In light of the news that the British study linking MMR vaccinations and Autism has now been completely discredited, I would like to talk about this controversial subject. I know people that are wholeheartedly dedicated to their opinions on both sides. I do not want to alienate or upset anyone on either side; I want to talk about my opinion on the subject and hopefully be able to support that opinion.
Personally, my husband and I firmly believe in vaccinations. We believe the proven statistics that show how vaccines have actively worked throughout the centuries. We also understand that there are risks with anything that you do, but you have to weigh the risks and make responsible decisions. For vaccinations, we know that there are proven and documented risks for adverse affects. We receive this information every time we receive vaccinations. The chance of getting these adverse reactions are far less likely than getting the diseases we are trying to prevent. So, in our opinion, the risks of getting vaccinated are far less than the consequences of not doing it. We understand people who choose to not vaccinate because of medical reasons; like a history of adverse reactions in family members or specific allergies or other medical problems. But those cases are so rare. When adverse reactions to vaccines are proven, our government does have programs set up to help those families because they know that there is a small chance of something bad happening and that unfortunate events can occur.
We vaccinate our children because it is a win-win for everyone. By vaccinating our children, we are not only protecting them, but we are protecting other people too. Those who are too young to be vaccinated or those who are ill are protected because our children will not spread these infectious diseases. We are being responsible members in our community because we are protecting ourselves and our children. It seems that the choice to not vaccinate comes from an unrealistic fear. The whole idea that vaccinations can be linked to Autism or ADHD is a good example of that. I truly feel for those parents who have children afflicted with these problems. I also understand the need for answers. Now that this particular study has been discredited, I feel that it will give way to more time and resources going towards finding those answers and not towards feeding off of those irrational fears.
I think that the idea that a parent is willing to go through the effort to lie about their religious beliefs to avoid vaccination is just despicable. If they would take half the time to research and ask medical professionals that they can trust about the pros and cons to vaccinations and put those fears that they have aside so they can make reasonable judgments, they would not have to lie to get their way. There are a select few religions that don't believe in vaccinations, but they also don't believe in blood transfusions and believe that disease is God's will; that human intervention (like vaccines) will stand in the way of God's path. Even though I don't like the fact that these few religions can uphold these beliefs, I do have to respect their right to have them. It's the detestable way that these other people lie that not only causes harm by lack of prevention but also causes harm to the people who have legitimate beliefs by discrediting them.
There are those who claim that vaccinations are the drug companies way of making money and that they are not really necessary. To that, I just have to point out that drug companies do not make much of a profit off of regular, routine vaccinations. They do, however, make a profit on new vaccine drugs, like Gardisil. Plus, routine vaccinations have been going on for centuries....way before the controversy of drug companies feeding off the plight of the masses.
My husband and I don't just vaccinate our children. We make sure that we are vaccinated too. Not only that, but we urged all of our family members to get their flu shots every fall and get their boosters of Tdap updated too. I am proud to say, that even though they really didn't want to do it, all of our parents are now fully up to date on their vaccinations, including pertussis. They agreed that it is best to take preventative measures to protect our little ones.
I am not a doctor and I do not accept any liability for any consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. This is my personal opinion and in no way should be a deciding factor in your personal decisions.