Monday, March 21, 2016

Putting "The Mommy Wars" to Bed: Chapter 6

Vaxer's, Anti-Vaxer's, Delayed Vaxers, 

I am not going to pretend to be able to understand all the science behind this issue.  That is exactly why it is SO hard to make a decision about this. This is probably the most contentious issue parents face in regards to the depth and contempt in judgement.

I'm going to list why I have been told families have chosen to vaccinate, and why they have chosen to not vaccinate.  Then I'll summarize what I think needs to happen in day to day interactions with other parents.  Whether or not you know it, both sides of this issue are operating from a position of "beliefs", and we have no choice really but to trust what we think and how we feel about the current data.  There have been countless scientific "facts" that have later been disproven, so even if something has been accepted as fact, that doesn't necessarily make it true, on either side, of any scientifically proven fact. Science evolves as new data, new studies, new experiments, new criteria, new scientists, etc. come into being.


  • Believes in herd immunity and feels it is the socially responsible thing to do
  • Wants to travel with children
  • Was immunized and "is fine"
  • Immunized other children who appear to be unaffected
  • Trusts Pediaticians opinion
  • Believes it is a requirement to attend school
  • Trusts the medical community/pharmaceutical companies to make vaccine's safe
  • Believes that the risk/reward ratio favors immunizations 
  • Does not know anyone personally who's child had an adverse reaction to vaccines
  • Exposure to media, we all seek to validate what we already suspect or believe

  • Does not trust pharmaceutical companies to place the well-being of children ahead of profits, believes privatized medicine values bottom line over health, and relies on sickness to make $
  • Trusts Holistic Practitioner's ideology
  • Disagrees with the sheer amount of toxins if following the standardized immunization schedule
  • Doesn't want to make that choice on behalf of their child, leave the choice up to them when they are old enough to decide
  • Knows personally someone who had a child who suffered from an adverse reaction following a vaccine
  • Has a child who suffered a reaction from a vaccine
  • Believe that even if one vaccine or another is disproven as being the primary cause of autism, that there is still probable cause for concern simply due to science's inability to prove what DOES cause it
  • Has a child with other health concerns or has an allergy to ingredients in vaccine
  • Believes that the diseases vaccines' protect us from are essentially eliminated and the risk of having the vaccine is greater than the risk of catching the disease.
  • Aren't sending kids to school and don't feel the risk of exposure warrants the exposure to toxins
  • Exposure to media, we all seek to validate what we already suspect or believe

Delayed Vaxers
  • Believes in herd immunity, but chooses to space out vaccines and have children immunized more slowly over time or when there is an increased risk of exposure to specific disease 
  • Believes that neurotoxins in immunizations, when following the medical establishments vaccination schedule, are too risky
  • Aren't sending kids to school and don't feel the risk of exposure warrants early exposure to toxins in quick succession
  • Has a child with other health concerns and plan to vaccinate when health improves
  • Exposure to media, we all seek to validate what we already suspect or believe
The reality is that there are SO FEW people out there who are flat out refusing to vaccinate, that herd immunity is working. The media loves to create controversy out of nothing at all. It simply doesn't have to be the big judgy issue that it has become. Most vaccinate, some space them out, and a precious few choose to opt out.  The few who choose not to are not going to have a significant impact on our communal health, and even though you might resent their choice to not participate in the herd, they are the reason FOR the herd immunity concept and they are an important part of the herd. Those who feel safe enough about immunizations, do it to protect A. Themselves and B.  Members of the community who don't, can't, or won't.  That's is the WHOLE point. People have a right to be skeptical of the drug companies, they have a right to question and wait for an answer that makes them feel good about ANY medical procedure, especially those chosen on behalf of someone else. Those who choose not to immunize, or delay immunizations are serving the herd in important ways too. If everyone jumped on board, and we all just blindly followed the drug companies instruction without question or skepticism, they wouldn't continue to work to prove the safety of the 49 doses of vaccinations that are currently on the schedule from birth to age 6.  So you vaxxers who trust the system of herd immunity are keeping our families safe in the short term...either following the schedule as given or delaying them for your peace of mind...and you anti-vaxxers are pushing science, medicine and big pharma to continue to prove that we are not blindly following the herd.  If we want to use the analogy of the herd, let's really look at herd behavior. There are those members that forge ahead blindly, accepting risks, both known and unknown, knowingly and intentionally, there are some who try to stay safely enveloped by the rest of the herd, and those who stray out away from the herd or fall behind, sometimes drawing out the predators and maybe finding themselves at risk. There are pro's and con's to being any part of a herd, and the drug companies aren't necessarily shepherds we can trust, they have a lot to gain by misleading us...therefore the anti-vax community has emerged to provide some checks and balances, making sure the shepherds aren't actually wolves in disguise. Trust each other more, we don't need to fear or have disdain for those who make different choices than we do.  We are all a part of something much larger than we can possibly imagine and trying to make everyone conform to the same ideology about anything is not the answer. 

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