Amuse Me

| February 7, 2013 | 6 Comments

I’m going to come clean right off the bat and tell you that the title of this post is inaccurate and off topic and for that I apologize. It might not amuse you. It certainly isn’t meant to upset you. And, I’m not looking for a hotbed of judgement from either ‘side’ in this debate! I’m not debating. I’m just sharing. Like religion and pro choice topics, this one also tends to scratch people one way or another. And I’m all for scratching. Just not looking for a hot and itchy mess full of  judgement, ridicule, SHOUTING, fear, righteousness and probably a whole other mess of things. There’s enough forums already out there doing just that.

Immunization. There. I said it. Immunization.

I’ve been reading a lot about the immunization debate lately. Partly because my daughter is of an age when new shots are recommended and partly because everyone seems to be talking, posting, researching and writing about it. There are reports and articles and conferences and more. It’s everywhere and really hard to ignore, especially in the age of social media.

I’m not going to spew a bunch of facts about vaccines and I’m not going to link to a plethora (oh I rarely get to use that word) of links that are for or against any vaccines. There’s already enough of  that out there and the fights…wow… the fights. The mean and judgy peeps lurk everywhere. I think part of it is fear and insecurity mixed in with passion and protection. I get that. I just wish people would keep it to themselves. It almost seems like some view their position as a religion. Like they have to go out and witness and get on soap boxes with their message which they often believe is the only right one. Instead, I’m just going to share a recent experience.

Not too long ago I took my daughter for an immunization. This was a clinic at a school and there were a lot of different shots being offered. It’s great for the one stop immunization shoppers for sure. I was in the ‘express’ line as my daughter was only receiving one shot that day. I filled out the forms and checked the immunization needed and waited.

Our names were called and we proceeded to the station but not before I had already been asked not once or twice, but three times and then questioned once more about only getting the one shot. Everyone was nice but they kept asking and as someone who communicates for a living, I’ll admit, it was beginning to make me itchy. Even once we arrived at our station, the nurse, who was awesome with my needle apprehensive daughter, also reminded me that there were other immunizations available. She was nice and smiled and I was nice and smiled back, reiterating that I was aware of the additional shots but that we were only there for the one today. My point here is that I was asked numerous times and being polite helped, but I was a bit agitated that I had to keep saying no when they had the sheet of paper right in front of them with our request. Had I been of a different personality, not done my own personal research or not been sure in my decision, I might have felt pressured but those that know me are aware that this would never be the case.

Since my children, ages 12 and 18, were born, many newer immunizations have emerged. More to think about. More to research. Way more choices to make and then some. When my kids were young I didn’t have to think about chickenpox vaccines or something for ear infections. There was nothing in a needle for meningitis AND no one would have known what HPV even stood for. This all in addition to the ‘regular’ vaccines that most parents received when they were young and has continued to be the protocol for their own children.

The newer vaccines provide a challenge when it comes to research. I feel there isn’t enough. In my opinion, many of these vaccines haven’t been out long enough for relevant or long-term effect studies to be conducted and published. Also, like with any product, the manufacturer is only going to communicate information that supports,elevates and endorses their products. That’s just a given right? It also makes it harder to find independent and long-term studies. So like everything else we buy into, especially big things like houses, cars and children…we have to do our research and then make a decision. Some will share their decisions and others won’t. Some will judge others and some will not. Some will just let sleeping dogs lie and/or respect others freedom of choice. This could save a lot of grief if your choices don’t sit well or coordinate with the masses as the ridicule, especially with today’s ability to hide behind multiple screens, can prove unbearable, questionable and often borders on bullying and I am referring to both sides of the coin; pro and con.

I guess my point is that it’s your choice, like many things in life and I don’t think enough is being said about that.


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  1. Amuse Me « Laurel E. Anderson | February 7, 2013
  1. dealingwithcopd says:

    Laurel, Very good post, I grew up during the age, when you went to school, and the nurse gave you a shot. No questions, no debate, no argument. My daughter also got every vaccination thru school without question, and to be honest I have never given it any thought, it is what it is. Your post might up the awareness, but you were right, either your on this fense or off, or you just don’t care. I think I am off the fense and not caring. Take care — Bill

  2. I wish every decision in parenting could be made without fear of judgement. It just doesn’t work that way unfortunately.

  3. These days the more educated the mother, the less vaccines a child receives. Marcia Angell, former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine says:

    Over the past two decades the pharmaceutical industry has moved very far from its original high purpose of discovering and producing useful new drugs. Now primarily a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit, this industry uses its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way, including the US Congress, the FDA, academic medical centers, and the medical profession itself.

    Former Director of the NIH and the Red Cross Bernadine Healy also expressed concerns about why we are over-vaccinating our children.

    I think you are smart to question, and I think it is coercion to be asked/questioned so many times, no matter how politely.

  4. Lola says:

    Thanks for stopping by. I totally agree-the more one reads about it, the more one knows. I think some don’t want to know or have to figure it out-like a lot of things-as it seems overwhelming. I’ve read more than enough to feel confident in my decisions and don’t need to go to war with others over theirs. And I know you ‘get’ what I am saying:)

  5. kathy downey says:

    I guess we all need to make our own personal decision if we want to use this service on our children,when i grew up and went to school,the nurse came in gave you a shot and that was the end of it.

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