To vaccinate or not? That truly is the question.
My child is fourteen months old and hasn't received one vaccine. Not one. Nada. It hasn't been an easy decision to make. There is so much propaganda and skewed science on both sides of the debate that parents are left completely confused. For every study that says vaccines are safe, I can find one that says they're dangerous. For every child negatively affected by a vaccine, I can a child who caught a virus due to not being vaccinated.
There is no easy answer here. Just a lot of questions.
My son had a pediatrician appointment today for a well-visit checkup and the doctor, who was seemingly open about us not getting my son vaccinated, immediately launched into pro-vaccine rhetoric upon entering the room. She said I'm doing some rights things: breastfeeding into toddlerhood and avoiding daycares, but that he should be vaccinated nonetheless.
She asked why we chose not to immunize my son and all the sudden I went blank. I turned to Jesse so he would speak up instead. I have a bad habit of freezing up when put on the spot. Even when asked about issues I'm passionate about, I freeze and look like a total flake. It's annoying. It makes me looks (and feel) dumb.
Anyways, he talked about the link between vaccines and autism and how vaccines haven't done as much good as proponents claim. I added that the ingredients were controversial and that I didn't want anything containing fetal pig serum, aluminum and thimerosal injected into my sweet baby boy. I think she took us for people who got their medical info from tabloids (you know, the ones at the supermarket with "Man Marries Half-Sister Alien" stories on the cover).
I just kept repeating that, "You know, it's such a hard decision," which I fully believe is true. Unlike veganism, the decision to not vaccinate is difficult to explain and I can see the side of people who opt for delayed or selective vaccinations. Yet, doctors want to make us feel like irresponsible morons. Can you really blame parents for non trusting pharaceuatical companies? Those greedy bastards are never up to any good. I may have gotten my son vaccinated if the vaccines were safer. If there wasn't so much secerecy surrounding them. If I felt I could trust that the vaccine manufacturers/large pharmo companies would actually put human welfare over anything else like, say, money and profits.
But, no... I just can't. Inside Vaccines posted a wonderful opinion piece giving advice to vaccine proponents. It's definitely worth the read and sums up just why so many parents are questioning vaccines.
By the way, my peditrician recommended that I read literature from some Offitt guy. I did some research on him and it turns out he's a co-patent for the rotavirus vaccine. Hmmm...