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SERIOUSLY?

Why we didn’t vaccinate our child

Holly Ann Haley, 4, gets vaccinations at the doctor's office in Berlin, Vt.
AP Photo/Toby Talbot
Not this child, but another, made up one.
  • Bryan Klimt
By Bryan Klimt

Blogger, Night of the Living Dad

This article is more than 2 years old.

We’re not ashamed to say that there are many vaccines we haven’t given our child. Here’s why…

Pertussis, also known as “whooping cough,” is a bacterial disease that can permanently injure or kill a child. Despite the pertussis epidemic currently sweeping California, we didn’t vaccinate our son against pertussis, because he’s only one month old. And you can’t vaccinate a child against pertussis until he is like two months old. Of course we will when he’s old enough. We’re not morons.

Yellow fever is a viral disease that’s common in Africa and parts of South America. It’s pretty much non-existent in the US, so it would be kinda silly to vaccinate our son against it now. No one does that. But if we’re ever going to be visiting those parts of the world, of course we’ll vaccinate him against yellow fever. We’re not drooling idiots with no regard for the welfare of our child.

Ebola Zaire has one of the highest mortality rates of any disease people get. There’s currently a flare up of the disease in some parts of Africa. There have been a couple of Americans that have had it, but it’s so difficult for Ebola to be transmitted from person to person that there’s not really much risk of a major outbreak in the US. That said, it’s a scary disease. We haven’t vaccinated our son against Ebola Zaire because a vaccine for it doesn’t exist yet. If the disease became more common where we live and researchers developed a safe and effective vaccine, of course we would give it to our child. We’re not completely braindead troglodytes with no understanding of modern medical safety standards.

Ebola Reston is a variant of the Ebola virus that first appeared in the United States, in Virginia. Ebola Reston is just as lethal as Ebola Zaire, but gave Americans a bigger scare when the first outbreak of it appeared so close to our nation’s capital. We’re not vaccinating our son against Ebola Reston because the disease it non-pathogenic to humans. It only affects monkeys, and our son, despite his behavior, is not technically a monkey. If it were hazardous to humans, we would have to be as dumb as monkeys not to consider giving our child every resource available to avoid contracting the disease.

Andromeda Strain is a crystalline agent that causes instant death from coagulation and deterioration of one’s circulatory system. In its most recently discovered forms, it has been harmless, but it evolves so quickly that it could easily become fatal again. We chose not to vaccinate our son against the Andromeda Strain because it’s a fictional disease, so it’s very unlikely that he would contract it. Even if it were real, his incessant crying would likely raise the level of CO2 in his blood sufficiently to make it inhospitable for the agent to take hold. However, if it were a real pathogen, and it were common in the US, and there were a vaccine for it, of course we would vaccinate our child. We’re not monsters.

Calculus isn’t actually a disease, but many people like to pretend it’s just as unpleasant. We’re not going to vaccinate our son against calculus, because it’s actually pretty useful. We’d love it if our son learned calculus. But if it were a terrible disease, I guess we’d vaccinate our son against that, too. Only a moron would risk their child contracting a known, debilitating illness against unsubstantiated rumors of statistically insignificant side effects of vaccines that have been given to large populations for many years.

This post originally appeared at Night of the Living Dad.

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