When it comes to parenting, people often keep their comments on other people’s parenting choices to themselves.
Some subjects, however, are the source of lots of public debate. Vaccination is one of those topics. People who choose not to vaccinate their children tout several reasons to justify their choice, but those who support vaccines worry that lack of vaccination in some children opens up the general population to a greater risk. It’s been endlessly debated on countless forums, and a recent viral tweet is bringing the hot topic back into the spotlight.
It all started when a Twitter user from Sydney, Elise Kumar, tweeted a thread showing a common argument anti-vaxxers make as to why they choose not to vaccinate their children: “People say ‘well what did people do before vaccines/antibiotics/ pasteurization?’ as if that’s an argument for going natural.”
The answer to that question is shown in the most candid and blunt manner possible:
“They died, Carol. A lot of people died.”
The rest of the internet loved it, and a very inflammatory debate ensued.
Elise Kumar tweeted out this message, musing on those who are opposed to vaccinations and was shocked at how much feedback it received.
Many people were eager to share the statistics supporting vaccinations, claiming that the decision not to vaccinate is on the wrong side of science.
Those who decide not to have vaccinations administered to their children pose a great risk to the general public, as it can cause the spread of nearly eradicated diseases and can introduce preventable disease into the general population.
Many people who have been affected by vaccine-preventable diseases spoke out on their situations in favor of people understanding the importance of vaccinations.
Many Twitter users shared the experience of older family members who were around prior to widespread immunization. The pain and suffering they detail is hard to read through but important to understand when making an informed decision.
Of course, the kind of suffering detailed still happens today in underdeveloped nations where access to medical care is not widely accessible.
Indeed, there have been spikes in certain vaccine-preventable diseases in recent years as more parents have made the decision not to vaccinate, such as the measles outbreak in Johnson County, Kansas, earlier this year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stats show 124 reported cases of the measles in the United States this year. This might not be enough to concern some people, but when taking into account the horrors people have dealt with back when these diseases ran rampant, it’s a risk we shouldn’t be so willing to take.
So many Twitter users came forward with facts supporting vaccinations that the arguments against it became hard to find.
Regardless of where you stand, it’s important to do your research on the issue and talk to professionals to make sure you understand what’s at stake.
There are outspoken celebrities on both sides of the issue. Kat Von D recently made waves by announcing that she wouldn’t be vaccinating her child.
Kristin Cavallari has also spoken out about her decision not to vaccinate her children. In the face of backlash, she replied “At the end of the day, I’m just a mom. I’m trying to make the best decision for my kid.”
Kristen Bell did lots of homework before deciding to vaccinate her children, as she told the Huffington Post in 2015. “I decided facts were my friends. I couldn’t rely on word-of-mouth, friend-of-a-friend information. I wanted the truth.”
Jennifer Garner is another celeb who is outspoken in her pro-vaccinations stance. She was the spokesperson for the American Lung Association’s “Faces of Influenza” campaign just two years after first becoming a mom.