Image via WikipediaThis morning on the Today Show Dr. Nancy Snyderman did a piece on the Whooping Cough outbreak in California. State officals state that nearly 1,500 kids have been diagnosed with this disease and now 6 have actually died from it. This is the worst outbreak in 50 years. And the season has not even started yet. When kids go back to school they expect these number to rise.
Now on the Dr. Snyderman's comments on the topic. She went on to state how vaccinating is the best prevention, that they are safe and that many people are opting out for religous reasons when "that's not the case" and that there are times when the community as a whole trumps the rights of the individual. That when you go into a store and go by someone with cancer or other diseases that weaken the immune system you are endagering them and that not choosing to vaccinate is "offensive and amoral."
So is it amoral to not vaccinate? Should you put your child at risk for the benefits of the community?
I think the answer to this is not that simple. And I don't think its fair that either side of the vaccine debate makes the answer so simple as blindly vaccinate or don't. And I don't think its right for either side to attack each other as did the Dr, especially when there is so much mis-information out there and it can get very confusing for families to make the best choice for them.
Personally for my family I am pro-vaccine. I have done my research and do feel that the vaccines offered now are safe and the risks (which there are still risks) do not out weigh the benefits. Especially with the rise of diseases like whooping cough and measles I do not want to put my children at risk for contracting these diseases.
I did not always feel this way. When people start this not vaccinate trend much more children vaccinated then were not. So you could say that it all the other children who shouldn't be able to get the disease will not be able to spread it to your child. Now this isn't the case. Many people are now opting out of vaccines and many illnesses are on the rise. Even with the chicken pox vaccine. So many children have recieve it that now "green" Dr's recommend it since your child many not be exposed and maybe at risk then later in life when it is more deadly. Vaccines were also the hot button with autism. But recently it was shown that the Dr. who did the major study on the weak link paid his clients and his research has no validity. There was also the mercury debate, which now mercury is no longer in vaccines or in very small trace amounts. There are studies that link mercury and heavy metal poisoning to autism. But now vaccines are cleaner and safer then they ever have been.
Why not vaccinate? Well some people are allergic to ingredients in the vaccines, and allergic reactions can be deadly. People who homeschool also maybe at much less risk of getting these communal diseases that vaccines prevent. But people must understand there still is a risk. I think many people are not not vaccinating because its a trend. They hear things and want to be natural and refuse vaccines with out doing their reseach. Its the green thing to do and they blindy go with the trend. I think Jenny McCarthy ranting and raving how her son maybe got his autism from vaccines doesn't help. People need to do their research and make the best desicion for their family, not just follow a trend. Because for some children following this trend can be deadly.