The vaccination debate rolls on in America, as there is measles outbreak in Disneyland and politicians still weigh in for and against. It’s a mystery to me how there is any debate at all. I find anti-vaxxers a little irrational in the face of actual scientific proof that vaccines do not cause autism. Or anything else. I’ve read a few things on Slate about the anti-vaccine movement, how to deal with it, why people are anti-vaxxers. Why smart people are anti-vaxxers but it still doesn’t make sense to me. Not when you can google the scientific facts.
This isn’t like debating whether there is life on other planets. This isn’t like debating the realities of your faith. This is already been proved. Like the molecules of water or the speed of light.
I will vaccinate my children regardless and if one should be autistic I will be safe in the knowledge that it wasn’t a damn MMR jab that caused it. Especially considering the new information that autism forms in the womb.
I’ve spoken about this before of course, but sometimes these things need repeating. Especially as I’m trying to have kids myself and I’m planning to get my MMR and other vaccines sometime in the next week (assuming my cold is gone). Because if I don’t get it I would never have a child. I would never risk exposing my pregnant wife and unborn child to Rubella at the very least. My wife had to have her vaccines over when she came to this country to study. You can come on holiday here, unvaccinated and carrying diseases but you sure as hell can’t spend any significant time here without getting your shots or having proof that you’ve had them (my wife’s records were lost).
So I’m getting mine done for the first time because I didn’t get them done when I was a kid. And I’ll repeat this, not cause my parents are anti-vaxxers, I am way too old for the autism scare to have even existed but my dad has epilepsy and it could’ve made us very ill to be vaccinated (according to his slightly nuts GP). My current GP seems to think there may be some truth in that, but to be honest, what’s done is done. I didn’t get my vaccines.
I did get ill.
Whooping cough, measles, Rubella. The only one I haven’t had is mumps and I worry about getting it every time there is a mini outbreak at the university. Just in case I come into contact with mump carrying students. Never happened. And once I get my bloody MMR never will happen. The Whooping Cough was definitely the worst. Nearly killed me when I was a baby, incapacitated me and my sister when we were kids and we needed inhalers for another six months afterwards. Plus coughs have always been painful in the chest now but I rarely get chest infections.
And the worst thing is, we were lucky. LUCKY.
Lucky not to get worse, lucky not to die, lucky not suffer from severe problems from the rest of our lives. A painful chest when I cough? That is nothing compared to some of the problems Whooping cough can cause. The odd scar from the measles? Nothing compared to what the disease can do to a child, and do to an adult. These diseases main and kill. There is a reason we created vaccines. Read the comments on this i09 post and tell me how lucky I am. And then how lucky you are for being vaccinated.
Get your kids vaccinated. Get yourself vaccinated. It’s never too late.