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Chris Christie Says Vaccines Should Be Voluntary -- Is He Right?

Posted by on Feb. 4, 2015 at 11:37 AM
  • 13 Replies

Chris Christie Says Vaccines Should Be Voluntary -- Is He Right?

baby vaccinesNew Jersey governor and presumed presidential candidate Chris Christie said that he wants your children to catch measles and die! Or so you would think, based on the uproar triggered by his statement on Monday that American parents should be allowed some choice in the matter of whether or not to have their children vaccinated.

The opinion wasn’t a popular one, in light of an outbreak of measles that has sickened more than 100 people so far. Like any obsequious politician, Christie promptly backtracked on his comments, with his office issuing a follow-up statement that the governor believes “with a disease like measles, there is no question kids should be vaccinated.”

Still, Christie appears to be holding fast to his stance that immunizations should be voluntary.

And he’s not the only one. According to the National Vaccine Information Center, 50 states allow a medical vaccine exemption, 48 states allow a religious vaccine exemption (West Virginia and Mississippi are the exceptions), and 17 states allow a philosophical, conscientious, or personal belief exemption. And while smug critics love pointing the finger at groups they disagree with, the numbers show that the biggest clusters of families who don’t vaccinate come up in both red-state, Christian, home-schooling enclaves, and blue-state, organic, liberal communities (with Oregon leading the pack at 7 percent unvaccinated).

Rest assured, there’s plenty of support for leaving it up to parents to choose whether or not to vaccinate.

A recent survey by YouGov found 43 percent of Americans 30 and under -- almost half -- think it should be up to parents to decide whether or not to vaccinate. Another 21 percent of Americans 65 or older and 26 percent in the 45-64 age bracket agree.

Me, personally, I get my kids vaccinated on-schedule, including the non-mandatory HPV and Hepatitis shots. If the medical establishment has developed it, I want it.

But that’s me. That’s my choice. For my kids.

I happen to believe that there is no link between the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine and autism. But I know others who are certain that their child was fine beforehand and neurologically damaged afterward. Who am I to tell them differently? (I'm the one who wouldn't let her kid be labeled special needs. I believe a parent knows their child best.)

If a parent is convinced that their child’s health would be compromised by an MMR shot, I cannot summon up the moral authority to command, “No! You go and put your child at risk today, so that mine might not be at risk tomorrow.”

I also personally believe that requiring every child to be vaccinated would be what’s best for society. I believe a lot of things would be best for society (a much more rigorous school curriculum, an end to the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality, heck, I think people like Chris Christie should lose weight, as their obesity takes health-care resources away from others). But I know that there are many who disagree with me.

And I know that I have no right to force them to either see or do -- or eat -- things my way.

That said, while not getting your child vaccinated is a choice, not letting your unvaccinated child within 50 feet of mine is also a choice. A private organization like Disneyland (deemed the epicenter of the recent outbreak) could easily start demanding medical records as a condition for entering their park. And if they decline to do so, those who don’t want to inadvertently expose themselves to something deadly could express their displeasure by not fraternizing their establishment. This is where strength in numbers comes in, without getting the government involved. The same tactics could be employed by restaurants and other public places.

That includes schools. We heard recently about a Northern California dad who wants his son's elementary school to make the MMR mandatory. Right now, it isn’t. So the logical thing for the father of this immune-compromised child to do would be to transfer him to a school that complies with his beliefs. He can take action instead of forcing others to change theirs.

Chris Christie is right: I don’t have the right to tell others what to do, and I have every right to make my own decisions, accordingly.

What do you think of his comments?

 

Image via shutterstock

by on Feb. 4, 2015 at 11:37 AM
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Replies (1-10):
MamaLauri
by Silver Member on Feb. 4, 2015 at 1:58 PM
1 mom liked this

I agree, but parents and doctors should be educated by an independent science-based organization. Today unless a doctor is doing research at an university, often their only source of continuing education is from pharmaceutical companies. The CDC is heavily influenced by lobbying groups, including pharmaceutical companies.

People have varying levels of immune function, and vaccinations have various risks and effectiveness. Some vaccinations give little protection against current strains of the disease, but use live viruses. Sometimes the risk of the vaccination is greater than the disease, and others the risk of the disease is greater than the vaccination.

