There was a post today on one of the moms of multiples pages I follow that asked about people getting the dtap vaccine (pertussis/whooping cough) because her doctor was recommending it. Normally I stay away from these kinds of posts because I don't feel like getting into the debate with someone who doesn't agree with vaccinations because I know nothing good will come out of the debate. For some reason today I decided to comment, and was actually shocked and happy to see that there were tons of likes to my comment with no one trying to argue. Now I'm testing my luck and blogging about it because I can't get it out of my head!
I personally have always believed in vaccinations, which is somewhat ironic because I've never gotten the flu vaccine for myself - which I may have possibly changed my own mind today while thinking this all through.
Here is the jist of vaccines - there are diseases out there that have had major outbreaks and caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, and with the development of medicine and technology, there are researchers who were able to come up with ways to "cure" the diseases. Now people who live in vaccinated areas and countries almost never hear about those diseases.
That is until some physician skewed statistics (and later admitted it people!) to say that vaccines were the cause of autism, and now people are blaming vaccines for anything a child starts to show signs of after going through their childhood vaccinations. The result is that these diseases that haven't been seen in vaccinated areas and countries are now making a comeback and causing children to become deathly ill because their parents didn't want to vaccinate.
I feel strongly that everyone who can be vaccinated should be vaccinated. Yes, there are side effects, but the side effects of the disease are MUCH worse - such as DEATH - than the POSSIBLE side effects of the vaccine. Further, the point of vaccinating isn't just to protect yourself, its also to protect all the people who can't be vaccinated, such as infants that are too young or people with allergies such as eggs. So when a family decides they don't need the dtap vaccine because they never get sick, they are putting all the infants they come in contact with at risk, as infants lungs cannot handle whooping cough and don't show the signs as clearly as adults.
According to the CDC, "During 2012, 48,277 cases of pertussis were reported to CDC, including 20 pertussis-related deaths. The majority of deaths occurred among infants younger than 3 months of age. The incidence rate of pertussis among infants exceeded that of all other age groups. The second highest rates of disease were observed in children 7 through 10 years old. Rates increased in adolescents 13 and 14 years of age." For further stats, go here.
With that being said, pretty much everyone reading this lives in the United States or another country where you have the right to make your own health choices and therefore vaccines can't be forced on anyone, which is where my comment on the facebook post comes into play. I said:
"Yes, I got the shot. Everyone can make their own decisions but in all honesty, the only reason a lot of these issues exist is because people don't vaccinate. We all eat foods that are worse for us with no benefits with very little issue, yet we have issues with vaccinations that have less side effects and more benefits than the chemically processed food we eat?"
So if you eat anything that's processed or use the microwave to heat any of your food, especially in plastic, I'm certain you are ingesting things that will have worse side effects over the long term.
Now don't get me wrong, I use the microwave ALL THE TIME, and my kids and I definitely eat processed foods. Over the last year, my eyes have opened to this a lot more, and I try to limit it as much as possible and there are certain things I try to avoid such as high fructose corn syrup and food dye, but I don't always do it, and sometimes I eat things that I know are horrible for me.
What I'm not saying in this post is that everyone should eat the way our grandparents did (because the microwaves and processed foods didn't exist then). I'm just using our other bad habits as an example of something we continue to do because its cheaper and easier on us, even though its worse for us.
So, bottom line is that if you feel the need to ignore and dispute any vaccination, then I at least hope you are living a "granola" lifetyle and doing that with everything you come in contact with.
Okay - rant over. If you don't agree with this, don't bother trying to engage in a debate, I will ignore you and depending on the comment I might just delete it - because just like you have the right to not vaccinate, I have the right to delete comments on my blog and facebook page :)