As someone relatively new to this subject and overwhelmed by the amount of information out there (and without a background in interpreting raw data or doing scientific research), I appreciated these two posts, which were on something like page 9:
Originally Posted by nichole
I'm not done reading this thread yet but I wanted to post this before I forget. If vaccines are not effective, how come it is so hard to find chicken pox for my son? I know they are not 100% and we need boosters b/c of waning immunity, but I find it hard to believe that they don't work at all.
Also I have found that to get the real answers you have to really dig deep. So when I first started researching vaccines, I was pro vaccines. Two years later I started researching more and now I'm delayed/selective. Another year later and I'm still learning.
So to answer the original poster, *some* pro vaxers *may* not have access to all the information b/c you have to go beyond the propaganda that appears informative at first.
The other thing is that no one has a crystal ball to see what would happen if we vaccinate or do not. I can't know how my child will react to a certain disease or vaccine until it happens.
Most pro vaxers are just not comfortable with their child getting a VPD whereas nonvaxers see childhood illnesses as part of life. Who knows how many cases of whooping cough and measles go unreported?
Seriously. How long did it take for you to do enough research that would satisfy you? I have been reading about the vaccination issue here and there, off and on, for a couple of months, and I still feel confused and on the fence. (Which is tough because in that time, my child has been to his two- and four-month checkups and begun the vaccination process, although we declined a few at his four-month, and I'm pretty sure we will be delaying or declining more as I continue to read about it. I hope DS hasn't been affected too much by the ones he's gotten so far.
The other post that resonated with me:
Originally Posted by wallacesmum
There are posters in this forum who seem to have an encyclopedic knowledge of this issue. I am still learning, and am far from considering myself to have "done the research." There is pressure from the peds, pressure from family and friends, and pressure from the fact that there is supposedly a specific window when this stuff has to be done. Sometimes, we have to make decisions with incomplete information. In the vaccine debate, I feel that, no matter how much I know, the information will be incomplete, because WHERE ARE THE STUDIES THAT COMPARE COMPLETELY UNVAXED KIDS WITH VAXED ONES? My life has not allowed me to develop nearly the level of expertise that I would require to be an effective advocate; all I can do is direct people to the resources that have been helpful to me, and to explain the following:
All our actions are governed by our root, or a priori, assumptions. Sometimes new info modifies a position that is compatible with these assumptions, and sometimes it challenges them fundamentally. There are two major opposing fundamental assumptions in the vaccine debate, in my experience. One is the generally anti-vax position, which seems to be that the human body is a fairly effective machine, which is still mostly a mystery. Until scientists can create a human from scratch, how could I believe that they understand the animal? If we screw around with it, we are likely to experience consequences, that will require further remediation. So, the best approach is to minimize abuse of the system, and cultivate it in a manner consistent with its demands (what is asks for that seems to make it work better, rather than make is sick).
The more pro-vax, or pro-"medicine", position would seem to be that we understand the human body and can anticipate and pre-empt any consequences from previous pre-emptive strikes (take a healthy baby, inject it with toxins, then run interference). This position also requires the assumption that research institutions and scientists don't get stuck in ruts or develop agendas that would preclude the ability of a researcher from objectively observing something contrary to their own held assumptions. It would also require that these people act in the best interest of a stranger's child, at potential expense to their own career.
Those people do exist, I have no doubt. They are out there fighting the fight all the time, but the stresses can break a person. Peter Duesburg's wife says that no one will have them to dinner or play with their son. Those are little things, but they are a person's life. Wouldn't it be easier for Dr. Duesburg to follow the herd and continue to enjoy the praise of his peers that he used to experience? He doesn't, and there is a cost.
This is already too long a post, so I will stop, although there is a whole essay's worth of fleshing out to be done here. The relevance to the OP, in my mind, is that the most compelling arguments are often the ones that we have already had in a more general sense, that govern all of our decisions. We must be on constant guard that we are open to an argument that could fundamentally shift the parameters, but in the absence of that argument, we all start from somewhere.
Does that make sense? I can see how two people can look at the same data and draw different conclusions, but those two people cannot both start from the same place. If we watch the media, we see that debates are always framed in narrow terms that fit certain initial assumptions; step outside those and watch out! Try it with education, try it with government, try it with medicine, etc.
I hear a number of anti-vaxers say that they fear the disease less than they fear the effects of vaccines, and I've been pondering that. As I do, this question occurs to me: What do the anti-vaxers envision as the ideal? That everyone in this country (and the world? or do you support vaccinations in underdeveloped countries?) stop receiving vaccinations? That we return to the levels of naturally occuring diseases that existed before vaccinations? And would that be OK with you? In other words, was the status quo better than what we have now?
Another related question: When you say you fear the disease less than you fear the effects of the vaccination, do you mean that you prefer diseases such as measles, whooping cough, polio, chicken pox, etc. (and their potential long-term effects and/or death), to modern-day, vaccine-related problems such as autism, diabetes, asthma, etc.? In other words, are the "new" diseases worse than the "old"? Or are they just more prevelant than the old? Why do you prefer one to the other?
I know these may sound like dumb questions, but fortunately, I have been raised to believe there is no such thing as a stupid question ... so thanks!