I support intelligent vaccinating. The HepB at 12hrs old and triples (eg. MMR and DTP) should never by given to those with risk of immune dysfunction (ASD, ADHD, learning disabilities, lupus, cancer, diabetes,...). They should be spaced out by at least 4 months. Unless the mother has high risk of HepB, it should not be given til the child is 2 to 4 years old. None should be given til the child is at least 72 hrs old, even if the mother is positive and high risk.

arkansasmama08
by Gold Member on Feb. 4, 2015 at 3:14 PM
Honestly, I'm just tired of hearing the debate over and over. I don't vaccinate my children. We stopped 4 years ago after Jeremiah had a seizure immediately after. Cooper hasn't had a single shot. Vaccinated kids are just as capable of spreading diseases they were vaccinated against. And with today's medical advancements and improved living conditions, a good portion of them are unlikely to resurface. And if they did, it would be easy to treat. The reason some of these were so deadly was dirty living conditions. For a majority of Americans, that's not an issue.
The flu vaccine is largely ineffective. Chicken pox are not a serious illness for most. And others could be avoided by lifestyle changes.

Ok, end rant. Sorry
letstalk747
by Ruby Member on Feb. 5, 2015 at 10:37 AM
1 mom liked this

i agree , dont like it but i agree , its a choice that is every parents right , but at the same time i dont like my kids around non vaxed kids either.

michele115
by Michele on Feb. 6, 2015 at 10:05 AM
I vaccinated my son. I don't understand people who don't. So hoe do you keep your kids from catching measles or other horrible diseases that we get vaccinated against.
marcie1455
by Member on Feb. 7, 2015 at 9:37 AM
I caught chicken pox when I was 30 and it was almost deadly. I suffered so badly. They were in my throat and I could barely swallow. I couldn't bare to swallow my own saliva. I went to the doctor and he was so young that he never saw the disease before. He thought they were hives. My mom thought I had them when I was young, but you can catch them twice. I didn't sleep for 3 days, missed a month of work and lost 20 lbs. I went to a dermatologist he said I didn't have to suffer like that. The doctor could have given me a shot and curtailed what I went through. I made sure my children got chicken pox shots.

Quoting arkansasmama08: Honestly, I'm just tired of hearing the debate over and over. I don't vaccinate my children. We stopped 4 years ago after Jeremiah had a seizure immediately after. Cooper hasn't had a single shot. Vaccinated kids are just as capable of spreading diseases they were vaccinated against. And with today's medical advancements and improved living conditions, a good portion of them are unlikely to resurface. And if they did, it would be easy to treat. The reason some of these were so deadly was dirty living conditions. For a majority of Americans, that's not an issue.
The flu vaccine is largely ineffective. Chicken pox are not a serious illness for most. And others could be avoided by lifestyle changes.

Ok, end rant. Sorry
arkansasmama08
by Gold Member on Feb. 7, 2015 at 10:02 AM
That's unusual though. I'm sorry you went through that. my daughter got the chicken pox from the shot and shared it with her brother as hand foot and mouth.

Quoting marcie1455: I caught chicken pox when I was 30 and it was almost deadly. I suffered so badly. They were in my throat and I could barely swallow. I couldn't bare to swallow my own saliva. I went to the doctor and he was so young that he never saw the disease before. He thought they were hives. My mom thought I had them when I was young, but you can catch them twice. I didn't sleep for 3 days, missed a month of work and lost 20 lbs. I went to a dermatologist he said I didn't have to suffer like that. The doctor could have given me a shot and curtailed what I went through. I made sure my children got chicken pox shots.

Quoting arkansasmama08: Honestly, I'm just tired of hearing the debate over and over. I don't vaccinate my children. We stopped 4 years ago after Jeremiah had a seizure immediately after. Cooper hasn't had a single shot. Vaccinated kids are just as capable of spreading diseases they were vaccinated against. And with today's medical advancements and improved living conditions, a good portion of them are unlikely to resurface. And if they did, it would be easy to treat. The reason some of these were so deadly was dirty living conditions. For a majority of Americans, that's not an issue.
The flu vaccine is largely ineffective. Chicken pox are not a serious illness for most. And others could be avoided by lifestyle changes.

Ok, end rant. Sorry
arkansasmama08
by Gold Member on Feb. 7, 2015 at 10:07 AM
You dont. My kids had the measles last. I was only concerned because I was pregnant and worried about it causing problems. But I was fine and so were they. That and the flu are the only things we've had since we stopped vaxing 4.5 years ago.

Quoting michele115: I vaccinated my son. I don't understand people who don't. So hoe do you keep your kids from catching measles or other horrible diseases that we get vaccinated against.
jjamom
by Michele on Feb. 7, 2015 at 10:16 AM
What? Chicken pox and hand, foot and mouth are two completely different viruses.

