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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

To The Anti-Vaccine Supporters: Stop being unfair

I have been wanting to write about the anti-vaccine supporters ever since I read about the measles outbreak in Disneyland, but it wasn't until I read this article that I decided to bite the bullet and do it. The reason: a comment that says: "So I have to poison my kids in order to save your kids?". Oh b(r)other.

FYI, US (because that is where the Disney measles outbreak is located) is not special in rejecting vaccines. Indonesia, roughly 9000 miles away from US, also has its own anti-vaccine supporters. These people claimed that vaccines are useless, and (according to some extremists) it is created by the Jews (gasps!) in order to sickened the good people while collecting the wealth for themselves. I know, I know, it sounds outrageous right? Well, so does any of US' anti-vaccines propaganda in my ears, including those that claimed it is poison. I mean, really? All drugs, even NyQuill is basically poison. C'mon people.

I was among the lucky ones in Indonesia: I lived in a better part of Indonesia, my dad made enough money for us to live humble but well, and my mom was knowledgeable. I got all my vaccines, and so did all my other sibling. However there are parts of Indonesia where these vaccines are hard to come by or, to some, not affordable. These parts usually also have poor health service, thus the exposure to the disease could create serious health issue, or even death. From my point of view, it is hard to understand why people would reject something that is potentially beneficial to them and their children, especially when other people in different part of the world would be all too grateful for the same opportunity.

Another part that irked me is that I have to re-do all my vaccines in order to get visa to US. Because the vaccines had to be administered in a US-government approved clinics (which inconveniently located in Jakarta, while I live in the island of Bali about 745 miles away), I ended up having to take 6 shots in one go. Even when I am already in US I still have to take mandatory flu shot in order to apply for my green card. I would guess the mandatory vaccines were in order to protect US citizens from the possible disease that I potentially carry, since the vaccines would effectively turned me into a harmless carrier; but if it's so, what's the point if Americans are not keen on protecting themselves?

The first winter that I experienced in US was harsh (according to my standard). It was cold and dreary and my body was still adjusting with the different climate and diet. Yet even though I was mentally and physically so ready for a bad case of flu, it was my healthy husband that ended up sick. Not once, but twice, and both were horrible. The mandatory flu shot that I took in order to file my green card apparently work. We had another flu shot this year and we have not had any serious sickness, except for a common cold now and then. It might just be our luck and there is nothing to do with the flu shot we take, but considering I come from a country with great warm and humid climate to live in it is a surprise that I did not get sick in the cold winter time.

Sometimes I think the westerner or the so-called civilized people were a bit misguided. Chipotle discontinue their pork menu because their pork supplier failed to comply to their animal-welfare standards, including the one that says the pigs are raised with access to the outdoors, rather than in cramped pens. This is funny to me because here in LA and also in SF there are apartments that are only 200-250 square feet, and yes, that is hardly enough for one person let alone a couple. It is not what I described as happy living condition. The animal must not be harmed in the making of our meal, yet people who lived in the worse part of US are judged to be there because "they are lazy". Humans of New York is on full throttle in a campaign about a school in Brooklyn, trying to give these kids something to dream about, that our lives worthwhile. Why do cattle and pets deserved more attention and a better life than this children? If the answer is that as a human we can choose and try to do things and animals can't, allow me to remind you that this children, just like the cows and the pigs and the dogs and the cats, have no choice to be born in their family and in their living condition. And now, the "screw you I don't want to poison my kids with vaccines" which could potentially infect other people's precious children that can't have vaccines or have weak immune system due to illness or poor diet.

You have the right to believe in something, and others have the same right too. You have the right to not vaccinate your kids, other people have the right to berate you because they are worried about their own kids. What neither of us human has is the right to hurt others. So yes, if your choice to not vaccinate your kids could harm someone else, then it is high time to step on the high horse and be responsible for others.

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