I started off thinking that anti-vax people were "crazy hippies." Then I realized/experienced the following:
1. Pharma has always frightened me-- there is just TOO much money involved, and the older I get, the more I am convinced that people are capable of ALL SORTS of evil in the pursuit of money. I have read varying reports about the amount of "profit" vaccines manufacturers are making... in any case, they certainly aren't acting out of beneficence, and the law suit protections that they now enjoy are a HUGE red flag for me. What, exactly, is their motivation to ensure optimal safety for our kids?
2. the chicken pox vaccine. My siblings and I had Cp, it was no big deal AT ALL, and it is a relief to me to know that I will never have to worry about CP exposure during pregnancy. I want my DD to have that same assurance, and because of the widespread vaccination program (which is all about money-- money for the vax makers, money for the companies not having to pay leave to mothers staying how with sick children), I worry that she will not have the opportunity of exposure to the wild virus. As others have mentioned, the increasing shingles problem is a concern of mine as well. For me, this is the best example of a vaccine CREATING a problem which really didn't exist before.
3. HepB vaccine. This one makes me SO angry. I was vaxed for hep b (not researched!) as a teen before a trip out of the country. My DD was at NO risk for this disease, yet she was vaxed in hospital as a newborn. As far as I can tell, this is a policy designed entirely to vax a captive audience before they reach adulthood, NOT to protect babies.
4. my former pediatrician (and so many others I have heard of), who (when asked about splitting the MMR, not even about avoiding it altogether!) acted as though I had asked the most foolish question imaginable. The history of medicine is full of errors-- the wandering womb, blood-letting, flower petals as protection against the plague, etc. Every patient has the right to question whether or not--perhaps--some of the vaccines might be ill-advised. For so many doctors to react so negatively to patients who are just trying to be discerning about their childrens' health is another BIG red flag for me. Vaccines may
have eliminated polio and small pox; fewer children are dying from measles, perhaps
because of the vaccines. Honestly, I basically do believe that these statements are true. But that DOES NOT mean that my baby should be vaccinated against an STD, or that ten year old needs to be vaccinated against HPV, or that chicken pox has suddenly become a deadly disease.
5. SO MANY mothers believe that their children were directly harmed by vaccination. It is really hard for me to discount this belief, and it makes me angry when doctors/pharma/the media play the "poor addled mama" card. I am a big believer in maternal instinct, even if it can't be "proven" (or if no one wants to prove it...
, and I want to see a LOT more research before I allow my kids to be vaccinated.
So basically, I believe that it is my responsibility to 1) research each individual vaccine and decide accordingly. Sometimes I feel like I will need to earn a new degree in order to do so fully...
and 2) demand (nicely, if possible
) that I and other parents be treated as reasonable, intelligent people with the right to make educated decisions about our children's health. I have read some journal articles about how to convince troublesome parents (like me) to vaccinate, and they are very disturbing... as though WE are public health enemy #1. All of this coercion and fear-mongering is disrespectful. I fear the day when the government simply takes over and starts vaccinating without parental consent at all...
Much of the "consent" these days is about as uninformed as possible, anyway.