Are you either for or against compulsory vaccination? Or is there some middle ground?
Great question - but not the one Kate Tuttle posed in Compulsory Vaccination: A Primer over at one of my fave parenting websites, Babble. Tuttle lays out the latest on vaccine safety - the reasons people oppose vaccinations and refuse to believe in their safety. Yeah, didn't go over well with some in the anti-vac camp. But the most interesting stuff came from readers, or rather, readers who responded. Talk about a catfight - heaps of anger, accusations, name-calling not to mention misinformation and outright falsehoods - on both sides of the issue. I put in my two cents only to have someone misidentify me as the culprit behind some controversial remark - fortunately another soul pointed out the mistake. A few cool heads wondered if there's any middle ground in the great vaccination debate. Of course there is - many other parents who don't speak up nearly as often as the vaccination extremists.
People like me.
I vaccinated all three of my children. Yes, I did so after thimerosal was removed - but I would have done so even pre-2001. I'd read some of the scientific literature, lots of the autism-thimerosal stuff. I was pretty sure there was no link. Even so... I spaced the shots out. I held my breath, gritted my teeth, and watched for signs of regression. We know for a fact some children have adverse reactions. We basically have to trust it won't happen to our kid. We're playing the odds. I know people, friends, who swear their kids were damaged by vaccinations. I can't argue with them. I don't believe shots trigger autism - we've got good evidence to the contrary. Is it possible they can trigger other conditions? Of course.
Do I wish more people would vaccinate their kids? Yes. Does an outbreak of measles concern me? Yes. Do I think everyone should be forced into it? No. If children in my family had had bad reactions or some pre-existing condition then I'm not certain what I would do. I've never had to make that decision. I can certainly understand, empathize with that position.
There, that's a middle ground.
Read the article. If you're up for a good verbal brawl, read the comments. The article does contain a few errors. The infamous Lancet article that launched the autism-thimerosal debate appeared in 1998 not 1988. Also, thimerosal wasn't removed from all vaccinations (except the flu shots) until 2001.