When we think about declining vaccination coverage, the first that probably comes to mind is the shouting match on social media between Antivaxxers and ProVaxxers. As often in life, the ones with the loudest mouths do not represent the majority voice.
Antivaccination messages are scary, use false arguments and present falsehoods as facts. They frighten a much larger group of responsible, caring parents into hesitating about vaccination. Vaccine hesitancy has grown, not because the hesitant are stupid, but mainly because they care. They care about their children; some believe there may be truth in the Antivaxx claims that vaccines are bad for a child.
All parents have to weigh the risks for their children. Do I breast-feed, or bottle-feed? Can I let her cycle to school each day, or should she take the bus? Every choice has a risk. Not choosing also has a risk. The question is: which risk do you want to avoid?
If someone says: "Vaccines are completely safe, you will never be hurt", then that simply is not true. There is an extremely small risk attached to any medicine (even preventive) that you take. The important question is: how big is the risk when I do NOT vaccinate?
Well, this we know for as long as medicine exists. Measles kills, Whooping cough kills, Polio kills and paralyses, Rubella kills or cripples your unborn baby. These risks are at least thousands of times larger than the risk of taking the vaccines. It is an established, widely accepted scientific fact that not vaccinating presents a hugely bigger risk than vaccinating. Yes, it is true that a bridge may collapse. But do you really believe it is safer to let your kids swim across the river?
The safest choice you have as a parent is to vaccinate your children. It is a simple as that.
Better than I can ever explain, this Canadian mother tells you her story: