To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate?

That is the question…

A question, that in 100% of Mum groups, creates heated discussion. When I say heated, I mean intense, brutal, vicious and wild. And when I say disussion, I mean arguement, feud…war.

This topic has again reared it’s head in mainstream NZ with Labour Party Leader, Andrew Little suggesting it’s worth following the Australian Prime Minister’s policy of excluding unvaccinated children from childcare centres.

Now I’m just going to come straight out and say it…

That’s a load of bullshit. Let me tell you why.

1: Excluding a child from something that may impact their future education based on a decision that wasn’t theirs, is wrong.

2: Using anything other than the health risks or benefits to influence a parents decision to vaccinate their child is wrong.

3: While I would choose to vaccinate my own children, I accept the fact that my choice is not the right choice for all parents and their children.

The decision to exclude unvaccinated children from anything on the basis of ‘You’re not going to receive this benefit which is completely unrelated to your childs health or the vaccinations themselves’ is immoral. 

This kind of stance puts parents in an impossible situation.

The decision to vaccinate a child should be made on the basis of, “what health benefits will my child get? Vs. What health risks am I exposing them to?”

The decision should not be influenced by “If I don’t vaccinate them, they won’t be able to enrol at an early learning centre.”

For myself and a lot of others, I would not be able to work if my kids couldn’t attend daycare.

If I can’t work, I can’t pay bills. If I can’t pay bills my children suffer. The tax payer suffers, cause you bet your ass I’ll be down at WINZ with my hand out. 

If the government wants to make vaccination compulsary, I’d prefer they just said so. Instead, they are suggesting putting the onis on parents, telling them its their choice. 

If you ask me, this policy gives no choice. 

Now before some of you crusaders get out your torches and pitchforks, I would just like to say, I DID choose to immunise my children. 

But that was my choice to make and I didn’t make it lightly. I am well aware of the fact that a choice means there is another option that plenty of others choose. And I’m ok with that. And I wont ever stop your unvaccinated child from playing with my vaccinated child.

Why?

Because if the shoe was on the other foot, If I had any doubt whatsoever that the vaccinations offered to my child could hurt them more than they could help them, I would hate to be made to do something that I as a parent thought was wrong, in order for my children to benefit in a completely different and unrelated aspect of their life. 

For me, it would feel similar to the only supermarket in town telling me I can breastfeed my baby if I want, but unless I give them formula, I can’t shop in their store. 

I need food. They are my only source of food. They aren’t telling me I can’t shop there, they’re just telling me I have to make a certain parenting choice that they approve of before I can shop there.

Parenting is hard enough. Your child relies on you to make the decisions you think are best for them and they are decisions that will shape the rest of their lives. They are choices that we have to be able to live with. What are we if those choices are taken away from us?

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