President Obama states dogmatically that all children should be vaccinated. “Grandmother” and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton agrees, and says that she has science on her side. On the other hand, Governor Chris Christie, with a more “balanced approach, states that although he vaccinated all four of his children, parents should not be required to immunize. Senator Rand Paul agrees, declaring that minors do not belong to the state, but to their parents. Most of these presidential hopefuls preach what their constituents want to hear, President Obama notwithstanding.
When it comes to inoculating against measles and other infectious diseases, parents truly are the ones who should decide whether or not to vaccinate. Politicians flip flop when the situation fits, but parents, and not politicians live with those decisions.
Those who choose not vaccinate their children do so for a number of reasons. First, diseases such as measles are rare, they protest. Doctors state that its scarcity is due to the number of vaccinated individuals in the community who are not spreading the disease. Secondly, adults believe that measles is not terribly dangerous. Although parents may only have to deal with fever, cough, and a red dotted rash rare complications such as encephalitis or death can occur. Lastly, parents are concerned about the side effects that immunizations can bring.
Jenny McCarthy took a pummeling for her strong antivax stance, and her image has yet to recover. She recently stated in a New York Daily News article that she is not anti-vaccine, but suggests that doctors administer fewer shots at visits, especially with regard to infants and babies.Although not specific to measles, her book Louder Than Words chronicled the change in her son Evan from a bright and vibrant toddler to seizing boy trapped in a world of his own after a vaccination.
Not every parent has the money to invest in their child’s recovery as she did. If avoiding vaccinations can prevent the problems it caused Evan, then leave them in doctor’s syringe, they say. Besides, there is no guarantee that the vaccinated will not contract the disease. In fact, anti-vaxxers claim that those in media outlets are silent when it comes to reporting the number of vaccinated individuals who catch the disease.
We continue to hear about pockets of wealthy and informed individuals who choose not inoculate due to concerns about side effects. Some politicians state that the infected are showing up in the undocumented immigrant population, coming from countries with immunization policies not as standardized as here in America. Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama said the same, but he is not running for president. Remarkably, Ben Carson echoed the same sentiment. On CNN, the presidential-hopeful stated as dogmatically as President Obama, that “undocumented people” are causing the outbreak. He urges that they be screened and subsequently vaccinated against infectious diseases.
What do anti-vaxxers do when an outbreak such as the measles comes to the forefront? They do not listen to vacillating politicians or celebrities, but to naturopaths, who encourage them to shore up their children’s bodies with Vitamin A, an essential organic compound administered to children in developing countries for the treatment and prevention of measles. Nutritional supplements such as black seed oil and Echinacea build up the body’s immunities, reducing the chance of transmittal.
By Danielle Branch