Why I Vaccinate My Children

Thursday, September 11, 2014 0 Comments A+ a-

I made the decision to vaccinate my children five years ago. My decision was based on a few discussions with a pharmacist and a counseling psychologist who worked with individuals with autism. Back then, the study relating vaccinations to autism had not yet been discredited.

I still stand by my decision to vaccinate my children. Since becoming a bit more of a skeptic and freethinker, and a member of a few "natural parenting" groups, my decisions to vaccinate have resurfaced again. In a few Facebook Groups I was in, numerous new mothers ask for advice when it comes to vaccinations, and I'm astounded by the general consensus amongst these parents - you should not vaccinate. I think the anti-vaccination movement is rooted in fear, not evidence.

The sheer amount of illogical reasons why parent's shouldn't vaccinate is astounding. I am able to see right through the "proof" they give simply through applying what I learned way back when I took an Intro To Formal Logic class back at Kent State University. Here, I was given the tools to analyze arguments in a systematic way that has been highly beneficial in my decision to not vaccinate my children. If you've never taken a class on logic, I highly recommend it. Here's a free one offered by Stanford. In a world where information is everywhere, being able to analyze arguments is now more important than ever. Here's a simple graphic illustrating how one of the anti-vaccine arguments is illogical. The "Re-Think Vaccines" is an actual graphic used & shared by ant-vaccers to support their movement. The images below illustrate how poor their logic is by applying it to other situations.

I can't micromanage ever parent's vaccination decision, and yet I feel it would be incredibly irresponsible for me to just say nothing. The internet is full of so many vaccination myths it's horrifying. So, in a world increasingly filled with anti-vaccination propaganda, I bring you some information on why you should vaccinate your children.

An infant girl in Intensive Care with Whooping Cough (Pertussis).

The infant above is too young to be vaccinated herself, so relied on herd immunity to keep her safe. Anti-vaccers compromise herd immunity, and as a result, we have situations like this. For herd immunity to work, a certain number of people in a group needs to be vaccinated to prevent the spread of disease. So, even though we can't vaccinate infants they shouldn't get sick due to the number of susceptible people around them being vaccinated. have been saved via herd immunity. 

As one commenter states, "This is a huge frustration for me. Vaccinations have the potential to relieve more human suffering than all the ICU care we could possibly provide. I've seen whole disease categories all but vanish during my career, and yet there are scores of people who think they know better because of anecdotes, their own fears, etc. The data on vaccines are better than any data on which you base any other decisions in your life. Please, I don't need the job security! PS. If you think that video is hard to watch, try it in real life with your own kid. For days. No sleep. Just get the shots."

On WIRED Magazine, read:
An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All
How to Win an Argument About Vaccines
What’s the Real Story on the Vaccine Debate? Learn More

Check out the anti-vaccine body count at http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com/Anti-Vaccine_Body_Count/Preventable_Deaths.html

And, read Dear parents, you are being lied to.

Read the story of this 58-year-old woman who contracted polio.

I'm also excited that NOVA is airing "Vaccines-Calling the Shots" today. Here's a little preview of the special:

Please feel free to share this on your favorite social media sites. Send this to anyone you know who is pregnant or has children who aren't vaccinated. I don't believe anti-vaccers are bad people, they have just not been presented with convincing evidence on why they should vaccinate... but evidence IS out there. 

What are your thoughts on vaccinations? Leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one.  

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