Vaccinations: A Middle Ground

I've been seeing so much passion for and against vaccines on my social media feeds lately. There has been a lot of name-calling and negativity, so I wanted to propose a more amicable and productive middle ground.

If you peel away all the frustration, both sides have a respectable and ultra-worthy common goal: to protect children.

Unfortunately, we have all received different information on just how to do that, which results in a lot of confusion and conflict. In addition, the information we get is often inconsistent, biased, or otherwise unreliable.

In the succinct words of Chris Kresser, "There is a risk in vaccinating, and there is a risk in not vaccinating. And anyone who tells you differently is not acquainted with the research literature."

So how do you decide what is the best option for you & your family?

Dr. Aviva Romm offers an excellent starting point in her lecture "Vaccination Pros & Cons: Help for Concerned Parents."  She presents the research in one of the most objective, unbiased summaries I've yet seen.  It's not exhaustive, but it's a great starting point.  Dr. Romm also wrote a book that provides further information entitled "Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent's Guide."

In addition, we can join together to fight for safer vaccines. Fewer side effects mean that more parents will feel comfortable vaccinating, so we can regain the herd immunity benefits of vaccination.

That said, one of the big-picture public health concerns is that vaccination may be creating a "survival of the sickest" situation. In the past, those who survived infectious diseases passed on some of that immunity to their children, which helped to naturally eradicate illnesses and bolster natural selection & the strength of the species. Today, we are observing troubling trends in immune disregulation & autoimmunity that are likely related to vaccines, but there is not enough long-term research to fully understand exactly what's happening.

Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like there is one right answer.  But by supporting and fighting alongside (instead of against) each other, we can make greater strides to protect the health of our nation's children. And that's what we're all after.

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