Opinion piece in Seattle Times "Parents, Vaccinations are not a choice," comments say otherwise
Thank you to Judy R for sending us this link. The author's bio reads: Victoria Brase has been a medical assistant for 17 years and currently works at a family practice/obstetrics provider in Seattle. She recently graduated from the University of Florida with a master's in public health.
Ah yes, public health. In which children are pitted against one other to determine whose health matters more. Should birth control be a choice or mandated? If your son gets my daughter pregnant, shouldn't I be able to stop that? If my daughter becomes pregnant by your son, shouldn't you be able to prevent that? Certainly unintended pregnancy affects not only the couple, but the entire family. What about abortion rights? Do the men have any say in what happens to a woman's body, even when it contains their fetus? Sticky wickets, aren't they? And so is vaccination. There is no reason a healthy unvaccinated child should be feared. While children with serious diseases are allowed to attend school, sports, etc. And yet, here we are, in the SB277 world, shunning healthy kids. And so does Ms. Brase, public health school graduate.
Check out the comment thread on the editorial. There is quite a good give and take and it is mostly civil. Now, there may be a self-selecting group of those who have experienced vaccine injury, but one might assume the troll brigade would also be out in full denial regalia, combatting the eye witness accounts with Press Release responses. Instead, there is actual debate. However, one comment caught my eye:
You sound pretty pro vaccination to me. Antivaxxers are parents who refuse vaccinations not based on reality.|
I see an opening here. A tiny thread of common thinking. Could it be that Americans know vaccines can harm, but have categorized a subset of "us" as anti-vaxxer because they think we are making up our stories? Are our children the equivalent of "crisis actors" at a mass shooting to them? Yesterday, I Tweeted that those who refuse to believe in vaccine injury are no different from climate change deniers, flat earthers and moon landing hoaxers. And yet we are called anti-science.
You sound pretty pro vaccination to me. Antivaxxers are parents who refuse vaccinations not based on reality.
Special to The Times
“It’s my choice to not vaccinate my kids.”
It shouldn’t be.
Everyone talks about the right to choose. The right to choose about your reproductive care, the right to choose about your end of life care, and the right to choose about your child’s vaccines. The problem with the last one is you’re making a choice for someone else, which is, of course, the whole premise of parenting. But this choice is not only putting your child at risk, but other children at risk. So, now, you are again making a choice for someone else, but not under the guise of parenting, and you are doing it against their will.
We have no trouble accepting all sorts of other things that help keep children safe that are recommended, such as putting infants to sleep on their backs, or measures that are mandated, such as car seats. Why are vaccines any different? Why is the science and research of car seat safety accepted, but not vaccine safety? Is it because of incorrect information being spread on social media along with the perceived right to make decisions based on what you, or a popular celebrity, “think” is accurate? Or is it the new direction our society seems to have gone in with a “look out for No. 1” attitude?
I believe it is all of these reasons, and more.
Memes on social media poke fun at this phenomenon: “When the CDC says to throw out your romaine lettuce everyone takes it as gospel, yet when the same agency tells you that vaccines save lives, they are part of the Illuminati?” It is a meme designed to make people laugh but at the same time, it should make people think. Why do people believe the CDC is telling the truth about one thing and not the other? Why is food safety more believable than vaccine safety? Because, as in everything else, our society picks and chooses what it wants to believe. The problem is, just because you don’t believe in something, it doesn’t mean it isn’t real.
Parents are responsible for raising a child to adulthood and making choices for them that will impact the rest of their life. You do have the right to choose not to vaccinate your child and expose them to preventable diseases. You don’t have the right to make that choice for someone else’s child. Read Ms. Brase's full article here at Seattle Times.
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