I am back on my vaccine rant. I wrote about it previously, with regards to the flu shot. I saw a video I thought was relevant. I have also seen a few cases that are relevant.
I am on peds emerg, as you have probably noticed and well, I see a lot of sick kids. And kids get sick. No matter what you do. Such is life.
But, I saw a 25 day old baby who was very, very sick with the flu. His Mom and two older siblings were sick earlier in the week and gave it to him. Now, his life was at risk. Maybe they would have gotten the flu anyway, but maybe if they had all been vaccinated, they would have protected their youngest sibling.
Rick Mercer, a delightful Newfoundlander who talks on all sorts of subjects did one of his “rant with Rick” features about flu shots.
Don’t be one, get one!
I also had a small battle with some parents who refuse to vaccinate their children (that is one’s own call). The concern was that they kid had cut his head open on a rusty nail and I suggested the tetanus vaccine. They refused. I reviewed the risks of tetanus. I didn’t realize that they were against vaccines, I just thought he was due for one. They started ranting at me about autism and stem cells. I presented the evidence, but they made their own decisions. That is a right we have. I just informed them of what to watch for, reviewed risks and benefits and took some deep breaths.
I get it. We all need to be educated in our own ways. We all have our own ethical-moral decisions to make.
But, when I see little babies who may have whooping cough, a preventable illness, or people spreading the flu like wildfire, I can’t help but question it.
There is no evidence for the whole autism thing. Heresay, some experiences, but no scientific evidence. The one study that suggested it was a sham. Autism runs in families, it is a different way of thinking, not something that kills children. Often, when you see children with autism, you may notice that the parents have a few traits. Not always, but sometimes. I have seen fabulous healthy people who happen to have autism do all kinds of fantastic things in life.
I can’t fix what has happened to families. I don’t know why your kids were perfect and suddenly changed.
I do know the risks of dying from those diseases are higher than the risks of autism.
And I do know vaccine formulations have been changed to avoid thimerosol, the preservative everyone is scared of, where possible.
And I know people worry about the stem cell lines used in production of the vaccines. That is a moral issue and I can’t really judge on that. But I do caution people to think long and hard about the decision.
I am sure you recall Penn and Teller. They also do a very entertaining, but educational feature on vaccines. I have it included here, but I will warn that there is some VERY strong language at the end of the video, so please don’t watch it if you are sensitive to this or have others around (the first time I saw it was on a peds ward nursing station looking for presentation material… oops).
The moral of the story again is that vaccines save lives more than they take them. And I feel very strongly about them. I also understand others feel strongly the other way. That is their opinion, just like I have mine. I just wish it wouldn’t have such an impact on others.
I promise I will give this rant up for a little while now.