"Leaving the Anti-Vaccine Movement" - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-10-2014, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Voices for vaccines has put up a story written by a mother about her move from being non vaccine to pro vaccine.  

 

I always think these kinds of stories are interesting.

 

Her story has been spreading around facebook. What do you guys think about it? 

 

http://www.voicesforvaccines.org/leaving-the-anti-vaccine-movement/

 

"I was terribly wrong about vaccines, and I’m thankful my girls never caught anything. I feel like I’m being more true to myself, now, as well. I’m not blindly following what others say, just because we agree on a few other things. I’m putting my trust in science, and discovering who were really my friends all along." 


“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:19 AM
 
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That is interesting! I was kinda like her but didn't get as far as she did with not vaccinating. The difference was a trip to India (my dh is from there) and seeing the victims of polio on the streets. And hearing stories from my mother in law about the horrors of losing loved ones, family members, and playmates to things that are now mostly preventable with vaccines. I also listened to my child's doctor and felt I was doing the right thing. So my first child was fully vaccinated on time. 

I felt awful giving her the shots. I felt I was injecting her with chemicals and yes there is a small chance that she could be harmed-- a small % of kids are. I know of two of them- one personally and one through work. They won a lawsuit against the vaccine company (the one I know personally). The other child was going to fully recover. But it's so rare. And the chances of a child getting sick from a vaccine preventable disease is also there. It's not a 100% guarantee either way. There is no 100% failsafe way to keep kids safe, but I figured the statistics were better on the vaccine side.

The chemicals that are in the shots bother me. But so do the chemicals that are in the air we breathe, and seep into our food and are all around us. I figure (and have since done homework) that we get less chemicals or at least not any more than we do from the pollution that's in our world these days.

Now I am a peds nurse and I have seen the effects of several diseases on children I have cared for, or heard about such cases from other nurses within my hospital. The worst are the meningitis kids. I have taken care of several pertussis babies and that's pretty awful. We have some very sick flu kids on the floor right now. All unvaccinated. I have seen a father cry watching his non-vaxed kid suffering so much. We don't say "I told you so" at that point. We just give them compassion and support. Because most parents want to do what's best for their kids, and they felt they were doing the best thing at the time they chose not to vax. I can understand that. 

Anti-vaxers have lots of antidotes and studies. Well I have antidotes, too. Due to HIPAA I can't share the awful details. But I have seen them. Those diseases are real and they do really kill and maim and leave permanent damage. Not every child, but too many of them. Even pertussis can lead to life-long problems.

I am just so very afraid that my non-vax friends are going to have their children damaged by a serious illness. It may not happen soon because of the herd immunity but it will happen sometime in the next few years, an outbreak where many kids will survive and a few may die or be damaged forever. Do you think the anti-vaccine people will share those stories, or just the ones where the kids were fine and they can say that is proof that vaccines are not needed? Most parents of children who were harmed by these diseases would probably quietly slip out of sight to grieve and heal. 

I guess time will tell. But in the meantime my ICU where I work always has room for more. :-( I know my post is not going to be popular here. I am so much an attachment parent in the best way I could be in many areas. I love MDC and they have inspired me to be a better mom. My kids turning out to be wonderful young women and it's through AP. I loved to to cloth diaper, I am against circ, and lots of other things. But this is something I have *seen* with my own eyes-- and it has traumatized me to take care of these kids, and to know that more and more will probably be coming in as less kids are getting vaccinated.


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Old 02-11-2014, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you think the anti-vaccine people will share those stories, or just the ones where the kids were fine and they can say that is proof that vaccines are not needed? Most parents of children who were harmed by these diseases would probably quietly slip out of sight to grieve and heal. 
 

 

There are definitely some that do come forward.   Here is a website that has some of these kinds of stories http://shotbyshot.org/story-gallery/ .   There are video and written accounts, really really scary stuff. 

 

There was a story that went pretty viral a year or two ago about an unvaccinated boy who got tetanus.  His parents changed their minds about vaccines and got all their children up to date.  I wish more would come forward, but it's hard for people to admit they were wrong. 

 

Here's an example of one of the videos from that site I just linked.  

 


“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:36 AM
 
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When I had my first baby 5 years ago, I asked my aunt about vaccines and she gave me a huge folder full of info she had researched. She has never vaxed her 4 kids and I was pretty sure I wasn't going to vax mine either. All of her research settled it for me. I didn't vaccinate my son for 2.5 years.

 

It wasn't until he was starting to run around and play outside a lot that I got kind of freaked out about tetanus (we live on a farm, and we have goats, which are known to carry tetanus and contract it rarely, but with enough frequency that I'd encountered stories about it.) At first I wanted tetanus only, but my ped didn't do that. So I finally took my son and got just 1 DTaP and didn't go back for a year even though he had no reaction whatsoever. I was just freaked out about shots.

About a year later I got into a debate where I was defending non-vaxxers even though I was still sitting on the fence myself. Through the course of that long debate with a gentle, well-informed, pro-vaccine med student, I realized that most of the information that my aunt had given me was wrong. Within a week I had an appointment to finish the DTaP series and get the other shots my son needed by that time (he was too old for Rota by that time, and didn't need the full Hib or PCV series).

