A Detroit-area woman who refused to vaccinate her son was sentenced by a judge on Wednesday to seven days in prison…. Rebecca Bredow told the local ABC News affiliate WXYZ that a judge had ordered her to vaccinate her 9-year-old son. On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that Bredow was sentenced by Judge Karen McDonald, who ruled that Bredow’s ex-husband (the son’s father) “gets a say” in the decision. Though the parents have shared custody of their two children, Bredow is the primary caregiver. In response, Bredow told the judge that she takes “full responsibility” for her actions but that she is philosophically opposed to vaccinating her son for transmissible, potentially fatal and otherwise preventable diseases such as measles…. “I would rather sit behind bars for standing up for what I believe in than giving into something I strongly don’t believe in,” she said last week during the television interview with WXYZ. “God forbid he were to be injured by one of the vaccines, then what—that’s what scares me.” Bredow has said she is not opposed to vaccines, but she believes it was the right decision for her family.
For years, I’ve struggled to understand the phenomenon of vaccine denial. I’ve tried to wrap my head around how normally intelligent, lucid individuals could reject more than a century of scientific research in favor of something they heard Jenny McCarthy say on television. I’ve attempted to come to grips with how some folks are able to blithely ignore science simply because it doesn’t mesh with their preconceived notions.
Are vaccines perfectly, 100% safe for ALL children? Of course not…but what in this life comes without associated risks? If you think about it rationally, the effects of diseases vaccines are designed to prevent carry far more risk than the vaccines themselves. For some reason, though, there are parents out there who believe no one has the right to force them to vaccinate their children. To call that attitude irresponsible and selfish wouldn’t begin to do justice to their arrogance and ignorance.
I (and everyone else I went to school with) was vaccinated…because children weren’t allowed to attend school until they produced a vaccination certificate. It was just what we did, and that we were vaccinated to prevent childhood diseases like whooping cough, diphtheria, measles, and mumps seemed pretty sensible.
Common sense and solid scientific research supported the efficacy of vaccines. I don’t recall anyone I went to school with getting and passing along a serious childhood disease. Now that sensible approach has gone by the wayside because of one faked study in England which has come to be accepted as gospel by the anti-vaccine movement.
In the U.S., policies for childhood immunizations are controlled by the state. The National Vaccine Information Center lists Michigan as one of more than a dozen states that allows all three vaccination exemptions: religious, philosophical and medical grounds. Most states in the U.S. no longer permit families to forgo vaccines for philosophical reasons.
According to Michigan Live, Michigan is a state with one of the worst rates of child immunization. Current state law requires students in all schools to have certificates of immunization for admittance into kindergarten, seventh grade or a new school district.
Parents who wish to send their children to public schools need to recognize that it’s not just about their precious snowflake. There’s a collective responsibility to maintain “herd immunity,” which can prevent outbreaks from occurring. Statistics clearly show jurisdictions with lower vaccination rates to have correspondingly higher rates of outbreaks.
Bottom line- refusing to vaccinate your child is just plain irresponsible and dangerous.
Andrew Wakefield, the British researcher responsible for the fraudulent study on the effects of vaccines, continues to be considered a hero by the anti-vaccine movement. Despite the revelation that his data was faked, he’s looked up to as a talisman of the movement. It seems willful ignorance and denial of a century’s worth of scientific research has become a grass-roots movement.
Welcome to our Brave New World Order, eh??