A few days ago, KUOW’s Ross Reynolds was discussing vaccinations.

Basically, there have were some recent outbreaks of measles and naturally, the media milked it. Reynolds called for comments and naturally, pro-vaccination AND anti-vaccination people (moms mostly) responded. There was even a doctor present and everything.

One woman, who was clearly of the “I’m not giving my money to another cheatin’, lyin’ pharmaceutical!” camp, emailed in and blamed the measles outbreak on poor nutrition and bad parenting. What was surprising was that the doctor had diplomatically agreed with some of her points, “particularly about nutrition contributing to the overall health of a child”. If I hadn’t been driving, I would’ve picked up the phone…and called my husband in a middle of a meeting to bitch about how some women just have arses for brains.

I’m sure someone somewhere has made this argument already, but there is such a thing called “herd immunity“, which essentially makes getting vaccinated a social responsibility.

The article linked here says it best – doing what’s factually good for our kids, and doing what we emotionally feel is good for our kids, can be two very different things. While a majority of us vaccinate, there are those who are skittish or just think they know better. And yet, everybody stays relatively safe, say, from smallpox, all because of herd immunity.

Now I’ve met a few “Earth Mama” types who say they’ve done all the research and think that immunization is just big business trying to wheedle money out of us poor, ignorant bastards, using the media to pump us full of fear and BS (pardon the pun). Now I’m a big breastfeeding supporter but breast milk does NOT prevent chicken pox.

Honestly? I find it hard to believe that you’ve read 20 million pages of medical data and probably two thousand combined years of research by scientists who all conclude that vaccination is the way to go.

And sure, it might provoke a violent reaction from one out of 30,000 kids and I’m sorry if that turns out to be yours, but you know what, those odds are better than the one out of 1000 where your kid contracts Hep A from eating contaminated crayfish and dying (yes, I’m pulling those numbers out of my roomy arse, but they sound rhetorically right).

Sometimes, it doesn’t even work, but nothing’s perfect. As long as my child doesn’t grow an extra toe from it, I’m good.

Let’s say your son grows up to become a Doctor Without Borders (a path you’d most likely encourage him to take, because why wouldn’t he? You would’ve brought him up to be all nobley and non-profity) and ends up somewhere in Nicaragua where he contracts, I dunno, mumps?

As his face swells up to unrecognizable proportions, you can barely make out the words coming out of his mouth because of the flies swarming over his drool-streaked chin, his one good eye peering questioningly at you over the webcam:

“Why wum? Why deen you wad-nate me?” (Translation: Why mom? Why didn’t you vaccinate me, you sanctimonious idiot?”)

My point is, get over yourself. It’s one thing to have your child get vaccinated and then watch with alarm as he sleeps 12 hours straight (now that’s a reaction), and another to not be able to watch your kid squirm and cry through another shot.

It’s one thing to be genuinely concerned over unnecessary vaccinations made by ONE company because your gut tells you it smacks of capitalistic maneuvering, and another to be throwing ALL pharmaceuticals selling vaccines together as if capitalism itself should be outlawed just because you can’t watch your kid squirm and cry through another shot.

And if your kid is enjoying better health, it’s not because you fed him better or are a better parent. It’s because my children are vaccinated – as are 200 million others.

So the next time you feel like criticizing the very people who are keeping your vaccine-free kid from contracting a life-threatening disease, think.

Think of Nicaragua and mumps.

ps. No offence to Nicaraguans. I pulled that out of my fat arse too.

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