I would rather be vaccinated

I’m Just Sayin’

by SHEILA SMITH

If you follow history, you will know that every time Europeans left their native land to discover new frontiers, the majority of the people they met dropped like flies. Early Europeans spread smallpox and influenza to new people like it was going out of style.

Those European illnesses wiped out native populations. Early South and North American peoples were devastated by the illnesses.

Today, we have modern medicine, technology and medical care to help us heal when we are sick. We know more about the need for proper nutrition and hygiene in order to stay healthy.

We also have these handy little things called vaccines.

Now, if you and I are alike in this area, we recognize the need for vaccines. For example, I am thankful that even though I was too young to make the decision myself, my parents chose to have me vaccinated. One reason I’m thankful is that I’m still alive. I’m thankful I was protected against such illnesses and diseases as tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella and others. That’s only my opinion for my life. Other people might be perfectly open to contracting polio, pertussis and rubella (or all three.)

I’m also a big supporter of the flu vaccine. Each year for the past seven or eight years, I’m usually one of the first to get my shot. I have not had the flu since I was in high school. True, I am healthy and not in an age group that is easily sickened. However, I have worked and lived with people over the past few years who have had the flu and I have remained healthy. For that, I am also thankful.

I am not saying the shot is a sure thing and that I will never have the flu again if I always get my shot. What I am saying is I would rather get a shot than be laid up in my house for days upon end while I suffer with fever, chills, aches, sneezing, congestion and odd body fluids; not to mention, Tami-flu is overpriced, even with insurance.

Of course, I encounter many who shun vaccines of any kind, for their children and themselves.

When the topic of flu shots came up recently, a friend, who believes like many others, said I was crazy for putting “that stuff” in my body.

“It’s made up of dead things and chemicals,” she said. “It’s all about money for the pharmaceutical companies and government. Do you know what that stuff does to kids now?”

Now, because I speak to my doctor and do my own research, unlike those who cling to the words of government conspiracy websites and hippie-inspired blogs, I know what is in a flu shot. I know it is comprised of an inactive form of the virus. I know that it does not protect against every single strain of flu (and there are many). I know if I have certain medical conditions or allergies, I should not take the shot. I know if I have already been exposed to the flu then receive the shot, chances are I could still present with the flu. Even if I get the flu shot, I could still contract the virus later in the season.

I also know that vaccines of many varieties have been linked to physical and mental disabilities, and even death, in babies and very young children. I do not dispute that some react adversely to vaccines and that some children are facing serious issues because of vaccines.

However, here is something else I know – if we eliminated vaccines altogether, from those issued to infants all the way to the flu shot, how many of our children would be alive? How many of our elderly would be alive? The flu would definitely be rampant then. What about those suffering from other illnesses and diseases that would become exposed to the flu on a mass scale? You can call vaccines a conspiracy but please do not try to tell me the flu and smallpox are conspiracies that have survived since before the Dark Ages.

When the Europeans met their new friends centuries ago, a big reason diseases wiped out tribes was because they had never been exposed to those illnesses, so they could not build any immunity against the disease. Even with some immunity, the hygiene and medical standards were so poor until the 20th century, I personally doubt the survival rate would be much better.

On one particular episode of the former television series “House,” a young mother brought in her baby because the child appeared to be sick. The mother told Dr. House that she and her husband had decided against vaccinations because it’s a corporate scam meant to make money and get people sicker so they have to get more medicine. Instead, they were relying totally on breast milk to keep the baby’s immune system strong.

Here was the doctor’s awesome, on-point response, while he played with the baby’s “all natural” stuffed frog toy: “All natural, no dyes. That’s a good business – all-natural children’s toys. Those toy companies, they don’t arbitrarily mark up their frogs. They don’t lie about how much they spend on research and development. And the worst that a toy company can be accused of is making a really boring frog. You know another really good business? Teeny, tiny baby coffins. You can get them in frog green, fire engine red. Really. The antibodies in (breast milk) only protect the kid for six months, which is why these (vaccine companies) think they can gouge you. They think that you’ll spend whatever they ask to keep your kid alive. Want to change things? Prove them wrong.”

Do I completely trust the medical or pharmaceutical industry? Oh, gracious, no.

But since hundreds of thousands to millions of us are not dying each year from preventable illnesses, something tells me vaccines just might work.

Short URL: http://www.jenningsdailynews.net/?p=24943

Posted by on Jan 22 2014. Filed under Editorial Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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