Right, I’m about to have a rant. Sorry. Blog.
I’ve just had an extremely unpleasant exchange on that forum of mundanity, Facebook .
I know, I know.
I called people who refuse to vaccinate their children fuckwits.
Now, apart from parents who can’t vaccinate their kids, for medical reasons, I stand by that.
Someone responded with the usual blah, and their little friend. (idiocy always finds an ally) replied “hah, owned”.
No. Not owned.
Apart from your flat earth opinions based on pseudo science and scare mongering your kids still benefit from vaccinations.
Oh yes, very clever, letting them benefit from herd immunity.
That very herd immunity that is conferred by parents having their children immunised.
Parents whom you hold less “informed”, parents less “concerned” with their children’s “safety”.
Parents who you posit, by implication are “lesser” parents than you.
If it weren’t for those parents, and their oh so “limited understanding” of the “facts” , diseases like Poliomyelitis , tuberculosis , variola, varicella zoster, rubeola, rubella, diphtheria , pertussis, tetanus, meningitis C &B, plus various pneumococcal infections* would still disable, maim, and KILL children, in their millions.
Haunt the darkest nights of every parent.
Now, I’m assuming your children are medically heathy, well fed, genetically and nutritionally endowed with vigorous constitutions.
Not every child is thus blessed.
Some children cannot be immunised, because of medical conditions that make vaccination risky.
Think, for a moment, what would happen to those children, if parents such as I , whose decisions you disdain , thought as you.
If there were no herd immunity.
It’s already happening. Children with compromised constitutions have died. DIED. Here, in the UK, of diseases such as mentioned above.
In a country where healthcare is some of best in the world, arguably *the* best – for being completely free at the point of use.
In a country where childhood immunisations are universally available and universally free.
All because parents like you refuse to contribute to herd immunity. Some of you even hold parties to infect each other’s children, blithely oblivious to the danger that one of those children could well have an undiagnosed condition which compromises their ability to fight infection.
Blithely oblivious that they could spread an infection to a child un-vaccinated for perfectly sound medical reasons, an immuno-compromised adult, or a pregnant woman.
Bill Gates, heard of him?
He’s paying billions towards vaccination programmes worldwide, one of which may relegate poliomyelitis to the same dustbin of history as variola*. Forever.
He disagrees with you.
Millions of scientists, doctors, nurses, medics, worldwide, disagree with you.
The parents of the BILLIONS of children still alive today,worldwide, because of immunisation programmes, disagree with you.
Those children themselves will disagree with you, one day, when they’re immunising their own children.
So, if you think that I , and they, are “owned” by your smugly erudite ignorance ,
then what does that make you?
As a postscript, I’d like to add that this is also, very much, a feminist issue.
Whilst Women still bear the burden of ensuring the next generation grows to adulthood, and while it takes a village to raise a child, it follows that I, as a western woman, have responsibility toward every child, not just mine own.
It also follows that it is a matter of privilege, which we as women, and parents, have a DUTY to check, and fully utilise, as refusal is an insult to those who’d sell their souls to protect their young.
*variola . Major and minor. Otherwise known as smallpox. This was still killing people in the UK as recently as the 1960s, and later elsewhere.
I was born in the 1960s- so but for the grace of god , and mass immunisation – it could just as likely have killed me as any other, more “minor” childhood infection.
**I’m a *Leading Medical Assistant*, late of the Royal Navy, not as the civilian definition infers, but rather more a cross between an Emergency Care Practitioner, and a Independent Care Practitioner, depending upon the context of their drafts .
The training, and roles of Royal Navy medics have no exact parallels in civilian medical professions, as they frequently have to deliver definitive emergency treatment and stabilisation, as well as the more mundane(ibuprofen, tubigrip and lice lotion) treatments, without the presence (within hundreds of miles) of an attending physician.
They are also responsible for first aid training and health education within the Royal Navy.
Individually, I’m also a qualified Wilderness EMT, First Aid Instructor,and Diver Medical Technician.
***That aside, as a Feminist, As a Socialist, as a mother, I pray for a world in which no child, EVER, has to fear catching anything more serious than headlice.
**** Also, more on vaccination scares from Ben Goldacre, author of “Bad Science”
And this most recently , courtesy of BBC News. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-25708715