Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thoughts from one of those ‘idiot’ parents

            I’ve been compared to a certain columnist more times than I can count. Compared as in, ‘you two could NOT be more different.’ That is 100% correct. I think all we have in common is we have the same number of kids.
            Our differences were highlighted a couple weeks ago when this particular lightening-rod columnist labeled parents who don’t vaccinate as ‘selfish idiots.’
            Hmm. While I typically won’t debate people who won’t look at the other side of a controversial issue, I can’t help but wonder at some of her statements.
            I’m one of those idiot no-vax parents. Am I against vaccines in general? No. Do I think vaccines are helpful at times and have helped eradicate certain diseases? Yes. Do I think there are too many vaccines on the CDC schedule? Yes. Do I think they’re all necessary? No. Am I uneducated? I’ve spent hours and hours researching vaccines and I’ve talked to my children’s doctor, so, no. Will I ever choose to vaccinate my kids? Yes, I likely will with a few specific vaccines, weighing the risks and benefits as best I can.
            What kind of tooth and nail fight are certain parents putting up so that unvaxed kids can’t attend public school? How does my unvaxed child endanger your vaxed child, if you believe vaccines are effective? What about babies who aren’t fully vaccinated yet, and won’t be for over 2 years following the CDC schedule? How do you keep them away from siblings or other children, so that the little ticking time bombs don’t spread disease to vaxed kids? Do you refuse to go out in public, to restaurants, parks, or malls, because you can’t know who is vaccinated and who isn’t? What if you had a child, like I did, that had seizures following four vaccines? Would you be wary?
            As for the tetanus argument, how many adults are up-to-date on tetanus? If you puncture yourself with a rusty nail, get a tetanus shot! Tetanus isn’t contagious to others, so not having had the tetanus shot is a ridiculous reason to demand kids not be allowed to attend public school.
            It’s not a matter of not having health insurance or being able to afford vaccines. Many parents that go the slow or no vax route are well educated with health insurance.
            Bottom line, parents need real information about vaccines. Research for yourself.

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