Vaccinations. A Really Hot Topic. Mention childhood vaccinations in any group of parents and you’ll have strong opinions on both sides of the fence. Rarely will there be anyone sitting ON the fence.
A couple of weeks ago, a Facebook friend of mine (I’ll call her Jane) posted a link to an article about whooping cough. The article said that whooping cough outbreaks are higher among children who are vaccinated, and that vaccines often cause the infectious diseases that they are designed to prevent. Jane feels that we are being fed lies about the necessity and efficacy of vaccines and that maybe we’d be better off without them.
Immediately, another friend, I’ll call her Jill, responded with a different link. A whooping cough death that has had the powers-that-be reminding people to vaccinate. She did allow that vaccines aren’t perfect and that some are less effective than others. But she was adamant that Jane should get herself, her husband and her kids vaccinated.
A third person weighed in, saying that she was definitely going to vaccinate as she didn’t want her child to get German measles like she did. I responded to that – I had all the vaccinations that were available in the 1960s, and I still got German measles. I was told that I had measles too. So it’s true that vaccinations aren’t infallible.
One of the arguments that pro-vaccinators make is that, by not immunizing your child, you are endangering other children. I can’t see that somehow. Surely if I choose not to immunize, then it’s only my child who’s at risk, because the vaccinated children supposedly won’t be able to catch the disease.
I did read a while back that many of the diseases that used to be around 50 years or more ago would naturally have declined anyway, thanks to better sanitation, cleaner water, etc.
Jane feels that she contracted shingles because her children were vaccinated for chicken pox. Chicken pox vaccine is a pretty new development. When my kids were younger, if you heard about someone with chicken pox you might actually take your kid over to play in the hope he caught it, because getting it over with when they’re small was said to be less traumatic than catching it when you’re older. My two older sons had it, but since my third son was born I’ve not heard of anyone getting it – is that because it was dying out anyway? I’m sure the vaccine hasn’t been around for 14 years.
Another person mentioned rabies. Would a non-vaccinator allow their child to receive shots if bitten by a rabid raccoon? I think most people would agree that if your child was in that situation, then agreeing to the shots would be a reasonable response. However considering how few people actually find themselves in that situation, I don’t think we should insist on blanket immunization against rabies.
I was somewhat hesitant to weigh in on the discussion, as these days I find myself getting tense and anxious when in a situation where I have to argue my position. I used to be a person who felt it necessary to express my opinion, being brought up in a family that did just that on a regular basis, but with my Tao studies I am learning it is better to be softer and more yielding, allowing others to have their say but not necessarily saying anything myself. Opinions tend to develop, mutate, change and mature, and I have found that if I am 100% firm in my stance, and rigid in my views, then I may realise later on that my mind has changed and I regret having been so rigid. New information often comes to light that makes me see things in a different way. So what I often do when faced with people like Jill is to just allow them to have their say and watch the reaction in my body and let it go.
However, I did end up posting more in that thread. I said that after my first child had had some vaccinations I decided not to accept any more for any of my children. It’s not that he had a violent reaction, though many do. I did my research and found that monkey cells and eggs were used to grow some vaccines and that didn’t jibe with my vegan ethics. When thinking about how vulnerable tiny babies are, I had reservations about the wisdom of invading their immune systems with multiple viruses. I refused to cave to the fear-mongering tactics that the establishment uses to guilt people into accepting things that they feel is not right. I also feel that big corporations are making big money from vaccines and drugs that may not be effective and may even be dangerous. I think that making money is their main objective and that in many cases substances are being released for public consumption without proper testing, ethics and integrity.
When I mentioned “gut instinct” Jill scoffed. She thought that scientific research should be the only criterion that convinces us all to “do the right thing.” It’s true that googling on the internet will lead you to more information than you can ever read in a lifetime, and that you can find something to support your point of view, whatever it is. However “scientific research” is not pure. It is often tainted by the fact that the funding is coming from someone with a vested interest in the results. Imagine McDonalds funding research into whether beef fat blocks arteries! Do you think that, when the scientists find out that animal fats in the diet lead to heart disease, they are actually going to publish those results? No, they’ll keep it quiet, and lie about it.
We all need to use the parental instincts that we’re born with to consider what’s best for our child. Yes, we’ll make mistakes (hopefully small ones), that’s inevitable. Only hindsight is 20:20. We can try and arm ourselves with as much information as possible to make an “informed decision” but ultimately it all depends on where our trust lies. Mine lies more with natural health practitioners who have a holistic view of health. Can we even trust the Government to give us the right information? I don’t think so. How often do we hear of pressure being placed on Government (who, by the way, is supposed to be representing our best interests) to maintain the status quo, when a change would be beneficial? (A recent example comes to mind of Texas meat producers having a hissy fit over Meatless Mondays.)
Remember how, a few decades ago, doctors were encouraging their patients to take up smoking, because it was “good for them?” Then new evidence came to light, and now it’s the opposite. Now imagine that in ten years’ time the same is true for vaccinations. Won’t we be kicking ourselves because we believed those who said they were necessary, but now it seems that they just wanted to make the population sicker, so they could sell them more drugs, and make more money? We consider ourselves to be so intelligent, so smart, that we think we have all the answers. Well, we don’t. One day, people will be looking back at 2012 and thinking, wow, they were so ignorant and backward in those days – it’ll be like us looking back at the Middle Ages. We just need to realise how much we don’t know, retain our humility and openness and flexibility, and yes, gut instinct.