Recently, I’ve come to realize that I actually feel rather strongly on the subject of vaccinations so it seemed like a great blog post topic. Jenny McCarthy* has helped to further the anti-vaccination “movement” even though the doctor who published research showing vaccinations caused health problems was found to be a complete fraud. Vaccinations seems to be a subject touchier than war, politics, or religion. It is so sad, now that we have eliminated so many horrible illnesses, that people’s ignorance leaves them in mortal danger – as well as so many others.
I guess in this age of the Internet and availability of any information regardless of source or legitimacy, people think they can research on their own with no guidance or suggestion from someone more educated or experienced. Just because someone says it is so, does not make it true.
I think anyone who does not vaccinate themselves or their children are putting themselves, their children, and every single person they come into contact with in grave danger. I have immune problems since I have allergies and asthma. I got a flu shot this year as well as a pneumonia vaccination. I’ve had no colds this past winter, let alone the flu. My husband also received a flu vaccination – for my protection just as much for his own protection. Secondary to his protection, and my own, he was also protecting his coworkers. But don’t get me wrong, I see nothing wrong with being educated and controlling what vaccines you receive – as an adult. There is reason why children – especially school age children – are required to receive certain vaccines. For example, while I have chosen to receive the pneumonia vaccine, it does not seem important at this time for my husband to receive it.
This is how herd immunity works. Everyone knows sick kids make more sick kids. Consider that the flu is more than just sniffles and lost sleep; it also weakens people so much that death is possible and has even happened in abundance this last flu season.
People who do not vaccinate supposedly believe that the vaccinations are not worth the possible problems/issues/etc. How is this possible? Vaccinations are medical care. All medical care that involves some kind of chemical will have some kind of side effect. It seems to me that if you’re going to research one aspect of medical care you should research all aspects of medical care. Furthermore, you should also research everything that enters your body because who knows who could be lying.
I would like to ask a person who does not vaccinate their child if they:
- do not use over the counter pain medication for fear of poison or organ failure.
- do not use pain medication of any variety during or after any kind of medical procedure since there are possible complications with anesthesia and strong (opiate) pain medicines. (Does the dentist numb you before drilling?)
- avoid caffeine completely. Much has been done about the problems with caffeine. There’s research!
- avoid alcohol completely. Again, research.
- avoid recreational drugs completely.
- avoid food dyes. Food dyes have been connected to autism, ADHD and a multiple of problems.
- wear a mask in public to prevent the risk of infection. Again, more research.
- avoid birth control containing hormonal chemicals because of the risk of stroke/other complications. Again, research.
Personally, I’d suggest being educated and listening to your doctor’s advise. Your doctor went through at least eight years of intensive training after all – something must have stuck! There’s nothing wrong with doing your own research – but usually it’s better to use research to better understand what more experienced and better trained people tell you. It’s also important to remember that your doctor has met more people than you know, he or she has heard more stories and knows what is medical fact and what is not. (Or at least he or she should!)
For example, I will continue to receive a flu vaccination because of how easy it is to get the flu. However, because I had a very strong adverse reaction to a tetanus booster I will likely only receive that booster if I’m at risk. No doctor worth his/her time would suggest I get the tetanus booster just for the sake of it based on my past history of reaction. This is why I discuss vaccinations with my doctors.
For these reasons, since those against vaccinations only seem to talk about the dangers of vaccinating, it seems that they also lack critical thinking skills. We should feel sorry for these people who seem to think themselves fit to control medical care for others. Maybe, one day, people who willfully put the lives of others in danger** will be kept separate from society for their safety and the safety of others because they obviously do not understand how society works.
*I’m not quoting sources here.
**Like people who are HIV positive being charged for having unprotected sex with others with the intent to knowingly infect them with HIV/AIDS.