The Case for Vaccine Choice - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 43 Old 12-27-2013, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm posting here so that mods don't think I'm baiting anyone to break the rules and make a case for coercive vax.

I'm starting to think that getting bogged down in the risks-v.-benefits discussion is a poor way to frame the vaccine debate. I start to yawn and rub my eyes when an argument disintegrates into A) Here's what VAERS and VICP say. B) But ANYONE can report to VAERS and cause isn't correlation with VICP (I address both of these responses here: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1386301/anyone-can-report-to-vaers ) C) But the package inserts . . . D) Manufacturers are making that up just so they CYA and don't get sued . . . . (I addressed this one here http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1386888/facts-and-data-please-tort-claims-for-vaccine-injury ) and cause-isn't-correlation and sorry-for-your-loss-but and blah, blah, blah.

But here's the deal. I don't argue for my right to choose based on whether something is safe or dangerous. I argue because wherever the risk is mine, the choice needs to be mine. The more important question: Who has the right to decide which risks and which benefits an individual takes on? The individual adult or child's legal guardian? Or the doctors, public health officials, and legislators? Who gets to make risk-benefit decisions? Who is the ultimate decision-maker?

Opponents of vaccine choice essentially believe that unelected officials from government agencies should be able to mandate any vaccine for any reason without anybody having a non-medical way out. Opponents of home birth say that where there is a (hotly disputed) threefold risk of iatrogenic neonatal mortality, women should be forced to give birth in hospital delivery rooms. But medicine is never black and white, and neither are risks and benefits. So why on earth would I cede over to someone else the choice as to what medical risks I take on for myself or my child? Maybe the argument should be over not the validity of the choices, but who ultimately gets to make them.

As a final note, here's another fascinating article from Reason that proposes a different way to frame the vaccine choice debate ... from a pro-vax M.D., no less. http://reason.com/archives/2013/12/17/vaccination-and-free-choice

"In the 2002 sci-fi noir film Minority Report, PreCrime, a specialized police agency, apprehends people who are forecast to commit crimes. No trial is necessary because the not-yet-committed crime is considered a vision of the future and thus a matter of fact. The film’s plot challenges viewers to consider the issue of free will vs. determinism, and consequently, the morality of punishing someone for a crime not yet committed. It serves as a useful metaphor for the argument against coercive vaccination.

Some argue that mandatory mass vaccination is an act of self-defense, and thus completely compatible with the principles underpinning a free society. Unless people are forcibly immunized, it’s argued, they will endanger the life and health of innocent bystanders. But such a position requires infallible precognition."

He's responding to Ronald Bailey, who makes the argument for coercive vaccination. Interestingly, Bailey's rebuttal does nothing to address the aforementioned point.

Oh well, it's late, and I'm tired. :yawn

What are your thoughts on how to make a case for vaccine choice?

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#2 of 43 Old 12-27-2013, 09:40 PM
 
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"But here's the deal. I don't argue for my right to choose based on whether something is safe or dangerous. I argue because wherever the risk is mine, the choice needs to be mine."

I agree: my body, my child, my choice. I think framing it as a matter of choice, as opposed to arguing about the risks, is a smarter approach that gets closer to the real issue. Also, giving individuals the choice is the least evil option for sure since it would be a crazy ass society to live in if the government could tie us down and shoot drugs into us "for our own good".

But yeah, definitely for me it's my body/child, my choice
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#3 of 43 Old 12-27-2013, 09:58 PM
 
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I may get reprimanded because this isn't my subforum, but I do believe in the need for the choice of our own medical decisions. If we're talking in general about how to make a case for this choice and thus a case against mandatory vaccination or other mandatory treatments, though, I think it's important to be informed. No non/sel/del vaxxer ever won themselves any points for their cause with a barely coherent rant about toxins and aborted fetal cells and mercury. You can try to focus the argument on the major disadvantages that come when the state tries to mandate what medical care people receive. But it's going to still bleed over somewhat into discussing the science, issues, pros & cons. If you don't know a lot about the issue, including knowing the basis behind the arguments the other side makes (and not just the arguments that your side makes to pick them apart), you're not liable to get very far. 

