Yesterday, I got my flu shot. It’s about the right time for me to get it. I used to try to get it as early as September because my allergist and pulmonologist told me when I was a teenager that I needed to get it as soon as doctors received it. This used to lead to my mom calling each of my doctors regularly to find out which place was going to get it first. Now, I tend to put it off until it’s almost too late–or late October or early November.
I get every vaccine that is recommended for me to have. I have to. If I end up with the flu, I will end up with bronchitis. If that happens, my asthma will kick in. It can then spiral out of control, leaving me to die a very premature death. If I end up with any illness, I can end up with a secondary infection. If I’m exposed to certain illnesses, not only do I run the risk of endangering my life, I run the risk of endangering the lives of my mom, my dad, my Nana, and anyone else who happens to be considered especially vulnerable.
I have seen people say that they don’t need to vaccinate their kids for various illnesses because catching the flu or the measles or chicken pox won’t endanger their child’s life. They say they’re good enough at parenting to know that their child will survive whatever illness he or she might contract. They can’t know that, though. Parents don’t always know that their kid has an immune system problem until it’s too late. They don’t always know that there child has something like asthma until their kid has an attack. And they can’t guarantee that if their child gets infected that their kid won’t end up with encephalitis. They definitely can’t guarantee that they will figure out their kid is sick before the child becomes contagious–since you can pass on a disease while you’re seemingly asymptomatic. They don’t know these things, so their decisions not to give their kids a vaccine not only puts their child at risk, it puts millions of other people at risk.
I guess it is a parent’s decision on whether or not to have their children receive vaccinations, but it shouldn’t be their decision to put me and others like me at risk. So, I guess I want to say that I tend to think that people who are unwilling to vaccinate their kids basically suck. That might offend people, but I think offending a few people is a risk I’m willing to take.