I have a look at loads of the anti-vax websites and Facebook pages (the ones I can see anyway) nearly every week.
Some of them are totally off the planet, some are misinformed, some are just plain full of bat-shit-crazy lunatics. And that’s fine. It’s good to see things from other people’s point of view once in a while, even if I don’t agree with them.
What scares me though are the few that are spewing profanities and hate at anyone who doesn’t believe every word they say. They are the truly frightening ones.
Frightening because they are so hateful. So vocal. So loud. They are bullies who despise anyone disagreeing with them.
I am a proud Pro-Vax parent. But me telling you that “You are a bad parent because you don’t vaccinate your child” or saying “I don’t care if your un-vaxxed kid comes to my school because it’s your kid who would die…” wouldn’t make me just as bad as they are? Would it?
Yes, yes it would.
And I’m not being a fence sitter here.
Why I am so pro-vaxx:
Why? Well – for me personally, I do my research. I read loads of reputable science websites, journal articles and talk to health professionals. I know that 150 years ago the chance of dying of an infectious disease before the age of five was a real possibility. I weigh up the options, get informed and then make the decision that is right for me and my family. A decision I can live with after studying the facts.
And this is exactly what the Anti-Vaxxers do (apart from the science stuff… well they get it from different websites I suppose or look at it differently)… And they are making the right choice for their family. Because that’s what parents do… they try and protect their children at all cost. And Pro-Vaxxers do need to understand that. They really aren’t so different.
The thing I’m trying to say is – Although I am Pro-Vax, I can understand where they are coming from…
I can understand them saying that injecting a foreign substance into a baby seems wrong. When you look at it from the outside in, it does seem weird. And I agree.
They say that only vaccine-injured children’s parents would understand how they feel… And as a Mum of a child with Autism (not related to vaccines!), I can see that point because with Autism, unless you know what it’s like, you don’t like what it’s like. And I agree.
Anti-vaxxers believe they are making the right decision not to vaccinate, and that it is their decision to make. Except for idiots like David ‘Avocado’ Wolfe (Google him – scary man). This is where things get real for me… See I do believe that living in today’s world, we have all these decisions to make regarding our family. And decisions mean choice. And choice is a wonderful thing. But this is where giving parents the choice to do what’s best for their children, and making the rest of the community safe, comes into conflict.
Can parents still make a choice about vaccination when that choice may mean an increase in the chances of life-threatening diseases coming back into the community because of that choice?
I don’t think so… But I believe in choice… So I’m stuck…
And the vaccination debate has taken on an almost religious zest in the two camps of thinking.
Creating a war between Mums wanting to protect their children at all cost.
We need to listen to and address parents very real concerns.
So What Can We Do About It? Turns Out – Quite a LOT!
I think a bit of understanding and listening on BOTH camps is essential. Yelling at each other in disagreement will never get anyone anywhere.
If you are pro-vax like me, talk to an anti-vaxxer – and don’t judge, just listen. Try and understand where they are coming from. It doesn’t mean you have to change your mind and vice versa… but a bit of understanding from both camps will go a long way.
- A better understanding of childhood diseases and how they work should start at school.
- Our pre-natal classes should tell us about possible diseases our children can get, how to spot them early and get medical treatment, regardless of immunisation status.
- I think that pharmaceutical companies can never be too transparent and should answer questions about their products openly and honestly.
- I also think we have to put our trust in Scientists and Professors who have studied this. Because Science leads to measurable results and hard facts.
- I’d love to see more non-funded scientific based articles and a reputable place where we can get all the information we need – the correct information – from the correct sources. I think this is great for more pro and anti-vaxxers to get real unbiased information as there is so much biased information out there. No wonder parents are confused!
- I also think parents should make the decision on immunising their child with their Doctor or Paed. Not by what your friends and family are doing.
- I don’t feel segregation is ever a way to fix anything – except for newborn babies who are susceptible to so many terrible diseases because they even have a chance to protect themselves with immunisation.
Last of all, parents will always make the best choice for their children. Provide them with the correct information, they will make the correct decision.
So let’s open a discussion.