Dear Dr. Chad Hayes, MD. just by chance I found your FB and sides. It was through scientific magazine „Vesmir“ (Universe), which is published in Czech Republic since 1871 (www.vesmir.cz). In the last issue there was very interesting article „I am mistaken – so I am…“, where your article about vaccination is cited. (http://casopis.vesmir.cz/clanek/mylim-se-tedy-jsem)
I am a family law lawyer and I found the article about mediation, non aggressive communication, published in „Vesmir“ quite interested. Everyone, who came to the contact with the divorcing couples, know that the cognitive dissonance of such a couple is double and that is nearly impossible to overcome it. The children are the most often victims, being used as hostages by one or another parent.
In the underlines of the article, as example of good, non-aggressive communication was your letter to the parents, denying vaccination. Of course, I was so curious about this! First as a parent of a daughter, now nearly 17, who has been fully vaccinated since her early childhood. Was I right when I allowed to the doctors to sting my little one by all these awful needles? I constantly persuaded myself, that I WAS right (the result are speaking: pox does not exist on the world because vaccination, right?), but who knows? The second reason of my interest about our letter was due of my own profession. Vaccination is from legal point of view a typical legal problem, where two kinds of law competing each other: the entitlements of parents decide about their kids on one side, and interest of the whole society on creating of certain health surrounding. Vaccination is creating something, what is generally called as “public goods” and the individual decision to vaccinate or not to vaccinate has direct influence on the quality of all this health surrounding. For the problem would be not so easy, it is nearly such, that nearly ALL children must be vaccinated to get the “public goods” effect, so it is 1 – 0 solutions. Not so much space for the compromise… This case has been repeatedly judged by different courts, including the Czech Constitutional Court (with the result FOR compulsory vaccination), but there is every time some bad aftertaste, which rest on the tongue and a feeling of some small injustice, remains… The third circle of my interest was due the general communication. I am a person interested in public affairs and I see during last 25 years, as both in your country and in my country, the political people from opposite sides cannot speak each other, cannot communicate and cannot even listen each other´s arguments. When I was 23 years ago on the study stay in Congress, Republican and Democrats went to the dinner together. Not with pleasure but it was not un-normal. Today, they would probably kill each other. Here, in Czech – and generally in all Europe – the people hardly any understand, that the time, when existed TWO good solutions (left and right) are the fairytale of the past. Today we can be very glad, if we would able to find one solution, which would be endurable, probably far away to be good. The situation on all fields of human life is so complicated, that we can only try to do our best and via feedback observe, whether our effort brings only catastrophic results or something is going to be improved.
Dear Dr. Hayes,
From all tree aspects of my curiosity about your letter I was satisfied. Your letter is pretty good and I will propagate it. I share your opinion, your idea and I would be happy I would share also your empathy to my surrounding. Thank you for this article, for this letter!
Please, give my warm regards to South, the Land of my heart. I love Charleston. I love Atlanta, Marietta, Jonesboro, Macon, Augusta, Savannah, Beaufort, I love houses with large white columns, red bricks houses with white lining of doors and windows, the oak alleys with the veils of plains who´s name I forgot long time ago. I love the country, where water and the soil are on the same level and the horizon is touched only by white seagull’s cry. But this is another story. Today´s true story is: vaccinate!
with plenty regards, Klara, Prague, Czech Republic
Dear Anti-Vax Parents: We’re Not Mad At You
We are mad at people like Andrew Wakefield, who fabricated a study linking vaccines to autismand scared millions of parents into avoiding vaccinations. We are confused by Jenny McCarthy, who has zero medical training, but somehow managed to lead a massive movement against immunizations (although she now claims that she’s not anti-vaccines). We are infuriated by Dr. Bob Sears, who certainly knows better, but capitalizes on your fear for his own profit, while placing your children’s lives at risk.
It’s not your fault. You’ve been misled. You’ve been lied to. And all you wanted to do was to protect your children, whom you love deeply. We’re really not that different. Pediatricians across the country have dedicated their lives to protecting your children. None of us picked pediatrics for the money (although I like to make surgeons laugh by telling them that I did). We don’t get kickbacks from vaccine companies. None of us sells millions of books recommending that you follow the CDC’s immunization schedule—that’s a hard book to get published. We get no joy from sticking your kids with needles (and neither do our nurses). We do it because we care, and because we love your kids, too.
Really, the only difference between you and us is that we know how effective vaccines can be. We know the diseases they prevent. We know that about 2 in 1,000 kids with measles will die, thatpertussis can kill babies, and that varicella (chickenpox) can cause more than just an itchy rash. We understand that the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a quality control system designed to monitor for potential complications, not a registry of adverse events that are indisputably linked to vaccines. We view immunizations as one of the most important medical advances in the prevention of infectious diseases. We know that immunized children are less likely to die from preventable diseases.
So let’s band together. We’re not evil—and you’re not, either. We all want nothing more than healthy, happy kids. And you don’t have to trust us–feel free to do your research. But get your facts from reputable sources. Talk to your doctor openly about your concerns. And if your child isn’t immunized, tell the healthcare providers that take care of her; it changes our management, and it could save your child’s life.
-Your Child’s Pediatrician
Final thoughts: You may have noticed that the comments for this thread are now closed. To those of you who expressed appreciation, and to those of you who politely and respectfully disagreed with me, I truly appreciate your time. I’m not always right–no one is. And I enjoy polite discussions that may, in fact, sway my current beliefs about a topic. What I refuse to tolerate are baseless claims that endanger our children by playing off of parental fears with no substantive evidence, personal attacks on my intelligence or my perceived lack of knowledge about a topic, or attempts to use my post as a platform for launching your own arguments against modern science-based medicine. This post was an honest and compassionate attempt to bring together both sides of this topic; to foster open discussion between pediatricians and parents; and to promote health for our children. It was far more popular than I ever dreamed it would be, and it resulted in a seemingly endless stream of disparagement and denigration. I no longer have time to respond to moderate or respond to these comments…because I’m taking care of sick children. Thanks for reading.