 

After this whole experience, I even disagree with delayed schedules that aren't medically warranted. I'm somewhat thankful that DS got to skip a few of the shots. Yet, I think it's more risky for a few reasons. Very few pediatricians (or nurses, who usually give the shots) have the experience they need to follow custom selective/delayed schedules--- not to mention there is no science whatsoever to support these alternative schedules and its possible that they can interfere with safety and efficacy of vaccines. My ped wanted to catch up with a bunch of combo shots, and wasn't careful to check which ones were appropriate for my son's age since he was outside of the normal schedule. I didn't have any experience with any schedule, so I wasn't really prepared to counter some of his assumptions, and my son ended up getting a combo MMR/Var vaccine despite precautions against using that vax at his age.  And he had the reaction that younger kids have an increased risk of (febrile seizures). There are obviously good reasons to delay for some kids, but when it's purely fear-based it doesn't make sense to me anymore.

 

So anyway, I feel like I've been there. I've made most of the standard non-vax arguments myself, before I had the info to see why they were wrong. *Edited on request* There is a corresponding thread on the INV forum about this article, with plenty of comment about changing rationale about vaccine choices. My opinion is that people have a change of heart, and naturally want to talk about that change of heart on such an emotional topic. I did not change my mind because I suddenly wanted to help advance any particular side of the debate. I changed my mind because it was the best decision for my family.

 

I'm really sympathetic towards a lot of the arguments that are critical of vaccines, honestly. I still am. I think a lot of these lay people's hypothesis are very interesting and would love to see more of them studied (or at least explored by someone with the background to provide more details about why they are or aren't valid) if it were at all possible. Yet, I am seeing more and more frequently that no matter how interesting and compelling some of the theories can be, they often just don't stand up against the science when it is available. Also, I'm a lot more aware now of how badly the science is intentionally distorted by some people involved in vaccine politics. I'm sorry I ever made some of the arguments that I did, but I just didn't have the information even though I regarded myself as very well informed.

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Old 04-15-2014, 06:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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When I had my first baby 5 years ago, I asked my aunt about vaccines and she gave me a huge folder full of info she had researched. She has never vaxed her 4 kids and I was pretty sure I wasn't going to vax mine either. All of her research settled it for me. I didn't vaccinate my son for 2.5 years.

 

It wasn't until he was starting to run around and play outside a lot that I got kind of freaked out about tetanus (we live on a farm, and we have goats, which are known to carry tetanus and contract it rarely, but with enough frequency that I'd encountered stories about it.) At first I wanted tetanus only, but my ped didn't do that. So I finally took my son and got just 1 DTaP and didn't go back for a year even though he had no reaction whatsoever. I was just freaked out about shots.

About a year later I got into a debate where I was defending non-vaxxers even though I was still sitting on the fence myself. Through the course of that long debate with a gentle, well-informed, pro-vaccine med student, I realized that most of the information that my aunt had given me was wrong. Within a week I had an appointment to finish the DTaP series and get the other shots my son needed by that time (he was too old for Rota by that time, and didn't need the full Hib or PCV series).

 

After this whole experience, I even disagree with delayed schedules that aren't medically warranted. I'm somewhat thankful that DS got to skip a few of the shots. Yet, I think it's more risky for a few reasons. Very few pediatricians (or nurses, who usually give the shots) have the experience they need to follow custom selective/delayed schedules--- not to mention there is no science whatsoever to support these alternative schedules and its possible that they can interfere with safety and efficacy of vaccines. My ped wanted to catch up with a bunch of combo shots, and wasn't careful to check which ones were appropriate for my son's age since he was outside of the normal schedule. I didn't have any experience with any schedule, so I wasn't really prepared to counter some of his assumptions, and my son ended up getting a combo MMR/Var vaccine despite precautions against using that vax at his age.  And he had the reaction that younger kids have an increased risk of (febrile seizures). There are obviously good reasons to delay for some kids, but when it's purely fear-based it doesn't make sense to me anymore.

 

So anyway, I feel like I've been there. I've made most of the standard non-vax arguments myself, before I had the info to see why they were wrong. The corresponding thread on the INV forum (about this article) is so frustrating. People change their minds, and naturally want to talk about that change of heart on such an emotional topic. It's strange that that is taken as a propaganda move by evil pro-vaxxers.

 

I'm really sympathetic towards a lot of the arguments that are critical of vaccines, honestly. I still am. I think a lot of these lay people's hypothesis are very interesting and would love to see more of them studied (or at least explored by someone with the background to provide more details about why they are or aren't valid) if it were at all possible. Yet, I am seeing more and more frequently that no matter how interesting and compelling some of the theories can be, they often just don't stand up against the science when it is available. Also, I'm a lot more aware now of how badly the science is intentionally distorted by some people involved in vaccine politics. I'm sorry I ever made some of the arguments that I did, but I just didn't have the information even though I regarded myself as very well informed.

