Let’s talk about the measles outbreak in Texas

If you haven’t heard about it, head on over here, but be sure to come back! Read up on the situation? Good. Let’s discuss.

This subject is important to me because Oklahoma has been put on “measles alert” due to our close proximity to Texas. My kids have been immunized so I probably won’t have to worry about it, but Tulsa is a very religious city with several “megachurches” and a lot of people who believe anything they read on Facebook. It could be a real problem.

My personal view on vaccinations is this: there is not enough solid scientific evidence linking vaccines to autism and other problems for me to jump on that bandwagon. Also, my girls have been vaccinated for chicken pox, so they’ll never have to worry about getting them. My chicken pox experience happened in first grade. It’s one of my earliest memories, and it’s full of pain and discomfort. I had chicken pox eve.ry.where. On my eyelids, inside my mouth and nose, in unmentionable places. They were awful, and I remember feeling like I was dying. My girls will never have to go through that thanks to vaccines. So, there’s that.

I realize that vaccines are unnatural, but so is the food that a lot of parents (including me, yes) feed their children. You think GoGurt was on the menu for Grok’s kids? Not so much. Driving isn’t natural. There are a lot of things we do, like going to the hospital when we break a bone, that aren’t natural. But these things improve our quality of life.

The thing that makes me angriest about anti-vaccinators is that they are putting their children at risk because of their religion. I’ve known people who refused medical treatment for a child whose condition could be greatly improved by being treated. It’s just not fair to the child. I can’t imagine doing anything but what’s best for my child. Faith healing, as it’s called, is just plain child abuse in my book.

Do you vaccinate? Why or why not?

3 Thoughts on “Let’s talk about the measles outbreak in Texas

  1. Carrie K on October 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm said:

    You said that there was not enough evidence linking vaccines to autism. On the contrary, there is ZERO evidence linking the two. The original study was never replicated and later fully and completely discredited, leading to the loss of credibility of the authors who falsified results in order to link autism with vaccines. That single falsified study has done more damage to public health than anything else I can think of.

    The other problem is that not only are non-vaccinators putting their own children at risk, which is bad enough, they are putting the rest of the population at risk as well. THe decision they make for themselves affects us all. Herd immunity is what makes vaccines work, and it doesn’t work effectively if the vaccination rate is below 80%, which in some areas it now is, hence measles and whooping cough outbreaks in recent years. So even vaccinated individuals are at greater risk of contracting preventable diseases and the unvaccinated (such as young infants) and the medically vulnerable (those with suppressed immune systems due to disease or the elderly) are at risk as well.

    It’s shameful, it’s stupid, and it’s bad science.

  2. My son is partially vaccinated against diseases that are deadly. For the ones that are not likely to be deadly (measles, chicken pox, etc) or that he’s unlikely to catch at this time in his life (Hep B), he will not get. There’s little evidence linking vaccines to autism, yes. But there’s also little studies showing long term health of children 30, 40, 50 years down the road after being pumped full of vaccines while their bodies are developing. There are no studies comparing the health of vaccinated kids vs unvaccinated kids. I’m just not convinced.
    Someone below me commented “The decision they make for themselves affects us all.” While thats true, and please don’t take this the wrong way, your child is not my problem. My child is my problem. And if I don’t think a certain vaccine is necessary for HIM or safe for HIM, guess what? I’m not going to be thinking about your child. Of course, I wish your child the best and would never wish harm on anyone, but my interests lie with my child.

    I’m also religion free, trying to raise my child religion free while his father (ex husband) raises him with church and prayers, which is what led me to your blog in the first place. Not all of us ‘anti vaxers’ or partial vaxers are religious nuts 🙂

  3. My daughter is fully vaccinated, but I would partially vaccinate her if I had a do-over. My husband and I are atheists and hold multiple higher degrees and we’re passionate about science. We think vaccines are valuable, and have seen people with polio during our world travels. But we’re painfully aware of the biases in health-related studies, and the vast body of yet unknowns on how the human body works, including the immune system. After our daughter suffered through a painful iatrogenic (treatment-caused) condition that was far worse than the original ailment her doctor sought to treat, we are much more humble in our judgements/certainties and sympathetic to anti-vaxer’s views. It’s much easier to read propaganda than sift through scientific study reports, especially if you’re a layperson, but it’s worth the time if you have the aptitude, even if your only take-away is an appreciation that studies are inevitably and mostly inescapably biased one direction or another. Don’t shut people up. We should continue to critique, question and learn. Just look at the exploding field of pharmacogenetics. I’ll continue to advocate for my child.

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