There is a growing trend in the U.S. not to vaccinate children. Despite the fact that the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends vaccination, despite the facts of the vast majority of reputable studies endorse the practice, and despite the fact that the diseases we are immunizing against are hideous, people righteously proclaim that they would never do anything so awful as to vaccinate their children.
Well, dudes, here’s my question to you. If vaccinations are so terrible (for whatever scientifically unsound reasons you with your vast medical training have come up with), why are you comfortable letting my kids take all the risk for yours? Because, you see, you have a luxury. You get to raise your kids in the herd immunity that the rest of us provide by actually vaccinating. While people in third world countries clamor for vaccines, you get to sit back and say, “No thanks. I’ll just let her kids do it for me.”
Way to be part of the community.
Are vaccines perfectly safe? Um, no. Any doctor will tell you there are some rare side effects. But, let me ask you this: what exactly is it you do in your life that IS perfectly safe? Driving a car? Teaching your kid to ride a bike? Allowing your precious vessel to eat fruits and vegetables that were grown near dirt and might choke her and could have had a fly land on them? Everything we do has risks, peeps. That’s the way life is in this day and age. Vaccines do, too, which is why the doctors tell you to monitor closely after the shots. But, um, rubella has a few more risks than the MMR.
So, if you are sitting back and smugly pronouncing how you do not vaccinate, you are really riding on my kids’ coattails. And you are putting your kid, tiny babies, and immune-suppressed people at some serious risk. But don’t let that bother you. You have a soapbox to tend to.
And, for the record, the chicken pox vaccine is not perfect, you are right. However, when it does work (the vast majority of the time), it keeps you from getting chicken pox. So what? you ask. Well, if you never get chicken pox, you can never get shingles later in life. And shingles sucks in a big way.
And, while I am on my soapbox, let me say a few words about “spacing it out,” which many people do to ensure their kids have to see the pediatrician every month for the first five years. I think it is just ducky that your insurance or pocketbook allows you to do that. That costs your insurance more, of course. A cost they will eventually pass along to the employers who are already struggling to provide health insurance. Which will make it even more tempting for employers to stop providing insurance. Or more expensive for private individuals to pay for it. Because, when you drive up medical costs for your insurance company, we all pay for it. So, go ahead, use medical resources as you see fit, but please don’t bitch about the health care crisis you are so blithely contributing to.
I trust the doctors I take my kids to. I trust the medical schools they went to and the scientific studies they read. And I don’t shop around for a pediatrician who will conform to my idea of what is the best medical treatment, because pretty much every pediatrician I have seen has stuck to the same story. So, unless they are part of a vast conspiracy, they may actually be basing their advice on, you know, science.