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#4 of 43 Old 12-27-2013, 11:04 PM
 
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@Pp - Yeah but "not get very far" in the effort to do what? I'm not really interested in converting others, just don't want to be belittled for having an opinion that's different.

For me it really is about choice. Other people can inject all the vaccines they want and I reserve the right to refuse to take vaccines if I want for any reason I want.

Plus, even stupid or ignorant people should have the right to bodily integrity.
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#5 of 43 Old 12-28-2013, 06:53 AM
 
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Well, I was assuming trying to make a political argument against mandatory vaccination. But even if it's a matter of trying to not have people treat you funny in a social context, I think what I wrote still holds to some extent. 

 

"Plus, even stupid or ignorant people should have the right to bodily integrity." True. But if informed consent isn't informed, it's not really informed consent. (And this goes both ways; I'm opposed to abuses of informed consent on the other side, too.) 

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#6 of 43 Old 12-28-2013, 07:40 AM
 
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I think I get what Turquesa is saying, and yup, I agree.  I think we could debate the safety or risk of vaccines all day, every day, and not come to any sort of concensus, but ultimately, it should be a matter of choice because that's what's right. 

 

The other reason I'm opposed to mandatory vaccination is because the one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare is just plain bad healthcare.  I'm lucky to live in a place where selective vaccination is an option, and I firmly believe that that's the best approach, in terms of quality of healthcare.  It's possible that most people would select the full schedule, but because each vaccine is a different drug, I think it's important to be able to consider the appropriateness of each for each patient, and not have to settle for all or nothing.

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#7 of 43 Old 12-28-2013, 11:54 AM
 
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"Plus, even stupid or ignorant people should have the right to bodily integrity." True. But if informed consent isn't informed, it's not really informed consent. (And this goes both ways; I'm opposed to abuses of informed consent on the other side, too.) 

Health care professionals have a duty to inform patients on risks and benefits of procedures.  If the patient is literate a pamphlet with the opportunity to ask  questions may suffice.

 

The patient has the right to ignore this pamphlet, ask or not ask questions, etc.  

 

Informed consent is a duty or obligation for health care professionals.  For a patient, informed consent is a right,  but how far they take it is up to them.  

 

Let's face it:  patients have drugs or surgeries every day that they might not fully understand the ins and outs of.  If they can get the drug or surgery without being "fully informed" then a person can decline vaccines, even if the doctor does not think they  are "fully informed."

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#8 of 43 Old 12-28-2013, 12:00 PM
 
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 But even if it's a matter of trying to not have people treat you funny in a social context, I think what I wrote still holds to some extent. 

 

 

I would add that unless people seem sincerely interested, I would not bring it up in a conversation.

 

If the bottom line is that vaccine choice is parental choice, then we need to stop defending or trying to justify our choice. 


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#9 of 43 Old 12-28-2013, 02:59 PM
 
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"But if informed consent isn't informed, it's not really informed consent. (And this goes both ways; I'm opposed to abuses of informed consent on the other side, too.)"

The test for detemining if someone's consent or refusal is valid doesn't rest on how "informed" they are. Instead the test is about capacity. If a person is capable it doesn't matter how or why they choose as they do. It's understandably difficult to establish incapacity and is reserved for extreme cases such as persistent vegetative state, severely low intelligence, and other such ailments. The "informed" part of informed consent is, to my understanding, about a health care providers obligation to provide information about risks and benefits, it is not include an obligation on the "patient" to obtain or demonstrate knowledge or comprehension beyond capacity, which is presumed.

