shut up, jenny mccarthy!

When Paul and I were getting an ultrasound done, by a doctor who used to be head of high risk babies at Cedars-Sinai, he told us an anecdote about a woman who asked him about vaccinations. She had come in and asked him about whether vaccinations cause autism, and if they were really safe and necessary. He emphasized that yes, they were safe and yes, they were necessary. She listened to him, and then said, “well, I’m not going to vaccinate, just to be safe.”

Paul visibly winced in pain at the lack of science present in that philosophy. That autism myth comes from two sources, according to my pediatrician:

1) a study done in the UK with an insufficient sample size and
2) Jenny McCarthy

As a result. there was a measles outbreak in San Diego recently. Eleven kids came down with it, and thankfully, none of them died. But it raised a post about whether anti-vaccination means anti-feminist I think that’s stretching it a bit, but I do think it’s incredibly selfish because it relies on everyone else getting vaccinated. Do these people not realize how at-risk their kids will be if the mentality takes off and more people stop vaccinating because some idiot gets on TV and yells that it causes autism?

I had questions about vaccinating, so I talked to my pediatrician. I was concerned about the megadoses, so I asked, could I space the vaccinations out? Yes, I could – but then Ben would be at risk longer, and if I was at Whole Foods with him and he was exposed to one of those diseases in some kid whose parents DIDN’T vaccinate because they thought it caused autism, or because they didn’t want to deal with their kid possibly having a reaction to the vaccine, then my baby could die. So I said, please, go ahead, stick the needles in him! Let’s minimize the time he’s vulnerable to disease carried by a child whose parents are fuckwads who didn’t vaccinate.

Now, I do have a very robust and healthy baby. He was a little crabby the day after he got his last set of vaccinations, but he didn’t get sick after either set. He did get very ticked off when needles went into the chub on his legs, but my pediatrician was right when he said that the doses were so small that giving five vaccinations in one day was no worse or harder on Ben’s system than giving one or two at a time. And after reading The Vaccine Book, I stood by my decisions to get Ben vaccinated on schedule.

Still, we’re lucky to live in an era with vaccinations. Did everyone see John Adams when the kids were vaccinated for smallpox? They did that by poking infected pus under their skin. Now, it’s a quick, hygenic needle, and almost no chance of a bad reaction (ie. coming down with said pox). Without vaccinations, children are in danger of brain damage from fevers. sterility from mumps, death.

This reminds me. Ben is due back at the pediatrician Friday for his pre-daycare flu shot. Sigh.

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