Vaccinations are a hot topic, and for good reason -- they involve our kids' health. Despite immunization recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics, many parents are choosing not to vaccinate. A recent study suggests that about 11 percent of parents have skipped or delayed at least one immunization for their children. If you're one of the 11 percent, you've no doubt dealt with some extreme reactions.
We asked parents who don't vaccinate to share some of those most annoying things people have said to them about immunizations. Here's they said bugs them the most (in bold) -- with some suggested comebacks.
- "Oh sorry, I need to cancel that play date." Why? Are you worried your child's vaccine is ineffective?
- "Vaccines don't cause autism, you know." Yeah, I know, and shame on that doctor for manipulating data. Autism has nothing to do with why I don't vaccinate though.
- "You should be more grateful for modern medicine." Modern medicine is a miracle. But then there's Larium.
- "Isn't it illegal to not vaccinate your kids?" I think you're thinking of bank robbery?
- "Aren't you worried your kids might die?" Is there a mom who would actually answer no to this? My kid's health and safety come first -- that's where bike helmets, car seats, and toddler-proofing come in.
- "So do you home school too?" Sorry, WHAT?
- "Ah, so you're behind this recent measles outbreak!" Yes, I am the all-powerful one.
- "Why are you so willing to put others at risk?" How is my perfectly healthy child putting anyone at risk?
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- "Never seen a real case of measles, have you? Keep it up and you will!" Actually, had measles as a kid -- and here I am, alive and kicking. With a great immune system, to boot. Go figure.
- "You know Jenny McCarthy is just a Playboy Bunny and not a doctor, right?" Jenny who?
- "So how many times have your kids had measles?" None. Yours?
- "I think people who don't vaccinate are so irresponsible." If you think spending hours doing research, reading books, and questioning doctors on vaccines is irresponsible, then I guess you're right.
- "Isn't not vaccinating like child abuse?" Refusing to assault my child with needle after needle and pump her full of toxins? Yes, it's exactly like that.
- "You don't vaccinate? Keep your kids away from mine! I don't want them to get pneumonia!" Er, you do know that unvaccinated doesn't equal 'sick with some disease right this minute,' right?
- "Not vaccinating is just as bad as being racist." And those two things are related ... how?
- "Don't be so paranoid! The government isn't out to get you or your kids." Nice talking to you, I've got to go adjust my tinfoil hat.
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- "Seriously, have you done your research?" Nah, I read some tea leaves and consulted with my spirit animal.
- "Please credibly cite which 'harmful things' are in vaccines and what makes them harmful." Please credibly cite what's in a vaccine.
- "If the government finds out, won't your children be taken away from you?" That's what we're hoping. Have a nice day!
- "People who don't vaccinate their kids are selfish." How so? We're generously leaving more vaccines for you! Enjoy!
- "What? Your child didn't get a flu shot? Now mine's going to get meningitis." Uh, riiiiight -- and your obvious knowledge explains why you do vaccinate.
- "Your kids deserve to die." And you are a lovely person.
If you do vaccinate your kids, consider refraining from these phrases, since they aren't exactly productive. If you really feel strongly about vaccinations, be more thoughtful about how to make your point. Or, as with other parenting issues, you could keep your opinion to yourself and know that these moms do have their child's best interests at heart.
What's the most annoying thing you've heard about vaccinating your kids?
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