Are You Pro-Vaccine or Anti-Vaccine? The Great Vaccination Debate | Parents

Periodically, my Facebook feed is flooded with shares about vaccinating children (the latest including the rehashing of Amy Parker's anecdotal Voices for Vaccines piece). Jammed full of polarizing language, the articles are usually anecdotal and devoid of any cited research, but they're sensational enough to be regurgitated  by even mainstream media who are clearly more focused on baiting us into clicking something than any potential impact on families.

The impact (or at least AN impact) is that a whole lot of people who have the luxury to debate it are now standing on one side or another of a line that says 'VACCINATE', calling each other stupid for being on the other side of the line.  If you want to see a parent with a moral superiority complex, just mention vaccination. And I guess if that was the aim, then success!!! We hit it. If, however, health and knowledge are the mark we need to shift our attitudes dramatically.

Having questions about what's being injected into your child doesn't make you ignorant, irresponsible, selfish, or mean you practice witchcraft (thanks, Parker, for that one). Asking questions about what's going into your child's body is intelligent, responsible, and rational. If you've had these questions, you know it doesn't mean you're 'anti-vaccine', or that you will choose not to vaccinate your children.

Your decision to vaccinate/not should not be based solely on anything parents say. Just because we're in the position of making weighty medical decisions doesn't mean we're highly qualified to do so. We try to make the best choices for our children, and we work hard to justify our choices. We tend to want to believe that we've done what's best, and what's right by our kids. Deep down, we know our choices may not always be right, and they're not necessarily right for other people's children either.

The fact that I choose to vaccinate my children does not mean it's the only rational choice to be made. It's not that simple. It's VERY simple to find information that agrees with our beliefs on google, in our circle of friends, and even from our medical practitioners. Finding information that challenges us to see the issue from other perspectives is more difficult, and assumes we actually want to be challenged (and frankly, many of us do not).

The desire to feel right doesn't make us better parents. The desire to make other parents 'wrong' doesn't make anyone a better parent.

If you're interested in vaccines/vaccination:

Here's the Schedule of Vaccines in Canada.
And other than immunogens, here are common ingredients found in vaccines in Canada: Public Health Agency of Canada

Here's the Schedule of Vaccines in the US.
Other than immunogens, here are common ingredients found in vaccines in the US Ingredients of Vaccines - Fact Sheet (via CDC)

Understanding the impact of these vaccines and their additives in every person's body is not something I'm qualified to do, and I would hazard a guess to say neither are you. So for all the 'but... but... buts' that end with some 'fact' from any side of the vaccination debate:

Us caregivers are entirely capable of speaking to one another with more respect about vaccinating. Even if you feel you're right, shaming, bullying, and intimidating people into choosing as you do is below you. It's below all of us.

Do you choose to vaccinate? Why/Why not?