I read an article in the LA Times condemning “rich, educated, and stupid” parents for “driving the vaccination crisis” and “damaging herd immunity.” I haven’t heard there was a vaccination crisis, nor have I heard about herd immunity being jeopardized, and surely I’d know. I’ve been researching vaccines for years.
So I called upon a vaccine hero in the know, the CDC. Their latest update:
ZERO “vaccination crisis.” Good, I thought I missed something. The update also mentioned less than 1% of the US population chooses not to vaccinate (0.7% to be exact), so “damaged herd immunity” is actually quite intact. Phew, I thought I missed the boat on that one, too. Although, I’ll admit I’m kind of stunned to see the words “rich, educated, and stupid” used to falsely accuse a parent.
What I find most sad about the article, it’s hateful. And unfortunately it’s what the vaccine debate is all about, just hate. Because at the end of the day, both sides want the same thing, to protect their children.
I sit on the fence in this debate, so I see both sides. Let’s admit it, there’s mounds of evidence supporting vaccine safety, likewise there’s mounds of evidence supporting vaccine injury. Yes, smallpox has been eradicated thanks to vaccines, yet that’s debatable. Yes, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) was founded by our government to protect those injured by vaccines, yet that too is debatable. Yes, injury and death do occur. Injury and death occur as a side effect of both disease and vaccine injury, and that’s NOT debatable.
Today, children become debilitated and die from disease AND children become debilitated and die from vaccine injury. We are talking about our children’s lives. In light of knowing this, a parent’s decision at the end of the day is to protect their child. Who are you to judge me for my decisions and who am I to judge you for yours, especially when we are both aiming to accomplish the same thing, protection for our children? There’s evidence that supports me, and there’s evidence that supports you.
Muslims are taught not to judge, just as Atheists and Christians. I’m Christian, so I’ll give you my version: Romans 14:10 – “You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.”
I think the “hate” in the vaccine debate arises from “pro-vaccine” parents thinking that parents who choose not to vaccinate will put the “herd” at risk for future outbreaks. I’ve put that theory to rest here when I demonstrated EVERYONE is to blame (and well, I’m not too terribly keen on the “herd” theory anyway). And I think a lot of the hate is also generated by false information fueling the fire, like the article I discredited above.
We can’t deny there’s incredible scientists and physicians on both sides of the fence. And we can’t deny that vaccines save lives. And we can’t deny that vaccines also take lives. I like to tell people that trying to persuade another who opposes your vaccine beliefs is like trying to persuade a Christian that God doesn’t exist.
I hear stress can be deadly, too. So instead of bad mouthing someone on Facebook for their vaccine beliefs, go relieve some of that tension and do the dishes, or take out the trash, or spend an extra 5 minutes with your 5 yr old who’s coloring in the other room, or maybe even pull your spouse away for a few minutes of alone time. And with that, I may have just saved your life, or at least your sanity. 🙂
I’d love to hear your thoughts, but hurry, you have a child eager to color with you in the other room! 🙂