Wednesday, April 02, 2014


I think there are a lot of things in life that we can say, "To each his own."

Even if I feel very passionate about a certain something, I can say, "If you don't want to do it that way, it's fine by me."

An example: children and sleeping. I truly believe I have found the easiest way. However, I don't think that people who choose to do it differently are hurting their children. And they definitely aren't hurting my children. So if they want to do it their own way (and be a little more tired in the process) more power to them.

Eating well.
Going to church.
Experiencing nature.


But if you don't do them or you choose not to encourage your children to do them, the only people that will be "harmed" will be you and your children. (Of course people can argue that parents should not be allowed to do something that could harm their child, but I am very cautious when it comes to telling people how to parent their children.)

Vaccines are different.

If you choose to not vaccinate your child, you are not only hurting your child. You are possibly hurting my child. Or me. Or my parents.

My friend Tara (pronounces Tar-uh) is a family medicine/OB physician in California and truly, one of the smartest people I know. (She is BRILLIANT -- really!) Tara and I do not agree on everything. We disagree about many things politically, religiously, and culturally. (But I still really like her!)

Tara recently wrote a post about vaccinations entitled: For the sake of public health: please vaccinate. I encourage you to read it and share it with everyone you know.

Tara does not mince words. She quotes another article and writes:

Failing to vaccinate a child against a transmissible disease is analogous to strapping a bomb to their chest and sending them out in public – if something triggers an explosion they are the most likely one to die, but there is a substantial risk everyone close to them will get hurt as well."

It is for this reason that I believe we as a society should no longer have a "to each its own attitude" when it comes to vaccinations. We are dependent upon "herd immunity" in staying safe from diseases that can kill.

An example is my son Isaac. Because he is allergic to eggs, he cannot get the flu vaccine. But because other people vaccinate, an outbreak is unlikely, and my son is therefore given extra protection.

"When a critical portion of a community is immunized against a contagious disease, most members of the community are protected against that disease because there is little opportunity for an outbreak. Even those who are not eligible for certain vaccines—such as infants, pregnant women, or immunocompromised individuals—get some protection because the spread of contagious disease is contained. This is known as "community immunity." (Source).

I think the other thing that greatly bothers me when it comes to vaccinations is when people say, "I've done my research." However, this research is comprised of blogs and not medically researched sites. I encourage to spend some time on Tara's website. She references some great articles that are medically researched and substantiated properly.

Nothing someone does can cause me to lose my respect or love for them. I believe our Heavenly Father instructs us to love everyone. Anyone who knows me knows that as long as your value system does not endanger my family, you are welcome in my home and I will love you no matter what. So please know that even if, after reading this, you disagree, you can still be my friend. However, Tara has inspired me not to fail to be vocal on this topic any longer.



MtnGirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendi Kitsteiner said...

Mtn girl ... I encourage you to read all of Tara's articles ... But if you still feel that way, like I said, you are still welcome in my home! I will always love!!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you, but even with current laws there are ways around them. I disagree with the system when children are removed from homes because they don't vaccinate. Really? Because of the work I'm in, I've worked with families who are active drug users and have pedophiles living in their houses, but still do not have their children removed. It's a faulty system. Like you mentioned, many of those that do research don't get it from credible sources. People are still apt to believe a man who lied and falsified research for his benefit (the guy who claimed the MMR shot caused autism) because they are desperate for a reason why their child has a disability. Better education is the key. People want to live a "whole" lifestyle but if they look back years before processed foods and vaccine, people were dying from diseases which are rare today. Thanks for putting yourself out there and standing up for this.


Momma, PhD said...

I could not agree more with this. I'm a scientist, with a PhD in Molecular Biology, and the daughter of a public health nurse/school nurse.

Vaccination is critical. People who do not vaccinate put the rest of us at risk.

I've also blogged a lot about it- trying to convey the scientific and medical literature in a way that can be accessible to lay people.

For Isaac's sake, I'm glad that the FDA has approved egg-free flu vaccines!!

TAV said...

Thanks again for the shout-out, your kind words, and spreading the word!! :)

Anonymous said...

I might be missing the point. I am not for or against vaccination. But how does a child who is not vaccinated can expose those who are vaccinated at risk?

Wendi Kitsteiner said...

To anonymous, this is the point most people don't understand. Vaccinations are not one hundred percent successful. That's where the herd mentality comes into play. If the majority of people get vaccinated, it protects the entire community. But even if you get vaccinated, you are not completely immune. In addition there are newborns, pregnant women, and those who are immune compromised who can't be vaccinated. They are relying on the herd to not get sick.

Did I explain that well?