As headlines about a polio-like virus, measles, and of course flu season continue to fill our news feeds, the debate around vaccination rages on. Researchers noted in a report released this summer that “the social movement of public health vaccine opposition has been growing in the United States in recent years; subsequently, measles outbreaks have also increased.” The medical community is also concerned about parents skipping the flu vaccine.
After all, the shot was shown to make a real difference.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during 2016-2017, flu vaccination prevented estimated 5.3 million influenza illnesses, 2.6 million influenza-associated medical visits, and 85,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations.
A nurse from Monterey, California, recently weighed in on the debate, taking to social media to tell parents who refuse to vaccinate that they have the “freedom” to pass. But it comes with a caveat.
Mom and nurse Megan Doodle took to Facebook to explain her stance, acknowledging that “some of you aren’t going to like this.”
But because “it’s flu season,” Doodle says she felt compelled to share her thoughts.
“I think that people who don’t want to vaccinate should have the freedom to do so. If they think that ‘Big pharma’ is just trying to turn a profit or poison us all. .. they should be allowed to believe that,” she began her post. “But the caveat to that is this: Then they should NOT be allowed go to the doctor or the hospital when they get sick, looking for treatment. That’s right.”
She went on to explain the reason: “Big pharma makes those antibiotics we are going to pump you full of when you are about to die from sepsis.”
Doodle continued, “The steroids and epi we might give you to save your life from your anaphylaxis? Yep, big pharma is behind that too. That inhaler you need to treat your kid’s asthma? Better pass on that as well, because … you guessed it … brought to you by Big P. Having a heart at-tack? Better break out your essential oils and get your affairs in order, because the only thing we have to offer you is medicine and procedures brought to you by the very same people who are responsible for those vaccines you insist are evil.”
She gave other examples, such as needing TPA for a massive stroke, chemo for stage 4 c a n-c e r, etc.
“I think you get the picture,” the nurse noted. “Stop being so naive. Everything has risks. Everything has side effects. Medicine is not perfect. We advocate for vaccinating your children and yourself because science has PROVEN it’s the most effective method of controlling the spread of disease and giving you and everyone around you the best chance of NOT DYING from something preventable. Believe me when I say that not vaccinating yourself or your children because you believe that big pharma only cares about profit or that the scientific medical community has been duped, is 100 percent insanity.”
Doodle acknowledged that she takes anti-vaccine rhetoric to heart.
“I personally take offense to anyone who implies that medical professionals, like myself, would ever administer anything to anyone, especially a child, that would intentionally harm them. I take even more offense to anyone that would imply that a college educated professional, like myself, is incapable of ‘doing the research,'” Doodle wrote. “People always fire back with something like, ‘well if you are vaccinated, why do you care that I’m not? If you are so sure your vaccines work, It’s not like you can catch it.’
You are 100 percent right. I will probably be just fine. It’s my newborn baby who is too young to be vaccinated that I’m worried about, it’s my friend who is going through chemo, it’s a neighbor that is immune compromised, it’s my cousin who is allergic and can’t receive the vaccine. Yes, we tell you to get vaccinated to protect yourself, but it’s so much bigger than that. Vaccinate. Because it’s not just about YOU.”
She then signed the post, “A nurse, a mother, a college graduate (with a science based degree), NOT BIG PHARMA.”
Since Doodle shared the post on October 23, it has gone viral, wracking over 12K shares. Most commenters have praised the nurse for her stance.
Doodle’s bottom line is that those who opt out of vaccination show blatant disregard for the most vulnerable among us. As she acknowledged, some people are going to disagree with her take no matter what. But for the health of our communities, and children specifically, here’s hoping more parents side with this concerned nurse than against her.