It’s a generally accepted fact that two things have saved more lives than anything else in history: clean water and vaccinations. Today, there are parents across the world who cannot afford or don’t have access to vaccinations. Charitable organizations and doctors donate their time and money to cross oceans to provide kids with life-saving vaccines. This week, a nation-wide campaign encourages parents to vaccinate their infants. The campaign is aimed at uneducated and underprivileged parents who a) don’t realize the importance of getting their children vaccinated or b) lack the means to acquire said vaccinations.
While people like Bill Gates are coughing up millions of dollars to help developing countries have access to life-saving vaccines, the educated and privileged in the US (and other first-world countries) are refusing to vaccinate their children.
I am flummoxed. Absolutely flummoxed. So I looked into the major reasons why a mom would refuse to vaccinate her little people. Of course, there are a plethora of mommy bloggers out there who extol the various reasons why they would never stick their child with a needle full of toxins. The following excerpts are taken from one such mommy blogger (I do not wish to be mean or spiteful, so I will refrain from saying where it’s from) who believes vaccines are a product of the devil himself.
I knew too many people or had heard of too many people with kids with autism, and I knew not ONE child with polio, measles, mumps, or rubella.
She’s right! There’s no polio, measles, mumps, or rubella!!! She doesn’t state the obvious- that the reason her kids aren’t presently at risk for these diseases is because of vaccines. This is an example of a mom who a) is letting her children benefit from a community of otherwise inoculated children and b) who refuses to accept that vaccines are in no way, shape, or form related to autism. The initial study that linked autism to vaccines has been proven fraudulent; Dr. Wakefield fudged his results. The rational medical community asserts that, thanks to recent studies, we now know autism has absolutely no connection to vaccines.
Still, moms cling to the few members of the healthcare community who demand more research. And many are not even moms whose children suffer from autism. Their fear of the unknown- what actually does cause autism?- clouds their rationality.
I read recently that nutritionists agree that the benefits of eating tuna fish outweigh the dangers of ingesting mercury. One mom insisted that the nutritionists were in definite cahoots with tuna fishermen and that their studies could not be trusted. (That was a joke.)
No mention of where these vaccines come from and how they are made. No mention that they contain deadly toxins like mercury and aluminum.
This mom bemoans the fact that her pediatrician didn’t provide her with a full report complete with statistics of children who have had bad reactions to vaccines, as well as a full toxicity report.
Does she demand one from her water company each month with the water bill? From her local grocer who provides her with her produce? From her lawn care provider, or her neighbor’s lawn care provider? Does she pour over her town’s air quality report? (Actually, I think she does. And she writes to her local government about them. So… yeah. She’s dedicated.)
The truth is, the “toxins” in vaccines are minimal. And none of them have been added “just because medical professionals love to stick toxins into infants.” Each ingredient has a specific purpose. Anti-vaccination proponents mislead parents into believing that the ingredients in a vaccine are a reason to forego vaccinations altogether. The latest scare tactic-that aluminum in vaccines can cause neurological disorders and kidney failure in infants- is also bogus. (I love when an opportunity to use the word bogus presents itself.) I like this quote from a report on aluminum:
During the first 6 months of life, infants could receive about 4 milligrams of aluminum from vaccines. That’s not very much: a milligram is one-thousandth of a gram and a gram is the weight of one-fifth of a teaspoon of water. During the same period, babies will also receive about 10 milligrams of aluminum in breast milk, about 40 milligrams in infant formula, or about 120 milligrams in soy-based formula.They can use aborted fetuses (this can be a major issue for Christians against abortion.)
We should all make like Charlton Heston and run out of the pediatrician’s office yelling, “IT’S PEOPLE!!!! IT’S PEOPLE!!!”
Thankfully, that statement is not true. No one is grinding up fetuses and putting them in vaccines. In fact, they now have labels that say “no babies were harmed in the making of this vaccine.”
But, if you’re curious about where this statement is derived, in the 1960s, scientists used cell-lines from aborted fetuses to create certain vaccines. Some of these cell-lines are still used today.
The babies were not aborted for science. Science journalist Chris Mooney reported:
What makes MRC-5 so controversial? According to a 1970 article in the British journal Nature, the cell line was originally derived in 1966 from the lung tissues of a male fetus "removed for psychiatric reasons from a 27-year-old woman." In other words, MRC-5 was created from an abortion.Do with this information what you will. A good reason NOT to vaccinate? The pope doesn’t think so, and neither do I.
I just read about Tuberculosis in third world countries the other day from a ministry. In order to stop the spread of the disease, they are not vaccinating, but educating the people.
Education is good. And cheaper than vaccines! Sanitation is just as if not more important than vaccines. If we can educate, not vaccinate, why do we need those pesky shots? I got the answer from, of all places, Canada. Which I thought was a crunchy country, so I am impressed:
For the specific diseases that vaccines can prevent, however, disease rates only began to drop dramatically after the vaccines for those diseases were licensed and came into widespread use. (Follow above link for more good information.)I think if God wanted us to have vaccines, he would have provided them in nature.
This is quite possibly the most stupid statement I have ever read on the internet. That is all.
What irritates me the most about the anti-vax crowd is their complete disregard for the danger they put their community in because they refuse to vaccinate. “If your kids are vaccinated, you shouldn’t have anything to be afraid of. Why do you care if I don’t vaccinate my kids?”
Because you put people at risk. And not just any people. The weakest and most vulnerable people.
Measles is a harmless childhood disease? Not to the infant too young to get vaccinated. Not to the AIDS patient whose immune system is severely compromised, or the cancer patient who cannot fight off disease. Not to the immunized child whose vaccine failed, because vaccines are not 100% effective. Not to the child whose parents lacked medical insurance or just didn’t bother to get their children immunized.
Life is about taking chances. We weigh the risks and the benefits, and we do what we think is best for our children, for ourselves, for the community at large. Taking a vaccine is taking a risk, but it is one that is far outweighed by the benefits.
Update: Information about Vaccinations
Who Should NOT Get Vaccinated with These Vaccines?
Some Common Misperceptions
Risk from Disease Vs. Risk from Vaccines
Vaccine Information Statements
The Pertussis Epidemic and the Anti-Vaccine Movement