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I'm Just About Done With Friends Who Don't Vaccinate Their Kids

Photograph by Twenty20

If your kid has a nut allergy, I vow never to send my kid into school with food that has been processed in a facility containing tree nuts or peanuts. If your kid is sensitive to loud noises, I'll keep the volume in our home to a dull roar. Does your kid get sneezy around cats? I'll keep mine behind closed doors when they come over to play (Well, if I had a cat, I would, anyway).

If your child has a compromised immune system, I vow to give you as much information on our family's health as I have at the time you drop them off for a playdate and then let you decide if you want to proceed as planned.

Your family keeps kosher, you say? I'll happily serve them food on a paper plate. Your family doesn't celebrate birthdays or holidays? I will respectfully not invite you to our celebrations. Need me to drive your kid home from school? I carry an extra booster seat just for that reason. Oh, and you don't even have to ask: We keep no guns in our home.

No need to thank me. It's just what we do, right, in this village of ours where we're all raising our kids and helping others with theirs?

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Yet while I don't require a pat on the back or a medal, what I will need from you is the promise that you'll keep your kids inoculated against preventable diseases. That means getting your kids vaccinated, because I have my family vaccinated for our sakes and yours. And if you don't vaccinate, for God's sake, tell me. Because while either my kids and/or I may adore you, there are likely times that not vaccinating your kids will mean mine will not be permitted to be around yours.

By all means, do what you think is right for your family. But for my family's sake, let us know so we can decide if we want to be around you—because that should be our right.

I've just about had it with the few friends I have who choose not to vaccinate. I'm sick and tired of my very smart, very savvy friends playing dumb and citing fake news from totally unverifiable sources that espouse vaccines are part of a big-pharma money-grabbing conspiracy, how it's somehow related to Monsanto, how vaccines do more harm than good, how my pediatrician is lying to me or purposefully leaving out critical information, and that if my kids are vaccinated, then I shouldn't need to be worried about yours not getting the shots.

Don't tell me about injecting poisonous vaccinations into your kids if they've ever eaten at McDonald's, nibbled on some Halloween candy or even eaten a non-organic piece of fruit. I'm not buying your devotion, sorry. Oh, and that story about how that one time one person you know who knows someone's aunt's cousin's hairdresser's friend's sister's grandma's dog walker's brother who got vaccinated and became autistic shortly thereafter? And your friend's friend's friend's sister-in-law saw the change right before her own eyes? Save it.

Some of my friends delay vaccinations. Others pick and choose from the menu. Some opt out of the flu shot. And in all those cases that I know about, I think twice about whether I want my kids to be around theirs, especially during cold-and-flu season, or even when there's an outbreak of a disease that should have been extinct, but thanks to families like their, are not.

The jury's back and the verdict is clear: Vaccinations do way more good than harm. And getting vaccinated isn't just about protecting yourself or your child, but the elderly, very young, pregnant and immuno-compromised. My friends are smart, but none are trained in actual medical research on this topic. There's a difference between Googling articles and talking to like-minded friends, and actually being a scientist and making statements based on inarguable facts.

RELATED: Nurse's Apology Letter to Patients Got Me All Choked Up

I'm tired. It's been a long year of fake news and divisive opinions stated as gospel—except this is one truth that is neither new nor going away. Not vaccinating based on your bizarre, non-science-based beliefs is about as bright as not putting your kid in a rear-facing car seat under the age of 2 because you're worried about their legs breaking instead of them dying. Few things are 100 percent certain, although what's known about vaccines by legitimate sources is about as real as it gets.

By all means, do what you think is right for your family. But for my family's sake, let us know so we can decide if we want to be around you—because that should be our right.

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