The Anti-Vaccine Label

Be cautious of anyone quick to use the term ‘anti-vaccine’.

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I’ve found, quite often, that there are 3 possibilities to explain why a person will use this label to pigeonhole parents that show concern regarding the current schedule of vaccines used on children in the US:

(1) they mistakenly assume anyone who questions a product’s safety is consequentially against it in absolute terms;

(2) they tend to consider that vaccines are already being used as responsibly as they can be and the current schedule has been stringently tested for safety and efficacy;

(3) lastly, in a last ditch effort, they select a baited label, in this case ‘anti-vaccine’, to manipulate a person.

And, of course, anyone who disagrees with them is an idiot, which is then most likely to be followed by an insult and/or personal attack.

They may also generalize or over-simplify the topic that is being evaluated at that point in time in hopes to advert attention away from what is being addressed. This could be because they simply do not have any valid information to bring to the table.

When using generic labels, it makes it easier to ignore that the underlying motivation a parent has when deciding to vaccinate (either on schedule, delayed or declined completely) can be diverse.

After concerns are addressed, a family may come to a unique schedule with their healthcare provider and that should be respected.

In most cases, it is.

In others, it is not.

Someone who uses the label ‘anti-vaccine’ liberally may imagine themselves to be the gatekeepers of science.

Yet, the days of limited access to information are gone. (Some helpful, science-based sources can be found: CDC Pinkbook, Clinical Trial Search Engine, DOAJ-Directory of Open Access Journals, Science Direct, Vaccine Package Insert PDFs.)

Scientific information is publicly published and is readily available to whoever would like to review it. While this unquestionably this does not qualify anyone who reads it as being a specialist, it does mean that parents have the opportunity to become a critical influence and an active participant in the healthcare choices for their children and themselves.

Whether you decline (or become selective of) vaccination or if you decide to administer them all according to the current recommended schedule, I sincerely hope that we can all agree that there should be some development of responsibility and education on the side of the parent in the participation of their child(ren)’s health.

That should be the underlying principle pressed on parents – NOT slanderous pigeonholing, restrictive labels, and juvenile squabbling.

I like to believe all parents are doing the best they can (am I in the minority?) – choose what works best for your family while doing your best in honoring the rights of others to make that same choice.

This post reflects the research and concern that I have about vaccination.  I am not a medical professional. It does not represent my opinion of people who choose to vaccinate or not.  Please know that, while my family has made the decision to choose an alternative schedule, we respect the rights of all parents to choose to vaccinate if they feel this is best for their child.  I do not have all the answers.  Most of us don’t.  We’re all in this together and we need to make the best decision we can with the information we have.

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Please be respectful. If you are about to say something that you would not let your child hear, then please refrain from saying it.