People have been using vaccines for several hundred years to combat diseases like smallpox, cholera, and tetanus. The vaccine for polio was invented in 1952 and the one for measles in 1963. While there’s lots of research and reporting about all the benefits of vaccines, there are still people who don’t vaccinate their children. That number is growing, as the past few years have seen a surge in the anti-vaxxer movement.
So why are people refusing to do this thing that keeps their kids safe from life-threatening diseases? It mostly seems to have to do with a 1998 study that linked vaccines to autism, but that report was retracted and described as “an elaborate fraud.” Some parents think that the side effects of vaccines are more dangerous than the diseases the vaccines protect against. However, things like facts and science don’t seem to be enough to convince anti-vaxxers that the info they saw in a meme somewhere is completely incorrect. It’s selfish, too, because there are kids who legitimately can’t get vaccinated due to medical reasons.
One anti-vaxxer mom of five kids got seriously burned by a comment in response to her statement that she didn’t vaccinate her kids because of her religious beliefs. In a Facebook post, the unidentified woman wrote, “I have 5 children and they will never be vaccinated. They are protected by Jesus for I know faith helps you walk the righteous path. The same people that tell me to vaccinate are the same people telling me that god did not masterfully craft this planet.”
And one of the commenters wrote, “They can die like Jesus with a rusty nail.” Wow. Harsh but true. Unvaccinated kids can easily get tetanus from stepping on a rusty nail.
There’s nothing funny about the argument against vaccines, or about parents who don’t keep their kids safe from disease by vaccinating them. But when people won’t listen to reason and facts, sometimes you just have to drag them a bit.