Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm kinda pissed off about whooping cough.

Typically, I don't blog too much about hot buttons like vaccines, not because I fear nasty comments but because I truly don't care what most people's opinions are. That's not saying I don't care what my readers opinions are, because I do. That's the whole point of this blogging thing, the back and forth. I just don't care about the random asshole who googled whooping cough or vaccines, found a post I wrote about it, and then anonymously comments something nasty because they don't agree with my stance.

Still, to this day the most popular post I've written is one from last year regarding whorish Halloween costumes for pre-teens. Google Analytics tells me so. I still occasionally get comments indicating I'm probably fat and bitter and that's why I dislike the whore-trend for Halloween. They really don't bother me in the least since these people got to my blog by googling "preteen whores". Google Analytics tells me that as well. And I'm pretty sure they weren't looking for a post on Halloween costumes so it's easy for me to ignore the perverts and pedophiles comments.

I have no doubt this post will piss off some people, but you know what? I'm pissed. I'm pissed that we have a whooping cough epidemic in California. Nine infants have died now. Infections are set to break a 55 year record. I have an infant now. My baby is at risk. Why?

Because parents have chosen to either not vaccinate their children, or delay vaccinations.

It's very popular in California to at the very least, get on a delayed vaccination schedule. Dr. Sears has his own schedule many parents follow, some do their own thing, some just don't get them at all.

As a result, babies are dying again. From a disease that we have a vaccine for. I used to not really give a shit if you vaccinated your kid or not. I figured we made the decision to fully vaccinate our kids on the current vaccination schedule, so even if your kid is walking around with polio, measles, mumps, whooping cough and the like, it didn't really matter to me because my kid would be safe.

But Travis can't get the first whooping cough vaccine until he's two months, and it's not complete until you have all 4 doses. Even then it's not 100%, like most vaccines are not. But it's better than nothing.

So now my kid isn't protected against the un-vaccinated crowd. And, this shit can kill. It is killing.

Thanks, guys. Happy with your decision?

I know many, many people who have either not vaccinated or delayed vaccinations. I respect that decision in only a handful of those cases. These are people that have seriously researched the shit out vaccines, the risks, the benefits and made their own schedule or own decisions based on a lot of research. I do respect their decision. I did the same thing and came to a different conclusion. That's fine.

The rest of the people just blindly followed either Dr.Sears or the parent in their mom's group that seems smart or just decided to do a delayed schedule because "it's a lot of shots at once." Sorry, that's not good enough. Ignorance has got us to this point.

I knew one mom who decided to do a delayed schedule. Told her pediatrician at their first appointment. The doctor had the gall to ask the mother, "Why?" She left in tears, and changed pediatricians. Why? Because she didn't have a fucking answer. Because it was the "in" thing to do, delay vaccinations. Because someone she knew did it. And this doctor asking her why was totally offensive to her. It shouldn't be offensive. You should have an answer why. A good one.

I'm fully aware that vaccinations are not 100% safe. I understand there are risks and for some people, the benefits do not outweigh those risks. But those people account for a small part of the population that has chosen to not vaccinate. If it were just those people, we would not have this epidemic. We have the epidemic because too many idiots jumped on the bandwagon.

I guess for many it's easy to make decisions to delay or not vaccinate because we haven't seen these diseases around and so for many, it's too abstract to even wrap your brain around. But it hasn't been that long since many of these diseases were killing people. We are really just one generation away from most of them. There is a reason our generation hasn't seen them. They're called vaccinations. But get used to seeing them now, because they will all start to rear their ugly head.


SwishDesigns said...

I feel exactly the same way. I did delay the MMR though - but I feel like I had a valid reason. May or may not have any medical validation but it was right by me. Now if my neighbor came down with measles, mumps or rubella, that would totally have changed my mind. Not sure what I'll do about N.

Julie said...

Amen and Halleluia, Sista!

Anonymous said...

*standing up and applauding* Thank you. Very well put.

I've been following your blog for awhile...never commented until now. I am a county public health nurse and I share the same sentiments written on this post. It truly angers me because ignorant decisions are turning into fatal consequences for others. Not to mention all of county money (that Lord knows we do not have) and resources (don't have much of this either) used to tract/investigate the pertussis cases. Each pertussis case must be investigated from parents all the way down to day care providers to who the family ate dinner with two weeks ago and whoever they came in contact with in between. Resources (nurses, community health workers, etc.) are being shifted to investigate these cases in order to keep the epidemic under control. It is costing a ton of money that the state/counties do not have. =(

Kelly said...

I could not agree more! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you!! But in the case of whopping cough, we need to remind adults to get the booster as well. Because this vaccine doesn't last forever like others, and it has only been included in the tetanus booster for a few years, so I've been encouraging all my family to get the booster as well...
(and some pedis are now giving the first of the series at 6 weeks - my nephew just got it this week)
-Laura (ladipale)

The Queen of Bed Rest said...

Having just had a Whooping Cough scare with our two month old (thank God that's not what it was!) I couldn't agree more. Very well said!
~Andrea (AnyaBella)

Stefanie K. said...

I don't even have a kid of my own, and I completely agree. The sensationalism of anti-vaccine is really scary to those too young (or sick, or otherwise unable to be protected) to be vaccinated yet. But completely aside from that - Laura's right that we have to get adults educated and vaccinated about whooping cough specifically because I think so many just don't realize what the risks are.

Jess said...

I wholeheartedly agree! Very well said.

Anonymous said...

Normally I lurk but just need to say that I agree 100%. It is absolutely horrifying to me that infants are dying because of ignorance. I have a friend who stopped vaccinating for no real reason that she could articulate and it breaks my heart that her decision could (will) affect many innocent people. I applaud you for standing up for this in an environment that can be very judgmental. Congratulations on your new beautiful baby boy as well! Glad to hear all is going well, hope the C section recovery is speedy!

April K. said...

Ugh...I fully agree. I work in an ER and we have been seeing our fair share of whooping cough, as well as mumps and other illnesses that are totally vaccine preventable...but the parents didn't vaccinate their kids because "it's just safer". I wonder if they'll feel that way when their kids' in an iron lung due to a polio complication. Drives me insane.

Lesley said...

Well said!

Michelle & Jeremy said...

I agree 1000%!!!!
Michelle (p2p91507)

Nacia said...

While my views on vaccinations have drastically changed over the years I do understand your concern. I believe in limited vaccines specific to each child. Both my husband and I have done our research and determined which ones we feel are most important (pertussis being one of them). We are currently pregnant with our 3rd kid and understand how deadly whooping cough can be for an infant. When our 6th grader was due for immunizations we asked that he ONLY get Pertussis (instead of the DTAP combination) to protect our baby once born. Unfortunately, even though we were well versed, our doctor bullied us into getting the whole shot. This and insufficient health car for many children has led to the outbreak. I agree that parents should NOT jump on "bandwagons" but should do their research and make informed choices about their children. Thanks for posting!