Kristin Cavallari Won’t Be Vaccinating Because She Read Some Books And Now She’s A Doctor Apparently

kristin cavallari

Following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Jenny McCarthy and Charlie Sheen, “Hills” start and quasi-celebrity Kristin Cavallari has come out as being anti-vaccination, and her reasoning behind this decision would be hilarious if it wasn’t so scary. Cavallari acknowledged on Thursday, during an interview with Fox Business, that she and her husband Jay Cutler do not believe in vaccinations, saying:

“We didn’t vaccinate. I read too many books about autism and there’s studies…Now, one in 88 boys is autistic and that’s a scary statistic.”

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When she was asked Friday morning during an interview with Fox & Friends to elaborate on her views, she had this to say:

“You know, it’s not something that I wanted to publicly come out and say… I was in an interview when it came up and it wasn’t what I was expecting…Listen, to each their own. I understand both sides of it. I’ve ready too many books about autism and there’s some scary statistics out there. It’s our personal choice, and, you know, if you’re really concerned about your kid get them vaccinated.”

Since when does reading a few (most likely questionable) books make you an expert on something? Especially something related to the medical field? How many books, exactly, does it take to become an expert? Are they giving out medical degrees via Kindle now?

I’m all for parents being able to make personal choices with limited judgement, but when those choices begin to effect the rest of us, they stop being personal. It’s not just a matter of pro-vax parents vaccinating their own children. There are various vaccinations can only be given at certain ages. For example, the MMR vaccine isn’t given until 12 to 15 months of age. Which means if your little snowflake gets the measles because you don’t “believe” in vaccines, you’re endangering every child under 12-15 months of age who your child comes in contact with. That seems less like a “personal choice” and more like someone who doesn’t care about anyone else’s well-being but their own children’s.

(Photo: WENN.com)

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    • Harriet Meadow

      I like how in the first quote she says “I’ve read too many books about autism and there’s studies…” Note that she doesn’t even say that the books and studies have anything to do with the supposed link between vaccines and autism…

      • keelhaulrose

        I read lots of books… Dr. Seuss counts, right?
        If she really read those studies she’d know they state 1 in 88 CHILDREN have autism, but it’s 1 in 54 boys, since boys have a night prevalence than girls.

      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        Is it just me or did you kind of read that as “I read these books, and I know there are studies but I didn’t actually read them…” I totally think she read a few pop-sci books and heard about studies, but didn’t actually take the time to read these so-called studies.

      • Harriet Meadow

        Ha, totally! “There’s studies…” They’re out there, I just haven’t read them…

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        I feel like she was in a bookstore and walked past a shelf (or online surfing the web) and looked at titles like “Do Vaccines Really Cause Autism?” and actually looking at them was too much effort. But she did notice there were a lot of them.

      • Iwill Findu

        Pretty sure there are more studies linking vaccines to a drastic lack of childhood deaths then autism. But you know call me crazy I would rather have a child with a disability then a dead child.

    • quinn

      I suppose it is a personal choice, but unfortunately when celebrities speak out on the subject they influence those too stupid to do their own research. If enough people stop vaccinating then we can all kiss that herd immunity goodbye! I wish a credible celebrity would speak out FOR vaccines, maybe that could influence some of these parents to actually do their research and get the vaccines that will keep their children (AND MINE!!) safe from preventable diseases.

      • Joy

        You would hope nobody is dumb enough to take medical advice from some bimbo who used to be on The Hills, but Jenny McCarthy was apparently seen as a credible source of medical information, so maybe we are really that stupid as a nation.

      • JJ

        Sadly people are that dumb :(. I have actually heard people debate whether or not to vaccinate based on the information she brought up when she first came out years ago about it. Please don’t look to celebrities as sources of medical advice people talk to actual doctors and science researchers.

      • Edify

        Public health shouldn’t be a personal choice

    • RayneofCastamere

      Yup, vaccines totally cause autism and autism is the worst thing that could ever happen to a child ever.

      Kiss herd immunity goodbye, people.

      • keelhaulrose

        One day one of them will have a child get polio. Because polio is so much better than autism. I’d much rather have a child in an iron lung.

    • http://mother--bored.tumblr.com/ Aimee Ogden

      Ugh, I was just writing the other day about people who think they are an “expert” because they read a few things (especially if those things are from wackaloon.net instead of a valid source. Sorry, reading mommy blogs for a few hours does not give you a master’s in public health.

      And besides kids who are too young to have been immunized, there are immunocompromised people who can’t get vaccines (SCID, cancer, AIDS patients); plus there is a certain percentage of people who do get vaccinated but just don’t have an immune response for some reason. Choosing not to vaccinate is a public health risk and there’s no scientific basis for rejecting immunization.

      • MellyG

        My mother is immunocompromised, side effect of ITP and no spleen – she has been vaccinated in her youth, but I can’t even be around her if i have a bad cold or minor flu, because it could really take her down. I’m hoping beyond hope these idiots don’t give her measles, because i will be PISSED

      • cabinfever

        It turns out, I’m one of these people! I’ve had at least 3 MMR vaccines now (when I was a child, and after the birth of each of my children), and it just doesn’t seem to be sticking. I hope the vaccine works for my girls, but I’m nervous for myself!

