Part of my day at work is explaining to students entering health care professions why their school requires them to provide proof of vaccinations and immunity to various diseases. And the answer I give them is simple… that working in a healthcare setting you can both catch and transmit diseases. Yet some of the students want to argue with me how vaccines are not needed and I tell them that it’s the school’s requirements, not mine, and that they are probably not going to be able to work as a nurse.
I get the objection to vaccines. Especially if it’s your baby being vaccinated. It’s the worst thing in the world to see your baby scream when they are being poked in the arm or leg with a needle! When you try to talk to doctors about your safety concerns they brush it off or maybe they look at you like you are crazy, immediately branding you as one of those “anti-vaxxers” in their minds.
I used to have an intense fear that vaccines were harmful. I also used to distrust doctors and believed there was a conspiracy theory that Big Pharma was trying to make money so they were pushing vaccines despite the risks. Doctors brushing aside my fears fed into the theory.
I was fortunate to find health care providers who listened to my fears, treated me respectfully, and actually explain the numbers and the science. For example, when I was pregnant with my son I got admitted to the hospital at 26 weeks for a partial placenta abruption. While on bed rest for a few weeks I was able to convince the medical residents to teach me about fetal development, pregnancy complications, and neonatal care.
When I was afraid to let the nurses inject me with a corticosteriod for my baby’s lungs because I didn’t know the long-term consequences….I thought the Maternal-Fetal Specialist may be just trying to cover his own ass by pushing the drug on me “just in case” but after my respectful inquiry he took his time to explain why it was so important: it’d give my baby a fighting chance at survival if he was born early.
Since I’m not “blessed” with persuasive arguments I’m going to use these memes instead. This is what I’d like to communicate to people who are anti-vaccination and who let fear affect their decisions:
I get it; I really truly get it. Sometimes you just feel something deep down in your gut and…it still isn’t true!
Here are some of the crazy things I used to believe:
- These two are trustworthy sources for information:
- This person had brilliant ideas on how to fix this country:
- We are living in the End Times:
- The earth is less than 10,000 years old (because any older contradicts the Bible)
- Climate change is not real (climate change scientists are being influenced by evil spiritual forces)
- A divine entity lives inside me (Holy Spirit)
- Homosexuality is a sin and abominable to God
- Premarital sex makes you ruined for your spouse (worse than having been a drug-addicted diseased whore)
- There is a global demonic conspiracy (like, maybe the Illuminati?) that are trying to move us into a one-world government which will bring about the anti-Christ
- The only way to be saved from eternal damnation is to have a “personal relationship” with Jesus (and there is specific criteria for what that means)
- Depression and other mental health disorders are a results of failing spiritual health (you aren’t praying enough or in the right way or have some sort of secret sin in your heart)
- And so on, and so on..etc…sheesh I could do this ALL day (which is terrifying me)
I no longer believe these things and I am now a (relatively) sane person. Which means…there is hope for everyone to come to their senses!