for a vaccinated child to still become infected if exposed to a disease. Worse, there are some people who can’t receive vaccinations, because they are immune deficient, fighting cancer or because they are allergic to some component. Those people depend upon herd immunity to protect them. Heard immunity means that your child may be protected from an illness if 90% of the people in your community are vaccinated. By choosing not to vaccinate your children against infectious diseases you are putting not only your own children at risk, but also other people’s children. So many of you are foregoing vaccines now that herd immunity is threatened. Because of this your unvaccinated child should not be allowed anywhere near a hospital, pediatrician or doctor’s waiting room. You also put pregnant women at risk for miscarriage when you expose them to the disease. You are being a dangerously selfish person. If parents continue to vaccinate, certain diseases will be knocked out in the future. That’s what happened with smallpox – it was eradicated thanks to years of adherence to inoculation.
ARGUMENT NO.4 – TO ALL THE “CRUNCHY” PARENTS,OF COURSE VACCINES ARE NOT NATURAL…
However, while there is nothing more “natural” than large numbers of children dying in a cesspool of vaccine preventable contagious diseases, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that we should avoid that. Your unvaccinated child is not only endangering immune-compromised children, but also infants too young to be vaccinated along with themselves. Do you realize that not vaccinating your child is safe only as long as the majority does vaccinate (remember we chatted about herd immunity)? Think about that. There is no natural, effective alternative for vaccinations. Some of you seem to believe that several hundred years ago, before GMOs or pesticides existed, there were no communicable diseases. You are wrong. Go read about the history of disease before vaccines, and talk to older people who grew up when polio, measles, and other diseases couldn’t be prevented. Go read about how vaccines are developed, and how they work. Also, on one hand – can you tell me how many diseases homeopathic medicine has eradicated? Thought so.
ARGUMENT NO.5 – NO, BREASTFEEDING IS NOT GOING TO KEEP YOUR CHILD SAFE FROM VACCINE PREVENTED ILLNESSES…
You may have heard that breastfeeding your child passes immunity on to him. But he gets antibodies only for diseases that you’re immune to, and these antibodies only lasts until your baby is 3 to 6 months old. In fact, this is why doctors recommend several vaccines during your baby’s first few months: so he’s well protected by the time he outgrows this natural immunity.
ARGUMENT NO.6 – VACCINES ARE SAFE – DESPITE HOW SCARY THE INGREDIENTS SOUND
People are afraid of what they don’t understand. If YOU mixed mercury, aluminium phosphate, ammonium sulfate, formaldehyde and viruses and injected it into someone, you will kill them. Why? Because you have no pharmacological experience. Your Google degree does not count. If a scientist in a lab mixed them together – they know how they work. They have medically assessed and peer reviewed evidence and followed strict guidelines to create a safe and effective product. All scientists are not evil, they are not out to get you or poison your child. They are not trying to destroy your natural, vegan lifestyle (I myself try my best to only use natural household, beauty and bath products – especially when it comes to my children).
And if you are still confused, let’s recap (illustration from The Nib)
I’m sorry if this blogpost is a bit harsh, but you Anti-Vaxxers ARE LOUD! The rest of us need to start being loud too, because there’s nothing “crunchy” about a resurgence of polio or small pox. To this day, 1.5 million children die from vaccine-preventable diseases every year. That’s one child every 20 seconds. Let that sink in.
Vaccines are different from every other parenting issue in that the choices that parents make affect everyone else as well. Vaccines are everyone’s business.
The battles of the mommy wars – breastfeeding over formula, staying at home with children or going back to work, how we feed or diaper our children, how and where they sleep – all have one thing in common: they are pretty harmless to those around you. On the topic of vaccines, that is not the case.You are risking your child’s’ life along with every other child that he/she comes at contact with. Choosing not to vaccinate is not yet another anodyne trend in personal parenting. It’s not a quirk; it’s a menace.
You should not be afraid of the vaccines- you should instead be afraid of what happens without them. Do the research. I have. I side with science..
Vaccinate your damn kids. Please.
Click here for a map of vaccine-preventable outbreaks all over the world.