August AtoZ: Vaccinations Are for Wusses
… or at least that’s what I hear. Word on the street is that we are killing our immune systems by not exposing ourselves to the more seedy sides of life. And worse, that we are setting up entire generations of autistic kids. So the question on the minds of many parents today is this:
Vaccinations all around? Or skip out and play the cards?
I will admit, I don’t get my flu shot. The only time I ever had one was during Basic Training, when the U.S. Army forced it upon me, along with a slew of other shots I can no longer recall beyond the intense pain left in my should for the next week.
It’s not so much that I take an active stance on avoiding the flu shot. It’s more that I just don’t think about it, and so it never comes to pass. I see signs in the pharmacy, and think to myself, “Self, are you up for a flu shot today?”
And then I answer myself in as British an accent as possible (or maybe it’s Australian; I haven’t quite got the details worked out yet), “Certainly not, Self, as you well know. I haven’t time for such tomfoolery in my busy skadoolie.”
Nah, just kidding. I see the sign and keep right on doing whatever it was I had been doing, because an unexpected shot — the time, money, and suffering — isn’t something you just do on a lark. At least, not in my life. More power to you if that’s your cuppa tea and whatnot. I, however, am not overly fond of pointy things piercing my skin, even if it’s (allegedly) for my own good.
Even when that whole swine flu / H1N1 scare was upon us, I didn’t get my flu shot. No, for realz. And I was among those most panicked, I will admit in all chagrined honesty. I just never got around to it. I did, however, get my kids on the list, and they were among the first to receive the secret new special-sauce formula created to roust those naughty blood cells gone awry. Or whatever.
My daughter ended up getting that stupid H1N1, or some alternate version thereof, in spite of the vaccinations, so how’s that for playing it safe?
But enough about the flu. Let’s talk about Whooping Cough. I totally get that vaccinations are essential in keeping the nasties at bay. But — whoopsy! (haha, sorry, I couldn’t resist!) — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Whooping Cough is on the rise. Which I find weird, because I thought this was one of those old-school diseases like the plague that went bye-bye with the Middle Ages. Apparently I was wrong, and it’s been around lurking for centuries, peaking every so often. And we’re in a peak this year. Great.
Maybe I had a different disease in mind when thinking about one that was all gone with the sands of time. Like, for example, The Plague, also known fondly as The Black Death. Bubonic Plague. Yeah, totally a thing of the past. Right?
Not so much. It’s making the rounds, albeit in small Western circles of the U.S. Circles so small, as a matter of fact, the CDC doesn’t even have a specific page dedicated to this fun-times icky-ness beyond the uber-generic “Plague”. And we all know the term “Plague” can cover a lot of ground. Zombies, anyone?
But who cares about all that, anyway? From what I could find, this disease truly is moot for the purposes of this article, because the U.S. doesn’t even carry vaccinations for Bubonic Plague. *grody*
Note to self, and any who’d like to follow my lead: Avoid fleas at all costs. Avoid them like… (wait for it)… the plague! BAM!
I’ve heard rumors that (a) vaccinations are lending toward the causation of autism, and/or (b) vaccinations make autism immensely more difficult to work with. What I didn’t realize, until a Google search clued me in, is that it’s apparently a VERY controversial topic. I mean, yeah, I’m going for that this month, but for some reason I just had the impression this would be one of my more tame pieces.
Type in “Vaccinations” and, among the first three topics to pop up, you’ll find “Vaccinations and Autism”. Zowie! That’s a lot of people looking into an issue I was ready to dismiss. My apologies to the autism community for not knowing my ass from a hole in the ground!
So yeah, there’s controversy there, all right. No doubt about it. But here’s the thing. I’m totally unqualified to offer my opinion. I neither work in that field, nor to my knowledge am aware of anyone personally who is impacted by the dissenting research.
Beyond, of course, my online community of friends. And I’m hoping they pipe up in the comments to lend support one way or the other. Really, unless you’re a professional or a family member of someone with autism, I don’t see how anyone else is justified in having an opinion on vaccinations as they relate to autism. What’s your two cents?
Throughout the money of August 2012, my dear friend Aaron @dadblunders and I are doing a dry run of the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. This past April was my first official participation in such activity, and I had no idea what I was doing. No theme, no forethought, purely spur-of-the-moment. This time around, I have a plan. Join the fun!
For this event, I am engaging in a month of controversy. Consider yourself forewarned.