During the 1940s, before my husband was born, his elder baby brother developed polio. It was while his father was away fighting in World War II.
The little boy didn’t survive. There are photos of a dear little smiling boy as the only reminders of a life taken too soon. The family went on to have two more children, a girl and three years later a boy who became my husband.
My own family weren’t touched by this deadly disease but I know of other families who were affected in the days before a vaccine was developed. Back in my mother’s era of the 1920s influenza, diphtheria etc. wiped out whole families.
My children had measles, mumps and chicken pox with no serious side effects thankfully, but now little kids haven’t got to go through the suffering brought on by these diseases. My children were vaccinated at the usual milestones from an early age as were my older grandchildren. No discussion, you had your babies protected and that was that.
Then some so-called doctor noted falsely that vaccinations caused autism and some of the world got on the bandwagon causing mayhem and destroying what some might call the complacency we had about vaccinations. Questions about the pharmaceutical companies in it for the money, which could be true, but hey as long as our children are protected who cares?
My daughter works with autistic children. There is no proof that vaccinations cause autism.
The vaccination debate has reached my own family. The younger son and his partner haven’t had their son vaccinated. He is now 18 months and thankfully hasn’t hardly had a sick day in his short life. The family are very anti-doctor and rely on vitamins, organic food and bottled water etc., which all seem to be working. We don’t talk about the ‘elephant’ in the room as we don’t want to upset them or ourselves and we love this little boy.
I probably shouldn’t be around him as I have a chronic low immune system that requires monthly infusions to boost my system, but I take the risk as I think it is low. My sister-in-law hasn’t met the baby as her own granddaughter has a very low immune system and she won’t take the risk in case anything is passed on to her. I think this is a bit dramatic as the child is now at school and probably susceptible to more infections from multiple sources.
The younger generation have only heard but not experienced the heartbreak our ancestors went through before vaccinations and they think because these diseases are mostly eradicated that is the end of it. Call it what you will, but to me it is irresponsible parenting not to get your babies vaccinated. I don’t know what the answer is to turn this around but more and more parents are not vaccinating. They truly believe that their way is the right way.