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Can across this today, and thought it would make the start of a good thread here - a thread which can help to remind us why we made a conscious choice to vaccinate, by collecting stories of people who previously thought vaccinating was a bad idea, and came to change their minds, and their explanations of how that happened.

Anyway here's the link:

https://theimmunizationpartnership..../15/switching-sides-from-anti-vaccine-to-pro/

Interesting ending:

There are some who did reason themselves, educated themselves, into their anti-vaccination stance. Most of my friends are brilliant, educated people. They are afraid, but they’re also well-read…they’re just reading the wrong things. And for that group, for my group, I beg you… don’t give up on us. We can be reasoned out of it again with better information. It’s not easy, but it’s worth saving lives by trying.
I've never been anti-vax. My Mum was a Biology teacher and opening discussed how wonderful vaccination was when it was first discussed. I even remember first learning about the small pox vaccination at school. But I do question everything, and do read "all the wrong stuff" (to take words out of the above article writers mouth) - I've just never been convinced by any of it.
 

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Can across this today, and thought it would make the start of a good thread here - a thread which can help to remind us why we made a conscious choice to vaccinate, by collecting stories of people who previously thought vaccinating was a bad idea, and came to change their minds, and their explanations of how that happened.

Anyway here's the link:

https://theimmunizationpartnership..../15/switching-sides-from-anti-vaccine-to-pro/

Interesting ending:



I've never been anti-vax. My Mum was a Biology teacher and opening discussed how wonderful vaccination was when it was first discussed. I even remember first learning about the small pox vaccination at school. But I do question everything, and do read "all the wrong stuff" (to take words out of the above article writers mouth) - I've just never been convinced by any of it.
Thanks for the link! That was a great read.

I have posted some similar stories here in the past, but I think having them condensed in one thread is a great idea :)

I'll have to dig up the links later, but the voicesforvaccines site has some really good ones too.
 

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I wrote about my story on my blog.

I really liked the part prosciencemum quoted from the article above. There are those who have reasoned themselves into thinking vaccines may be too risky, or may just not be worth it, who can be reasoned away from that position. That was the case with me, as well. I've had a few friends ask me "why do we need to vaccinate for polio?" or "why should an infant get the Hep B shot?" and those kinds of questions often lead to questioning the entire schedule, then turning to someone like Dr. Bob who offers an appealing alternative, or just rejecting vaccines entirely.

It seems fairly easy to get the idea into a person's mind that vaccines are an unjustified risk until someone can prove otherwise by demonstrating that an individual child is actually vulnerable to the disease. *

The truth is just the opposite, that vaccines are incredibly safe and low-risk for those of us without known contraindications, even for some diseases for which the risk of an individual child contracting an illness is miniscule (diptheria in the US, for example).

For myself, rather than a lack of understanding of science-- though this certainly was a factor-- I think I had an inappropriate view of risk and a lack of appreciation for the larger picture of what vaccines can do and have done for public health. When it gets into the *false* argument that it's public health (ie- government involvement) vs. individual health (freedom! choice!) a person's political views can rapidly crowd out the best of scientific evidence.

*ETA- To clarify: What I mean is, there might be a risk profile for children of certain demographics, but it's simply not possible to know every risk factor and quantify it for each child. I've been asked why I think I put my child "at risk" by delaying vaccines, and there's no way I can demonstrate his personal risk for each disease. All I know is that, based on the way risk is measured, he was at more risk for harm when unvaccinated than if I had vaccinated him by the schedule.*
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ss834 - thanks for sharing.
 

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Also love the photo header you have. Assuming that's your child they're a real cutie. :)
 

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Teacozy - was just skimming through this forum and didn't realize how many similar stories you'd posted. There's a lot of them out there huh! Sorry I started a new thread before looking!
 

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I like all of these, but I hadn't seen this one before and really appreciate her perspective. Some of her other stuff on the topic is great, too.
Another post she wrote a few days ago called "9 things I wish the anti-vaccine parents would admit" is spreading around facebook. Definitely worth a read. I won't link it here but anyone who wants to read it should be able to find it via google search easily enough :wink
 

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This was posted on NPR today. "Once A Vaccine Skeptic, This Mom Changed Her Mind"

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/201...ccine-skeptic-this-mom-changed-her-mind?sc=tw

Her top comment at the bottom of the article:

"JuniperRusso • 11 hours ago
Hi folks-- I can't say I'm surprised that this story was only out for a few minutes before the emails and comments came in accusing me of being a shill or even an entirely made-up person. It's truly a tragedy when people cling to flawed ideology in the face of insurmountable evidence. It's the reason we have creationism in schools and global warming denialists in office. I took this video shortly after interviewing with NPR for this exact reason: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=907497752616263&pnref=story

But I won't be surprised if it just makes conspiracy theorists dig their heels in even deeper.

Thank you, NPR, for sharing my story. Immunization has become an issue near and dear to me and I am grateful for the opportunity to share my experiences with others who are being misled by anti-vaccine culture."
 

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Here's one I saw today. It seems a lot of people have read Eula Biss' On Immunity and have changed their minds because of it (I still need to read that!). That's how this author recalls her change of heart about immunization.

This author was against vaccination with her first child. Her second child was born with a severe birth defect and died after 58 days in the NICU. That is what she is writing about in the passages below.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...cd3076-abd6-11e4-9c91-e9d2f9fde644_story.html

...I realized I could no longer explain to the pediatrician or to other moms why vaccines were so dangerous. My fear of immunizations was dissolving, and I no longer felt the way I had when my first daughter was born.

When we made our decisions about vaccines the first time, it was all abstract. My child couldn’t die from measles, I told myself. My mom had had measles, and she was just fine. I hadn’t yet spent those weeks in the NICU, praying over my child that the fluid in her lungs wouldn’t become full-blown pneumonia. I hadn’t seen all of the other sick babies around her. I hadn’t heard from other bereaved parents about all the ways babies can die.

After all that, I could no longer take my child’s health — or my ability to protect it — for granted. And so I gradually let myself trust our new pediatrician and the vaccines she encouraged....
....I am not naive about this. I still read medical journal articles and philosophical pieces about vaccination, and I ask a lot of questions.
But I have accepted that I can’t protect my family from everything that is out there (and everything that is already a part of us). All I can do is my best to nurture our perfectly imperfect bodies.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Here's another story of someone explaining their journey from vaccine skeptic to provax.
 

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Aargh and the link is apparently impossible to post on my iPad!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That's a good one - thanks for posting.

I liked their point about "who profits?" Always been pretty clear to me there's very little money in vaccines, so I'm surprised anti-vaxers use it so much as part of their argument.
 
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