Vaccine controversy
Health & Exercise

Vaccine Controversy

I’m puzzled over the fact that people will not vaccinate their children and spare them from the childhood illnesses that have all but become eradicated. There’s a reason we don’t see things like measles, mumps, and chickenpox as much these days. But it seems to be changing, due to the number of people no longer being vaccinated. These diseases are coming back.

What’s happening today?

Measles is what’s making all the news these days. Measles was previously declared eliminated in 2000, three decades after the vaccine was introduced. But in 2019 we’ve experienced more cases than we have since 1992. Measles is back.

I always thought Rubella was the “bad” kind of measles. I remember getting the 3-day measles when I was a kid, and that was Rubella. These might also be called German measles.

Measles, or rubeola, is the more serious type.

According to this article, no religion has explicit objections to vaccinations. Yet the majority of states allow exemptions for “religious reasons”. Objections may be more cultural than religious. Or maybe unwarranted fears?

According to the American Academy of Pediatricians, the majority of doctors said parents refusing or delaying vaccinations for their children do so because they believe the vaccine is unnecessary, taxing on their child’s immune system or for fear the shot will cause their child pain.

If you’re old enough, like me, you probably have a noticeable scar on your arm. This is from the smallpox vaccine. Smallpox was considered eliminated in 1977.

I remember getting all kinds of vaccines in the 1960s, through the school. I can still see us all standing in line, waiting to take vaccines, some orally. Maybe they were administered that way because most of the vaccines were new?

I don’t remember anyone not taking the vaccines, but then I was a kid and I probably wouldn’t have noticed. Plus, at that point, people were more interested in avoiding these diseases and not thinking about the possibility of side effects.

Is that why parents today don’t see the need? They haven’t experienced what it’s like to have measles or mumps and think there’s no risk of their children getting them? Clearly, that isn’t the case, as we see cases pop up everywhere, typically the result of someone not having been vaccinated. Vaccines are doing what they’re meant to do.

Adult vaccinations

I wonder if these same people avoid vaccines for themselves. I know the flu vaccine isn’t a guarantee against the flu, since there are so many strains. But it can still mean a milder case if you do get the flu.

My doctor gives me a tetanus shot once every 10 years. I wonder if it’s the TDAP – tetanus, Diptheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). I’ve also had a shingles vaccine, only to find out there’s a newer, more effective one. The new one is a two-step process.

I recently had the first shingles shot. I was on a waiting list at my pharmacy for over six months. Obviously, people are interested in getting this shot. No one wants to get shingles. I’ll get the second one between two and six months after the first one.

People have talked about the side effects of this shot, none of which are terrible or long-lasting. The pharmacist who gave me the shot warned me of a few things. However, the only thing I experienced was a very sore arm later that day. I took Tylenol and had no trouble sleeping. It was a little achy the next day but not a big deal. I may have also been a little tired, but anymore, I can’t confidently link tiredness to any one thing!!

At age 65, I assume my doctor will recommend the pneumococcal shot. I believe that’s also a two-step vaccine. I see no reason not to take it. Why wouldn’t I want to do everything I can to stay healthy?

I found this great infographic at this site. If you’re interested in what you need as an adult, this is helpful.

Vaccines Aren

What you think

A few months ago, I had a poll on my site and asked you to weigh in on your feelings regarding childhood vaccines. There were 27 votes and you were overwhelmingly in favor of vaccines for children.

I agree with you. There are enough things to worry about that we don’t need our children to suffer through measles, mumps and other diseases that can be easily avoided. And we all know they are rougher if you get them as an adult. Remember how people exposed their kids to chickenpox on purpose so they’d have it as a kid and not have to worry as an adult?

Are you getting your adult vaccinations??? I hope so.

8 Comments

  • Caroline

    Working at an elementary school, it is upsetting when kids enroll and the parents have a religious exempt card instead of shot records! Honestly, very few are for religious reason – we say it is because of LA parents, (lazy ass). They put their own children at risk as well as every other student as well as babies they may come in contact with who haven’t had all their vaccinations, chronically ill people, and on and on. I applaud the pediatricians who won’t take patients whose parents won’t vaccinate. If they don’t take the doctor’s advice on vaccinations, they don’t want them as patients. We are so fortunate to live in a time where there are all these preventives for diseases that it is difficult to understand why anyone wouldn’t want to protect their children!

    • Retired Introvert

      It’s definitely crazy. There’s no proof these vaccines cause other problems, yet these parents refuse them and endanger their children and others. Makes no sense.

  • Marty

    I don’t ever remember people not taking vaccines either. I suppose there might have been some when I was in school, but they must have been a VERY small minority. I’ve always gotten my shots every year.

    As a Jew, I was astounded beyond belief when I read about the orthodox in Brooklyn earlier this year who refused to get vaccinated, and then promptly becoming ground zero for the measles outbreak in New York. Its incomprehensible to me how anyone can argue the science of this, and also use religion to justify not protecting themselves and the greater society. Except for those who are allergic or who have immunities, there are no valid excuses.

    Thanks for shining a light on this. I had sort of forgotten the issue, but it is getting to be that time of year again to get one, isn’t it?

    • Retired Introvert

      Getting vaccinated is the easiest thing you can do to stay healthy and help others stay healthy too. Unfortunately, parents are making this choice for their unsuspecting children. I can’t believe states are allowing these religious exemptions when they know there’s no basis.

  • The Widow Badass

    I’ll never understand the anti-vaxxers. It has been proven that there is no link between vaccines and autism – the scientist who published the study (and the study itself) has been discredited for many years now. Yet people continue to spout this as the reason. Those who don’t learn from our history are doomed to repeat it.

    Same with those who are against pasteurized milk. 100 years ago mothers marched in the streets to get milk pasteurized so their kids wouldn’t die from contaminated milk. And here we are again, kids are dying from drinking raw milk.

    People can believe what they want, but their kids don’t get a vote, and they are the ones getting sick.

    • Retired Introvert

      I read about the supposed autism link and there’s no evidence to support it. I agree entirely that we’re forgetting what these diseases did in the past. I can’t help but think that’s why people think it’s ok to go without the vaccines. And you’re right that it’s the kids that will suffer for it.

  • Donna

    I am at a loss to understand the anti-vaccination people. I get the flu shot every year. I do get fever and chills the night after the shot. It’s not considered a reaction, but a nurse told me to pre-medicate with Tylenol a couple of days prior, and that fixes it.

    As for the shingles vaccine, I had the older version and had a sore arm for months. There’s a condition called SIRVA that can result from the shot being administered improperly. The guy who gave me mine was big and tall, and I was sitting down, which would put me at higher risk. Both parties should be seated. Anyway, because nothing is ever easy, I had a mastectomy right about the same time. My arm was later diagnosed as frozen shoulder resulting from the mastectomy. However, in my heart of hearts, I believe it was SIRVA. My doctor said maybe … but too many variables. It took a year for the frozen shoulder to go away.

    Long story, but I hope it helps someone. I am going to get the new one and will probably ask about it when I get my annual check-up later this fall.

    • Retired Introvert

      I’ve never had a problem with the flu shot. Maybe a sore arm for a day or so but no other reactions. I think the person who gave me my shingles shot was standing but she was short. Good luck with the new one.

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