Monday, 17 March 2014

Anti-Vaccination Idiots: Putting Our Kids at Risk

childhood vaccinations, health
Childhood vaccinations for healthy childhoods

I try not to judge other parents for the parenting decisions they make.

Except for you, if you choose not to vaccinate your children. I'm judging you. Most of us are.

I have written a number of articles about childhood vaccination. Clear, balanced articles explaining the benefits of vaccination and discounting the rumors against it with clear, simple explanations and links to relevant scientific evidence, facts and proofs.

This is not one of those articles.

This is a rant, because nothing infuriates me more than stupidity.

Kristin Cavallari, following in the footsteps of former Playboy model Jenny McCarthy, came out this past weekend against childhood vaccination. Because of - wait for it - its links to autism - the fictional links claimed in a single falsified study over a decade ago by a doctor who had his medical license revoked as a result.

In the wake of this embarrassingly ridiculous announcement, social media was flooded with parents' responses and the inevitable ensuing arguments between human beings who can read and illiterates who refuse to accept reality.

Children should be vaccinated. Period.

Any public figure coming out against vaccination should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. There are idiots everywhere, and there are people who make poor decisions in every walk of life. But a public figure - even if they are only an ignorant reality star or Playboy model - should know that there are people out there who might actually listen to what they say. Ignorance is one thing. Making a decision for your child's care based on that ignorance is worse. But trying to sell that decision as advice to other parents should be criminal.

Children should be vaccinated.

It's not a matter of opinion and it's not a parenting choice.
It's not based on your values or beliefs.
It's a scientific fact.

Children should be vaccinated.

It's not a debate. There's a right answer and a wrong answer.

Choosing not to vaccinate your children is the same as choosing not to provide them with anything else they require for survival - food, water, shelter. It's not something subjective to be left up to the parents' best judgement, like cloth vs. disposable diapers, public school vs. home-schooling, or eating organic.

Not vaccinating your children is tantamount to child abuse and it's absolutely disgusting that schlock science, shock stories and fraudulent research are persuading uneducated and misinformed parents that it's a decision they should make for themselves.

It's not.

It's science, and it's fact.

Children should be vaccinated.

When your kids are kids, you are the one who has to make the decisions for them - they can't. It's your job as their parent to protect them, to keep them safe, to keep them healthy, to give them the best start you can in life. You worry over whether to breast or bottle feed, whether to buy organic produce, you fill your house with safety equipment and research everything related to your little one's health or safety online. There are lots of decisions to make as a parent, most with a variety of options - but vaccination is not one of them. If you choose not to vaccinate, you're making the wrong choice. You are putting your child's health at risk, and you are doing it for no good reason.

This is not a debate.

Science is science, and fact is fact.

Arguing that it's your opinion that the earth is flat and water is dry doesn't make it a valid argument.
The earth is still round and water is still wet whether you choose to "believe" it or not.

And the World Health Organization, Health Canada, the American Medical Association, and every legitimate medical journal and health professional in the world - and all medical research and scientific evidence - tell us that children should be vaccinated. Whether some actress believes it or not.

Diseases like measles - a disease which was eliminated in North America by the early 2000's thanks to four decades of routine childhood immunization - has returned in recent years thanks to anti-vaccination propaganda with a large outbreak just this month in communities with low immunization rates. The measles - a disease for which there is a very simple vaccine. There is no excuse for the kind of backward ignorance that would prevent a parent not only from protecting their child against diseases humans once died from, but risking the rest of the population's health.

Children should be vaccinated.

Choosing not to vaccinate your children is not only negligent parenting of your own child but irresponsible ignorance as a member of society, where your stupid choices are putting all of our children at risk.

Important links: 
World Health Organization
Canadian Paediatric Society
Health Canada (Public Health Agency of Canada)
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
American Center for Disease Control and Prevention
British Medical Journal
The Lancet

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  1. Yes, yes, yes! I love you!

  2. Yes. All of this. I think I've had this exact same argument with anti-vaxers on facebook a dozen times over the last few weeks. It's shameful how people will believe anything without doing their research.

  3. I don't know, it's a tough decision, there's arguments for both sides. I feel like until they can prove that vaccinations are safe I'd rather be safe than sorry.

    1. Did you even read the article? None of the arguments against immunization are based in reality. Years and years of medical study and research and testing show that immunization is necessary. Have you done any research or do you just believe whatever you think is trendy?

    2. Are you kidding me Denise? Vaccinations are safe. Do you have any idea how much testing they go through?

  4. 1. There are no VALID arguments for both sides. The arguments for vaccination are scientifically proven; the arguments against are fiction.
    2. They have proven that vaccinations are safe. Over and over again. For decades.
    3. If you'd "rather be safe than sorry" you'd vaccinate your kids to prevent these illnesses, not avoid vaccinations and risk disease.

  5. Absolutely. It's sickening, what's going on with celebrities saying garbage like this. And who the hell are these parents listening to someone like Jenny McCarthy or Kristen whoever anyway?

  6. The problem is that some of these studies are paid for by governments so how can anything about vaccines be unbiased? People didn't need vaccines 100 years ago, why would we need them now? I think they're a money grab.

    1. OMG that is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. You don't believe science, hundreds of studies, because the studies are paid for? You think vaccines are a money grab, so who cares if they save lives? I hope you don't have children.

    2. Um, for real? People didn't have vaccinations a hundred years ago because they weren't invented yet. That's why people DIED from those diseases then. Vaccinations are why they DON'T die now.

  7. I agree with you 100%. There are very few parenting arguments which make me as angry as this. Although I have my own opinions about things like breastfeeding, daycare, and all the usual debates, most of those are a judgement call for parents and it doesn't actually affect the rest of us so I don't really care. Someone choosing not to vaccinate their kids is not only harmful to their own children and WRONG, it's harmful to the rest of our children as well. That is something I DO care about. Stupidity should be illegal.

  8. I agree!! You know I had a friend once on facebook ranting about how its sooo important for kids to get vaccinated but then in another post talking about how dumb it was that the hospital she worked for was making them all get the flu vaccination. I couldn't believe it. I know that if I had a brand new baby and he or she caught the flu from someone who worked at the hospital. . . Anyway, yes, vaccinate your kids. Please.

  9. I don't understand why this is even a topic for discussion. Apparently there are some pretty stupid parents out there. Hopefully it becomes the law soon so they can't just decide not yo get their shots and risk the rest of our health.

  10. Nothing makes me angrier than moms who say they're not vaccinating in order to protect their kids. Um, no, you're hurting them you moron.

  11. I just want to shake those people who say they've read up on it and that's why they don't want to vaccinate. Read what? Where? Check your sources, people. Science. Medicine. These are facts. How can anyone say they're being a responsible parent on one hand but then make such a damaging decision for their kids on the other? It's disgusting.

  12. Abso-freaking-lutely. Parents who don't vaccinate should be arrested for child abuse.