how your vaccine can save my life

let me start by saying that i believe that every parent has the right to decide what is best for their child. they have the right to prepare them how they see fit for the life they believe they should lead.

i also believe that children have the right to be protected, if not by their parent, by members of the community who care. i believe children have the right to a safe life where their emotional and physical needs are provided. i believe children also have the right to a childhood.

i also have learned as a parent, that once you have a child. you realize, despite any prior anti-social leanings, you are forced to engage with the world. you are forced to live with and deal with other people, people you may have had no interest in. you are also forced to consider how your decisions impact not just yourself, but your child’s generation.

for some parents, like myself. we care very much about all the children in our lives. i wish for them, the same as i wish for my child. i feel as protective of them, as i do my own. for those parents who do not wish to vaccinate their child. i really do understand their concerns and their wishes to provide their child with every opportunity for a safe and healthy life.

but as parents, we are also forced to teach our children, that their rights stop when someone else’s rights are infringed. if you want to spin around, great. if you do so and whack somebody in the head, then somebody else is paying the consequences for your desire to spin around.

some of the most potent ways that we can protect ourselves or our children is by acting not in isolation, but as a community. often, it is those social contracts that ensure our children’s safety the most. but if we begin to disregard those prior agreed to standards in favor of our own individual needs and insistences. as we spin around to the beat of our own drum, we are inviting many consequences.

same holds true for vaccines. vaccines are primarily effective only if a vast majority of us agree to them.  thus far, we have all been in agreement and have kept many preventable diseases at bay. now, however, people are choosing not to vaccinate their children to protect them from what they feel could be potentially harmful side-effects. they want their child to be safe and healthy. they don’t want their child’s life destroyed. they believe vaccines can do that.

well, i know that not using vaccines could destroy my child’s life. not just because she, or her friends are at risk for getting a very serious disease, but also because i could.

i am not immune to the measles. and because my immune system is impaired, i am not able to get a vaccine, because it is potentially life-threatening for me. tragically, of course, the disease is also potentially life-threatening for me. until recently, i could be assured that i would be protected from the measles because of herd immunity. no more.

so, your child is fine. great. but what does that mean for my child, if she brings home measles one day from an un-vaccinated playmate? perhaps a new strain that has mutated and is now untreatable. not only can she get ill herself, but her mother could become fatally ill.

how am i supposed to protect my child from that?


4 thoughts on “how your vaccine can save my life

  1. Bravo. I think you are far more patient and generous with those who choose not to vaccinate than I could ever be. These people believe in junk science, and are risking the well-being of millions with their wrong-headed, selfish. ill-informed actions.

  2. Well said Michelle…Funny, but when my children…your age as you know…I don’t recall questioning the viability of vaccines. As a child I was very afraid of polio…we were cautioned not to drink from public drinking fountains…to limit pool time…to be cautious. Then magically in Jr. High school a vaccine was created and suddenly the dreaded polio was just gone. I don’t think anyone thought…I think I would rather get polio.

    Now childhood seems safer…car seats, bicycle helmets, seat belts…so many things designed to keep children safe … and we use them; but vaccines are now a second guess…most of you don’t have friends that did or sadly didn’t survive the iron lung….polio is a distant threat…but it isn’t gone. I hope that parents make their decisions based on a very real threat to the health of their child if the vaccinate…and not a false belief that the disease has been eradicated.

    As for you and your needs. I think the fact that you are homeschooling will limit the exposure and allow you better communication between you and the parents . I understand there is an test for the measles antibody….is that viable for you? Are you at risk if Elle has the vaccination? I think you should protect yourself at all costs and with little regard for the feelings of the parents that refuse to vaccinate.

  3. Growing up, we just got them. Everything the doctors told us to get, we got. No one said anything about it. No one wrote about it. It wasn’t discussed. It wasn’t up for debate. It wasn’t controversial. Our parents just took us to get them. Now, there is more education. Parents are more informed. Parents can question and decide if it’s what they want to do.

    As for me, I decided that I couldn’t worry about what other parents were doing. Maybe it was years of society programming or conditioning, but I just did what I felt I had to do to protect my child. We opted to vaccinate. My child is 12 and has never even had an ear infection…so far; it’s all good.

    You posted an interesting point of view that I haven’t considered. I don’t know what New York school rules are, but in Texas, I was not allowed to enroll my kid in elementary school without vaccination records. She was not allowed in 7th grade without vaccinations that pre teens are supposed to have. Proof of vaccinations is mandatory for enrollment, so she’s not at risk of keeping company with kids who are not vaccinated. I think most states have the same requirement for enrollment, but that may not be the case for private schools.

  4. Michelle;
    You have written the perfect summation of how I feel about immunizations! My sister refuses to immunize her children and I’m all for the rights of parents, but when it affects others that’s where I have a problem. They live in VA and attend public schools which is a great concern for me. I don’t believe that the other children should have to be subject to the possibility of getting a disease because of my sisters choice. I have told her on many occasions that if she insists on NOT immunizing her children, the least she should do would be to home school!! Great job lady!

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