As a former college debater, coach, and woman who is currently pregnant, I have been hearing a lot about vaccinations for the past few years. In a recent conversation with my friend, I learned that he and his wife argued about the topic after the birth of their first child. Luckily, the conversation wasn’t really one that my partner and I needed to have, but for those who do there are some things you should consider prior to deciding to count out vaccinating altogether.
The vast majority of media coverage on the subject seems to have started back in 2009 when former Playboy model Jenny McCarthy decided she was as qualified as a doctor to give medical advice concerning vaccinations for children. Of course, McCarthy wasn’t the first to link vaccines and autism, but her voice was one of the loudest and most likely to be heard.
Prior to McCarthy, Dr. Bob Sears published a book entitled The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child that advocated an alternative vaccine schedule for children. On face, Dr. Sears’ advocacy seems to make sense-logically one might experience more problems or an increased likelihood of adverse reaction if s/he receives multiple injections at once, but according to an article published in the scholarly journal Pediatrics, Dr. Sears’ alternative vaccine schedule is based more on assuaging parental fears than hard science. The truth is, anti-vaccination movements have been around since 1802 as evidenced by this painting in which individuals are depicted as sprouting farm life from their body after receiving vaccination.
Since the beginning of the recent widespread media coverage about vaccinating, however, I have heard of several outbreaks of life threatening diseases that society had long since though were a non-issue-most specifically measles. Doctors like Sears would have individuals believe that these outbreaks are common, but regardless of the fact that measles outbreaks do occur yearly, we have still yet to see definitive proof that vaccines and autism-or a plethora of other ailments-are causally linked or even based in properly conducted research.
According to the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control (as well as other reputable vetted research institutions) illnesses like the Measles and Pertussis (Whooping Cough) are preventable and are prevented quite well with vaccination.
The truth of the matter is that every single year around 2 million die from illnesses that could have been easily prevented through vaccination-pretty terrifying when you see that there is no research stating that vaccines cause anything besides disease prevention.
Much of what you hear touting that vaccination is bad for your children is either pseudo-science or preying on your insecurities as a parent, of course the choice is yours, but don’t be surprised when I don’t want my child playing with yours. If you still don’t believe what you’re reading here please check out this article, although not written scientifically all of the studies being linked paint a clear picture that not vaccinating your children can ultimately do far greater harm than a minimal scientifically unverified risk.