Should I vaccinate? Doctor Anna's Imaginarium

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Should I vaccinate? My fear and worry

I’m a mother, and I would do anything for my child. I have sat with her on endless, sleepless nights, worried to death just because she had a bit of a cough. I’ve stroked her feverish forehead and looked at her and thought how beautiful she is and how I could not stand ever to lose her or see her harmed.

That worry is a part of being a parent.

As parents, we are faced with decisions that will influence our children’s lives in profound ways. This is an enormous responsibility, and it should be taken seriously. One of these decisions is whether to vaccinate your child or not.

Should I vaccinate? Doctor Anna's Imaginarium

What is the right decision? Should I vaccinate?

Despite my degrees in biology, I’ve too wondered what is right and what is wrong. Should I vaccinate or not? I’ve been susceptible to influential people on social media and to the advice of well-meaning friends.

What should I do? What if I damage my child by vaccinating?

To not do anything is the easiest decision. If I don’t vaccinate, I don’t actively do something that might hurt my child. Doing nothing relieves me of responsibility. “The illnesses aren’t around anyway.”

This is at least how it feels, but is it really true?

Humanity’s evil companions

Many of us have been lucky enough never to have come face-to-face with the horrific reality of the infectious diseases that we vaccinate against today. Because of vaccinations, they are almost gone. Sometimes, they pop up in the periphery of our eyes, and we quickly forget. Too quickly.

These diseases are horrors beyond comprehension; humanity’s evil companions.
Tetanus makes the body spasm, eventually causing your breathing to stop whereas measles can cause meningitis, an inflammation of the brain and the spinal cord with devastating results. I’ve seen many cases of polio where the sufferers were lucky enough to survive but were paralyzed for life.

Should I vaccinate? Polio Doctor Anna's Imaginarium
A child with a polio-deformed leg.

Thus, back to my question. Is doing nothing really the best decision?

For Riley’s parents, people’s unwillingness to vaccinate against pertussis caused them to experience the deepest grief and sorrow when they lost their little boy. Riley was too young to receive the vaccine and was relying on other people to be vaccinated. Sometimes, doing nothing is not the good route to go.
Riley’s parents have started the campaign Light for Riley where you can read a lot about vaccinations and about the risks associated with not vaccinating.

Should I vaccinate? Light for Riley | Doctor Anna's Imaginarium
This is baby Riley

Vaccines and adverse reactions

Vaccines are not a perfect weapon against these horrors, but they are as close to perfect as we can get. Polio has almost been purged from the surface of the Earth but pops up every so often in areas when vaccination rates drop. Cases, and deaths, due to measles have been dropping for years, but also this illness is making a comeback due to lower vaccination rates. This is a tragedy. A deadly one.

Should I vaccinate? Measles Doctor Anna's Imaginarium
A child with measles. By Julien Harneis

As with everything we eat, drink, or take as medication, a few individuals will experience some sort of adverse reaction. Even bandages cause severe allergic reactions for some people, but bandages are still used in hospitals as a huge number of people would die if we didn’t. The same is true for vaccines. There are a handful of people who get adverse effects against some component of the vaccine, but this is incredibly rare.

It is about three times more likely to get struck by lightning than it is to die due to a vaccine injury and we should not forget that the illnesses these vaccines prevent against kill and maim by the millions.

It is about three times more likely to get struck by lightning than to die of a vaccine injury.

Despite the safety of vaccines, we should never stop taking adverse effects seriously. New vaccines must go though rigorous testing and, as with all medications, we should be vigilant.

I’ve been spending quite some time discussing with worried parents online and found a few questions and claims that these parents felt that the medical community had failed in answering truthfully. I will discuss these matters in my upcoming articles.

the illnesses these vaccines prevent against kill and maim by the millions.

My decision

I have made the informed decision to fully vaccinate my daughter.
We should also remember that there are some people who cannot take vaccines, such as immunocompromised patients or very young children such as Riley. We all need to make sure that they are safe by vaccinating ourselves and our loved ones.

Sci Hard!
Doctor Anna

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