Hey, could you stop trying to poach off my family’s immunity?


My wife and I chose to hold our children back from some vaccines, not for philosophical reasons, but for practical reasons. Some vaccines are dangerous, some are not needed.

Without getting into specifics, we looked carefully and responsibly at each and went round and round with the school nurse before we came to a compromise.

We keep our older kids informed of what vaccines they have not had. When they are 18 they can get any vaccines they feel are needed.

If you believe personal liberty must take a back seat to the common good, then you must rely on the whims of the majority to decide what the common good is.In the past this has led to liberty stealing civilizations such as Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

Wow – that didn’t take long for Godwin’s Law… by you “looked carefully and responsibly”, do you mean “we listened to the scare-mongering tactics of the anti-science vaccines-give-you-autism brigade”? Because there’s no *reputable* research showing that vaccines are dangerous (not needed, maybe, but as the article states, below a certain immunized threshold, immunity is not guaranteed)…

With a small child going through vaccinations at every Dr.s visit, my husband and I have talked about this a great deal. We of course brought our pediatrician into the the mix and what decision we needed to make for our family.What surprised me the most was my husband’s reaction to all of this. After traveling in Africa and seeing children and adults alike suffer from polio and other diseases that we have not seen rampant in America, he felt very differently than I did.

I think if you want to opt out – which you should have the right to do, the government is not mandating it, then you have to realize what you are giving up. If you look at a good deal of homeschoolers, they feel strongly about not vaccinating.

  1. Discounted by reputable studies;
  2. The version of mercury that used be used does not settle in organs and bones, but rapidly leaves the body; [citation]
  3. It’s no longer being used in vaccines in California (and other places), while Autism continues to occur.

I hope that was enough science for you, now I’ll share my family story. You see, I have both someone who had measles in the old days before vaccines, and a fair number of family members with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). In fact, based on my mother’s description, I’d say that her great-uncles, who were around well before the MMR, were on spectrum. I HAPPILY gave my son the MMR both because I think it’s safe, and the I know first-hand the downsides of measles. My son now has autism. In fact, he has the kind of autism that many MMR opponents think is caused by the MMR (late onset of symptoms at age 2+). I think his having autism has absolutely nothing to do with his getting the MMR. I think the fact that we have a whole family full of ASD types probably was more germane to his condition. You can’t overcome genetics. You can, however, immunize your kids.

That brings me to part two of my story, why measles is bad. I sorta feel stupid having a discussion like this, but perhaps it’s a testament to how far we have come. Most of us grew up with almost universal vaccination levels, so we didn’t see measles in childhood. We have NO idea what we missed. I have an idea. I have a family member who has had severe and degenerative hearing loss as a result of a case of measles at age 4. Hearing loss, no big deal, at least they aren’t deaf. Well, others do become deaf, but I would argue that severe hearing loss is almost as bad. First some figures on Measles leading to deafness:

Measles (red measles) causes fever, rash and cold-like symptoms and can lead to ear infection or pneumonia. More serious complications, occurring in 1 child in 1,000, include inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). This can lead to convulsions, deafness or permanent brain damage. One person in 3,000 with measles can die from complications.

by posted under politics/policy | 2 Comments »    
2 Comments to

“Hey, could you stop trying to poach off my family’s immunity?”

  1. September 29th, 2008 at 7:28 am      Reply Bethany Smith Says:

    It is amazing what a hot topic this is. I know of several people that feel strongly about this topic and have not vaccinated their children. When we talked to our pediatrician, they talked the options over with us (which I appreciate ) and strongly recommended it. But As I commented earlier, what really made the difference was Brent’s experience being in a foreign country without vaccinations, and seeing people suffering from the effects of polio. I think in this country, we have forgotten what these diseases look like, and how serious they are.

    I’m glad to see you give some perspective on this issue.

  2. September 29th, 2008 at 8:57 am      Reply alicemercer Says:

    NO, thank you Bethany for sharing your husband’s experience. Unfortunately, even with outbreaks here in the states, and some kids ending up deaf, it just hasn’t happened enough for folks to appreciate the danger.

    It looks like the only thing that will convince folks is when it happens in their family, but then, it’s too late.

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