Random Thoughts: The Well, That’s Just Depressing Edition

1. According to a study in Pediatrics trying to educate people who are against vaccinating their children about the dangers of NOT vaccinating their children made them double-down on not wanting to vaccinate their children. That is, if they were already against vaccinations, giving them facts was unlikely to change their minds.

So, what’s the next solution? I would vote for more stringent laws to make parents vaccinate their children before they can go to day care or school. If they don’t want to vaccinate, then they stay at home and homeschool (many parents who don’t want to vaccinate will take this option). No exemptions, not even religious (what religious groups take exception to vaccination, out of curiosity?).

What about discovering a positive message around vaccines? Such as, “Vaccinating your children *helps* other people who can’t receive vaccines or may have weak immune systems — like your children’s grandparents or a classmate who was treated for cancer.”

Do you think that would work?

Here’s the analysis in Mother Jones.

Vaccines are hot news. Because there have been several recent outbreaks of the measles — a vaccine-preventable disease. So far in 2014, there have been 54 cases of the measles in the United States.

2. And then there’s the article about Fox News and my FIL’s generation. I could identify way too much with this one.

Because of a recent change in my SIL’s schedule, I am spending more evenings at my in-laws’ this month. I’m thinking of asking my FIL to keep the TV off while the children are doing homework. I’m going to do it without saying “Fox News”. Wish me luck! (It’s as much about the noise level and the fact that the kids are very easily distracted from the work they should be doing. Dan and I are forbidding the girls from having their DS’es at Bella’s, too. It’s too hard trying to corral five children and their electronics!)

Interestingly, my parents, who are younger than my ILs (my parents are 69, my FIL is 74), are not Fox News hawks — to my knowledge. They certainly don’t quote Krauthammer or O’Reilly around me. I wonder why my FIL embraces Fox, but my parents don’t. Hm.

Ok, it’s Fat Tuesday. Go out, drink up, eat up, and prepare for Lent (if you’re into that). I hope this post didn’t bring you down too much.

12 thoughts on “Random Thoughts: The Well, That’s Just Depressing Edition

  1. There are two religious reasons for objection I can think of. I won’t comment on their reasonableness, and I won’t debate it here, either.

    1. Some vaccines may have been developed using cells from aborted embryos.
    2. Some object to the HPV virus because HPV is a sexually transmitted disease. To those who object, vaccinating against an STD is like admitting your kids will fornicate or encouraging them to do so.

    • With respect, I would like to see a citation for 1. I think I heard tell of a vaccine made from stem cells, but it’s like one strain, not any number of aborted embryos. I don’t think that’s correct.

      2. HPV virus is HPV virus. I don’t think vector should be a factor in administrating vaccinations. If parents are squeamish about their children eventually becoming sexually active people, they need to deal with that.

      • It *is* depressing news, and, as evidenced by many comment threads, we are in an age of unprecedented ignorance and magical thinking that frustratingly contradicts our technological advances. There are a dozen credible sources at the fingers of everyone on the internet: the CDC, the NIH, the WHO. But people ignore and sometimes even deny facts that challenge their world view. People spread misinformation, myths and misconceptions without checking their sources and often with a kind of defiance about the need to support what they say with evidence.There were entire BOOKS written about the whole vaccine/autism thing, for example, and that can be traced back to one study. One erroneous study. Talk about a deadly virus – what we need to be vaccinated against is ignorance.

        If someone tried to stop me from vaccinating my daughter against CANCER – which the HPV is linked to – because of the idea that doing so would somehow promote or condone promiscuity. I would tell them to get the f*ck out of our business and to stay away from my daughter, the healthy cancer-free slut. (Just like her momma)

        Regarding legislation, it may just come down to the goddamned Dept of Homeland Security getting involved because guess what – the decline of herd immunity is much more of a immediate threat to national security than North Korea and possibly even the destruction of the ozone layer.

    • Yeah, that’s my angle. Kids need a quiet place to work. I can send them upstairs when homework is over, and he’s free to turn Fox back on. Nothing I can do to change his choice of “news”. As with the vaccination study, trying to prove facts just makes Fox News watchers double down.

  2. I’m baffled by non-vaccinators. I haven’t yet had a chance to read this link for the Mother Jones article, but I’m excited to dive into it and see what there is to say. When I was pregnant with my oldest, there was another measles episode in PGH that was traced to the bus I had ridden that day. I was shaken, could think of nothing but my unborn baby and what might happen to us both if I contracted a high fever or similar.

    I’m baffled at the idea that the body might develop a natural immunity to something like polio if only given the chance. I would feel very comfortable indeed knowing all my kids’ peers at public school are part of the vaccinated herd–Lord knows there is enough other illness floating around to test their immune systems.

    Might Scientologists be one of the religious exemptors? My midwives were explaining that those folks also decline blood transfusions even if there is hemorrhage.

    • Right, the body doesn’t “develop natural immunity” to polio, measles, chicken pox. The body GETS SICK, and then has immunity — and may be blind, crippled, deaf, or, ya know, dead. So much for immunity. Vaccinations work almost too well, so well that these diseases were being wiped out. They are surging back in certain areas. And it’s scary.

      And I think Erin’s right, you mean Christian Scientists.

  3. UGH. I absolutely CAN NOT stand when people do not vaccinate their children for selfish reasons. It’s one thing to have a kid who cannot because they have reactions, low immunity, cancer…whathaveyou. But to not do it because some d list actress said her kid got autism from vaccines is asinine. I took care of a patient who had lock jaw once. LOCK JAW. If you don’t know, people die from that. She was gravely ill. A simple tetanus booster would have saved her from probable death. And she was an adult. I just. I just can’t.

    Get vaccinated.

  4. Recently a family friend who is about 66 got what she thought was a cold, but kept getting sicker and sicker. Turns out she had whooping cough and pneumonia. She missed three weeks of work and is still tired and having difficulty bouncing back. If it had been my dad, he would have died. Please for the love of other people’s parents, vaccinate your children. It’s hard enough to see little one’s coughing their lungs out, let alone the older folks

    • This is a good angle to promote. With the aging of the majority of the population, a whole new segment is going to have compromised immunity. Our generation of parents and the one on our heels (where most of the anti-vaxxers reside, demographically speaking) will need to start picking between their children and their parents. Little Billy is not going to be able to spend time with Pap-pap if Billy’s shots aren’t up to date.

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