      • CMJ

        When I was little, I got a “bad batch” of the MMR vaccine and it turns out the mumps part didn’t work. I got the mumps – on both sides. It was horrible. Luckily I was about 7 and my immune system was more developed and it basically took me out of commission for a week and a half for each side. It could have been a lot worse. I got a booster in middle school just to be safe.

        Bottom line – just because it’s “your choice” doesn’t mean it’s a good one. For some people, it’s a matter of life and death and your “choice” can cost them a hell of a lot.

      • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

        I think at least a small part of this problem is that people no longer realize how serious these diseases are or can be. People truly believe that a lot of these are just “normal childhood diseases” and that people are just overreacting to them. People have forgotten that these illnesses can have serious complications.

        One example I like to use is how often people refer to any bad cold or stomach virus as “the flu”. These folks think getting a flu shot is ridiculous, but they don’t realize that _actual_ influenza can be dangerous enough that people _die_ from it (and not just elderly or immune-compromised although such folks are the highest risk).

      • Williwaw

        Agreed. I knew a 23 year old woman who died very suddenly and unexpectedly of complications of the flu. Of course, flu vaccinations don’t guarantee you won’t get the flu, since there are so many strains, but so many people don’t think about the fact that a young healthy person can die from flu or whooping cough. It happens. It’s horrible.

    • keelhaulrose

      The only thing anyone on the Hills or Laguna Beach were experts on was being out of touch with reality.

    • Kristen

      She’s read too many “books” on autism but obviously not enough on measles, whooping cough, the flu, or rubella.

      • Katherine Handcock

        Ha! I was just coming on here to write this, and you beat me to it :-)

      • thabe331

        I’m definitely questioning her claim that she is capable of reading

    • Joy

      The only really surprising thing about this story is that Kristin Cavallari can read. I pity the fool whose unvaccinated child makes my kid sick before they are old enough for vaccines.

    • Frannie

      A few years ago DD was diagnosed with autism. With intervention, her diagnosis has been scaled back three times. She is now considered “residual PDD/NOS.” When she began early intervention at age 3 she couldn’t make 2 word sentences on her own. This year she started kindergarten and is functioning at grade level. She can read and write, and she can speak in full sentences, but still needs a little bit of help with speech. She is almost 6 but her speech is at around a 4 year level, but this is up from a 1.5 year level at age 3. There may not be a cure for autism yet, or even ever, but she is doing great with help.

      She has also had all her vaccines, because you don’t make progress when you’re dead.

      • keelhaulrose

        I love hearing stories like this.
        My daughter was diagnosed with autism recently, but she’s been in an SO program for almost six months. And that six months has been incredible. She’s saying words now (just one word at a time, but discernible and meaningful), she’s playing with her therapists and not next to them anymore, her tantrums are down to where I’d expect for a two and a half year old when they would take up six hours of the day or more when we started EI, she’s making eye contact… It’s been great but in the back of my mind I’ve been wondering if we’re going to hit a plateau. Hearing things like your story makes me optimistic.

      • MellyG

        I know everyone is different, and there’s a wide spectrum, but my friend’s daughter is a teen now, and it takes a LOT of time for a stranger to realize anything is wrong. She’s in normal classes now, thriving, getting all As, and doing very well. I know there are still challenges, but she’s living “normal” so to speak, and she’s just an awesome teen. I imagine there are great tings in her future!

      • keelhaulrose

        This is why I love this site. I feel comfortable expressing my concerns about this, because most everyone is supportive. I’ve seen other sites where people mention they’ve got a child with autism, and they get a bunch of nasty responses, from people saying you shouldn’t be allowed to take a child with autism out in public to, in one case I can remember, someone saying autism doesn’t exist and the parents who claim their children are autistic only want attention. Here that person would be told how unwelcome their views are.

      • Frannie

        My own MIL told someone when she found out I’m pregnant that I should have waited til we found out of DS has autism before having a third child, so I don’t even want to know what else is ‘out there.’ I can’t even imagine!

      • MellyG

        Are these people for REAL? Shouldn’t take an autistic kid out in public? for REAL?

        Honestly, i’ve heard the “it’s not real thing” – but i think we’re just better at diagnosing things now than say, 20 years ago. I bet a lot of people in my generation are actually on the autism spectrum, and don’t really know it, because when i was little we didn’t have the same ways to diagnose it. That doesn’t mean it’s not REAL.

        Man alive people are stupid!

      • whiteroses

        It’s only recently that there was even recognized that there was a spectrum. Used to be, all autistic kids were just labeled “retarded”.

        Thank God we’ve progressed.

