“To vaccinate or not to vaccinate” at this point is probably almost as deep of a question as “to be or not to be” is. The discussion around something as “simple” as a vaccine is huge and of course the two sides clash. I say of course but to be honest, I really don’t get it.
Touching on this subject is one of the hot irons. Just like politics, religion and sex. The opinions are strong. On both sides. While the group who decides to vaccinate their children builds their argument on scientific studies the anti-vaccination movement claims as well to be able to scientifically prove how much harm can be done by getting a shot.
I will not go into details here. Mainly because I have strong believes when it comes down to vaccinations. And I actually blame it on our doctor back home.
Back in Switzerland I had a friend whose daughter is about 2 years older than our son. She is a beautiful woman and also headstrong. I remember having a conversation with her, me being a new mom, she’s being somehow settled in the motherhood gig. We didn’t really start off talking about vaccination and the pros and cons surrounding it. It was much more a general approach of things. But she suddenly picked up the subject and got caught up in it. She started going on and on about the potential risks and what massive harm a vaccine could do to a child. I listened. Some things go deep when you are a new mom. Especially when it’s about the well-being of your child.
Many things were mentioned, autism, side effects and even the glorious argument that “we survived going through measles and such when we were kids and it only made us stronger” kind of argument. I remember sitting there after she’d left with a brain in overdrive. And I remember thinking “yes, it’s true, we had measles, rubella and even whooping cough and survived”. With a visit at the doctor coming up for a checkup on the development of our son and also vaccinations due it suddenly became a big thing for me. I actually got to the point where I thought that it would be more beneficial for him to actually go through all of it rather then preventing it by a vaccine.
And then I saw the doctor.
She was a lovely lady. She must have picked up on my insecurity and when we came to the point where it was about vaccinating our son, she asked me if I had any concerns and so I asked her why vaccinate all those things? Why do it while knowing that we all went through it and came out fine. I think the answer she gave me was one of the best arguments pro vaccination I’ve ever heard.
She looked at me and told me that for us, living in a first world country and having the health system we have having one of the illnesses mentioned above wouldn’t be such a huge issue. She told me that they would be treatable and in that sense a vaccination could be seen as senseless. And then there was her but.
It’s a different story for third world countries. She told showed me stats of how many children would pass away from something as “simple” as measles (not even mentioning whooping cough). I thought how brutal those stats were but then it was far away, so what would a vaccine here change?
It changes a lot.
We travel a lot. We travel to countries that don’t have a first world status, countries that don’t have the health system we are used to. And we spread the diseases. It’s about providing those kids with a chance too. It’s about getting on top of diseases like these to make sure they disappear. To make sure they don’t take a babies life anymore. And I was sold.
I agree with the anti-vaccers to a certain point. You are responsible for your child. You can’t argue with that.
But you are also responsible for the well-being of others and if you or your child cause a risk for other peoples health then it’s up to you to do something about it. I will not though argue with someone who decides not to vaccinate their children. It is their decision. But I will also not accept criticism for vaccinating my children. It’s my decision.
As much as I hate watching doctors or nurses stick needles in my children, I want them vaccinated.
I picked up a story in the news yesterday about Victoria’s Health Minister being trolled by anti-vaccination movement online. You can listen to her reading out loud what people said to her. It’s disgusting. To only mention a tiny bit of it: There were calls to execute the “sickness minister”, who is labelled a “lying f—tard shill”, an “evil bitch” and a “criminal”.
See, what gets to me is the aggression once more and the fact that because of this aggression all the arguments pro or con are wasted. They disappear into the smoke all those attacks leave behind. I wonder what people think when they put stuff like this out there? Do they really think it helps their cause? Do they really think they will get anywhere by acting like this?
I miss the constructive discussion, the balancing off of the pros and cons, the real discussion. The discussion that actually leads to more. May it be the understanding of a anti-vaxxer for someone who chooses to vaccinate or the other way around. I simply don’t understand the hate and the aggression.
I actually don’t understand the hate and aggression coming form that side, from the anti-vaccination movement. It really doesn’t make a difference for them if people choose to vaccinate. But it makes a difference for people if people decide NOT to vaccinate.
If you want to keep your child at risk of catching whooping cough then it’s your decision. I don’t want my child to go through it and I will do everything to make sure they both don’t have to. So I want the risks to be minimized. It’s how our society rolls, as stupid as it might sound. There are rules. Rules that are put in place because they suit the well-being of society. So if a school or a child care center decides to have a vaccination policy in place, you need to accept it. After all it’s not as if they force being vegetarian or eating meat on you. It’s about diseases and trying to eliminate them and not putting others at risk.
So stop the hate. Do what you think is right for you and for your family and leave others who do not think like you alone. Find a solution that works for you and don’t force your opinion on others.