In a recent interview, The Hills alum Kristin Cavallari was asked a seemingly innocent
question about vaccinating her child. Her response, that she and husband Jay Cutler have decided not to
vaccinate their children due to concerns about autism and immunizations, was anything
It’s possible that Cavallari is getting more press now for
her stance on immunizations than she ever did as a TV personality. That’s
because the mere mention of the v-word
(vaccination) can start a media firestorm, and rightly so.
As a mom, Cavallari is wise to have concern over anything
related to her children’s health and well-being. But as a parent, it’s also
one’s job to thoroughly research a decision as major as not vaccinating one’s
children. The concerns over a link to
autism and vaccinations have been widely refuted. The original researcher even admitted years
later that much of the information in the study was inaccurate and that the
results could not be trusted.
Choosing not to vaccinate your children based on hysteria as a result of inaccurate information is just plain wrong as well.
Cavallari states that her reasoning for not vaccinating her children is because, “Vaccinations have changed over the years. There’s mercury and other stuff…” Sadly, this isn’t exactly true. There used to be trace amounts of a chemical called Thimerosal in shots given to infants. Thimerosal contains small amounts of mercury, which is different than environmental mercury that is toxic. When you and I were kids and were vaccinated, our shots contained Thimerosal. Since 2001, no vaccines given in the U.S. contain Thimerosal, part of a governmental initiative to expose infants and adults to less mercury across the board.
If you’re wondering what the fuss is over a TV personality
not vaccinating her kids, you’re missing the point. The fuss is over anyone not
vaccinating his or her kids. Read the
recent Salon Magazine article by
Lindsay Abrams and you’ll know why. 10 years ago, measles was all but
eliminated in this country. This year,
32 kids in California got the measles. Half of them were denied immunizations
by their parents. In New York, two children died from the measles, both exposed
to the disease due to their parents choosing not to vaccinate.
So when anyone, famous or not, chooses not to vaccinate her child she's putting her child’s life at risk. And she's putting my
child’s life at risk as well. Equally important, those people are relying on you and
me to vaccinate our children. Otherwise, we’d face a worldwide outbreak as
shown by the rise in measles outbreaks for the first time in 10 years.
If you, like Kristin Cavallari, think not vaccinating your
kids is “our personal choice,” you’re just plain wrong. You’re a part of a
bigger world. Your decisions affect other people. And choosing not to vaccinate
your children based on hysteria as a result of inaccurate information is just plain
wrong as well. Just ask the parents of those two kids in New York who died this
year from the measles. Chances are, they’d make a different choice.