I've been participating on a couple of forum threads about vaccinating, or more specifically about not vaccinating and why parents who do vaccinate can become so angry at those of us who don't. These threads have been full of disparaging comments about parents who don't vaccinate. According to those comments we are:
- not willing to put up with our children being a little grizzly for a day or three
- happy for our children to suffer and probably die
- relying on herd immunity to protect our children from devastating diseases and illnesses
- mistrusting of science and believers in fantasy
I just want to say a couple of things about this. I've said these things over and over in the threads but am only met with mocking. So, this being my blog, I'm going to say these things, if only to get them off my chest.
- Know the disease! One thing that keeps cropping up over and over again is the horrific outcomes of contracting polio. People immediately think of paralysis when they hear the word polio. They hear it was wide spread and immediately assume most EVERYONE suffered from paralysis. This just WRONG! Ninety percent (90%) of people who contract polio are asymptomatic. Of the remaining 10%, only 10% suffer some degree of paralysis. So, of 100% of sufferers of polio, only 1% suffer paralysis. If you're going to live in fear of a disease, take the time to know your actual risk.
- I am not choosing not to vaccinate my children because I'm put off by the needles.
- I am not choosing not to vaccinate my children because I want them to suffer and die one day.
- I am not choosing not to vaccinate my children because I am relying on herd immunity. In fact, I firmly believe herd immunity is a furphy. Even if every person was vaccinated for every possible disease at the same time, the diseases would NOT disappear. They would not disappear because no vaccine is 100% effective. In fact, they say vaccines are between 60-90%, HOWEVER, children are generally NOT tested once they are vaccinated to check their immunity. If children were tested, I'm willing to bet the vaccine rates of effectiveness would drop even further. So, some people would still not be immune and would be able to pass on the disease and sooner or late that disease would overcome the vaccine.
- A vaccinated child is STILL a risk to unvaccinated people, and people with low immunity because vaccinated children can STILL contract and pass on diseases and illnesses. Not all of them, but certainly a number of them, and as there is not post vaccination testing for immunity, you never know WHICH vaccinated child might pass on Whooping Cough, or Chicken Pox or Rubella. My children caught chickenpox from a vaccinated child.
I wish people who vaccinated wouldn't assumed they are protecting their children and other people's children simply through the act of having their child vaccinated. Unless you have had your child's immunity tested at some point post vaccination, DO NOT ASSUME your child is not at risk, or a risk to others!