So, you’re watching reruns on TV when a commercial pops on.
You know, one of those annoying commercials about a new medicine where the pro list is much shorter than the con list. The medicine cures heartburn but on the flip-side, causes ulcers, high blood pressure, stomachaches, nausea, eye pain, hemorrhoids, headaches, and in extreme cases death.
Obviously, I made these particular symptoms up, but I am not exaggerating. They warn us not to take the medicine if we are allergic and to talk to the gods of the twenty-first century – our doctors.
Now, open a magazine, flip to the middle, and stop on the new three-page drug advertisement.
There’s not three pages to list the benefits, that’s on the first page with a large picture of a woman by the ocean in a flowy white top and a summer hat looking blissfully happy. The other two pages – front and back – list the possible side effects, symptoms, and all the stuff the makers of the medicine need to say to avoid being sued.
What’s my point?
That while medicine has worked marvels and improved drastically over the years, every medicine has side effects. Including vaccines.
Even the Best Medicines…
Think about it. The most amazing medicine is by far antibiotics. Bye-bye strep. Adios, ear infection.
I mean the stuff is downright amazing, and it comes from mold! And yet, did you realize antibiotics work by killing bacteria in your body, both the good and the bad bacteria? Yep. Even antibiotics cause side effects.
Antibiotics save many lives but they are not without issue.
My husband and son cannot take Amoxicillin without getting a full body rash. Others get abdominal pain, yeast infections, or diarrhea.
Yet this drug saves lives every day. Not a single doctor out there will tell you Amoxicillin does not cause issues. They are aware it causes problems for some people while others can take it and never experience a single side effect.
Like antibiotics, chemo-therapy revolutionized the world saving countless lives from cancer and certain death. Yet chemo-therapy works because it’s a poison that kills cancer but comes with an extreme amount of side effects. Most people are on-board with chemo, despite its poisonous nature, because it is a solution to cancer, and it heals.
Take a minute and consider medicines. Name one without a side effect.
Acetaminophen causes a rash, headache, dark urine, nausea, itching, etc. Some of us take it every day.
Yet, they tell us despite vaccines having chemicals and controversial ingredients, we should just take them and they are completely safe and free of side effects. This isn’t even the biggest problems with the vaccine debate.
First, let’s discuss both sides.
Both Sides of Vaccines
Each side of this argument hopes to keep children, and future generations of children, safe. Let’s look at each side and try not to point fingers. Instead, let’s see why both sides feel so strongly about their position, but disagree on how to accomplish the goal of healthy and safe kids.
- Vaccines are cost-effective and beneficial to all of society – Vaccines prevent lost productivity, wages, loss hours at work and school, and death because of diseases.
- The illnesses still exist and we need to eradicate them – The diseases we currently vaccinate against still haunt the world. The job is not finished so vaccines are still on duty.
- Vaccines prevent death – Vaccines prevent diseases from 90 to 99 percent. That’s impressive numbers. Vaccines eliminated smallpox and almost got rid of polio and a few other diseases too.
- Adverse reactions aren’t common – Anaphylaxis happens extremely rarely. (Mind you, these results do not include autism rates and exclude autism completely).
- Vaccines protect future children too – By eradicating illnesses now, future generations will not have to fight those illnesses at all. Mind you, they will fight other illnesses, but let’s deal with one battle at a time. Vaccinated mothers also pass on some of their virus-fighting skills down to their babies.
- Vaccine ingredients are safe – At least in the amounts in each individual vaccine. The argument states nature exposes children to higher doses of toxins than vaccines. Also, vaccines require rigorous testing for over ten years before they are released into society.
- All the big organizations back-up vaccines – Not just the CDC and the FDA, but the Institute of Medicine, American Medical Association, Academy of Pediatrics, UNICEF, US Department of Health and Human Services, and so many more all agree that vaccines are important to society and safe for use.
- Herd immunity – Some people – the really young and the really old – cannot get vaccinations and if the right amount of people do get vaccinated, then they can protect those who cannot get vaccinated.
- Vaccines cause serious and even fatal side effects – Vaccines may experience limited negative effects, but can cause severe illnesses for many people. The risk is not worth the potential good side effects of eliminating diseases most people do not die from.
- Vaccines use dangerous ingredients – From mercury to aluminum and formaldehyde, the ingredients in vaccines pose more danger than a cure should pose along with side effects like stomach problems and autism.
- Targeted diseases have almost disappeared – If the diseases no longer occur in the US, then we need not continue vaccinating and exposing children to harmful ingredients.
- The government should not have a say in medical decisions – Only parents have a right to say what goes into their or their child’s bodies. Use of aborted fetuses to create the vaccines infringes on the moral and religious freedoms of citizens.
- The FDA and CDC should not regulate vaccines – Pharmaceutical companies are in business to make money and focus on using vaccines to increase profits instead of decreasing disease and can harm the body’s natural defenses.
- Natural immunity is more effective than unnatural vaccines – Natural immunity suffices to prevent diseases. Vaccines work against the body’s natural immunity.
