There is a lot of contradictory standpoints on whether to immunize kids or not.
I will try to formalize my standpoint basing on crude facts, discarding everything else:
Facts should be researched in the following areas:
- Conspiracy theories – population decrease or financial gain
- Vaccines studies & history – in relation with time
- Individual and mass psychology – how does it effect us?
1. Conspiracy theories – population decrease or financial gain
There is only ONE truth about conspiracy theory: You cannot (dis)prove it without spending and sacrificing whole life. Majority of us is not prepared for that, starting from myself. Anyway, if there is any CT involved in vaccines, all of them would most likely have have one of 2 goals: population decrease or financial gain. In case of population decrease, I would say that someone will encourage non-vaccination, nobody dies from autism, but measles ARE causing complications and death. In case of financial gain, pharmaceutical companies earn MUCH more money on other projects, vaccination is funded in most of cases by governments. It sounds more reasonable that pharmaceutical company will STOP research on Malaria vaccine that would be able to save millions of lives. The stakes with MMR and little kids are so HIGH that no company would risk producing hazardous MMR and expecting WHOLE WORLD to sue them on the same. If somebody sues them for new sophisticated drugs for very specific illness… it’s OK for them. They have enough money to loose that case and bring misery to other party – by winning the case and spending A LOT of money which they don’t have.
2. Vaccines studies & history – in relation with time
Facts are that vaccines save lives, not since yesterday, but for a very long time. Time is very valid parameter: MMR exists since 1971 and it was being improved, but seems for no reason. Even if Mercury was removed from it, autism percentage didn’t drop. It’s easier to prove measles outbreak than autism outbreak: Just google – ‘measles outbreak Romania’ ASD vs measles? On one side, much of adults have couple of ‘autism’ disorders – it’s very diverse. On the other side, it’s much simpler: either you have it or you don’t. Fact is that measles symptoms are much more serious than autism or ASD. Researches say that genetics is the most likely to cause autism or ASD. My whole point is we should base our decision on what CAN be proven more scientifically. The MMR is the means of protection in huge communities which we are the part of. AFAIK, there are two studies related to MMR and autism, one was related to Thimerosal & Mercury , the other to immune system response with measles anti-bodies. The first one was not conclusive because autism rate continued to raise even if mercury was removed from vaccines. The second one was performed in 2002, included rather small number of children and it only said that percentage of antibodies MIGHT be related to autism. There is no direct proof that antibodies permanently cause brain dysfunction. also, nobody has proven what would happen if test population was increased. If you know of any other study, please let me know in comments, I am very curious.
3. Individual and mass psychology – how does it effect us?
Our decision are and will always be based on emotions and beliefs. One of emotions is fear and naturally, we fear the most about our kid’s safety. But, the more we are bombarded with information, the more false facts we will create. The more we do this, the more intense and complex fears we will have, to the point where we are not able to create rational decisions basing on REAL facts. The truth is that we will condemn somebody’s SINGLE mistake after ignoring THOUSANDS of good result. The same stands for our attitude towards community: vaccines SAVED A LOT of lives, and it was enough to have ONE questionable study to blame who? – the very same vaccine. There is also a phenomenon on preventive behavior: if there is a terrible thing that can happen to us, but it happens very rarely, i won’t do anything to prevent it because… it won’t happen to me. That is wrong behavior – the fact that it doesn’t happen often cannot be a reason for not preventing it – it is so terrible that even if it happens to me once, consequences will be so huge that I will never recover from it.
So, if conspiracy theories are no good for us and don’t have motives to manipulate vaccines, if vaccines did save more lives than destroyed (and there IS a proof for it), if we are manipulated EVERY DAY with tons of information, I am in favor of vaccines. I will switch of my TV, tablet and phone, immunize my kid and spend MORE QUALITY TIME with him, that way I would be CERTAIN that I did the best I could to save and improve his life.