Thursday, April 10, 2014

Is Not Vaccinating Like Having Unprotected Sex?


I recently ran into a fellow blogger and friend at the gym. While we were discussing the child care in the facility, I informed her that the last time I left the midget there he got some weird hand, foot and mouth disease (just typing it out gives me the creeps).

The conversation moved to vaccinating, and she told me that her babysitter doesn't. Apparently, her two children had contracted Pertussis (Whooping Cough). 

My first thought? DUH!! 

Obviously, I wasn't shocked by the fact that the kids got sick, but rather that there are still people out there not vaccinating. I was shocked to hear that there are actually "a ton" of people out there that have just simply decided against it. 


It seems not vaccinating is, "trendy." 


My friend then posed a really great question. "Are we allowed to ask people if they vaccinate?" I marinated in this one for a minute before coming to the conclusion that "FUCK YES" should be the answer.


Now, I'm not going to do any research on statistics, dangers, and/or probabilities here. I'm not going to bore myself, or you, with numbers and figures to be challenged and recalculated. What I am going to do is compare not vaccinating your children to having unprotected sex. 


You're welcome.


It is important to note that I am directing any and all snarkiness towards people that don't vaccinate because one in 50,000 vaccinated may suffer possible side effects. There are also those that fail to protect our children due to refusal to pay money to those silly drug companies because of some conspiracy theory. Do I think the drug companies are way whacked with all their pills for fill in the blank? Yup, which is why I will not vaccinate my boys for genital warts. I understand that they cause cervical cancer, and that this vaccine might someday keep them from spreading it to their girlfriends. You know what else will protect them? 

Safe, protected sex.


Decades ago, before people knew any better, having unprotected sex with strangers was "trendy." Believe it or not, even in 2014 there are still people that continue to this trend. I know, crazy right? Even though we know all that we know about how many people out of five have Herpes, HIV, and other fun diseases that can be treated with antibiotics, there are still those that think it's cool to share bodily fluids and trust their partners. Obviously, I'm not talking about people in monogamous relationships, like old school. I'm talking about today, where sex seems to be nothing more than an extra curricular activity to some.

"OMG, Please let her be vaccinated"
What heterosexual woman hasn't heard a guy say that he didn't want to wear a condom because he didn't like the feeling?  Imagine for a moment that we didn't have the right to say "Tough shit, Dude. I'm not taking the risk!" Imagine if that right was taken away, and we lost the power to choose precaution because someone else was uncomfortable? That's how I feel about letting my kids play at the park now.  Maybe your kid is protected, but maybe he's not. How do I know if I don't ask? 


Do I have the right to ask someone I'm about to be intimate with if they have been tested? Yes. Why is that a good idea? Because the answer will make me aware of any added bonus dangers that might be involved with touching his or her body. What I do with the answer to that question might keep me safe.


Do I have the right to ask someone I'm about to be intimate with if they have or have ever had an STD? Certainly. Why is this smart? Because it can protect me from being dead. 

So, why wouldn't it be okay for me to ask you if you vaccinate your children; especially since the answer to that question might help keep my children safe? If knowing which kids at the playground/pool/gym could potentially harm sons will keep them safe, I'm asking.


Sorry, not sorry.

P.S. Don't even think about talking to me about my kids' right to eat a peanut butter sandwich in public if yours isn't vaccinated...unless you also don't believe in EpiPens. An allergic reaction and Polio are both life threatening and preventable, if we are considerate of each other's children.






photo credit: jpellgen via photopin cc photo credit: marktrash via photopin cc

18 comments :

  1. It's a hot topic but an important one, thanks for weighing in. Ask all the questions, it's our job as parents to protect our children from the idiots of the world.

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  2. I hope she fired that babysitter! Her very job description is to protect her children, and she's not doing it. Anti-vaxxers need to move to their own little island and stay away from the rest of us.

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  3. Interesting correlation. I hope safe sex becomes uber trendy soon. Ellen

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  4. Michelle DeLorge@ Scattered WrApril 10, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    Wow Jenn, why don't you just put them all in a concentration camp. smh. I often play devil's advocate and this is one of those times. I vaccinate on my own schedule not on the FDA approved one. To me it's kinda like being Agnostic, you believe kinda sorta not really. I really think this wouldn't be such a heated issue if drug companies were more transparent, in a language that the normal everyday lay person with only a 10th grade education could understand. Do I believe that vaccines are helpful, damn straight. Do I believe that all vaccines are made the same, definitely not. I used to work for GlaxoSmithKline's legal department back in the day and I've seen the claims that would come in for proven vaccine related injuries. There's a whole database for all of them. I just think that if they can make a commercial for erectile dysfunction and list all the side effects then why can't they do the same for the MMR because that's the one that everyone really has an issue with, that does have an issue. Instead the government and federal agencies do the opposite and promote fear instead of just providing the public with watered down hard facts that can't be disputed. Instead of saying just do it because you have to (because let's be honest, in this society nobody gives a good god damn about their neighbor's kid. This isn't the 50's anymore when people actually cared about one another) they need to explain why they should. Until this happens, I respect every parent's right to do as they see fit by their own child. If they vaccines work as they should then it really shouldn't matter if your child has Measles, if mine already got the shot.

