Vaccinations appear to be a hot topic in Christian circles. I'll state right away that I'm not a believer in conspiracy theories, stuff about aborted babies and things like that. I don't see vaccines as a moral issue, I look at them purely in the terms of health. I also don't believe that vaccines don't work, with an exception of flu vaccine. The question is, do they work as intended?
While vaccines may prevent some infectious diseases, there is a theory that the overuse of vaccinations leads to such chronic diseases as, for instance, cancer.
How dangerous is measles anyway? I'm sure we've all heard scary stories about the high mortality rate of measles (and I'll be honest with you, my parents had a neighbour who became blind from measles, but it happened after the war when nutrition wasn't optimal). Here is at least one doctor who says, not really. Yet the amount of scaremongering which goes around is unbelievable. The funny thing is that the exactly same arguments are used to promote flu shots (high mortality rates, everyone will die, etc etc).
I'll tell you about my personal experience with vaccinations. In my youth, there weren't so many. I've got the one with diphtheria and tetanus on time, but my mother waited with MMR until I was 4 and had to go to school. I still remember how sick I became, I had fever and was ill for several days. Short after this, they had to take my appendix out and had they been 5 minutes too late, I'd probably die as the thing exploded in the surgeon's hands. After this, I've had all sorts of health problems through my youth, all connected with low immunity. Was it a coincidence? I don't know...We do know though that it's the MMR which is notorious for its complications and autism connection.
As I became older, flu vaccines started spreading. My mother worked in healthcare and could always get them for free. She insisted that everybody in the household got his flu shot every winter. And each year I took it, I was horribly sick. Then I married my husband and stopped taking them. One year I would be sick, another I wouldn't. Last couple of winters we took cod liver oil from Norway and had no problems with flu whatsoever.
And then there is something else to consider. When I took this ill fated MMR shot, I was told that I'd get a lifelong immunity. But now it appears that the immunity only lasts 5 till 20 (30?) years. They don't know themselves, but they are pushing everyone in the risk groups to get vaccinated yet again.
Now let's talk about whooping cough. I think it sits in the tetanus shot which I got several of while growing up and which my mother once nearly died from as she got a severe allergic reaction to it. Supposedly you'll never get whooping cough, either? Wrong. I'm pretty sure I got it while in my early twenties, as I had all the classic symptoms including night fits when I felt like I was coughing my lungs out. The doctor looked at me and said it was tracheitis, though. I think you get my point?
Again, I'm not entirely against vaccinations. Wouldn't take my chances with polio or tetanus, but things like chicken pox? A couple of years ago every child used to have it, but once the vaccine became available, they are spreading the same scary story about it like they do with flu and measles. I wonder I survived it (and yes, I got some complications, but they weren't so bad).
Another example is the HPV vaccine. They started pushing it on girls first, now in some countries they want to vaccinate boys, too. (One died from it). If you are against the vaccine, you are called a religious bigot. I read a bit on the topic. It appears that 95% of all women will get a HPV infection at least once in their lives, yet only 1 in 10 000 will ever develop the dreaded cancer and that mostly in her 50s, up to 40 years from her first infection. Now there is something fishy going on, don't you agree? It's like they claim that somebody who had measles can 40 years later get a stroke and die, and that happens from measles. Yes, they seriously push this story.
Ultimately, vaccinations are the parents' choice. Most vaccinated children are doing quite fine and won't have any severe side effects. Whether it's really necessary and a wise thing to do in every case, is quite another thing. This post is getting rather long, so I'll split it in two and write more about the modern medical system another time.