Vaccine hysteria

I’ve been following the controversy over immunizations for many years, and the only thing I have become 100% convinced of is, if you want to find people who are passionately, violently, even rabidly on one side of a fence or the other, start talking about vaccines.

Of all the issues which it seems we should be calm and rational about, but aren’t, this takes the gold medal.  And news sites like CNN like to feed the frenzy with regular articles such as the one they posted a few days ago: measles outbreak may be linked to vaccine fears.

Perhaps because it deals with children’s safety, people tend to get their panties not only in a bunch but hooked up over their ears when they start to talk about this.  You’ve got the people who’ve only ever listened to the fearmongering of the medical establishment that says: if you don’t inject this poisonous material directly into your child’s bloodstream, starting with a newborn hepatitis shot that will protect the kid should he or she ever choose to become a slutty drug user, and followed by however many shots we will eventually develop for things ranging from polio to illnesses as mild as the chicken pox, then the poor creature will surely contract a plague that will eat them alive.  That’ll be $100, please.

Then you’ve got the other side who, by necessity, must match the passionate rhetoric with their own intensity just to be heard.  And you know, they are driven by fear too.  Fear of brain damage, autism, even death.  

Both sides point fingers and accuse the other of their irresponsibility in not accepting the other’s position.  It reminds me of some religious arguments I’ve heard: the one side says, my religion insists that you must accept my religion or you are doomed, and the other side says, I don’t accept your religion so leave me alone!

But this is science, you might correctly point out, not religion.  Except that there are actual scientific studies which appear to support both sides of the argument.  So it seems to come down to, which studies do you “believe” are valid enough to base a possibly life-changing decision on.

And once you’ve decided which studies are valid, roll them up and beat the opposition with them ’til they’re a bloody pulp.

I wonder if we will ever come to a point where we can figure this thing out like grown-ups and not like tiny kids running from ghosts.

Our kids deserve better.


Filed under science

5 responses to “Vaccine hysteria

  1. Joy

    Vaccine arguments never fail to amaze me. So much has changed since my kids were small. We just did it without question. Of course there weren’t as many back then. I’m not sure what I’d do if I had a young daughter now with this vaccine. I’d check it out of course but in the end, would probably end up giving it to her. I’m really not sure though. I guess I’ll see what my son and daughter in law do with my granddaughter. My daughter in law is in the health field so I’m sure a lot of consideration will go into it.

  2. stacybuckeye

    It’s hard decisions like these that make me glad that we don’t have children. I have someone on my family with an autistic son and she is convinced it was the vaccines. It is difficult to disagree with somone so personally passionate about the issue. Not that I disagree. I just don’t know.

  3. Joy

    I agree stacybuckeye, I just don’t know either.

  4. It is a hard decision. As a parent you have to do what you feel is best, but sometimes you just *don’t* know and have to pray a bit and guess.

    I agree that people shouldn’t be so obnoxious to others about those choices. We’re all just trying to do the best we can.

    Elena, I love your thought provoking writing style–especially when you throw humor into it. Excellent post!

  5. Yes, we do our best as parents. The attitude should be, “You do what you think is best for your family, and I will do what I think is best for mine, and lets respect each other for our choices and stay out of each others business.”

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