In January this year, NPR created an interactive map showing nations that have large cases of childhood preventable diseases. The countries in Africa were high because parents didn’t have access to immunization but definitely would protect their children if they could. Meanwhile, the growing and new cases in so-called “developed” nations like the UK, France and now the US is out of fear from parents that their kids would develop autism if they got vaccines.
Currently preggers TV host of E!’s The Fabulist Kristin Cavallari is among those parents.
The former MTV reality star of The Hills and Laguna Beach shared recently during an appearance on the Fox Business “we don’t vaccinate [our kids]…I’ve read too many books about autism and the studies.”
Fox Business host, former MTV VJ Kennedy introduced the discussion as a joke when Cavallari said she could have her baby in New York City. Kennedy poked fun at Jenny McCarthy for not immunizing her kids and being among those who have contributed to the recent new outbreak of once eradicated diseases like measles in cities like New York City. When asked, Cavallari confessed that she too didn’t vaccinate her son.
“Well, there is a pediatric group called Homestead, Homestead or Homefirst, now I have pregnancy brain I got them confused — they’ve never vaccinated any of their children, and they haven’t had one case of autism,” she told Kennedy who replied “no links no links” before the shoe designer could add a point about how “one in 88 boys is autistic, which is a really scary statistic.”
Without a beat, Kennedy chimed in “well, my mom vaccinated us and she doesn’t have any cases of autism either.” To which Cavallari replied, “The vaccinations have changed over the years, there’s more mercury and other…”
Oh boy! These days, now that more is known about the studies and that the links have been debunked, there seemingly are more parents who will immunize their children than in years past.
First, the mercury Cavallari was referring to is the mercury-based preservative thimerosal which was removed in 2001 from all vaccines as a precaution. for kids under 6, except in the flu vaccine, the Chicago Tribune noted.
Meanwhile, the Homefirst practice she was referring to was under investigation in 2009 and the chief doctor’s reason for not immunizing his children was based on religious not scientific basis.
The medical study that McCarthy relied on was also debunked when the chief researcher admitted to fudging data. He was since jailed and sued and is being held responsible for the unneeded deaths of many children in the UK and now the US. This map NPR created shows the recent new cases of whooping cough, measles, polio and the like because of the irrational fear.
Cities in the UK experienced a recent fresh outbreak of measles, long since practically eradicated, because of mothers like McCarthy and Cavallari opting out of immunizing their children.
My mother was one of those African mothers in the NPR story.
When I was about 3 years old, living in the very poor nation of Sierra Leone, West Africa, where I was born and lived for the first 4 years of my life, my best friend Junior died after we both contracted German Measles. At the time we got the rash, children in America easily and were readily immunized from it and thus didn’t die off like kids in nations like ours, considered “third world”.
Therefore, when I started having kids in my late 20s, based on my own personal loss, it was a no-brainer to immunize all my children because autism is way better than death.
To each its own, but I do believe that overeducation can breed arrogance and aloofness to life and reality. The comfort of growing and living in an “advanced” society and culture leaves room for people to let various untested or unconfirmed theories control their decisions without stopping and taking a step back at the real practical consequence of it all.
There are passionate parenting decisions I made based on things I read in books that I regret today. Were I able to be more forward-thinking at the time and truly consider the real life impact those decisions would have on my children, I definitely would’ve done things differently.
I highly recommend all new soon-to-be moms and dads exercise caution. It’s great to be educated but that needs to be balanced with being practical and realistic. Do not be so narrow-minded and accepting of various theories without thinking critically and embracing all aspects of a debate on the topic.
Free your mind and the rest will follow!
*off soap box*