This Mom’s Thoughts on Vaccinations

In case you missed it, and I doubt you have, measles is making a come back. There was a rather large outbreak linked to Disneyland recently and other pockets of measles infections are being reported all the time. It’s a little scary that a disease that was declared  eliminated in the US in 2000 is back and on the rise. It’s got people talking, and rightly so, about vaccinations.  And when I say “talking” I mean screaming, pouting and in many cases bullying.

I think we all can agree that parenting is not easy. That every single day we have to make choices and some of those choices are difficult ones to make. I will stand by my decision on this matter (which is to vaccinate) unless and until I come across evidence that convinces me I shouldn’t. And I also feel pretty blessed that I actually have that right. The right to decide what is best for my family. I fully admit that I get riled up at times with some of the arguments I see against vaccinating. However, that aggravation is not reserved for one side of the debate. The pro vaccination crowd tends to shut their ears at times and not even consider the thoughts and feelings of the other side. And that really does not benefit anybody.

Personally I come to this debate from a perspective and with experiences that are perhaps not unique but most certainly not the norm. I have personally seen (in my own child) adverse reactions to being vaccinated. That doesn’t make me afraid of them. I completely understand the mechanisms that created the adverse reactions for my daughter. They were short term and, to put it simply, the vaccinations did not make her sick but did cause a couple of underlying conditions to flare. And, in reality, these flare ups helped us in getting her conditions diagnosed and treated and put us in the hands of one of the best pediatricians in our city.

I’m tired of the bullying. I’m tired of the name calling and personal attacks from both sides. We are all parents trying to do what’s best for our children. I am passionate about vaccinations and I have been vocal about it. Many times. And will continue to do so.  But passionate doesn’t have to mean aggressive or down right mean. So, right here and right now I am going to share my thoughts, in what I think is a respectful, thoughtful and intelligent manner.

This Mom’s Thoughts on Vaccinations

I believe that unless there is a medical reason preventing it we should be vaccinating our children.

I do not believe that vaccinations should be law and I would fight for my right, and your right, to make that decision for your own children.

Vaccines and autism.  The link does not exist. Can we move on from that and drop if from the argument?

Vaccine injury and adverse effects do exist. We shouldn’t pretend they don’t.

Measles are a big deal and you shouldn’t try to convince others that they are not. People die from measles every single day although death is not the only bad outcome.

Stop asking the question “why should you be afraid of my unvaccinated child if your child is vaccinated?” The question has been asked and answered a million times over.

If you are a friend with kids and don’t vaccinate I actually am not afraid of your kids. Because if you are my friend I know you have enough common sense to keep your sick child (assuming you know they are sick) away from others. I also know, if we are friends, that you did not make this decision on a whim. We wouldn’t be friends otherwise. This does not apply to strangers. I can not vouch for you.

Sometimes making the decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate is not as easy as you might think. It’s not always back and white.

If the vaccination rates keep dropping we are going to continue to see the comeback of diseases that are preventable by vaccination and one day your kid and/or my kid are going to get one of those diseases.

I am dreading that day and will do what is in my power to avoid it. For your child and for mine.

Comments (3)

  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Shayna!

    Personally, what I’m tired of is hearing people say “I chose not to vaccinate because so and so told me that it isn’t a good idea.” Yes, I have heard that from many. That personally makes me nuts. We take our children to pediatricians because we trust their care, so why not trust their advice as well?
    I make the choice to vaccinate in accordance with the vaccination schedule. Even though I was vaccinated as a child, I somehow managed to get whooping cough almost 8 years ago and it goes down as one of the most terrible times in my life. I spent two weeks in the hospital where my throat would completely close up several times an hour and I was completely unable to breathe. There was not a single thing any doctor or nurse could do for me when it was happening just watch me turn blue. Horrifying.
    I fear the same things that you do, that diseases that were once considered eradicated will be making a strong comeback. There is no need. People in the developing world would kill to have the access to these vaccines so why isn’t everyone taking advantage of them?

    Sharon Vinderine
  • This frustrates me beyond belief. I don’t know where to start – but I have to say that you have said it pretty perfectly in your post. Thanks so much for stating it without bias. Great post!

  • Parenting is not easy and like you said, we all try and make the right decisions for our families. Whatever that may be.

    I like that you acknowledge and appreciate your right to choose for your family as everyone does not have this right. The laws in Mexico require that a student be vaccinated or they are not allowed in the educational system.

    Besos, Sarah
    Journeys of The Zoo

    Sarah De Diego

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