Friday, August 26, 2016

Who Are These Crazy Anti Vaccine People?

Yep I’m going there. Er, rather, I’m touching on it. Vaccines are a collosal topic requiring far more discussion than a humble log post can offer it. Subscribe to my blog and you’ll see more articles, information, and education about vaccines in future posts.

For now, I want to simply ask the question: Where do you stand on the Vaccine issue? Furthermore, are you willing to have an open minded discussion on the matter?

I find this to be a very polarizing and touchy subject. Both “pro” and “anti” camps sit on opposing sides of the internet and hurl insults at one another. Often there is little civil, genuine, back and forth discussion on any sort of neutral, safe, middle ground territory. Rather, discussing vaccination makes savages out of otherwise civilized people.

So why all the heat? How can something that seems so good actually have radical opponents? Who are these “anti vaccine” people and on what grounds do they make their claims? They must be crazy people that only exist outside of my world.

Well, it’s not the way you might think. Let’s explore a small handful of their objections, shall we?

In all of my years working with families, I have noticed many things. I’ve learned that when it comes to both parenting and medical care decisions, no two families are the same. For that matter, no two PEOPLE are the same. Ever. Their experiences, medical history, preferences, priorities, living situations, and biases are all unique to them. For instance, some are prone to various types of reactions to specific pharmaceuticals. (Antibiotic allergies, for instance). Some have food allergies. Some have genetic markers that make them especially sensitive to various environmental stimuli. Some are not prone to reactions of any kind at all!

Have you ever listened - REALLY listened - to the commercials that you see for pharmaceuticals? They list reactions and side effects that have been observed in humans during clinical trials. Have you ever noticed how vast and widespread those reactions are? They nearly always cover every system of the body from GI to neurological to cardiovascular reactions.

Certainly not EVERY person in the clinical trials experienced every one of those reactions or they would have died! What can we take from this? We all react to pharmaceuticals differently.

How does that related to the Vaccine issue?

Vaccines are pharmaceuticals containing pharmaceutical ingredients and producing a pharmaceutical reaction on the body. So doesn’t it make sense that each person’s experience with a vaccine has a potential to be somewhat unique?

Have you ever read a vaccine package insert? The list of possible reactions PER VACCINE is positively outrageous. The combined effect of giving them together has never been tested, and yet most people still think that the only side effects are a fever and tenderness at the injection site.

Vaccination side effects go far beyond just discomfort and a fever. For example, in all of the package inserts, a possible (and observed) reaction to vaccination is something known as guillain-barre syndrome. Without getting too technical, GB is an autoimmune condition in which the blood and plasma separate, then the plasma attacks the nervous system. Treatment must be swift, and whatever happens, the patient is in tremendous amounts of pain for up to several weeks. It causes paralysis that can last for life, even if it’s just in isolated parts of the body.

What if a family had a history of this type of vaccine reaction? It is listed in the package inserts after all. Research has not been done to determine genetic markers for certain types of catastrophic vaccine reactions such as this one. Is it fair for a parent to be cautious of going forward with vaccination if this condition is prevalent in their family? If they would prefer to risk measles over guillain barre, does that make them crazy?

This is a real world example of the types of parents that are being demonized by the media and much of the medical community. They are the ones that are plastered with the “anti-vaccine” label, fingers pointed at and blaming them for the “return” of “preventable” diseases.

They are simply parents asking legitimate questions that nobody has the answer to.  They are parents just like you. They are exercising caution and asking questions.

It’s fair for them to expect answers to their questions, and they have a right to refuse any pharmaceutical, vaccines included. Their justification for choosing alternative vaccine schedules, or opting out completely, is totally unique to them and their situation. And if you get a chance to have an open discussion with some of them someday, you just might be surprised at how much you can learn, and how much you may have in common with them.

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