Momversation.com currently has a discussion about vaccinations. Here is the original video and my response.
I agree that there is no evidence currently that vaccinations cause autsim. I also wouldn’t vaccinate my child for any reason.
Autism seems to always been seen as the reason parents don’t vaccinate and I can tell you that, for me, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. The multitude of other reactions (Guillain-Barré, SIDS, Juvenile Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, anaphylactic shock, death, etc.) had a much larger impact on me. Also, I’m not inherently distrustful of the medical industry (I conceived through IVF so I LOVE modern medicine!) but when they are pushing a HepB vaccine on a 12 hour old infant their motives become suspect.
It is frustrating to me that the vaccine debate swirls around Autism, MMR, and Jenny McCarthy. It is like this is a *new* problem! Have we forgotten Barbara Loe Fisher and her fight to get DTP off the market? It was killing kids and causing developmental disabilities in others and they’ve since changed it (to DTaP, the “a” being acelular). For some reason the media loves the Autism link – perhaps because it is so pervasive and not understood disorder? Regardless, it is the least of the problems with vaccines – so please research beyond Autism when you are exploring vaccines.
I also wanted to point out a major flaw in the panelists discussion of non-vaxers. There is this persistent idea that vaccinating is a societal obligation and moral imperative. This theory stems from the thought that non-vaccinated children are relying on the “herd” to protect them from illness. Also, since some people can’t get vaccines for medical reasons that non-vaccinated children are posing a threat to them. There are several major flaws with this idea. the largest of which is children are only a minority of the human “herd” – what about the adult population that harbor NO IMMUNITY to illnesses because they have waned from vaccines and were never developed naturally through illness. Even the CDC shows grave numbers for adult vaccination.http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/14/vaccinations-for-grown-ups/
“only 2.1 percent of adults ages 18 to 64 are immunized against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough, the journal reports. A vaccine against shingles is recommended for all adults over 60, but only 1.9 percent of adults have been immunized.”
How can the non-vaccinated children be responsible for the lack of eradication of these vaccine available diseases? If herd immunity requires 70-90% immunity levels, how can we pretend to have herd immunity?
Second, if you believe that vaccine’s work, why are you worried about your vaccinated child? This doesn’t apply to those too young to be vaccinated and those who can not – however I’ve heard parents of vaccinated kids blame the non-vaccinated kids. Why aren’t they upset at the medical community because their vaccine didn’t work?
Lastly, read up on what vaccines actually do. Many don’t prevent transmission of an disease but decrease the severity of the illness. Whooping Cough, for example, does not stop transmission. That means your vaccinated child can have the pathogen and pass it to others but may not have any symptoms or very light symptoms. If a baby or immuno-compromised person gets Pertussis how do we know it is a non-vaccinated person’s fault? Once again, why aren’t we railing at the medical community that these vaccines aren’t living up to their *miracle status*?
I respect anyone’s decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate. Trust me, thinking that my child would be the one that got HepB from some freak accident and died kept me up late at night! It isn’t an easy decision but let’s protect everyone’s right to make an informed decision.