Vaccinate – or Not
With the recent Measles outbreak, which seemed to be a world-wide phenomenon, I found it really hard to find any common ground with the current crop of Anti Vaxxers.
When I, my family and friends were growing up, many years ago, it was quite common to have childrens’ measles, mumps, chickenpox etc., parties so that the majority of children caught the illnesses when they were young enough, with strong immune systems to cope with them and to help build their immunity even further. But, looking back, it seems that these diseases weren’t NEARLY as horrific as they are today.
I ask myself if this is because our reaction to our changing world is less effective as when I was growing up?
The Anti Vaxxers seem to become all righteous about the fact that maybe One in a million (or several million) children have an allergic reaction to any particular vaccination. But seem to be unable to accept that if childhood diseases ARE stronger and can cause more severe reactions, vaccination against these is, at this time and level of scientific knowledge and expertise, the best option for the largest number off children to be protected against these awful diseases.
The speed with which this measles epidemic, which came close to pandemic proportions, spread, is a clear indicator that NOT vaccinating has left millions more children susceptible to today’s version of what used to be considered a normal part of growing up.
Today, research has shown that as many as 140,000 die from measles ALONE. The vast majority being children under 5 years of age. The sad thing is, before every opinionated person, parent or not, decided vaccination was not only ineffective, but actively harmful for our children, the incidences of these diseases had reduced the terrible results by as much as 70%. Not quite eradicating the diseases themselves, but while children were being vaccinated, we were heading toward the necessary figure of 95% reduction that would ensure many fewer children would DIE from these diseases.
Now, we are almost back to square one pre-vaccination trends, where there is/was nothing we can/could do except pray that our child will not be infected by some NON-vaccinated child.
My research has shown me that vaccines are thoroughly investigated before any are presented to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval. Also that the overwhelming majority of research shows that vaccinations are safe.
There is a possibility of an adverse reaction to any vaccine, but that applies to almost everything, think of milk, gluten, honey even. It is also known that some can get sick even when they have been vaccinated, but the reactions are very much milder.
It is also advised that some with weakened immune systems may be advised not to vaccinate, or only under strict supervision, by a registered health care provider.
We are 100 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to have a serious allergic reaction to the vaccine that protects us against present day Measles and other diseases.
To be honest, I would rather run the one in a million+ chance that my child will get autism from the vaccination, at least they would live, (A claim that has now been disproved), than that my child/ren would go through the terrible consequences of MY decision on their behalf, to the point where they die from the disease itself.
I, for one, could not live with the knowledge that I could have prevented this horrifying outcome. When the choice is POSSIBLE autism on the one hand and possible/probable pain and death on the other. I know what I would – AND DID – choose.
My children are now healthy adults, with healthy children themselves and for that I don’t only thank God.