So, I vaccinate my children. It wouldn’t occur to me to do otherwise.
And frankly I’m baffled that we’re still debating whether vaccinations are necessary.
It’s been proven time and again that vaccines are not the proverbial monsters that discredited quacks have suggested they are (Andrew Wakefield, anyone?). Rather, they are vital and revolutionary… I’m so glad that we live in this era where modern medicine has helped us to escape the horror of diseases that ravaged our ancestors.
And it’s because we haven’t had to witness these horror-diseases that it’s become so easy to think that we don’t need to vaccinate. We fool ourselves into believing that our own research or natural immunity or alternative therapies have kept polio, measles, typhoid et al. away, not realizing that it’s the herd immunity vaccinations provide that’s keeping us safe. But that is changing. Old-worldy diseases are on the rise again and it makes me boiling mad. Preventable illnesses are threatening our kids, and we’re letting it happen. Not on my watch. Here’s why I vaccinate:
1. Because I would do anything humanly possible to protect my kids
Mothers have been known to lift whole cars to rescue trapped children. There’s this fierce mama-bear part of ourselves that rears when we believe our children are in danger or are victims of injustice. I guarantee I would give anything to keep my kids safe and well, and vaccinating them is a way I can protect them. It’s awful watching your baby get their needles – I’ve cried every time – but I remind myself how it’s much better than seeing your babe struggle to breathe in the throes of whooping cough.
2. Because it’s my civic duty
It’s not just about my children, it’s about the people my children encounter every day. Those that are too young to be vaccinated yet, the elderly, the sick, and the vaccine-resistant benefit from herd immunity, and whether or not my children are immunised directly impacts the vulnerable in society.
3. Because scientists and medical professionals actually know more than I do
It pains me to say this, but I’m not an expert on everything. And to suggest that there is some mass conspiracy of science and medicine to peddle harmful vaccines to humanity is a paranoia. A paranoia I don’t understand. It’s been proven repeatedly that vaccines are not connected to autism, yet that myth still persists. It’s been proven that immunisations have controlled several diseases, saving millions of lives every year. Yet people still insist they do more harm than good. I wonder if we started celebrating the knowledge and research of professionals over our own limited knowledge of immunology how much the conversation would change.
4. Because I get my information from reputable sources
I’ve seen countless articles shared on social media decrying the horrors of certain vaccines that are from shonky sources. We need to be check the credibility of the articles we read. Using dodgy sites to influence our understanding of vaccines is doing so much harm to public opinion.
I know that parents are just trying to do what’s best for their kids. I get it. But I’m not sure why so many are demonising the very thing that is helping to keep kids safe. For me, vaccinating my children is one of the best things I can do for them; it’s right up there with providing safe housing, good education, and a happy family life. I’m so very grateful to live in a world where vaccination is possible.
PLEASE NOTE: This is the personal opinion of our writer and is not medical advice. Please refer to your doctor on all medical issues. If you’d like to share your personal opinion on any issue or topic please feel free to submit your piece to us at Mum Central here.