Few have created the animosity that the vaccination issue has. Whether or not to vaccinate your child in 2014 is a conversation to avoid, topping the list above religion and politics. Facebook bullying, Twitter slamming, and hate-memes are running rampant online. Try taking a stance one way or the other, and you risk drawing the attention of the opposition like taking a baseball bat to a wasp nest.
Do vaccinations actually work? Do they cause more harm than good? Do they actually cause autism? Are they just one more example of a huge cash cow? (Like sunscreen, disposable training pants, and toddler formulas? – Just poking that nest with a ten-foot-pole….)
So, of course, here I go.
I am pro-vaccination. All five of mine got all their baby shots, boosters, and, with one left to go, made it to their 15th birthdays with their public health cards fully checked.
Where I stand out in the PRO camp, though, is that I don’t care one way or the other what you do. Whether or not you choose to vaccinate is none of my business. If you want my opinion or advice on the matter, ask; I’ll give it freely. But make your own decision. Because the bottom line is, assuming these preventative shots actually do what we expect them to do, if your kid gets sick, my kid has nothing to worry about. Protected by their full range of vaccinations, my kids are not at risk because you choose not to vaccinate yours. End of argument.
That said, I do have to admit that I drew the line at the HPV vaccine for our 14-year-old girls. If one out of a hundred sexually active girls will contract HPV, and 3 out of a thousand of those infected will develop into cancer, and I teach my kids to practice safe sex, the odds of them actually contracting cancer in this manner are virtually nil. The vaccine, however completely lab-tested, has not been proven against the factor of time. No matter how many tests they run, no one knows how this will affect our girls ten and twenty years down the road when they’re trying to have children. Maybe I’ve watched too many zombie flicks, but I’d hate to wake up one day and realize we accidentally sterilized all of our young women…
So, after all is said and done, only time will settle the matter. But, regardless of who’s right, this is a problem that will eventually work itself out. Tragically, yes, one way or the other, but definitively.