Saturday, March 15, 2014

The touchy subject of vaccinations

Yesterday, I read an article about another D-list celebrity joining the ranks of anti-vaccination supporters. In truth, I think she's doing it more for publicity than the cause because when she tried to back up her statement with facts she couldn't remember the name of an organization and stumbled a bit (she blamed pregnancy brain). My guess is she wants to do what Jenny McCarthy did, but I wouldn't recommend that route since she based a lot of her protesting on a lie (she said vaccinations caused her son to become autistic. A couple of years ago, it was revealed he doesn't even have autism). And even though she's D-list at best, I can't help but wonder if she's going to sway people into the anti-vaccination camp?

Which got me to thinking about where I stand with vaccines. I am firmly in the pro-vaccination camp. There are a couple of vaccines I question, like the chicken pox vaccine (I had chicken pox, he can have chicken pox, then again that means you're at risk for shingles, shingles runs in my family, shingles are painful, maybe he does need the chicken pox vaccine), but for the most part I say let's take some preventive measures to protect our kids. I mean, I just read that there's currently an outbreak of measles in New York City because people are forgoing vaccines. How is that possible in 2014? It was all but eradicated in 2000.

Now let's get something straight before we continue. I am NOT judging parents who decide not to vaccinate their kids. Parenting is hard enough without me sitting here criticizing your decisions. I think we can all agree that we make decisions based on the best interests of our child/children. None of us are going, hey, how can I make sure Suzie contract measles this year? Not so much.

With that being said, I'm really interested in hearing from people who are in the anti-vaccination camp so that I can understand where you're coming from (your spokespeople aren't so great...). Is it a personal reason, like seizures run in your family and it's sparked by vaccines? Or is it because you believe in going completely organic and not using medication at all? Are you trusting the herd effect to keep them safe?

Also, what would you do if your child got sick? Do you still go to the doctor? I only ask because it seems weird to me that you trust your doctor to treat you during pregnancy, if you break your leg or if you develop cancer, but you don't trust them when they recommend vaccines.

Do you think that they're only recommending them to make money? Or do you believe they aren't safe? Because I thought that's what the FDA and CDC were for.

Oh and what happens when it's time for your child to attend school? Do you home school to avoid having to vaccinate your child?

I have a lot of questions about it, but no one seems to have any answers (Jenny McCarthy doesn't count). You could argue that you don't have to prove anything to me, which is true. The last person you owe an explanation to is me. But if I understood where you were coming from, it'd be a lot easier for me to promote acceptance when people start discussing it.

Can we have a mature discussion about this without name-calling and bullying? Let's give it a try. Who is brave enough to share his/her opinion?


1 comment:

  1. I'm pro vaccination. But with so much controversy over them, we did our research and had a long conversation with our pediatrician before vaccinating our son.
    As a teacher, I find it pretty funny that my third graders have no idea what chicken pox is if they read about it in a book...interesting that on the 20 years since I was in elementary school, it has become a foreign concept.