Listen, parents who do not vaccinate…I am not here to tell you that you are wrong. I am not here to lump you into one group and blast you all for your beliefs. I will not think less of you as people, as parents, for your choice, no matter how misguided and dangerous I feel it is. There are thousands upon thousands of comments, blog posts, etc, that do that already. This post is simply about the debate itself, and will also touch on why, after doing diligent research into vaccines and autism, I chose to vaccinate my children, though on a delayed schedule (with the blessing of the pediatrician).
I’ve read so many articles, so many comments where any semblance of civilized debate flies out the window. Ignorant idiots on the pro-vax side (yeah, we’ve got outspoken ignorant idiots over here, too) will stoop to unbelievable levels, including expressing this little amazing tidbit: “Let them refuse to vaccinate. Then when their offspring die out in greater numbers, the ignorance will not be passed on” and “I hope your child gets crippled by polio”. Ignorant idiots on the anti-vax side (you’ve got them too…admit it) will say things such as: “I hope that your child has a horrible reaction to a vaccine and dies, you shouldn’t be a parent…” and “I hope your child gets autism”. Really, people. Wishing death upon a child, wishing physical and/or mental suffering on a child…is heartless. It’s just pretty freaking heartless, and to those of you (on both sides) who think like that, shame on you.
I get it, anti-vax crowd, I really do. While I believe the general anti-vax stance to be grievously misinformed and misled, I can understand that your decision to not inoculate your children comes from a place of love. You truly believe that your child *will* suffer if vaccinated, and because you love your children, you of course want to spare them that suffering. It’s the same on this side of the fence…we believe that not vaccinating our children will greatly increase their risk of contracting a completely preventable disease that in some cases will prove to be fatal, and because we love our children, just like you do, we want to prevent that suffering. Of course no good parent wants to watch their child suffer.
I could write a novella on the process of deciding to vaccinate my children…I believe that ensuring my child will be well protected against a preventable disease not only benefits my child, but also the children who *can’t* be immunized…those immuno-compromised children won’t get sick from my kids. I could go into how the benefits of vaccines far outweigh the minimal risk associated with them. I could argue that there are many substances we ingest, inject, etc (be it food or medicine), that in small doses are almost harmless, therapeutic even, but in larger doses these substances become toxic, and do a great amount of harm.
I could write a book on my disdain for Jenny McCarthy, if only on the basis of her hypocrisy alone. Hypocrisy, Merry? How on earth is she a hypocrite? I’ll briefly tell you. She is a loudmouthed self-appointed spokesperson who has decided to rally against “vaccine toxins”, yet she routinely injects her face with botulinum toxin (one of those mentioned substances that is therapeutic in small doses yet highly toxic and lethal in larger doses), and flat-out gleefully proclaims that Blu e-cigs allow her to smoke wherever she wants. For someone who rails against toxins, she sure does put a lot into her own body. Classic hypocrite.
But all my reasons aside, the most important, driving factor in my decision to vaccinate my kids? Allow me to copy and paste a Facebook status I posted some time ago, on this very topic:
Dear Antivax Crowd:
Even though I did all due diligence before deciding to vaccinate my kids, even though numerous independent studies have found *no* link between vaccines and autism, I will confess, I too considered the possibility that maybe, just maybe, they can. I still decided to vaccinate them. Why? Yes, it was out of a social and ethical responsibility to help maintain herd immunity. Yes, it was because I didn’t want some immuno-compromised person getting sick and possibly dying because my kid carried an illness they couldn’t be vaccinated against.
But above all, when it finally came down to it, this was what made up my mind in favor of vaccination: Even if vaccines did increase the chances of autism, I decided that I would rather have an autistic child than a child who died from a disease that could have been prevented with a vaccine.
Think about that before you rally behind a woman who tells everyone to stop vaccinating yet regularly injects her face with one of the most toxic proteins known to man.
But hey, if you’d rather take chances with polio, mumps, measles, rubella, etc…which could KILL your child rather than “risk autism” (which is NOT fatal) go ahead, be my guest. But your kid better not come around my kid with so much as a sniffle, even though my children are vaccinated. I am not willing to risk the life of my children simply because you’re willing to risk the life of yours.
I mean really. Autism varies in severity, and most children with an ASD are high-functioning, meaning it’s pretty darn hard to tell they have an ASD. By not vaccinating, you’re essentially saying “I’d rather risk having my child die than risk autism based on some quack who has been disproven many, many times”.
Even if I play along and don’t try to change your miseducated notion that vaccines = autism…even if a study came out that said that vaccines increased autism chances greatly, I would still vaccinate. Every single time. In a heartbeat. I would rather have an autistic child than a dead child.
There isn’t really too much more to say as far as my reasons go. Even if it were true that vaccines increased instances of autism, that increased risk is not worth elevating the risk of my child dying from a preventable disease.
Where do you stand on vaccinations, and what were your reasons for choosing that stance?
Note: I am very aware that this is a very hot-button issue, as any issues concerning our children tend to be. However, per my Comment Policy, personal attacks will NOT be tolerated, and any comment containing a personal attack WILL be moderated to remove the attack. “You’re such an idiot, and you are wrong, here is why…” will be edited to say “You are wrong, here is why…”. Take your stand, defend your beliefs, but do it with facts, studies and other references, not name-calling, death wishing, etc. Keep it civil.