Quoting arkansasmama08: That's unusual though. I'm sorry you went through that. my daughter got the chicken pox from the shot and shared it with her brother as hand foot and mouth.

Quoting marcie1455: I caught chicken pox when I was 30 and it was almost deadly. I suffered so badly. They were in my throat and I could barely swallow. I couldn't bare to swallow my own saliva. I went to the doctor and he was so young that he never saw the disease before. He thought they were hives. My mom thought I had them when I was young, but you can catch them twice. I didn't sleep for 3 days, missed a month of work and lost 20 lbs. I went to a dermatologist he said I didn't have to suffer like that. The doctor could have given me a shot and curtailed what I went through. I made sure my children got chicken pox shots.

Quoting arkansasmama08: Honestly, I'm just tired of hearing the debate over and over. I don't vaccinate my children. We stopped 4 years ago after Jeremiah had a seizure immediately after. Cooper hasn't had a single shot. Vaccinated kids are just as capable of spreading diseases they were vaccinated against. And with today's medical advancements and improved living conditions, a good portion of them are unlikely to resurface. And if they did, it would be easy to treat. The reason some of these were so deadly was dirty living conditions. For a majority of Americans, that's not an issue.
The flu vaccine is largely ineffective. Chicken pox are not a serious illness for most. And others could be avoided by lifestyle changes.

Ok, end rant. Sorry
arkansasmama08
by Gold Member on Feb. 7, 2015 at 10:19 AM
They're not actually. Same virus, different strain.

Quoting jjamom: What? Chicken pox and hand, foot and mouth are two completely different viruses.

Quoting arkansasmama08: That's unusual though. I'm sorry you went through that. my daughter got the chicken pox from the shot and shared it with her brother as hand foot and mouth.

Quoting marcie1455: I caught chicken pox when I was 30 and it was almost deadly. I suffered so badly. They were in my throat and I could barely swallow. I couldn't bare to swallow my own saliva. I went to the doctor and he was so young that he never saw the disease before. He thought they were hives. My mom thought I had them when I was young, but you can catch them twice. I didn't sleep for 3 days, missed a month of work and lost 20 lbs. I went to a dermatologist he said I didn't have to suffer like that. The doctor could have given me a shot and curtailed what I went through. I made sure my children got chicken pox shots.

Quoting arkansasmama08: Honestly, I'm just tired of hearing the debate over and over. I don't vaccinate my children. We stopped 4 years ago after Jeremiah had a seizure immediately after. Cooper hasn't had a single shot. Vaccinated kids are just as capable of spreading diseases they were vaccinated against. And with today's medical advancements and improved living conditions, a good portion of them are unlikely to resurface. And if they did, it would be easy to treat. The reason some of these were so deadly was dirty living conditions. For a majority of Americans, that's not an issue.
The flu vaccine is largely ineffective. Chicken pox are not a serious illness for most. And others could be avoided by lifestyle changes.

Ok, end rant. Sorry
jjamom
by Michele on Feb. 7, 2015 at 10:24 AM
They are both entero viruses, but different viruses, unrelated to one another.

Quoting arkansasmama08: They're not actually. Same virus, different strain.

Quoting jjamom: What? Chicken pox and hand, foot and mouth are two completely different viruses.

Quoting arkansasmama08: That's unusual though. I'm sorry you went through that. my daughter got the chicken pox from the shot and shared it with her brother as hand foot and mouth.

Quoting marcie1455: I caught chicken pox when I was 30 and it was almost deadly. I suffered so badly. They were in my throat and I could barely swallow. I couldn't bare to swallow my own saliva. I went to the doctor and he was so young that he never saw the disease before. He thought they were hives. My mom thought I had them when I was young, but you can catch them twice. I didn't sleep for 3 days, missed a month of work and lost 20 lbs. I went to a dermatologist he said I didn't have to suffer like that. The doctor could have given me a shot and curtailed what I went through. I made sure my children got chicken pox shots.

Quoting arkansasmama08: Honestly, I'm just tired of hearing the debate over and over. I don't vaccinate my children. We stopped 4 years ago after Jeremiah had a seizure immediately after. Cooper hasn't had a single shot. Vaccinated kids are just as capable of spreading diseases they were vaccinated against. And with today's medical advancements and improved living conditions, a good portion of them are unlikely to resurface. And if they did, it would be easy to treat. The reason some of these were so deadly was dirty living conditions. For a majority of Americans, that's not an issue.
The flu vaccine is largely ineffective. Chicken pox are not a serious illness for most. And others could be avoided by lifestyle changes.

Ok, end rant. Sorry
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