You Do Not Have the Right to Choose

There are a specific handful of arguments that parents like to make to explain why they do not vaccinate their children:

1. It’s my right to choose whether or not my child is given a vaccine.

2. Vaccines cause autism.

3. Vaccines cause allergic reactions.

4. Diseases can be prevented with healthy food and good hygiene.

5. Vaccines are ineffective.

6. We don’t really know what is in a vaccine.

This has been a debate that I’ve followed for a long time. Since the measles outbreak in the Disneyland park in California, it has been on my mind more often. My frustration with the anti-vaccine movement lies primarily in the rhetoric used to discredit vaccines, along with the extreme lack of empathy.

No, it is not your right to choose whether or not your child is given a vaccine. You do not have the right to make diseases which were eradicated come back and infect other people. You do not have the right to put your child in harm’s way, or allow your child to catch an illness that can be spread to INFANTS who are too young to be vaccinated. Measles is deadly to infants. You do not have the right to murder babies with your poor decision making.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is not, never has been, and never will be caused by vaccines. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a sensory disorder which causes developmental delays. The causes are an enlarged amygdala, which is the emotional epicenter of the brain. There are also abnormalities in the frontal lobe, which can cause intellectual delays. Autism Spectrum Disorder is passed on to a person via genetics, in other words, if your child has autism, your genes gave it to them. There has not be a “rise” in cases of autism, because we have learned more about this disorder in the last several years, including ways to properly diagnose it using MRI scans. Autism is a fascinating anomaly, and is unique to each person who has it. Do not use your anti-vaccine rhetoric to make people with autism feel guilty or ashamed. People with autism who are savants can do incredible things that the average public cannot do. Why not celebrate that?

Allergic reactions to vaccines are very rare, and at the very worst, they are a fever. Paracetamol, when taken after receiving a vaccine, can control these minor reactions. Any serious reactions to a vaccine happen at about 1 in one thousand, to 1 in one million. The amount of people who have died after being vaccinated, is so infrequent, that statistics on risk can’t even be drawn from those deaths. Logically speaking, if my choices are catching and spreading a deadly illness to other people, or get the vaccine with a 1 in one million chance of having a serious reaction, I’m going to get the vaccine. Several studies were conducted in the 1980’s to determine whether or not the Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine causes Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The studies concluded that there was no direct connection between the DTP vaccine and SIDS. This means that the infants would have died of SIDS whether they had this vaccine or not. You can read more about it here:

The common cold can be prevented, or at least lessened in severity with good hygiene and healthy eating habits. However, the measles vaccine was first used in 1963, and right after the cases of people with this disease dropped dramatically. Another example is smallpox, which was also eradicated because of its vaccine. And according to,

Finally, we can look at the experiences of several developed countries after they allowed their immunization levels to drop. Three countries —Great Britain, Sweden and Japan — cut back the use of pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine because of fear about the vaccine. The effect was dramatic and immediate. In Great Britain, a drop in pertussis vaccination in 1974 was followed by an epidemic of more than 100,000 cases of pertussis and 36 deaths by 1978. In Japan, around the same time, a drop in vaccination rates from 70% to 20%-40% led to a jump in pertussis from 393 cases and no deaths in 1974 to 13,000 cases and 41 deaths in 1979. In Sweden, the annual incidence rate of pertussis per 100,000 children of 0-6 years of age increased from 700 cases in 1981 to 3,200 in 1985.

People auto-immune diseases, such as HIV and Multiple Sclerosis, do not have the option to prevent illness with hygiene and health food. Their bodies do not have enough of an immune system to fight off influenza, and even colds. They must rely on the flu vaccine otherwise it can be serious and even deadly for them.

Read this to understand the vaccine creation process: Vaccines are also created using these viruses and bacteria, which are killed and placed inside the vaccine. When your body is exposed to the dead virus or bacteria cells, your immune system can safely react to it and consume those cells, thus allowing your anti-bodies to build up an immunity to the diseases those cells cause. Also check out Upworthy’s graph of 14 vaccines and how effective they are:

If you have always wanted to know what is in a vaccine, this gentle read will give you insight:

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