Vaccines and my Immune Compromised Kid

A few weeks ago, a blog post went around. I didn’t read it, but the gist was “I’m coming out of the closet as a vaccine supporter.” Which is silly, because it’s those who don’t get vaccines who typically don’t mention it. Not to family. Not to friends. Not to doctors. Because they don’t want to hear the lectures. They don’t want to listen to people assuming they just don’t know anything about the illnesses or the vaccines. They don’t want to be told how irresponsible they’re being. So they just don’t talk about it. That used to be me. Now I’ve stopped caring. (I mean, seriously.)

But now there’s a new twist to the vaccine issue. The “Your Unvaccinated Kids Put My Immune Compromised Kid At Risk” issue. That I see a lot. That I’m expected to agree with through some unwritten agreement among transplant parents.

Well, I don’t.

I’m not in the mood to pull up studies. You can use Google.

But here’s the thing. I believe it is possible for a reasonable adult to do the research for themselves about vaccines. To learn about the illnesses, to read the history, to look at the statistics of disease incidences before and after vaccines, to learn about the vaccines, to look at the vaccine ingredients, and to study up on potential side effects of vaccines – including incidence rates and including more systemic, long-term risks. And after this research, I believe it’s possible for a reasonable adult to conclude that vaccines carry both risks and benefits, and that for their children, the benefits do not outweigh the risks.

Because vaccines DO carry risks.

How can I honestly sit here and say – You need to do something YOU view as risky to protect MY child? You need to put your child at risk to give my child an incremental level of protection.

That just doesn’t make sense to me.

My child is as important to me as your child is to you.


And the bigger risk to my immune compromised kid continues to be friends and extended family members not being respectful of our rules about shoes, hands, and illness. And people in the general population not using common sense and staying home when sick. Or pharmacies inside Target and Walmart encouraging people who are very ill to walk around and shop while waiting for their prescription.

Those are much bigger risks than the relatively small risk that Teddy will catch something from the relatively few people in the population who are not vaccinated. (And if you take a look at many of the outbreaks of so-called “vaccine-preventable” illnesses, a giant chunk of the sick are vaccinated individuals. The Mumps outbreak at UI when Teddy was a baby was mostly vaccinated students. oops.)

So there are my thoughts. I don’t expect other parents to put their kids at risk to give my kid a really small incremental benefit. I don’t know how I could possibly do that.



I might blog later on vaccines in general. I’m not against vaccines. I’m against the way vaccines are done in this country at this time.


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