Monday, August 03, 2009

National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month.

When my son was born there was a discussion between his mother and I about "do we or don't we" immunize. She in particular had been impacted by the propaganda from the alternative crowd of the horrors of immunization. Yes, the discussion of autism came up, even back then. Our pediatrician at the time did give her a little flier on the subject, but was pretty exhasperated with her, and actually got very "snippy" with her on it. That didn't help. Fortunately, today there is an even greater and easier access to good information.

In the end I felt that the evidence was clear - there was no evidence supporting a link to autism, and the positives greatly outweighed the potential negatives, especially with the extremely low odds for negative side effects. We immunized fully.

I have never regretted this; I regret, however, that there are still those who are still suspicious and stubborn and who have been "poisoned" by the irrational thinking of the pseudo-scientific businesses. Fortunately, there is alternative information about this alternative thinking. I understand the emotions of the issue; I also understand the emotions of those who's children have contracted a preventable disease because a group of parents are too stupid to educate themselves; are too suspicious to trust those who know best; have been indoctrinated by people who have products to sell that will only sell if people stop trusting those with the best knowledge and start to believe the vacuous claims of these alternative medicine companies.

It was a tough question; however, as one who grew up seeing the very real effects of polio on my father's generation, I fully understand how real these epidemics were - and can be once again. Jenny can chant "Green our Vaccine" - it is green. It has been made even greener as a precaution. It's safe and the evidence is there to support that. Stop with the false claims and nonsense and listen to the evidence. Let this be the month of education...of awareness.