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  5. I'll sidestep your more incendiary comments and just point out that the first dose of the MMR vaccine provides measles immunity to about 95% of patients, not 100%. Also, children under one year old can't be vaccinated, and children with certain medical issues can't be vaccinated. This is why herd immunity matters.

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  6. Michelle, Thank you so much for your comment. While I understand that you're playing "devil's advocate," I'm unclear about the point you're trying to make. I'm not really understanding the reference to concentration camps either. I don't think Jenn was suggesting mass murder, but rather relocation. Some children cannot get vaccines for medical reasons and allergies, making those that are not vaccinated a threat. I'm merely suggesting that while people have the right to do whatever they want, the rest of us should have the right to know. Does that make sense?

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  7. Michelle DeLorge@ Scattered WrApril 10, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    So I will retract the concentration camp reference and insert reservation since that was more relocation and not mass murder. Either way it's forcing people to live somewhere else against their will and we're not talking about just a couple thousand people here, I'm sure it's in the hundreds of thousands if not more. Sounds a bit absurd to me.Maybe the comment was supposed to be funny and I just took wrong and if so I apologize.


    Also, I am well aware that children under a year aren't vaccinated for MMR but they do receive other vaccines like Dtap which usually starts at 3 months and is every 3 months up to the first year. I'm also aware that there are children with various diseases and issues that can't be vaccinated and I fully understand herd immunity. What I don't understand is why no one "got" what I said. What it boils down to is that no one really cares about anyone else's kids but their own. So people that don't vaccinate for whatever reason don't really care about herd immunity or any other reason that you would want to give. Some because they don't understand it and other's because they don't care. They care about their own agenda and their own reasons. The "point" I was attempting to make is that if people really cared about one another there would be no need for this debate. Sure there would still be people who didn't for religious reasons. You had those back in the day as well. You just wouldn't have so many "trendy" anti vaccine people.


    As for the asking, I'm on the fence about that too. If someone came up to me and asked me that question, I would kinda feel like it was an invasion of my privacy and I would be less likely to associate with that person. It's a real gray area. If it was a stranger at the playground I would not ask. You assume some level of risk for all germs when you go to places like that. Kids could get the flu and get seriously sick from complications from that just as easily as catching something like the Measles. If it's someone you know, then I think it's fine. It would be no different than asking a friend how their kid's doctor's appointment went.

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  8. So, I'm pretty sure I disagree with almost everything you just said, but that's the beauty of living in a free country. We can agree to disagree. :)

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  9. I was just having a discussion about vaccinations with some friends on Facebook yesterday. I do all the usual vaccines but sometimes I wonder about the ones the doctors are suddenly pushing on us like the HPV vaccine and stuff. I'm of the mindset that I research and decide for myself based on intelligent information. I think people hop onto band wagons without checking the facts! Great post!

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  10. Right on! I feel vaccines not only keep our children safe, they protect the community as a whole! But I guess we all need a boogie man, an excuse not to go through the torture of seeing your little ones get those shots, but try living in a third-world country with no access to even the most basic medicine! Now that's something to get upset about! Rant over, for now!

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  11. My son is vaccinated because I couldn't bare the idea of him contracting polio or something and it being my fault in any way and I'll do them all including HPV. There are over 100 kinds of HPV and 30 of them cause genital warts and if I can help my son avoid those as well, I will.


    That being said, I don't care if your kid is vaccinated because mine is. I know there's a girl sharing the same classroom as he is at school and I don't worry that they touch the same toys. That kid BTW has not been sick all school year. I kid you not, and I know because I'm the teacher. I don't know what's best because I'm not a doctor. I followed the best advise I could find and went with my gut, just like I did with any other decision that I think is important. Doctors are the experts, but they change their minds too (and some have).


    Anyway, I'm not saying your opinion is wrong, this was a great post and food for thought.

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  12. Thanks, Angela! Yeah, the drug companies are DEFINITELY taking things a little far with "the hype." That's amazing that you do all the research before making a decision!! Some of those "band wagons" are sketchy, right?

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  13. Lisa, I love your rants. Please feel free to drop one off anytime you'd like. :)

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  14. I TOTALLY appreciate your point of view!! I'm not trying to ruffle feathers, I'm just suggesting that it shouldn't be a "private" matter since not vaccinating could potentially affect other families. Thanks for leaving a comment!! :)

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  15. I am currently still recovering from hand foot & mouth disease (in myself, not my toddler) so I feel your pain (literally). As someone with a compromised immune system, I think it is is your right to ask uncomfortable questions to protect the health of you and yours. If people find it offensive, well then, its their right to be offended as I walk my ass away.

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  16. disqus_pr25ZTKzOvJuly 8, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Um, condoms do not protect against HPV, so you lost me at that point. HPV can be transmuted far more easily than that, and boys are the carriers that silently pass it on to the majority of women, even with "protected" sex. I'm pro-vaxx, but that was an odd example to segue into your analogy.

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  17. OMG, You should DEFINITELY inform the CDC that condoms don't protect against HPV, because they seem to think that "Condom use may reduce the risk for HPV infection and HPV-associated diseases (e.g., genital warts and cervical cancer)"


    SOURCE= http://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/latex.htm, updated July 22, 2014



    The point of this post is that we have the right to ask the questions. Whether or not people are honest with us, is out of our hands.


    Thank you for your comment.

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