These are the thoughts of a cantankerous ol' gynecologist who remembers when things were a little different. I try to find a little humor in my life and the people I meet along the way. Come meet the characters in my world.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Vaccinate YOUR Kid, or Keep Him Away from Mine

I get really tired of hearing parents talk about not vaccinating their children.  They have all kinds of issues with the schedule of vaccinations, the number of vaccinations, what’s in the vaccinations, or who knows what else about it.  My theory about that is:
GET OVER IT! Or, if you choose, take your children and live with all the other parents that feel the same way.  But don’t live where my children, my parents and I live. 
Vaccines were developed to protect us from some really nasty diseases.  Fortunately, they aren’t around much anymore.  Many of them still were when I was a child.  Remember, I have told you I am a very old person.  It’s true.  I had the chicken pox when I was about 4 or 5.  It was awful.  I can still remember.  I also had the Mumps and the German measles.  There were no vaccines for those when I was little. 
We used to worry about stuff like (partial list):
1.     Brain damage from chicken pox (Varicella Zoster), Pertussis, German measles, Hib
2.     Paralysis from Polio
3.     Sterility from Mumps
4.     Birth defects from Rubella (German measles) and other viruses
5.     Liver Cancer from Hepatitis B
6.     Cervical Cancer and Throat Cancer from HPV
7.     Chronic Pain from Shingles (same virus as Chicken Pox – Varicella Zoster)
8.     Death from measles, tetanus, Pertussis, Hib or the flu (influenza).
With vaccines, we have managed to almost completely eliminate most of these problems.  This does require that healthy individuals are vaccinated. 
Some people cannot be vaccinated.  They are immune compromised from cancer or other problems.  If your unvaccinated child gets one of those diseases and goes near one of those people, you may very well be signing their death certificate.  Are you really prepared to be responsible for people dying because you didn’t want your child to have a shot?
We get flu shots at my house every year.  One of my sons has asthma.  The year there was a shortage, he was the only one that got the vaccine.  We all still managed to get sick.  The virus was everywhere in the community.  My son wasn’t ill enough to stay home from school, but coughed enough to vomit at least once a day in school.  He would then get his mucus plug out, and go on about his business.  For some reason this seemed to disturb his teachers!!!!!  Since he always does this when he has a respiratory virus, it didn’t bother me!
My kids were also vaccinated as infants for Chicken Pox.  When they were about four, one of the teachers at their pre-school got the disease and exposed the entire school.  Those who were unvaccinated got to be miserable.  One of my kids had six red spots that lasted a couple of days.  He had no fever, and he didn’t feel bad.  They still made him stay home until the spots were gone. 
So, if you want your kids to be at risk, fine.  Just keep them away from my kids.

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