I try to stay out of debates over parenting techniques and keep my opinions on sleeping, snacking and soothing to myself because frankly, everyone should do what they think is best for their family. But there is one thing that compels me to speak up. Vaccinations.
As we recover from jet lag, we are trying to keep Addison busy (and awake) during the day. However there will be no Aquarium, Science World, Granville Island, or anywhere else involving crowds of kids, especially during chaotic Spring Break. We can’t afford the risk of running into some nasty measles germs. Our heart transplant daughter CANNOT get the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine because it is a live vaccine. She is completely unprotected and we are dependent on society as a whole to protect her from a disease which could kill her, or at the very least send her to the hospital for an extended stay. This only works if 90+% of people are immunized. Unfortunately, that isn’t happening.
It makes me angry and sad when I read about the more than a hundred children who have fallen ill. I am also taken aback by comments made by a pastor in Chilliwack who claims vaccines “interfere with God’s care”. Read the article here. The part that really boggles my mind is this pastor’s belief that it is ok to accept medical treatment after someone gets sick, but it isn’t acceptable to get a vaccine which will help prevent the illness. Where is the logic in that?
I could go on and on and list all the facts and figures from medical experts, but there is plenty of that out there already. I know the vaccination debate is contentious and fraught with emotion. And yes, as parents we are all entitled to decide what is best for our children. But as a society, we are also responsible for ensuring we take care of each other whenever we can and help keep all our children safe. We have rules about speed limits, our children use car seats, we buckle up our seat belts and don life jackets. We do all these things because society has decided they work to ensure safety and save lives. Why not vaccinate? I know my opinions probably won’t change anyone’s minds. Anti-vaccinaters tend to be vehement in their opposition. But at the very least, thank you to all of you who do vaccinate. Addison’s life depends on it.
Elaine, Aaron and Addison