How the Pro-Vaccine Side Lost Me

Two schoolboys are fightingWhen did it become okay to make fun of anyone? When as a society did we start to accept people making fun or belittling each other? It isn’t okay for children to bully each other at school nor is it okay for adults to bully, make fun of, or belittle each other through their Facebook account.

It does not matter if you love or hate vaccines. I was taught growing up if you do not have anything nice to say then you do not say anything at all. I am not anti-medicine, science, or vaccines. I am however very anti-bullying, making fun of people, and bashing others because they have a different opinion.

We are all parents trying to make the best decisions for our children. Parenting is hard enough the way it is without parents making fun of each other.

I know the vaccine issue is a hot topic right now, but I have seen so much belittling from the pro-vaccine camp lately that it has pushed me over the edge. I have been seeing people post the late show host video of him bashing anti-vaxers. I normally keep scrolling when someone posts something that I do not agree with, but it is people posting how funny and great they think the video is. I do not find it funny when someone ridicules or makes fun of people.

Most, but not all, of the parents who do not vaccinate fall into one of these categories:

1. Their child was vaccine injured, had severe reactions to the vaccines, or died from them.

2. They spent hours researching vaccines, package inserts, the history of these diseases, the side effects, and more to come to a conclusion to delay or to not vaccinate. According to the Journal of Pediatrics: “Unvaccinated children tended to be white, to have a mother who was married and had a college degree, to live in a household with an annual income exceeding $75, 000”.

Many of those who do not vaccinate either have experience with vaccine injury or have done their own homework. When you make fun of those who do not vaccinate you subsequently are making fun of vaccine injured children and their families along with people who are educated on the topic. And not everyone who chooses to not vaccinate is educated on the topic either.

To the parents who followed their doctor’s advice and your child had a bad reaction, was vaccine injured, or died from the vaccine; I apologize for every person who posts something hateful towards those who do not vaccinate on their Facebook page. I cannot imagine what you went through or are still going through every day.

Most Americans have very little knowledge concerning vaccines. They have most likely never read a package insert. They completely trust their doctor and the news media. It is unlikely that they have read a study or anything peer-reviewed concerning vaccines. They do not know that our government has paid 2.8 billion dollars to date for injuries due to vaccines that are safe and effective.

If I had not put in hours upon hours into researching vaccines myself I would probably feel the same way about those who choose not to vaccinate. After doing my homework, I respect the decision of other parents whatever it is that they decide. I am 100% pro-parents choice when it comes to vaccines.

Think it is okay to bash those who do not vaccinate? Spend some time listening to these stories and maybe you will feel a little different about ever making fun of these parents.

If you strongly believe in vaccines: I would encourage you to not bash, belittle, or make fun of those who oppose them. You will never change anyone’s mind with those tactics. Some parents are picking up the pieces every day from vaccine injury.

And there are probably people reading this thinking, “But these anti-vaxers are endangering all of us and deserve to be ridiculed”.

1. They aren’t endangering the vaccinated unless you don’t believe vaccines work.

The FDA released this statement in 2013, “There were 48,000 cases reported last year despite high rates of vaccination,” said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The Oxford Journal of Clinical Disease found in well-vaccinated populations that the pertussis vaccine’s effectiveness for the 2-7 year age group was 24%. “Despite widespread childhood vaccination against Bordetella pertussis, disease remains prevalent.

The Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State found that the pertussis vaccine dampened the immune system response leading to 40-fold increase in the B. parapertussis colonization in the lungs of mice. “Data suggest that the vaccine may be contributing to the observed rise in whooping cough incidence over the last decade by promoting B. parapertussis infection.”

2. But what about immunocompromsied children and adults?

According to St. Jude, concerning those with a compromised immune system, “Avoid live virus vaccines AND PEOPLE WHO HAVE RECEIVED ONE

Do not allow people to visit your child if:

  • They have received oral polio or smallpox vaccines within 4 weeks;
  • They have received the nasal flu vaccine within one (1) week; or
  • They have rashes after receiving the chickenpox (varicella) vaccine or MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine.”

A well-cited article on vaccination and spreading disease: “Physicians and public health officials know that recently vaccinated individuals can spread disease and that contact with the immunocompromised can be especially dangerous.”

From the FDA’s website: “Animals that received an acellular pertussis vaccine had the bacteria in their airways for up to six weeks and were able to spread the infection to unvaccinated animals.” Link to the actual study: here

Another documented example of a live virus from a vaccinated individual spreading to someone else: “This case documents transmission of varicella-vaccine virus from a healthy 12-month-old infant to his pregnant mother.”

There is a risk of spreading these diseases to the immunocompromised by those who have been vaccinated with a live virus.

Moral of the Story:  The vaccine debate is a hot topic and a lot of parents feel strongly about their beliefs. Parents can have differing beliefs on this topic, but it is never okay to ridicule or make fun of anyone on either side.

**Update 3/7/15** Thank you to those who have shared their personal stories either through the comments or by contacting me! Remember on each side of this debate are parents who ultimately want to protect their children.