An Open Letter To Parents Against Vaccination

An Open Letter to Parents Against Vaccination,

You love your children. I don't doubt that. The first moment you held your child is etched into your mind. You're choosing not to vaccinate because you are afraid vaccines aren't safe. You've read alarming stories on the internet. You've seen celebrities talk about the dangers of vaccines. Maybe you think they hurt more than they help.

But, there is something else to consider when you think about vaccinations.

When you think about vaccinations, I want you to think about polio.

Inside every iron lung is a child. A child who was loved as much as you love your child. No longer able to breathe on their own, they lie still inside a machine because of polio. In the early stages, polio cripples the muscles around the lungs. Polio is devastating.

When you think about vaccines, ask yourself, "Do I want children crippled once again by a disease science already conquered?" 

Or do you want to think about this image instead?

The vaccine came too late for this man, but not too late for your child. This vaccine you are refusing was celebrated around the world. Before the vaccine, everyone knew polio, and everyone knew what it could do. When that vaccine was announced, parents took their children by the hand and said, "Not my child."
They lined up in towns and cities to receive the polio vaccine. Not as a fearful poison, but as a triumph of science and hope. Vaccines aren't here to hurt your child, but to save them. When you were growing up, did you have friends who had polio? Probably not. Because you and your friends were vaccinated against polio. Vaccines saved you, and me, from polio.

Another vaccine you're refusing to give your child prevents a disease called diphtheria. We can go to Wikipedia and look up diphtheria. We can learn all about it in clinical terms. Or we can look at this:

And we can look at this:

Harriet, George, Joseph, William, Edmond, Lillie, Francis and Fredrick Kershaw all died within 17 days of each other from diphtheria. Lillie and her brother Francis died on the same day. Eight children, loved as much as you love your child, all gone in less than a month.

What did their parents go through as they buried child after child? I can't imagine. I don't want to imagine. That's why I vaccinated my child.

What would Joseph and Julia Kershaw say to you about diphtheria, if they knew there was a way to prevent it, and you refused to vaccinate your child? I think they would cry, "Why not?" 

Do you think the Kershaw family wished there was a diphtheria vaccine? It came in the 1920's. Too late for the Kershaw children. But, not too late for these kids.

The diphtheria vaccine didn't come too late for our kids. Vaccines are amazing, but they only work if we use them.

Don't you see what caused diphtheria to return? A lack of vaccinated children. Do you want to go back to a time where classmates were crippled from polio, and entire families died from diphtheria?  Or do you want to move forward into a world without childhood diseases? I know what world I want for my child, and for your child. 

Choosing to vaccinate your child is a big decision, and I know you're afraid. Please look at these pictures again and think hard about vaccines. For more information, get the facts. Please don't fear vaccines because it is trendy, and celebrities talk about vaccines like they are going to hurt your child. If you must be afraid of something, be afraid of polio and diphtheria. Then do the right thing for your child. I'm glad I did.

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