Why vaccinate?

So every now and then the vaccine debate raises its ugly head - the one where the MMR vaccine is linked to autism. And once again we question whether to vaccinate or not? And it’s your choice as a parent right? ..... Or is it? Are we really, in an age where you can prevent childhood diseases, and deadly ones at that, actually having this debate?

Criminally negligent?

The MMR debate is one that’s been raging for ages. Does it or does it not cause autism? Apparently, according to some studies it does. But largely, it’s been debunked, by many. Personally I believe it’s a crock of shit. By the time many children are old enough to get the MMR vaccine, if they are autistic, it’s already evident. No vaccine is going to make you autistic – surely it’s a gene that you are born with, and don’t develop out of the blue? But that’s me. Common sense tells me genes don’t develop out of nowhere. You’re perfectly entitled to your own opinion on that score though.

But here’s the thing. If you are that uncomfortable with the MMR vaccine, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t vaccinate your children at all….surely?

In your child’s book of life – standard issue, from our health department - you’ll see there is NO MMR vaccine scheduled. At any time. Measles 1 and 2. At nine months and 18 months respectively.

 If you so choose, you can vaccinate against MMR and chicken pox privately, AT YOUR OWN REQUEST. So you can happily vaccinate according to the recommended schedule, without exposing your child to the MMR autism-causing-toxic-mercury-laden needle.

But to choose to not vaccinate at all because of the bad press linked to one vaccine, that’s tantamount to criminal negligence in my book. I also believe it’s incredibly selfish and irresponsible.

There are childhood diseases other than mumps, measles and rubella that are quite fatal too.

Vaccines were developed for good reason – to eradicate preventable deaths in young children. And you are in a position to protect your child against a host of preventable diseases. Do we really want a resurgence of diseases that have largely been wiped out?

More importantly, do you have the right to decide whether your child should be susceptible to the following complications because you decided on their behalf to not vaccinate: meningitis, encephalitis, blindness, deafness, heart and nervous system problems, pneumonia, hepatitis….the list goes on – that’s just the tip of a very large iceberg.
Should you ever be in a position where you are sitting in an ICU, with your very ill child, because you opted to not vaccinate, it will be too late. Do you really want to take that chance?

We all want the best for our children, but to lose track of common sense because of scare-mongering tactics based loosely on some “empirical” studies? I’m not so sure that’s the wisest idea.

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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