- Children receive too many vaccines – The amount of vaccines children receive now has almost tripled since 1983 and exposes children to more toxic chemicals than necessary to prevent these illnesses.
Where My Opinions Fall
I’m neither pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine. As for the pro-vaccine side, I agree with points 1, 2, 5, and 8. On the anti-vaccine side, I agree with 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. A few points on both sides don’t work for me at all.
My son Patrick will not receive another vaccine as he has reacted to multiple vaccines. He was even diagnosed with Aspergers, a form of autism, and the symptoms showed up after vaccines. Do I think vaccines cause autism? Not one hundred percent. There is no way to know if the relation to the time of vaccines was a coincidence or a reaction.
Either way, even if the vaccines caused autism, I personally think you have to have the autism in you, to begin with, and that maybe the vaccines just flip a switch turning it on (and no, I do not have a scientific report backing up my opinion- I have a mothers gut instinct, for whatever that is worth).
Or possibly, it’s the dosing of too many vaccines in such a short time that causes autism. It could be both, but for different children. I definitely believe there is room for a link between vaccines and autism.
I vaccinate my daughters because they do not react to vaccines at all beyond a local bump at the injection site. However, I do spread out vaccinations. Only one vaccine every two weeks, as I assume while one shot may be safe, fighting off three to ten illness at a time is definitely harmful to a body.
This thought too also doesn’t jibe with either side: the pro-vaccine side think all the ingredients are hunky-dory, while anti-vaxers are just bizarre health nuts against medical intervention.
Which leads me to my final point about vaccines.
There is one real problem with the vaccine debate, and it’s not the points above. It’s the fact that you are all in or all out with little ambiguity.
Except I’m not. I find a lot of gray on the issue of vaccines and not just on one side but on both sides. There is nothing neat about the issues of vaccinations.
But why are those the only options? Let’s act like adults and see that both sides offer some valid points and some not-so-valid points.
First, let’s find some common ground.
Finding a point both sides can agree on is easy! Here it is: deadly illnesses suck and we should find a way to eradicate deadly viruses and bacteria. Also, mostly non-deadly diseases like chicken pox are beyond annoying and life would be so much better for everyone without this annoying itchy illness. See, common ground is super easy.
Now the issue becomes how to cure all of those horrible diseases. If we can agree on the problem, we can work towards a cure.
Vaccines definitely have an impact, but they may not be the only or even the best solution.
Not vaccinating is passive and avoids the issue hoping it will just go away.
Therefore, we need a plan C.
Calling All Revolutionaries!
That being said, I am not a doctor, a scientist, or even a revolutionist. I am not smart with math or science. It’s debatable if I am smart with words.
But somebody out there is a doctor, a scientist or a revolutionist and they want to improve the world and find a cure for disease. Even better, they might possess the know-how to do so! I sure hope they read this article and decide to do something I am incapable of: finding plan C.
Both sides need to stop playing tug-of-war over one medical intervention, when that time could be better spent looking for new and innovative options. If you are not one of the magical three above, capable of scientific breakthroughs, then be one of the people fundraising or donating money to help further the innovation.
Fighting gets us nowhere! When our kids fight, we send them to their rooms until both can find common ground and play nicely. It’s time for this debate to stop pointing fingers and find a better way.
Anti-vaxers need to accept that our natural immune system, while amazing, can only go so far. The plague alone proves that! Pro-vaxers needs to stop being blind to the side effects of vaccines. They are welcome to support vaccines, but should accept that vaccines are not perfect, and do work, but at a cost.
The Argument Is No Longer Productive
Both sides have said their piece, and now both sides are so intent on proving themselves right they have lost the focal point – keeping our children and future generations safe. The debate has become a political campaign- this president is a terrible option, that president is a terrible option. Well, both options are flawed! So let’s find a new option.
Finally, let’s stop the fairy tale that a topic so deep into controversy has one right way. Both sides bring up valid thoughts, both sides try to downplay negative connotations in their views.
I don’t buy either view completely and am ready for a new point of view and possibly a whole new approach to fighting deadly illnesses.
While I wait, I will continue to vaccinate my girls one dose at a time to limit the number of harmful chemicals in their body. I will continue to support people on both sides and pray the argument becomes productive or that plan C becomes a real option.
Let’s stop fighting and remember the focal point, our children. Hopefully, we can find a way to keep them safe without chemicals and life-changing side effects.
Our children’s lives are too important to automatically trust the authorities.
As parents, we need to research and make informed decisions.
Also, we should be paying attention to reactions to everything possible and acting accordingly. This is how I know my son reacts to vaccines and my daughters do not. Each child is different.
Common sense shows vaccines cause adverse reactions and yes, an autistic child is still alive, but what about quality of life? Does this need to disappear or is there another option?
Let’s stop being pro-vaxers or anti-vaxers and instead be pro happy, healthy, alive children. We need to stop assuming something surrounded by controversy has only one best option. Nor should we assume our immune systems are strong enough to fight off everything without assistance, otherwise the death toll would be a whole lot lower.
Whose with me and ready to find Plan C?