I’ll cut to the very predictable chase and say that I am pro-vaccines. Quite pro-vaccines. My dad had fucking Polio as a kid, and it gave him permanent nerve damage. Heck, I know people in wheelchairs from Polio. And people who’ve had other lovely diseases we now vaccinate against.
Did you know the mumps can make you infertile?
Needless to say, my kids are vaccinated.
But I also understand the anti-vax perspective. I mean, I think it’s wrong, but I understand where these folks are coming from: it is difficult to trust a medical establishment that has treated you crappily in the past.
Doctors get plenty of stuff wrong. Doctors are human, and humans make mistakes. But when your doctor makes a mistake, it can have rather severe consequences.
And somewhere around the 50s, despite some wonderful, astoundingly great advances in medicine –actually, perhaps because of those astounding advances–doctors started doing some really dumb stuff to pregnant women. Thalidomide comes immediately to mind, but we can throw in unnecessary c-sections and encouraging them to use baby formula. Maybe this all started before the 50s. Behavioralists in the 20s were writing best-selling baby care books that advised parents to never kiss their children, keep their babies on a feeding schedule, and other such crap. (We here at EvolutionistX would especially like to point out that this advice is very evolutionarily unsound.)
Well, guess what. Having an unnecessary c-section is really fucking shitty. Taking a medication that gives you a deformed kid is really fucking shitty. Baby formula is not shitty, (unless you are in the third world, and then mixing it with the local water supply is may be a really bad idea,) but it is kind of pricy.
So I understand how people can come away from all of that and say, “my god, the medical establishment is completely full of horrible, unethical, hideously painful and unnecessary interventions!” and then might look at vaccines and say, “No fucking way.” When you lose peoples’ trust, you lose their trust.
Before we go any further, I would also like to note that, IMO, epidurals are awesome. EvolutionistX does not have it out for any currently practicing doctors. A lot of the bad stuff, as I noted, was going on in the fifties. Hospital practices related to maternity and childbirth have changed a lot since then. Please, do not make any kind of medical decisions based on “well, I heard some horror stories from the 70s.”
For that matter, don’t make your vaccine decisions based on horror stories from the 70s. And for the love of god, don’t read a bunch of junk science. That shit makes my head hurt. Find a doctor or medical information you really trust, and ask them.
But please, people, let’s not have a return of Polio. Polio fucking sucks.