Y’all..I can’t even right now. The online program wasn’t even mandatory..it was optional and these idiots (all 120 of them) threw such a hissy fit that the state health dept pulled the course/program/whatever you want to call it.
I don’t get anti-vaxxers. I just don’t. I don’t understand their logic. I don’t understand why they are anti-science or anti-health. I think part of it is because that they’ve never seen the kind of illnesses we routinely vaccinate for in their lifetime. Stuff that can disfigure, cripple or even kill like measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox.
Measles, for example, can cause severe (if not complete) hearing loss, diarrhea, pneumonia, encephalitis (brain swelling) and death. (Source:CDC) If you know that (or even bother to look it up, because honestly I didn’t know but I just knew measles was bad news), you’d realize that having a deaf or DEAD child is way worse than having a child who is irritable for a little while after getting a combo shot (they usually do measles, mumps and rubella all in one go).
Now the CDC does also admit that there is a very small chance that your child will have an allergic reaction to one or more of the components in the vaccine. However, these reactions are (again, according to the CDC) extremely rare.
Another reason parents believe that vaccines are harmful to their children is that they believe that most vaccines are still made with thimerosal, which is an organic mercury compound, which they claim causes autism. However, thimerosal, hasn’t been used in vaccines since 2001. That’s 17, almost 18 frigging years there folks. It is, however, still in some flu vaccines so ask your doctor if you feel like this is something you need to know. The whole idea that vaccines cause autism at all is all because of one shady doctor (Dr.Andrew Wakefield, who you can read about in the book Autism’s False Prophets by Paul Offit, which I strongly encourage you to do if you’re interested in this at all. Be careful though, you might fall down a frigging rabbit hole, as I did, and not emerge for days. This shit is extremely fascinating.).
Despite really despising her and her books, I decided to go down the rabbit hole on Jenny McCarthy’s website, Generation Rescue. Her book, Loud As A Whisper, was one of the leading voices of the anti-vaccine movement in the early part of the 2000s and because she’s a star, fans and other parents rallied behind her to push the anti-vax movement. I don’t think (at least I don’t remember) there was that big of a push for it before. Anti-vaxxers, where they existed, were small isolated pockets of nutjobs. But with the coming of the golden age of the internet and the publishing of her book, this shit got crazy and just seemed to explode all over the place. Ten years ago if you’d asked me what an anti-vaxxer was, I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell you who they were and why they were so adamant about not getting their child vaccinated for diseases which were once mostly wiped out but are now making a comeback due to these idiots.
The first thing on her website I read was the following: Generation Rescue curated a movement dedicated to providing comprehensive treatment opportunities to autism families. As an innovative and results-oriented organization, we bridge the gap between philanthropy and expert-driven services by collaborating with like-minded stakeholders. Together, our vision fosters a sense of belonging and hope for future generations.
Honestly, it kinda made me want to puke. Because while I agree that lower functioning kids on the autism spectrum need as much help as they can get, autistic kids in general don’t need to be “rescued”. They aren’t lost puppies, for crying out loud. They are just people who need to be understood and equipped with the best possible resources for living their lives to the fullest. But a certain segment of the population out there thinks they need to be saved, to be rescued from a life of “non-normalcy”. Please. Their normal is not your normal, Jenny. Never has been. Never will be.And just because their normal is not your normal doesn’t mean their normal is wrong it’s just different. And different is OK.
The anti-vaxxer movement, encouraged by ‘celebrity influencers’ like McCarthy, is growing. Diseases we thought were pretty much wiped out are coming back in a huge, huge way and we aren’t prepared for it as much as we should be. I think we’re slowly getting to where we ARE prepared, but we’re not there yet. There are going to be more and bigger outbreaks until eventually, somebody goes “Enough is fucking enough y’all.” and do something about it. Some states ARE trying right now but there’s still enough backlash that it’s difficult to do the work that needs to be done.
Do us all a favor. Vaccinate your kids, y’all.
Pass the tequila.