Friday, September 27, 2013

"Everyone's Business"

 Is it everyone's business if and how my child is vaccinated?

It is, in that, if you ask me about my son's vaccination status, I'll honestly tell you and should you decide to avoid him because of that, that's your right. I could easily ask for the same information too. After all, I am not sure I want our children that close together after your's receives a live vaccine anyway. And while I'm at it, can we talk about you bringing your sick child into public and exposing everyone to whatever germs you're trying to pass off as allergies?

Beyond the right I'll concede that between friends, you can ask and be given an honest answer or at least told flatly that an answer isn't coming (rather than just a lie), nope, this is not "everybody's business" territory. You can talk about it and complain about it all you want but I won't have chemicals injected into him just to offer some maybe-possibly benefit to someone else's child. Not trying to claim I can do and not do whatever I want with my children. Society should care if a child is being abused in a proven way or being neglected to the point of their harm. Always. No matter who's child it is, we should never turn away from a hurt child.

Has everybody read the "I'm Coming Out... as Pro-Vaccine" post on HuffPost? Considering my headache after reading it, I don't recommend it if you haven't already. My irritation is not from her pro-vaccine stance itself but because of it's premise that I should do something I know is risky for my children to maybe possibly benefit someone else's child. Not happening. Obviously the last thing a child with leukemia needs is another disease heaped on top.... but my child doesn't need that many chemicals shoved into their system either. Who's health is of more importance? Neither. Both are innocent children, who's parents need to do their best for them.

Vaccine preventable disease is a misnomer to begin with. No vaccine is truly 100% effective, thus there is no way to guarantee your child doesn't get a disease. And herd immunity is a joke in a society that eats chemical-laden junk food constantly, pops antibiotics for a cold and basically does nothing to boost immune systems besides inject a massive amount of chemicals into our youngest citizens. Who's immune systems, btw, would be stronger anyway if they where breastfed in higher numbers and weaned onto real food rather than overly processed sugar-filled treats. Not to mention, how many adults (who received far fewer vaccines as children) stay up to date on recommended boosters? Getting a flu shot once a year doesn't make an adult "vaccinated". Why are children targeted and burdened with maintaining this illusion of herd immunity rather than adults? It's very easy to argue that vaccines are safer for adults because their brains and bodies are no longer developing as children's are. Children can be dragged to the clinic for shots though and parents can be pushed into doing so because of schools claiming "no shots, no school". Adults though, they are a lot harder to drag somewhere to receive several injections. The ones who DO stay up to date on boosters are generally working in the medical field and pushed to do so by their employers. Without that incentive, how many adults go along with vaccinations for themselves? I vaccinate myself and call all adults worried about herd immunity to do the same thing. If you're worried about my child hurting herd immunity, when was the last time you got a Tdap booster? Or any others?

I DO feel like this is one of the parenting choices where there are shades of grey, and anyone who researches it to make their choice rather than following blindly has my respect, no matter if that's full vax, partial vax or no vax. But my child hurting "herd immunity" is no more HER business than her child shedding is mine. Routine infant circumcision is always damaging and breastfeeding is always the biological normal way for infants to eat but vaccines.... many times a child receives them and shows no ill effects. Sometimes, they are miserable with a high fever and soreness. And sometimes the effects are much worse. I don't need to list all of those effects because all you have to do is read the vaccine inserts but here are a few of the top ones- seizures, uncontrollable fever and brain swelling. I'm not against vaccination but I am very wary of it. There is not enough research, not enough long-term studies, no comprehensive studies (the vaccine schedule as a whole has not been studied, only the vaccines separately). They are not "safe" or "risk-free", and thus they should not be forced.

The fact is... we do vaccinate. Sorta. Slowly, one injection at a time (which can mean up to 3 or more actual vaccines unfortunately) and very selectively. I can understand why some parents fully vaccinate, and why some do NO vaccinations. There is a lot of fear on both sides, and in the middle ground with me. Each time I consent to a vaccine being given to my child, there is fear. I've been one of the "unlucky few" when it comes to another area of parenting before (full-term stillbirth) and while the numbers of "unlucky ones" may seem small to you, they are still real. I'm not naive enough to say "it won't happen to MY child".

No parent should be forced to something risky to their child in the idea of possibly benefiting someone else. Many things factor into my decisions when it comes to vaccinations. My child hurting the flawed idea of herd immunity and "the greater good" are not those factors though.

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