Friday, September 18, 2009

Facebook Controversy

I like causing controversy on facebook. I LOVE getting people fired up and passionate enough about a topic to state their opinion. Really I do. Here's why: most people keep to themselves and won't stand up for what they believe in unless you make them mad about it. I have tried nice statuses, and I get absolutely nothing out of them. Yesterday, I posted this status:

TristanLynn Hines thinks that people who don't vaccinate their kids are morons. There is NO EVIDENCE that vaccinations cause autism. And....if it is proven in the future, think of it this way-would you rather have your child autistic, or dead?

Wow! This REALLY sparked a good debate. I admit, I probably should have worded it differently. (And I am sorry if I personally offended someone by the wording, but I AM glad that it got people fired up enough to state their opinions, and why they felt that way.) At the time, I was on a message board discussing whether or not people should get a flu shot when they are pregnant. I know that doctors say to do so, but some people believe that you shouldn't. I honestly have not had the flu since I was about 6 years old. I've always been healthy. But I wonder...when I get pregnant, is it best for the baby if I get a flu shot? Or is it really that big of a deal? I was told I was an idiot for even considering it, and that if you get one when you are pregnant, your baby will come out autistic. This made me really angry. Where is your scientific proof? Why can't you give me a SINGLE source that gives convincing evidence of what you just said? Anyways, long story short, I was mad, and I wanted other people's opinions. I had found the best way to get the opposition to speak up was to make them mad, too. So that is how I worded my status. Speaking before I thought, you could say. However, because of the topics that people brought up in the resulting "conversation," I ended up spending 6 HOURS of my day yesterday researching vaccinations, and their benefits vs. risks. I read medical studies, and doctor's reports, and anti-vaccine websites, along with pro-vaccine websites and medical journal articles My opinion on it is that there is just no convincing evidence that vaccinating my child will cause them to be autistic. The benefits of vaccine far outweigh the risks. Again - this is MY PERSONAL OPINION. I don't expect you to feel the same way. And, in most cases, I now understand your reasoning. I don't agree with it, but I do understand. Bottom line, I will most definitely be vaccinating my children. If there IS a link to vaccines and autism, I would much rather have my child autistic and alive than dead from a disease that they wouldn't have caught had they been vaccinated.

In my research, I also found that most of the vaccines are not a guaranteed immunity. For example, the MMR and Varicella (chicken pox) vaccinations have shown to grant full immunity in only 8-9/10 people. That is 80-90%! However, the last 10-20% of people will only have a mild form of the disease, should they catch it. But the mild form does not mean that the risks that come with the disease are no longer there. There is still the possibility of death, especially with measles. I understand that this is a small risk. But the fact that it presents a risk make me believe that it is irresponsible for people to not vaccinate their children. What if my child is the one who isn't fully immune? What if an unvaccinated child spreads this disease to my child, and my child dies because of it? You can bet I would be suing the pants off that parent for negligence, and manslaughter if I can get away with it. (Yes, I know this is drastic, and possibly irrational, and I probably wouldn't be able to get manslaughter in a case like this, but I would push like hell for it.)

In my research, I also found that the ingredient that people believe is linked to autism, thimerosal, was removed from all the vaccines recommended for children in 2001. A few of the vaccines still have 1/200th of the amount of mercury they had before. The CDC SAYS that they are working to remove the remaining .1 microgram of mercury remaining. (I know, the CDC is not always honest in what they say.) This leads me to wonder, why are we still blaming vaccines for autism? Another thing - a lot of times, you can't tell that a child is autistic when they are babies. They just aren't developed enough to show signs of it, or for you to notice the signs. So how can you PROVE, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that your child wasn't autistic before a vaccination? There are just too many factors involved, and I just can't see how you can link blame a vaccine for autism when a child was too young to really notice it before.

Again. All of these points are my personal opinion. However, they are based on RESEARCH. Not what a group of people "believe" or what people are telling me to think. These are my opinions based on cold hard facts. The FACT is, vaccinations are proven to prevent disease. It's not a question, it's a fact. There is NO PROOF of vaccines causing autism, and the idea that we in America don't have to get vaccinated because most of the country is is naiive and absurd. Just because a disease is rare in a country does NOT mean it's dead, and does NOT mean it no longer exists. Someone could very well bring it in from another country. There is a reason vaccines were made. It's to protect people. If every parent in America decided not to vaccinate their child based on the fact that the disease is rare in the US, what do you think that would do? The diseases would no longer be rare, and many people would die for them. The vaccines are for prevention. Many of these diseases have no cure. Polio, for example. You are screwed if you get polio. Some people walk away from it and live normal lives. Some are paralyzed. Some die. Is that really a risk that you are willing to take on your child?


David and Kate said...

Hey Tristan... I am 35 weeks pregnant and got my flu shot yesterday. I work in healthcare and have seen how the flu this year has really hit hard. Pregnant women and infants are very high risk; many have lost their own life and baby's because of the flu this year. I probably haven't done enough research on my own, but my doctor told me to get the shot as soon as a could for me and baby and then to have everyone that was going to care for my baby be vaccinated as well. While my oppinion is just mine, and isn't as strong as yours I admire you for speaking your mind and wanting others to do the same so you can learn more and further solidify your own oppinion. good job for being willing to take the time to do some reasearch.

Taffers Dawn said...

I'm totally behind you on this! I think people look for reasons to blame 'problems' their children have on other things. Yesh. Thanks for studying up!

The Thomas Family said...

calling people morons and then deleting comments from peoples response on face book is not a debate. thanks.

The Thomas Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Likeursoperfect said...

First of all, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Second of all, if any comments were deleted, you deleted them yourself. I'm not 5. Third of all, don't use MY blog as a chance to advertise your own, or to accuse me of doing something I didn't do. Grow up. Not everyone has the same opinion as you.

Likeursoperfect said...

P.S - If it's THAT important to you, why haven't you reposted the comment?

JulieMom said...

Research in England suggests that autism is a GENETIC neurological disorder.
Autism is typically diagnosed at an age when the child is having innoculations, so it may seem that the vaccinations cause the autism. In England the mercury has been omitted from the vaccinations, however the rate of autism has stayed the same.

Glad you like to shake things up. It makes life interesting!