 

Thank you for sharing, I've really enjoyed reading all your responses here on mothering thus far. 

 

As far as I'm aware, I think you are the only somewhat regular who was once non vax who is now pro vax.  If you feel comfortable sharing, I'd be really interested in hearing more about your experience and what evidence ultimately changed your mind, which non vax arguments you used to support and why you don't anymore etc. You could start a new thread here, if you want.  Again, no pressure! I just find these kinds of stories really interesting/enlightening.  

 

I'd also love to see a link to your blog! (if that's something you don't mind sharing)


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Old 04-15-2014, 04:36 PM
 
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That might be a good project for me to write about the whole experience. I've talked about a few of the things here in the debate forum, but I've never really put it all together. I'll send you a PM with a link to my blog. It's mostly about homesteading, but occasionally there's some other stuff in there.

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Old 04-16-2014, 10:10 AM
 
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I'd love to read your blog too. I appreciate your thoughtful posts here. smile.gif

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Old 04-16-2014, 11:50 AM
 
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Ok, I'm going to ask for edits. I realize very much that the term "anti-woo" may mean whatever one wants it to mean but that term falls in the category of words like "sheeple", especially when lumped in a sentence with the term "non-vax".  Members are certainly welcome to discuss having had a change of mind/heart over a choice they made but that needs to be done without resorting to name calling. Also, please tread very lightly when choosing to discuss other threads in the comfort of your support forum. Please edit. 


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Old 04-16-2014, 01:46 PM
 
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Just be cautious. We are trying to improve the culture so that there is less back and forth and more useful information for ALL of our members to participate in. Thanks for asking for clarification!  Cwill, I am removing your post because it is against our UA.  

 

ETA: We did a lot of editing and moderating on that thread. Many posts were removed and posting behavior was addressed. No one can post to the thread because it is locked. 

 

Members are welcome to discuss the content of the article, which members of this support forum are doing and are welcome to do. It was the personal nature of the discussion of the article that is problematic and what we are trying to move past. You are welcome to discuss the article, why you like it, why you support it, why you relate to it. This can be done without referencing other threads, members, or specific people on a personal level. 

 

Please continue the discussion of the article... 


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Old 04-16-2014, 03:48 PM
 
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As a health care provider, the whole non/anti/critical vaccine movement saddens me. I see it as a failure of an over-burdened health care system. It makes me even sadder that the only way people are coming around is because someone they love gets critically ill. 
 

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Old 04-19-2014, 03:39 AM
 
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It saddens me too. I will always stand by people's rights to choose, but when I see choices made on misunderstandings and misinformation I can get really frustrated.

I think the "pro/skeptic" side online is also making things worse by being rude and nasty though.

Mother of two living in UK. Daughter (2007) born in USA, son (2010) born here. I'm pro natural birth, midwife care, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and a keen advocate of cloth diapering. I'm a full time working research scientist (physical sciences) and I'm pro-vaccine.

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Old 05-16-2014, 02:14 AM
 
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As a health care provider, the whole non/anti/critical vaccine movement saddens me. I see it as a failure of an over-burdened health care system. It makes me even sadder that the only way people are coming around is because someone they love gets critically ill. 
 

 Me too. 


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Old 07-17-2014, 11:59 AM
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An edit was requested by the moderator and was not done so I am removing all posts that were not edited. Let's please not use derogatory terms in discussion. We have a diversity of people with different beliefs and opinions. Negative connotations are not helpful.

Also, let's please use the report feature to handle inappropriate posting. Thanks!

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Old 07-17-2014, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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An edit was requested by the moderator and was not done so I am removing all posts that were not edited. Let's please not use derogatory terms in discussion. We have a diversity of people with different beliefs and opinions. Negative connotations are not helpful.

Also, let's please use the report feature to handle inappropriate posting. Thanks!

Can you also delete comment #13 (right above mine)?

I flagged it two days ago.

I'm not sure why it seems like posts flagged by non vaccinating members seem to get removed so much more quickly than posts flagged by the pro vaccine members...

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Old 07-18-2014, 12:02 PM
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Can you also delete comment #13 (right above mine)?

I flagged it two days ago.
You are right. It is not an appropriate post for this forum. I did not read it closely. It is valid input but is suited for the general Vaccinations forum not the VOS support forum. I have removed it and your post that commented on it. Please report and allow the moderators to handle theings, even if it does take us time to get to them. We have a list of flagged posts and we work on them in order of date and time of report, as we can.

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I'm not sure why it seems like posts flagged by non vaccinating members seem to get removed so much more quickly than posts flagged by the pro vaccine members...
Did I saw I was responding to a post flagged by a non vaccinating member? I did not. I was responding to one from a vaccinating member who pointed out the moderator's request was not complied with. It really is not an all us- versus-them community here. Some people do report things that need to be addressed even if the agree with the member's posted opinions. So, please don't jump to conclusions and make negative assumptions about the moderators and administrators. Things would be so much nicer if everyone would be nicer and assume the best.

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