In terms of the strategy of making political arguments about these matters I think framing it around choice makes the most sense.
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#10 of 43 Old 12-28-2013, 03:44 PM
 
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The test for detemining if someone's consent or refusal is valid doesn't rest on how "informed" they are. Instead the test is about capacity. If a person is capable it doesn't matter how or why they choose as they do. It's understandably difficult to establish incapacity and is reserved for extreme cases such as persistent vegetative state, severely low intelligence, and other such ailments. The "informed" part of informed consent is, to my understanding, about a health care providers obligation to provide information about risks and benefits, it is not include an obligation on the "patient" to obtain or demonstrate knowledge or comprehension beyond capacity, which is presumed.
 

 

:yeah


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#11 of 43 Old 12-28-2013, 03:53 PM
 
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I think I get what Turquesa is saying, and yup, I agree.  I think we could debate the safety or risk of vaccines all day, every day, and not come to any sort of concensus, but ultimately, it should be a matter of choice because that's what's right. 

 

The other reason I'm opposed to mandatory vaccination is because the one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare is just plain bad healthcare.  I'm lucky to live in a place where selective vaccination is an option, and I firmly believe that that's the best approach, in terms of quality of healthcare.  It's possible that most people would select the full schedule, but because each vaccine is a different drug, I think it's important to be able to consider the appropriateness of each for each patient, and not have to settle for all or nothing.

 

I've been vaccinated for yellow fever. Have you?  Has it been recommended for your children?  Chickenpox vaccine is not recommended for me because I had chickenpox.  Shingles isn't either because at my age my risk of it is quite low.   Some people have conditions which means they are not supposed to get any live vaccines and others need to be very careful with or not get vaccines with ingredients they are allergic to. 

 

All kids have a risk of being exposed to whooping cough or tetanus.  If we quit vaccinating for measles, it would pretty quickly return to the case where all kids got measles, and in my day all kids did get chickenpox.  Thus it makes sense that the vaccination schedule would be the same for most kids who do not have either medical conditions which mean they should avoid certain vaccines or extra risk factors which mean they should have extra. 

 

But vaccines are not a one-size-fit-all approach.  It is based on risk factors and individual health factors. 

 

(I typically don't agree with coerced vaccination either though, just for different reasons)

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#12 of 43 Old 12-28-2013, 04:28 PM
 
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nm.  OT.


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#13 of 43 Old 12-29-2013, 06:24 AM
 
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Another thought.

 

When I started discussing vaccines on the internet a few years ago, I really was trying to share information with those that might not have it.  The mainstream masses (which I realise MDC isn't and wasn't) really did not know much about the limitations of vaccines.   So I was trying to bring people information, like a long ongoing PSA. There were and are other reaosn I am here, but from an information POV that was it. 

 

I don't think there is any need for the above anymore.  The internet is not new anymore, and people either have the information they need , can get it or don't want it.  Sure some people are still ignorant (and in some cases it is truly ignorant - I had someone tell me smallpox would come back the other day if we did not keep vaccinating for it :eyesroll) but they are deliberately ignorant.  I think the time for PSA has passed. 


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

Book and herb loving mama to 1 preteen and 2 teens (when did that happen?).  We travel, go to school, homeschool, live rurally, eat our veggies, spend too much time...

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#14 of 43 Old 12-29-2013, 06:41 AM
 
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Another thought.

 

When I started discussing vaccine on the internet a few years ago, I really was trying to share information with those that might not have it.  The mainstream masses (which I realise MDC isn't and wasn't) really did not know much about the limitations of vaccines.   So I was trying ot bring people information, like a long ongoing PSA. There were and are other reaosn I am here, but from an information POV that was it. 

 

I don't there is any need for the above anymore.  The internet is not new anymore, and people either have the information they need , can get it or don't want it.  Sure some people are still ignorant (and in some cases it is truly ignorant - I had someone tell me smallpox would come back the other day if we did not keep vaccinating for it :eyesroll) but they are deliberately ignorance.  I think the time for PSA has passed. 

There's a longwinded meme that's going around facebook, written by somebody claiming to be an immunologist that, among other things, claims that non-vaxxers are putting us at risk of smallpox coming back.  Ironically, the author of the meme was arguing that non-vaxxers are uninformed.  I wonder if that's where your aquaintance got that idea.

