The Great Debate
Where I live, and probably where you live, there is one hot issue right now: vaccinations. It’s big here because so many people do not vaccinate. So there’s measles at Disney, and a case in town from someone who was in that area, and now it is an unavoidable topic of conversation.
I have friends and acquaintances here and across the country who are very pro vaccination. I am part of an online parenting community where many people are loudly anti vaccination. And here we are, with our almost four month old, wading through the waters of parenthood.
We are going to vaccinate Gus. We are going to do so on a delayed schedule and have not started yet. We have not started because at 2 months he was having terrible gas pains and pooping bright green. We chose not to start until his guts were doing a bit better. He will get his first round of vaccinations at his four month visit next month.
We are vaccinating on a delayed schedule. This means by 5, if not before then, he will be fully vaccinated but he will not get 36 shots in 18 months (I think that is what the standard schedule is). He will not get a chickenpox vaccine and I am going to go as long as possible without getting him a flu vaccine.
So those things being said, I really don’t want to get him vaccinated. We are going to because overall I believe it is the right thing to do but I do not think vaccines are safe, well tested, or necessary. I understand herd immunity and that’s plays a role in getting him vaccinated. If we still lived in the midwest where 95% of people vaccinate I would likely make a different decision. Here many children are not so I feel it is more important.
It pulls on my heart to do this. It kills me to give the child who has only had breast milk and an herbal gas drop in his body a vaccine that contains mercury. I do not think vaccines cause autism or believe everything (or anything) that Jenny McCarthy says. I am a mom. I am a mom who wants to do what is best for her child – just like all other moms. I’m doing my researching and weighing risks when figuring out where to start. I am talking to our pediatrician. I am talking to my partner.
And guess what? So is everyone else. My biggest issue about this debate is the assumption that people who don’t vaccinate are stupid. They are not. They are trying to do what is best for their children. And I get it. I understand why they don’t want to and I’m right there with them. We’re going to vaccinate our child but it’s hard and I’m sad about it. I don’t know if it gets easier or if it is this hard for everyone. I don’t know if this is just sometimes what parenting feels like.