I do, and I'll tell you why.
Because I don't want my children out and about in a world where they could easily catch a deadly disease. A deadly disease that we have a means to fight. A deadly disease that I could immunize them against. It's like having an antidote right at my fingertips.
I've done the research on the vaccines my children receive. I know about the side effects and the potential harm. At the end of the day it comes to this: I don't want my kids dying of polio. I don't want them to suffer through the measles and mumps. Meningitis? Do not want.
In choosing to utilize the medical advances in this day and age, I am making an informed choice based on what I truly believe is best for my family. In calling vaccines medical advances, I show my clear bias in this debate. Because to me, that is what they are. Someone has something they could give my child to keep them from dying before the disease ever has the slightest chance of taking hold? As far as I'm concerned it's a go.
But I am not passing myself off as a scientific study. I am not promoting my point of view to the people at large, skewing data and attempting to persuade others to vaccinate. Do what you want, do what's best for your family as I do what's best for mine.
I am not this ridiculous study.
The piece is titled:
New Study: Vaccinated Children Have 2 to 5 Times More Diseases and Disorders Than Unvaccinated Children
Sounds daunting, doesn't it?
I snapped to attention. But then they actually start saying things, and those things don't make any sense.
Like how the writer wasted an entire paragraph explaining that the autism results were skewed because the study advertised on autism websites. This, I assume, was designed to assuage parental fears that vaccines are not tied to autism. It was to help them stomach the blow that the rest of us took in stride years ago, since, you know, it's been proven that vaccination has nothing to do with autism. But, no. If these parents are wondering about why the autism rate is the same for those vaccinated and not, it's because the founder of this excellent study, which is truly a random sampling of the population at large, asked specifically those who have children with autism to participate. See? The results are skewed, but only when it comes to this one thing. Other than that, they're totally normal. You can go on believing that vaccines can induce autism. Great.
Then there's this gem: "The only other bias in this study may include the fact that parents of unvaccinated children are obviously concerned about the health risks of vaccines, and are more likely to make other healthier choices such as feeding their children a much better diet and using more natural remedies and using fewer pharmaceuticals."
Are you kidding me with this? I'd like to see some facts to back that bogus claim up because the last time I checked, choosing to vaccinate or not vaccinate your kid had nothing to do with dietary choices. How dramatic of them, and worse, how patently false.
Oh, dear followers, fear not! The only bias this very conclusive and accurate study may possibly contain is the simple fact that you all love your children so much more than those mindless vaxxers. Be proud, be strong. We know when you choose not to vaccinate your child, you are concerned about their health. We know that since you must be concerned about the health complications of vaccines, you must also make better food choices for your child. The only bias in this study is that your young ones are better cared for in general and therefore they are healthy. Don't fault yourself for creating bias in this study. Not everyone can allow their little street rats to rummage through dumpsters or chow down on Mickey D's every day.
I'm not even touching homeopathy and natural medicine. I'll just say without poking fun that there is no evidence that natural medicine works better than pharmaceuticals.
But this is all secondary to the biggest problem with this study, which, to their credit, they address right at the top. The study is only of parents who do not vaccinate their children. The results are being compared to the population at large, meaning both vaxxed and unvaxxed kids. There is no study, nor has there ever been one that compares vaccinated kids to unvaccinated kids full stop. But don't worry, the study says. It's just like comparing vaxxed to unvaxxed, since practically 100 percent of the U.S. population is vaccinated.
Yeah, no. Get a real study, then come back to me.
Not only that, but let's remember that the parents filling out this survey are volunteers. They are probably very good people who believe in their cause and have healthy children. I sincerely doubt you're going to find thousands of parents of unvaccinated children where something went wrong clawing to get their hands on a study about how their choice may have failed them. No, you will see the success stories. And there's nothing wrong with that. The study , to me, does say one thing, that at least 8,000 kids who have gone unvaccinated are fine. And that does say something important. But it doesn't say what they're trying to make it say.
Vaccinate your kids. Or don't. I don't care. But make the decision based on real research. You know what's right for your family and you know why. No one can tell you differently. When deciding on something as important (and it is important) as whether or not to vax your child, don't go by information gathered in an "independent study with no conflicts of interest" put on by a company called vaccineinjury.info.
That's not unbiased, non-skewed, factual data. They tell you that right in the name. Make your own choices. The information is out there.
Web MD: http://children.webmd.com/vaccines/tc/immunizations-overview
Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vaccines/MY01013
The AAP: http://www.aap.org/healthtopics/immunizations.cfm
If you like this blog, please vote on Babble.com. Tales of an Unlikely Mother is number 18, just scroll down and click on the thumbs up! Thank you so, so much.