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Where I Speak My Mind on Vaccine Safety

January 31, 2008

A few days ago I was reading various news articles online, and stumbled on this CNN article criticizing ABC’s new show, Eli Stone. Pediatricians don’t want parents to see this particular pilot, because part of the story line calls the safety of vaccines into question. They’ve labeled ABC’s decision to air this episode as “irresponsible”.

I think the vaccine debate is a good thing. It’s necessary for us, as parents, to use every bit of critical thinking we possess when it comes to the safety of our children. I firmly believe that if something is good, true, and right, it should be able to withstand scrutiny. If something needs “blind faith” to exist, then it probably shouldn’t exist in the first place.

I understand that vaccines are good for a society as a whole. Logically, I understand that the cost of a child injured by vaccines, while lamentable, is worth the benefit to society. The end (a vaccinated society) is worth the means (a child’s life/quality of life, etc.). But as a mother, I can’t give my son something that MAY hurt him. The impersonal benefit of vaccines breaks down in the personal relationship between parent and child.

I am not simply an uneducated mother, or a mother being controlled by my fear. I’ve studied the reports that find no link between vaccines and autism, vaccines and SIDS, vaccines and juvenile diabetes, thimerosol and autism, etc. It’s hard to trust the outcome of such studies when they’re conducted by or under the supervision of the very people who produce or distribute vaccines!

There is no easy out for the issue of vaccine safety. As I see it, the government agencies that  promote immunizations would have a hard time recanting decades worth of misinformation. Not only that, but they (and we) could not afford the cost from the flood of lawsuits if vaccines were found unsafe. Pharmaceutical companies that are now protected from vaccine-based lawsuits could simply cease producing the vaccines, leaving the vaccinated society ideal with a problem. But, if vaccines are truly unsafe, there are many, many children out there who already have a problem. We have a No Child Left Behind educational program, so how about a No Child Left Behind vaccination program?

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