Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Vaccine Controversy

I realized, based on several different factors, that the jokes I made in my last post were not necessarily funny to everyone. I would like to devote this post to explain the basis for joking about a terrible disease, which, to set the record narrowly straight, my son DOES NOT have...anytime you have to discuss the reasons for your jokes, you know they are bad. Like Mike Huckabee joking about pointing a gun at Barack Obama. Ha Ha-not. Fortunately, actually unfortunately for me, I don't have to go on Meet the Press with Tim Russert to explain myself. Actually, I would love that. But I will just do it here.

SO just in case you have been living in a hole for the last six months, there are no small number of people in this and other countries absolutely convinced that vaccines have caused autism within their small children. Given the astronomically soaring rates of autism in the last couple of decades, the theory is not completely crazy...except that there is no scientific evidence for it. Yeah, except for that.

Still, Adam and I reviewed all of the studies before ultimately deciding to give Eli all of his shots. I talked about it with his doctor and countless other friends. While I know that there is no credible study that makes the link between vaccines and such a terrible onset of circumstances, it still makes me nervous giving my child multiple shots at once. I told my doctor as much and she said she was perfectly willing to work with me on splitting them up- especially once she realized that I was not one who saw Jenny McCarthy say her son has autism, and it's all the vaccines fault so now I hate vaccines without doing any further research. We ultimately decided that the more important factor was that we (Adam and I) are both traveling to a third world country in a few weeks and the risk that we might bring back a disease which Eli could catch, were he not inoculated, far outweighed the risk that he might contract vaccine onset autism. So he got everything except for chickenpox. We'll do that in a few months.

So that was why I was joking about it. The doctor mentioned that his head was a little large and that we should have him tested for lead poisoning just because our house was built in the 70's. I impulsively thought it was funny to combine all of those together for a quick quip; but on further reflection, realize that people not steeped in the vaccine controversy, and even those who are and aren't so cold hearted and insensitive as I, might think that a ridiculous and very unfunny thing to kid around about. So nor more kidding about my kid and devastating diseases.

In any event, despite all of the scientific evidence to the contrary, I am still the littlest bit nervous about all of the shots that a child gets in one sitting. I think it is worthy to consider spreading them out. I read in a Baby magazine just last night that the CDC has retracted its initial endorsement of combining the MMR with the chicken pox shot because a higher incidence of fever induced seizures was occurring with the 4 in 1 shot. I don't know, I am about the farthest thing from a scientific authority, but that just doesn't make sense to keep upping the number of shots combined to avoid a few extra pokes. My kid can handle the pokes a lot better than he can a seizure, or something worse. So, in the future, I will probably spread out my kid's shots. He will get ALL of his vaccines. I think it is far more dangerous, and frankly very irresponsible and stupid, not to get them. But I also think it would be wise for doctors to consider accommodating parents' fears about this issue rather than dismissing them; when there are courts that are granting millions of dollars worth of settlements to parents claiming their child has autism resulting from a shot, this is not just going to go away.

17 comments:

Alisa Edmunds said...

Well said. I am spreading out stellas too...

The Smith Family said...

Hey I offer up my kids to science to make a buck! I'm a completly irresponsible parent! I probably shouldn't have done such a thing considering all the controversy, but we didn't have insurance at the time. How terrible is that! I get your joke!

Lisa said...

May I continue to joke about my kid having a devastating disease? Or is that not funny either?

I hear that Drain-o causes autism.

Okay, okay. You're right. That's not funny.

Maybe a little?

Michelle Tolboe said...

Amen sista!!

Benjamin J Burr said...

I hear that autism actually comes from your jeans.

AshleyS said...

We've talked about this before, it is scarey that autism is such a prevalent disease these days. Shots, pollution, lack of orgnanic food, genetic mutations, who knows. But it's worth doing what you can to decrease the risks.

Chelsea said...

Not that I don't care about autism or vaccinations,I definitely do, but where are the pictures...?

Heather said...

Don't these overly concerned parents have enough to do? Seriously, if half of them actually parented instead of paid the nanny, they would have fewer reasons to point fingers and less time to worry about stuff that has no scientific evidence supporting it. Don't you think?

Ashley said...

Yes, I agree with you Heather. And I actually think the lack of parenting you mentioned actually has more to do with increased rates of autism than vaccines do. But I still might split them up. Autism or not, it seems strange to me to inject my kid with up to 12 different diseases, I know they are latent, in one day. I don't know. I'm not a doctor. It just doesn't feel exactly right.

Ashley said...

And what do you want Ben-my diploma? I'll start lying about my major, so as not to humiliate you by association, and turn in my diploma when I come in June. If I can find it.

Martin Family said...

how's lyle? haha

Beeta and Peeps said...

THANK YOU! Thank you for this post and for getting E vaccinated, no matter how you did it. I've had to do a lot of autism research lately and you hit the nail on the head when you said the benefits far outweigh the consequences. Anyway, I've been talking to a lot of new mothers lately too and none of them want to get their kids vaccinated...it's killing me....and you know me, I'm not the most opinionated person in the
world?! AKA I'm not you. luv ya

Benjamin J Burr said...

I guess I should have clarified. I heard that prior to reproduction, men that wear tight jeans do irreparable damage to their future offspring. Autism could come from this.

Also, it is way better to finish your kids shots before
a. there b. their c. they're (you pick) old enough to have developed aichmophobia.

CHUNTZ said...

Wow...and I thought it was just an easy shot. May I always remain thankful to you Mrs Burr for enlightening my soul and educating my mind!

Chelsea said...

Hey Ash- could you please make yourself (and your husband and E) available on August 22nd 2008? Thanks! Love you!

Ashley said...

C. And that was one time! Your advice is heartily accepted; I am not taking any chance that your needlephobia might manifest itself in my child. However, please refrain from making any future comments which encourage my husband's disdain for jeans manufactured after the year 1999.

Joanna said...

Ashley! I just found your blog - woo hoo! Anyway, I have been stalking it for the last half hour and had to write something on this post - I am a huge fan of vaccines. I have friends that are totally anti them, but here are is my reason for being so completely pro - when Sofia was 5 1/2 weeks old she contracted meningitis - which is preventable if given the vaccine Prevnar at wait for it - 6 weeks. Just 3 more days aargh! Anyway, my argument is simple. She would have been dead if I left it a day later, but she was treated and came out fine, however, why would you not give your child a vaccine that would save their life? Sure, the anti-vaccine folk argue about the possible side affects, but I just say ok, would you rather have a chance of a possible side affect or a dead baby? Pretty simple when put that way! The only reason that people are even able to not vaccinate their children is because the majority of us do.

You go girl! Love your blog!