I Vaccinate My Children and I Am Not Ashamed

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I vaccinate my children and I am not ashamed

As much as I hate to admit it, once upon a time, I was sucked in by the anti-vaccine arguments. Their case against vaccines sounds scary. Who wants their children to be injured? Who wants them to change from the child you know and love into someone you don’t recognize? These things sound scary. I’m not denying it. It made me not want to vaccinate my kids.

But the science simply doesn’t show any of these things to be true. Science shows that vaccines are safe. Science shows that the side effects are rare. Science shows that they do not cause autism, despite many people’s continued insistence that they do. History shows that the diseases we vaccinate against are serious and can be deadly.

In fact, it is the very efficacy of the vaccines that is the enemy of their continued success. Many of us don’t know what whooping cough looks like. Many of us don’t know anyone who was in an iron lung for polio.

But the stories that go viral and the stories that get shared are those that make you fear. That make you doubt the years and years and years of research and the years and years of progress.

So today, I’m sharing my story.

My children received their vaccines. And do you know what happened? They cried a little when they got their shots. Who wouldn’t? I don’t like to get shots and cried getting shots for many more years than I should be okay with admitting in public. They slept a little more for the next few days. They had band-aid adhesive on their legs that was much harder to wash off than one would expect (What are they using? Super glue?). My children got protected against multiple deadly diseases.

Despite nothing having happened, despite nothing having happened to millions of children who were vaccinated, it’s still scary putting my story out here. Why? Because the anti-vaccine movement can be cruel. I’ve been told that I was “experimenting” on my children, despite the years and years of research. And the comments can hurt.

But I refuse to be silent any longer. I think we need more stories of the good effects. It is my hope that by rising up and telling my story, that others will be unafraid to stand with me and proudly say, “I vaccinate my children and I am not ashamed.” Are you with me?

Photo credit: NIAID via Foter.com / CC BY This photo was cropped with text added by me. 

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