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#15 of 43 Old 12-29-2013, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Was that the feel-the-white-hot-rage-of-a-scientist meme? eyesroll.gif With all of the insults and inaccuracies, I could only think, "Go to bed, "scientist.' You're drunk." (Hey, the writer admitted the rant was all alcohol-induced).

Getting back to vaccine choice, the slippery slope is alarming. Authorities who own other peoples' bodies and dictate what happens to them medically effectively rule the world. Between wanting to take away our rights and choices pertaining to vaccines, childbirth, etc., the AMA must be pretty power-hungry.
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#16 of 43 Old 12-29-2013, 08:42 AM
 
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There's a longwinded meme that's going around facebook, written by somebody claiming to be an immunologist that, among other things, claims that non-vaxxers are putting us at risk of smallpox coming back.  Ironically, the author of the meme was arguing that non-vaxxers are uninformed.  I wonder if that's where your aquaintance got that idea.

Lol.  I have not seen that meme.  


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#17 of 43 Old 12-29-2013, 11:03 AM
 
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"Getting back to vaccine choice, the slippery slope is alarming. Authorities who own other peoples' bodies and dictate what happens to them medically effectively rule the world. Between wanting to take away our rights and choices pertaining to vaccines, childbirth, etc., the AMA must be pretty power-hungry."

Exactly
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#18 of 43 Old 01-02-2014, 01:29 AM
 
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While I'm all in favor of vaccine choice, I'm pretty sure we all have the right to choose not to give our children vaccines. What exactly is the issue here?
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#19 of 43 Old 01-02-2014, 09:21 AM
 
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While I'm all in favor of vaccine choice, I'm pretty sure we all have the right to choose not to give our children vaccines. What exactly is the issue here?

 

Certain states make exemptions for school very difficult.  How can you make a decision freely and with informed choice if you are essentially not allowed to go to school if you remain unvaxxed?


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#20 of 43 Old 01-02-2014, 09:34 AM
 
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You're not required to send your children to public school, and public school has always been about forcing people to fit into an industrial mold. Uniform vaccination is only the first part of many ways your child will be forced to conform in public school. Why not advocate for school choice? Personally I'd rather get a voucher or reimbursement on my property taxes.

I would like to see more vaccine choice in terms of being able to get the more effective vaccines that have been discontinued due to a tiny group of people who get side effects. Why should we all have to suffer because a few people are too weak?
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#21 of 43 Old 01-02-2014, 10:24 AM
 
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You're not required to send your children to public school, and public school has always been about forcing people to fit into an industrial mold. Uniform vaccination is only the first part of many ways your child will be forced to conform in public school. Why not advocate for school choice? Personally I'd rather get a voucher or reimbursement on my property taxes.
Oh, the fun we could have on another thread :energy
The bottom line is some parents want to send their kids to public school and some parents virtually have to for economic reasons.  Why should they not be able to?  Their taxes pay for school, and there is no "opt out" of school taxes.  Moreover, I know that where I live virtually everyone is entitled to a public education. Everyone!  Even kids with severe behaviour issue who hurt other kids and teachers and make school unsafe are allowed to go to school…somewhere (usually a separate public school).

I would like to see more vaccine choice in terms of being able to get the more effective vaccines that have been discontinued due to a tiny group of people who get side effects. Why should we all have to suffer because a few people are too weak?

The bolded sounds really bad - and I am being kind.  I would think twice about the wording.  My 2 cents. 


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#22 of 43 Old 01-02-2014, 10:31 AM
 
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 Why not advocate for school choice?
 

As in a school for the vaxxed and a school for sel/delayeds and unvaxxed?  

 

Outside of urban areas, the logistics might be hard.  Lots of kids taking lots of tax payer funded buses from all over…and for what?  Because some people are afraid (without much logical cause) of the small number of non, and sel/del vaxxers?

 

We also have to know that the stats show non and sel/delayers tend to be more likely to be white, well off and well educated.  Do you want that kind of segregation going on?


