2 days ago, I discovered some strange looking spots on my not-quite-3 month old daughter. I told Jeremy I thought it was the chicken pox, because I remembered what they looked like when Joy got them after getting the vaccine, but of course, I tend to be a worrywort, so he told me they were probably just bug bites and to stop worrying about it. By yesterday morning, she had 4 spots, and by last night, had at least 12. This morning, she is covered. Yes, my almost-3 month old HAS THE CHICKEN POX!!
And the worst part of it is, without me knowing she was contagious, she potentially exposed a child at Seth's school who's sister is going through cancer treatment, who's very LIFE could be hanging in the balance if she gets the virus! A friend who is getting her BA in nursing informed me yesterday that its not exposure to the spots, but rather an airborn virus like a cold, and that people are most contagious 1-2 weeks before the spots show up. So without even knowing, for 2 weeks of being highly contagious, with no idea my daughter was spreading chicken pox around, I was exposing who knows how many other people by taking her into the school to pick Seth up each day. So yeah, not only am I angry that my own, very young child is sick, but I am even more angry that I am the parent who has to create mass panic at my son's school, and worry a family who is already going through the horror of cancer with their child by now being the one who's child potentially exposed their child to a disease that could be deadly to her! I AM a good citizen who vaccinates my children, so it INFURIATES me that I have been put in this position! The blood should NOT be on my hands if something happens to that little girl!!
Now, I am all for people doing what they believe is right by their family and their kids. But the problem is, when it comes to not vaccinating your child, you aren't just making the choice to potentially expose your own child, but if your child gets it, they are going to expose other people. Which, I believe, is precisely what happened to my daughter, and it makes me angry!! In my opinion, its selfish not to vaccinate your kids. You are putting them at risk, but what's worse is you're putting others, many with compromised immune systems, at risk too. Teenagers and adults who get chicken pox can end up hospitalized from complications. The elderly can die from it. Seriously, unvaccinators, how can you live with knowing you could inadvertantly be the cause of someone else's severe illness or death? Yeah, like I said, in my opinion, its selfish.
Now, I have been told, TO MY FACE, that I vaccinated my kids out of ignorance; that if I knew the facts, I "never would have subjected them to the risk of autism." Let me state for the record, in a class of 18, my 7 year old son is the highest reader, already at a stage-2 second-grade level. By the end of this school year, he could easily be at a 3rd grade level. And he is above grade level in spelling and math as well. He is social, kind, sweet, creative, and incredibly smart. As for my 4 year old daughter, she could legibly write her name 10 days after her 4th birthday. And yes, they were both vaccinated right on schedule.
So many people are too afraid to vaccinate their kids these days for fear of their child "catching" autism. They either don't vaccinate, or they put it off. Let me say right now, there is absolutely NO scientific evidence, no matter what Jenny McCarthy or anyone else might say, that PROVES there is a link between vaccines and autism. Pure logic would tell us that most kids who are vaccinated aren't autistic, and I am sure there are kids out there who weren't vaccinated and have autism. That's just life. I have a friend who has children with autism, and yes, they were vaccinated, but she doesn't blame the vaccines because she knows that theory is 100% bunk. Don't believe me? Well, do you believe the American Association of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, or the Institute of Medicine?
According to them:
From time to time, rumors circulate that thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative once used in several vaccines (and still used in some flu vaccine), could contribute to ASDs. However, valid scientific studies have shown there is no link. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Medical Association (AMA), the CDC, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) agree that science does not support a link between thimerosal in vaccines and autism. For the IOM report, please go to http://www.iom.edu/CMS/3793/4705/4717.aspx
What's more, the FDA states:
Thimerosal has been removed from or reduced to trace amounts in all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and younger, with the exception of inactivated influenza vaccine.
(Yeah, so WHO is the ignorant one here afterall?)
There is absolutely NO reason people should not vaccinate their kids! Now that the "supposed" risk (which never was!) has been eliminated, there is no excuse. NONE!! Unless your child has a compromised immune system, they need to be vaccinated. Period.
Why do you think kids are no longer dying of Rubella, or suffering from Polio? Because our parents and our parent's parents were smart enough to vaccinate them. If people cease to vaccinate out of unfounded fear, these diseases are going to make comebacks. We will not only never see chicken pox die out, but also see the comebacks of much worse diseases. As someone who is doing my part not to let that happen, I am angry that there are so many out there that are endangering my kids with their choices.
Like I said, this is purely my opinion (though 100% factually based!), and is coming from the "ticked off mommy" place, but under the circumstances, wouldn't YOU be ticked off too if your 3 month old had the chicken pox? And worse, if your child, who never should have been exposed in the first place, exposed a child who could potentially die from this disease? Think about it.