With flu season fast approaching, vaccinations are again at the forefront of everyone’s minds. People feel a lot of pressure to get vaccinated every year. This is true not only of the flu vaccine but also several other types of vaccinations scheduled throughout the calendar year, both for adults and their children.
From the moment a child is born, there is pressure to vaccinate. By two months of age, a child is expected to have had at least seven vaccinations. Anyone who has watched a child grow up understands just how many vaccinations are recommended or even required to attend school and other functions.
Vaccinations play a huge role in our society as prevention for certain diseases. Unfortunately, those who choose not to vaccinate for health reasons are usually looked down upon as diseased violators of public health and safety.
I once encountered a joke that summarizes a popular stance on vaccinations.
“Sorry you can’t walk, Billy,” the joke said. “Your mom went to a quack when she was pregnant with you and the quack said that vaccinations were evil.”
Vaccinations are not a simple or foolproof process. There are many people who choose not to vaccinate themselves or their children because of unique health risks. This is unfortunately forgotten by those who are able to take the vaccinations without any side effects.
For example, there are those who have seizures when subjected to vaccinations. There are others whose immune systems have the tendency to overreact to foreign substances (for example, those who suffer from anaphylaxis) who would rather not risk going into shock to get a vaccination.
Vaccinations, because they can work, are powerful. And unfortunately, when things are powerful, there is also the chance that they act powerfully in the opposite way than they were intended. Vaccinations in some cases can reverse the health benefits that were intended and lead recipients to suffer with even more medical issues than they had before vaccination.
There are also issues for pro-life activists regarding vaccinations. This is due to the fact that fetal stem cells are used to make certain vaccines. Of course, to obtain the stem cells, vaccine producers must utilize the bodies of aborted children. Naturally, this is a serious ethical dilemma for people who desire the potential health benefits of vaccinations but cannot in good faith support the production processes of particular vaccines.
Someone who is pro-vaccination must keep in mind that the issue is not a simple matter of people choosing to unreasonably forgo vaccines despite endangering the lives of all those around them.
If vaccinations work as well as people claim they do, which they probably do, in the case of one person in a group of 100 choosing not to vaccinate for either health or moral reasons, the other 99 should not have to worry about getting sick from the diseases against which they have immunized themselves. They should, of course, be immune to them.
Perhaps we should focus less on worrying about if we’ve gotten our flu shot and more about if we are eating well and exercising to prevent getting a sickness such as the flu in the first place.