Those who question vaccine safety and choose not to vaccinate are often accused of being selfish and told they pose a threat to those who cannot be vaccinated. Vaccine induced herd immunity is a myth that pro-vaccine advocates often use to guilt parents into vaccinating. In reality, it is the recently vaccinated who actually pose a threat to the immunocompromised. (See links on Herd Immunity and Vaccine Shedding at end of this post.) I recently shared a post by Ashlyn Washington, entitled, "I’m a mom who is listening to what the CDC says about vaccines..." In the post below, Ashlyn who describes herself as "a tired mom to two kids, one with autism and an immunodeficiency" addresses the issue of herd immunity not only as a mom who has done independent research, but also from personal experience. Thank you Ashlyn!
Quit Using Immunocompromised People to Promote Your Vaccine Agenda by Ashlyn Washington, Walking in Quicksand
CDC, I’m talking to you. Media, I’m talking to you. Pediatricians, I’m talking to you. Parents who shame other parents, I’m talking to you. Using immunocompromised people as pawns in a vaccine-pushing agenda that twists scientific data to manipulate emotions is abhorrent.
As the mother of a child with an immunodeficiency, I can say with certainty there is no human on this planet who cares more about his health and well being than I do. I can also say with certainty that the push to vaccinate for the sake of the immunocompromised has nothing to do with science and everything to do with an agenda.
Once upon a time, listening only to propaganda and not bothering to read the fine print, I lined up for the flu shot to “protect” my son. That was before I understood these facts.
Vaccine induced herd immunity doesn’t exist. You, of course, are supposed to believe it does and you’re supposed to believe if you don’t vaccinate your child, my son could suffer or even die. The concept of herd immunity is promoted to coerce people to do their part for the immunocompromised but it isn’t supported by factual data.
The media and medical community lectures the public ad nauseam: “95% of our population must be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity and protect those too ill to receive vaccines.” They speak as though we are close to that percentage when the truth is that more than 150 million Americans haven’t complied with the CDC’s immunization schedule. So where are the outbreaks? Have you asked your next-door neighbor if he’s up to date on his Hepatitis B vaccine? Did you ask your boss if she’s gotten the Tdap? Did you ask your daycare provider if she’s had the HPV vaccine? Too invasive? Not really that important?
Then what right does anyone have to ask that a just-toddling one-year-old or bright-eyed five-year-old be vaccinated for the sake of the herd? Is there a sane reason to sacrifice a seven-pound newborn for the herd before he’s even opened his eyes? When half of American adults haven’t done jack for “the greater good,” the answer is clearly no.
While everyone is busy coercing you to vaccinate your children to protect mine, my doctor is warning me your recently vaccinated kids could infect my son. The CDC cautions that individuals who have recently received measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, and rotavirus vaccines are at risk of spreading these diseases to immunocompromised individuals. In plain language, this means I’m a lot more worried about my immunocompromised son playing with your baby who just had the rotavirus vaccine than your kindergartener giving mine Hepatitis B. (Now, if kindergarteners start engaging in the types of activities that spread Hepatitis B, we are all going to have a lot more than herd immunity to worry about.)
Most vaccines are recommended for immunocompromised individuals anyhow, so whether or not you vaccinate is largely irrelevant. Hepatitis A and B, meningitis, flu, Haemophilus influenzae b, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines are actually recommended for immunocompromised individuals. If an immunocompromised person is supposed to be up to date on these vaccines anyhow, why must the immunocompetent rush off and roll up their sleeves too? The answer is simple.
Statistically speaking, the grocery store shopping cart poses a far greater risk to the immunocompromised than the average unvaccinated American. The reality is the common cold, strep throat, and the nasty GI bugs that go around every winter are a far bigger threat to the immunocompromised in this country than wild polio, which hasn’t been seen here in decades, or tetanus which isn’t spread between humans anyhow. If you are actually concerned about the immunocompromised, keep your baby at home for the full 15 days the CDC warns he may shed rotavirus post vaccine. Stay home when you’re coughing and sneezing. Don’t drop off your kids at school with green noses. Don’t even dream of hopping on a plane with a little fever.
And if this is too much to ask? At least do me a favor and don’t pretend you’re vaccinating for the sake of my son.
Also by Ashlyn Washington:
Herd Immunity & Vaccine Shedding: