I told myself that I would never write about vaccines. It is a scorching hot topic, and honestly I don’t want to get burned. But here I am, because I have this sneaking suspicion that maybe I’m not alone in feeling the way I do.
My daughter had her two year old well baby visit this week. And I was feeling very anxious leading up to the visit because I knew we’d have to face the issue of vaccines again with our doctor.
Let me start by saying that I am not pro-vaccine and I’m not anti-vaccine. The truth is that I really don’t know where I stand on vaccines. And I think therein lies the problem. Not just for me, but for this issue and all of the controversy surrounding it.
I’m looking for some kind of middle ground. A place where I can feel comfortable with the decisions we are making about vaccinating our children. But every where I look, there are only two extreme sides to this issue. (And maybe I’m just looking in the wrong places.) But honestly, I don’t want to have to choose either side.
I fall somewhere in the middle, but that puts me on very shaky ground. And shaky ground is not a place I want to be making important health decision for my children from.
Here’s my problem as I see it: I know too much to be 100% comfortable with vaccines. I know too little to be 100% comfortable with not vaccinating.
Here’s what I’m looking for: trustworthy, factual information about vaccines from trustworthy sources, without a conflict of interest.
15 Reasons I’m Looking for Middle Ground on Vaccinating my Child
I want to have an adult conversation about vaccines with my doctor.
I want to be taken seriously and shown understanding when I ask questions at the doctor’s office about vaccinations instead of being brushed off with an eye roll, or worse: belittled, talked down to, or harassed.
I want my doctor to be truly educated about vaccines enough to be able to handle my questions without using scare tactics. I want my doctor to provide me with guidance about which vaccines are most important and which are okay to be delayed or skipped altogether.
I want to talk honestly about the risks of vaccines as well as the risks of the diseases they are made to prevent.
I want to talk about the fact that vaccines are not 100% effective.
I want to talk about the reality that vaccines are marketed to consumers in the same way that toys, or food, or beauty products are.
I want to talk about why the current vaccine schedule is so intensive and who is actually benefitting.
I want to talk about the real risks of unvaccinated children on the spread of disease, instead of fear mongering and sweeping generalizations. I want facts about the recent outbreaks of certain vaccine preventable diseases and whether those who caught the disease were truly unvaccinated, instead of media sensationalism.
I want real research done on vaccinated versus unvaccinated children.
I want to be offered an alternative schedule that I feel comfortable with without having to just make it up as I go.
I want to be provided with information about vaccines beyond what the pharmaceutical companies and the CDC offer.
I don’t want to get in fights with people when I question the necessity of the current vaccine schedule.
I don’t want pat answers like, “This is the way we do it,” when I question the necessity of the current vaccine schedule.
I don’t want to feel pressured, bullied, guilted, or harassed into giving a vaccine to my child. Ever.
I don’t think I’m alone in wanting these things for myself and my children.
And I don’t just want this for me, I want this for ALL parents.
Especially those who don’t have hours upon hours to do their own research about this these issues. Especially those parents who don’t even know that they’re allowed to ask questions, that they’re allowed to question the current vaccine schedule.
It seems to me like there is a huge piece of the vaccination puzzle that is missing – the middle ground. The place where it’s okay for me to ask questions, and I can choose which vaccines to give to my child, and at a pace I feel comfortable with. A place where I don’t have to feel like a terrible parent because I do vaccinate, or be told I’m a terrible person and parent because my child is only partially vaccinated.
As parents, we have the right to make informed and knowledgeable decisions about our children’s health care. We don’t have to blindly trust and follow a vaccination schedule when our questions don’t get satisfactory answers.
We need to know that it’s okay to question. We need to know that we don’t have to choose a side.
We need to know that it’s okay for us to feel uncomfortable, worried, or anxious about giving our children vaccines. We also need to know it’s okay to feel nervous and worried about our child catching a vaccine preventable disease. We need our feelings to be validated and accepted, without backlash from the medical community, media, or other parents who might feel differently than us.
We need to know that there are other parents out there who feel similar to us, and are asking the same questions and seeking the same answers that we are. Can we join together in looking for these answers?
I feel like this is such an important issue for the health of our children that I want and expect more and better answers. I want a solid middle ground. I don’t know, is that too much to ask?
After talking with some of my natural living blogging friends who have had similar experiences and have similar questions and feelings, it helped me to feel like I’m not alone standing out here in the middle on this issue. Sometimes I feel like I’m on a deserted island, but I’m pretty sure there are lots of other parents out here with me.
I’m hoping we can elevate the conversation beyond two opposing sides or views. I’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences, and questions on this issue, but I will be monitoring the comments closely to make sure that the conversation remains productive and respectful. Disrespectful, mean, hateful, or otherwise unproductive comments will be deleted at my discretion. Let’s be adults and have an adult conversation about this. Thanks!