Saturday, February 7, 2015

Now is the Time to Rethink Vaccines


photo courtesy of El Alvi


The choice to vaccinate isn't just about you and your kids. We aren't talking about how you install a car seat or whether or not you breastfeed or the GMOs you choose to eat or not eat, etc..... we are bringing back diseases that shouldn't be coming back. Diseases that are being brushed off as “no big deal” because our generation hasn't seen how devastating these diseases can be, even for well-nourished individuals.

This is a public health issue. Your choice not to vaccinate affects others. Just like drunk driving isn't just about the drunk driver behind the wheel -- it's about anyone who might be on the road with the drunk driver. Drunk driving can affect a lot of people just like not vaccinating can affect a lot of people. Vaccines are not 100% effective – no one claims that they are. So those who have received the vaccines are not 100% immune. And there are children too young to receive vaccines. And there are people who have compromised immune systems. In other words, there are people who depend on others around them not contracting these diseases. I am so glad to say I'm doing my part to help protect them, though I am sad to say once upon a time I thought I “knew better” than experts around the world because I had my Dr. Sears book in hand and was armed with all kinds of pseudoscience found in his book, in internet forums and through my old friend, Dr. Google.

One can only truly claim to be "well-informed and well-educated" on vaccines if they have studied years and years through actual academic programs (not Google) in the field of infectious diseases, immunology and/or epidemiology. If you have not, then no, you do not know more than experts in these fields who unanimously agree that vaccinating ourselves and our children is the best way to prevent death and complications from vaccine-preventable diseases. What the anti-vaccine crowd is actually armed with are conspiracy theories, anecdotes that they believe trump scientific evidence, all backed by nonsense found on sites like Mercola, Natural News, Health Impact News and other website based on pseudoscience and written by quacks.

Think Big Pharma is making all kinds of money from pushing vaccines? Perhaps you should check out your own “vaccine-friendly” pediatrician. The handful of anti-vax doctors and “doctors” out there are making a LOT of money off of your fears, pushing their own products/supplements/books and charging parents oodles of money out-of-pocket for their services.

Vaccines are safe and effective. Don’t be scared by the “vaccines are full of toxins” nonsense. The real fear-mongering is coming from those who don’t understand the vaccines, don’t understand how they work and don’t really know anything about the ingredients they are trying to scare you away from.

Measles is serious. The flu is serious. Pertussis is serious. Vaccine-preventable diseases are serious. Now is the time to think twice if you have fallen into the anti-vaccine trap. I believe you mean well and you only want to do what you think is best for your children… but not vaccinating is not doing what is best for your children or your community.

Why are there more vaccines for kids now than 20 years ago? Read here and here and read this quote from here for a quick answer: "As science progresses, children and adults are protected against more and more vaccine-preventable diseases. In the 1920s, there was just one vaccine: smallpox. At that time, hundreds of thousands of children got diphtheria---many of them died from it. By the 1950s there were five vaccines, including one for diphtheria, but still tens of thousands of children got sick from bacterial diseases such as meningitis or pneumonia caused by Hib or pneumococcus. Today we have vaccines for diseases that used to affect children every day. Healthy communities prove that immunizations are working. "

Were diseases really on the decline before vaccines? Read here

Worried about the "toxins" in vaccines? Read here

My favorite, easy-to-read explanation of the facts about vaccines: read here.






5 comments:

  1. It makes me so sad that we could have a world free from many horrible diseases if only everyone did their bit and didn't fall for the conspiracy theories and misinformation. I had measles as a child, came out of it ok but had to stay in a dark room with sunglasses on as any light was unbearable and needed antibiotics for a chest infection, I'm so glad I can spare my children that.

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  2. This worrying trend is coming to Finland too. It amazes me, because I used to live near Russian border and saw russians every day. I know for a fact that many diseases we in Finland have managed to almost wipe out are still in the rampage in Russia, like tuberculosis. It doesn't take much for the diseases to come back. My friends have critisized me for vaccinating my kids with every possible vaccine, but now I'm with a newborn and I'm not going to let their unvaccinated kids into my house. That has caused some of them to get mad at me, but I really don't care. I don't want their kids to infect my kids before her vaccines.

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  3. Can I ask, without scorn, how it's "normal" for my 3-5 mo infant to arch his back and have ear-piercing screaming after a round of imms?

    All good in the end though, right? Herd immunitization justifies this?

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  4. Btw, this was a normally placid, happy baby.

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  5. I really took you serioys about hb in the US, but after this I am seriously doubting.

    I have watched changes in my babies after imms and years before I read any anti vacc or vacc awareness paperwork.

    Anecdotal notwithstanding, I saw changes after vaccs. And that is that!

    ReplyDelete

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