I replied on a friend's thread on Facebook this morning.
The topic: vaccines.
My friend and I have similar views on vaccines. One of her friends is still searching for answers though. Good! There's a lot to know about vaccines.
I encourage people to read as much as they can about them. I did just that on my friend's FB thread. As the day went on, other people chimed in on my friend's thread, too. Many of us have similar views. The friend's friend who is on the fence questioned us. Good! When it comes to vaccines, people should be questioning what they're told.
I gave my two cents and then a little bit of advice. I know that not everyone holds the same opinion as I do, but I was hoping that sharing my thoughts would make a difference.
The friend's friend found the source I shared questionable. Another mom of a vaccine injured child had offered information as well as data from reputable sources.
Her input was questioned, too.
As the thread got longer, and as my replies were not cutting it, I knew I would soon walk away from the conversation. Before I walked away, I left one more comment:
I understand the need to find cold, hard facts, but it didn't take a research study, a blog, or a stack of statistics to educate me on vaccines. It took my sons' vaccine injuries to open my eyes and to show me that vaccines come with risks. Despite what was written about them, vaccines resulted in irreversible damage. We live with the result of that damage today, even 10 years later. So, do keep reading and asking questions, but don't forget to consider parents' input -- that input may not be part of the CDC's data nor on some science groups' website, but it can be just as valuable. Hoping you find the answers you are looking for.
Everyone has their own thoughts, their own opinions, and the right to believe what they want. That includes vaccines. Based on personal experience as well as the information I have and that I keep reading on vaccines, I am firm in my belief. But some people, like my friend's friend, is not there yet.
When I encounter people who are eager to learn or who are still on the fence about vaccines, I ask them to keep reading. To keep researching. To keep asking. And to keep questioning. I always ask them to make sure, whatever their decision will be, that they have not one doubt, not one hesitation, and that they will anticipate not one regret in that decision.
I walked away from vaccines with doubts, with hesitations, and with a good amount of regret. I pray that other parents will do the research that I didn't so that they will be spared from what I wasn't.