I’m all for vaccinations. Every last one. Bring ’em on.
Give vaccinations to my children according to schedule and make them compulsory, please. I don’t want diseases that were wiped out, through painstaking research and hard work on many people’s part, to come back, and come back as epidemics. People die from these diseases. Worse, children die from them. Teeny tiny babies, who are too young to be themselves vaccinated, depend on other people to make the right choice in vaccinating their own children when the time is right.
To vaccinate or not to vaccinate is NOT a personal choice.
A personal choice does not affect hundreds, thousands of people, entire communities. Making a choice to not vaccinate because you are afraid of autism, and saying it’s personal and you’re entitled to that choice, is simply wrong.
Breastfeeding or not breastfeeding is a personal choice.
Which school your child goes to is a personal choice.
Deciding to raise your child gender-free is a personal choice.
Homeschooling is a personal choice.
Which church/ synagogue/ temple/ mosque you attend is a personal choice.
Vaccination is NOT a personal choice, and should never be, ever.
Even if I believe vaccinations are linked to autism (and I do not because it IS NOT, there are PLENTY of studies to prove that), I’ll take autism over death any day. I’ll take that chance with my children. I can work with autism. I can understand it, learn about it, advocate for my child, and we’ll get through it. At least I can hold my baby, watch him grow up and navigate all those milestones every child born, has a right to navigate. (Before someone says, you say that only because you don’t know what it’s like to have a child with autism – hold on right there. I do have a child, who though technically not diagnosed as being on the spectrum, has a set of challenges and issues that we are dealing with right now. So I do understand what special needs are.)
You don’t get to decide that for me. But when you say, I choose not to vaccinate and it is my right! – you are deciding for me, and thousands of other parents and their children. You are exposing your children and mine to diseases that should no longer be here. You are exposing elderly folks and yes, even adults whose childhood vaccinations have weakened (and yes, you can get boosters, go get them now), to these diseases. You are taking away children, parents, and grandparents away from their families. That is your personal choice? No, it is not.
Have you seen a five week-old in ICU because of whooping cough? Have you seen them hooked up to machines and drips, fighting to live? They wouldn’t even have to be there if their siblings had been vaccinated, and not passed it on to their innocent little brother or sister (and this is a true story told to me by a doctor friend living in Holland).
Pertussis (whooping cough) can kill. If you survive it, it can damage your lungs, and give you long-term health problems. People used to die from small pox (and still do). There are severe and real repercussions to your ‘personal choice’, on other people. Don’t we have enough freaking diseases in the world which God knows, if we can find vaccinations for, we’ll all be queueing up to get them? Cancer, HIV, various respiratory diseases, Ebola and who knows what else is going to strike us down.
So please, before you decide to make this a “personal choice,” get educated about vaccinations. Pore over all the information that is available and don’t be blindsided by fear mongers. Remember that what you choose to do or not do affects more than just you and your child.