I wrote this almost three years ago. This year, it’s measles, but everything in the article is just as relevant. Vaccines do not “overwhelm” the immune system. Compared to what drugs you have to take AFTER getting sick do, they are a gentle tweak that teaches your body to identify and kill viruses that otherwise can reproduce and cause great discomfort, sometimes death.
Working in health care requires me to constantly help the doctors educate and inform those who seek treatment. Patients are always missing the forest for the trees, focusing on some minor possibility while ignoring obvious larger causes for diseases.
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4 responses to “Combating Misinformation About Vaccines”
I am not a Mom so I am not 100 percent sure my stance on this issue. However I did see the article about Kristen Bell making its rounds on Facebook from all the moms I know and I could tell it was a hot button issue. If you have not run across it yet, you can find it here..
As it stands I do not get vaccines. Mostly because I hate needles and I have been able to fight off most of what I have gotten. But I acknowledge that I have been lucky. Am I rolling the dice a bit? Sure. But I am also an adult and capable of making my own decisions. If there is a child involved more care needs to go into this decision. I realize that. So I will say I am on the fence here but you certainly bring up good points and I am curious to see more on this debate.
Thank you so much for reading, and for offering a contribution to the discussion, C-LaVie. I understand being on the fence. If you aren’t used to thinking within scientific method boundaries, medicine can seem very complex.
We have, and have had since ancient times, some virus-based diseases that millions can’t beat unless their immune systems get a boost. To me it’s an ethical issue. We either let “the weak” die under an assumption it makes the survivors stronger (it doesn’t), or we try and save more from death and disability. Maybe you don’t personally need the vaccines, because you’ve been lucky or because (in a statistical sense) you are riding the coattails of those who have been vaccinated.
At some point you could pick up a highly-infectious virus like measles or pertussis, because you walked through an airport (for example), or because your work puts you in contact with immigrants or visitors who have traveled abroad. In you, an adult below age 50, the disease might manifest symptoms like the flu. You feel achy and have a couple of days temperature. You go to your family doctor, and they diagnose you correctly and write an rx for Tamiflu. However, you touched the arms of the chair, or the door knob, or a cough sneaked up on you before you could cover up.
Now, everyone who enters or leaves that waiting room for three hours (until a nurse goes out and cleans the surfaces and sprays disinfectant when the room is clear) has an increased chance (not a guarantee) of picking up the virus. One of those persons gets infected and takes the virus home where there’s an infant too young for the shots. That infant ends up hospitalized. You caused it, even though it won’t be traced back to you. Chains of consequence affect all beings. I’m not evaluating the morality of the action or inaction. I’m pointing out that whatever we do will alter the lives of others we will never meet or know.
Since vaccines are not as dangerous (to everyone as a population, not to me as an individual) as getting any of the diseases we have vaccines for, I’m going to get every shot that’s available, for the protection of everyone. It’s cost-effective medicine with more far-reaching positive effect upon our survival as humans than other treatments including antibiotics, mechanical respiratory assistance or surgery.
I was vaccinated for chicken pox and measles as a child.
I also had the German measles as a child. High fever, etc. Just scary to my parents.
Vaccination for children yes.
Everyone who ever had one of these nasty bugs agrees with you Jean. I got measles, chicken pox and mumps before the availability of vaccines for them. Though I had no after effects, I had close friends who became partially deaf, or had permanent face scars.
Thanks for dropping by and contributing!