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#23 of 43 Old 01-02-2014, 10:49 AM
 
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That kind of segregation sounds like a settingt from a Margaret Atwood novel, like oryx and crake
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#24 of 43 Old 01-02-2014, 11:26 AM
 
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The bolded sounds really bad - and I am being kind.  I would think twice about the wording.  My 2 cents. 

 

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As in a school for the vaxxed and a school for sel/delayeds and unvaxxed?  

 

Outside of urban areas, the logistics might be hard.  Lots of kids taking lots of tax payer funded buses from all over…and for what?  Because some people are afraid (without much logical cause) of the small number of non, and sel/del vaxxers?

 

We also have to know that the stats show non and sel/delayers tend to be more likely to be white, well off and well educated.  Do you want that kind of segregation going on?

Not sure what this refers to....where I live there is a huge market for private schooling that cater to a wide range of income levels.  So yes, unvaccinated kids tend to congregate in private schools that don't require their students to vaccinate.  Yes, I think we should have this kind of school choice everywhere, and I don't think children should be forced into the public school system, even by economic necessity.  If parents have problems with the public health ruling on universal vaccination, they will probably have problems with the core curriculum, standardized testing, and standardized behavioral expectations that public schools espouse (I certainly do).

 

Your race and class comment is not relevant to this conversation, and frankly de facto segregation by race and class happens on a municipal level almost everywhere.  I don't think it has anything to do with vaccine choice.

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#25 of 43 Old 01-02-2014, 11:29 AM
 
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The bolded sounds really bad - and I am being kind.  I would think twice about the wording.  My 2 cents. 

If some kids are experiencing unpleasant side effects to vaccines that cause no reactions in most, they are weaker in a certain sense.  I don't think it is an untrue statement, but I agree it sounds a bit unkind.  I should have found a better way to word it.

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Your race and class comment is not relevant to this conversation, and frankly de facto segregation by race and class happens on a municipal level almost everywhere.  I don't think it has anything to do with vaccine choice.

I disagree it is irrelevant.  If you are suggesting (big if - are you?)  having alternate public schools for selective/delayers and non-vaxxers, you have to know that people who make those choices tend to fall into specific demographics.  

 

Of course de facto segregation by race and class happens everywhere.  This doesn't change that segregation along vaccination lines would be another means by which people are segregated.


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#27 of 43 Old 01-02-2014, 11:56 AM
 
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I hope people on this thread are being sarcastic. Clearly, telling parents "you don't have to send your kids to public school" is an elitist attitude- and a tired argument that has been done to death in these forums. And "kids with vaccine reactions are weak" is just beyond offensive. Hello mods?

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#28 of 43 Old 01-02-2014, 12:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naimah View Post
 

If some kids are experiencing unpleasant side effects to vaccines that cause no reactions in most, they are weaker in a certain sense.  I don't think it is an untrue statement, but I agree it sounds a bit unkind.  I should have found a better way to word it.

I understood what you meant, but the words "a few people are too weak" could lead us down the garden path to discussion on collateral damage and eugenics. I have seen it before and it is ugly.

 

Alas, I doubt they will ever offer both DPT and DTaP at the same time.  It is just too messy.  For consistency of message among other reasons,  I think they will pick one and go with it.  


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

Book and herb loving mama to 1 preteen and 2 teens (when did that happen?).  We travel, go to school, homeschool, live rurally, eat our veggies, spend too much time...

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#29 of 43 Old 01-02-2014, 12:19 PM
 
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Interesting question- is it better to have a vaccine that doesn't actually work well to prevent the disease, that almost anyone can receive, or a vaccine that works much better but has more contraindications?

I am starting to think it would be better to have real protection against the disease and a tiny number of people unvaccinated against it, because at least we would have a better picture of the reality of who is or is not protected.

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#30 of 43 Old 01-02-2014, 12:20 PM
 
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"Weak"- more trolling vocabulary. Anyone who is at all engaged in the world knows how this comes across. It's offensive.

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