      • JJ

        Oh my god, people are dicks. I can’t believe someone says that about anyone with a disorder or disability, They are human just like the rest of us they need to go out, socialize and see the world too. People in the past had the same view about people in wheel chairs with conditions like cerebral palsy or serious burn victims etc saying things I shouldn’t have to look at that in public, its scares me or they don’t belong here. I wasn’t aware the world was just for perfect people who didn’t have medical conditions .

        And why in the hell would someone claim their kids are autistic for attention? What’s next accusing wheelchair bound people of faking needing a wheelchair? Just get up and walk you! Saying that person who has tourettes and can’t stop their ticks is a liar who just wants to be looked at? yeah because people love having constant, uncontrollable ticks that make them feel socially isolated.

      • C.J.

        You would be surprised the stupid things people say. I had a stroke and although I am not in a wheelchair anymore I still have people say stupid things. I should just be able to will my body to work right. It should just be mind over matter and if I still can’t do something I’m just not trying hard enough. Yeah, never mind that a piece of my brain is dead and I was totally paralysed on one side. I guess that fact that I can walk and take care of myself and my children isn’t good enough because I can’t do everything I used to. People say stupid things to those with disabilities all the time. I’m an adult though, not a child. It’s even worse if someone says something stupid to or about a child.

      • Jessifer

        My autistic cousin is now 28 years old. He was able to graduate high school, and although college did not work out, he worked at a grocery store stocking shelves and gathered money to buy himself a used car which he uses to go on road trips all over the US and Canada. He has had a girlfriend for the last 5 years (she is totally normal – she just happens to love him for who he is), and they recently moved into their first apartment together and adopted a dog.

        When he was a child, no one in my family EVER expected him to get this far. It has been 3 decades in the making but the more he grows, the more he manages to surprise us with what he is able to do. He is amazing.

      • Frannie

        That actually made me cry a little bit :) When we started EI preschool I wasn’t sure that anyone could help her, but it’s been absolutely amazing. You might hit a plateau someday, and I honestly still worry about that a lot, too, but just keep encouraging her and you’ll get great results.

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        In my first year of teaching I had a little boy that was like you describe. His parents had to hold him down when he was younger. By the time I had him he was able to be in regular classes, with an aide, and he did alright. Didn’t talk much. He got into drama in late middle and high school and it was like his THING. He could memorize lines and be silly, and really, by high school, he had moved so far beyond his diagnosis it’s hard to believe. He got a lead role a couple of times. He graduated high school and I *think* is in college.

      • Katherine Handcock

        So happy to hear that your daughter has made such progress! Your post made me smile :-)

      • AugustW

        This makes me so happy to read. We are at the beginning of that road with my DD. She is 3 and in a developmental preschool

      • Frannie

        Those EI preschool teachers are like wizards. I don’t know how they do it, but they worked miracles with my daughter. Just be patient and I’m sure you’ll get great results. It’s been so beneficial for us. Good luck!!

      • AugustW

        It cut off my whole reply….I was saying that she has been in for three months now and I see a huge difference. She said a four word sentence recently,and she is potty training! She recognizes some letters, and she actually plays with her stuffed animals like most kids do.
        She even helps me water our “baby plants” (growing from seed this year) , something she never would have done last year. She sings them to sleep at night! :)

      • Frannie

        My DD had delayed potty training too, but thankfully we were able to figure that out once her speech improved. It wasn’t just her speaking to us, but she had comprehension issues that made toileting very difficult at first.

        The seed project sounds like so much fun for your daughter! I bet once she sees actual sprouts she’s going to be so excited!

      • Kelly

        “She has also had all her vaccines, because you don’t make progress when you’re dead.” BEST QUOTE EVER. And I am so glad to hear your daughter is doing better. Best of luck to her and you.

      • Frannie

        Thank you!!!

    • Jessifer

      Let’s entertain the idea for a minute that it’s actually true that vaccines could potentially cause autism in a small fraction of the population.These parents would prefer that their child suffer or even DIE from very serious and horrible diseases than end up being diagnosed with autism???

      • MellyG

        That’s always been my thought – i see no truth to the correlation, there are no ACTUAL scientific studies to prove it, but even if there were, i’d rather have an autistic kid than a dead one.

      • Jessifer

        Exactly. I have a cousin who was diagnosed with autism in the mid-80s, before Rainman, and before people even knew what it was. He’s an awesome person and I’m very happy that he’s healthy and alive.

      • MellyG

        Two close friends have autistic children, and while both present different challenges, they share your sentiment – autism is better than dead! And the kids are thriving as they get older, which doesn’t mean there aren’t still challenges, but they are both awesome teens and will likely continue to be awesome adults.

      • Katherine Handcock

        If you haven’t seen it, you’d probably love Penn and Teller’s vaccination spot. Caution: some language.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfdZTZQvuCo

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        It makes me laugh that you’d warn us about language. I mean, holy shit, this is Mommyish :) Seriously, that’s a great video.

      • Katherine Handcock

        Ha! You make a very valid point ;-)

      • MellyG

        That is awesome. I want them to do one about herd immunity

      • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

        I posted this on my Facebook yesterday after I read measles has made a comeback in New York.
        Effing stupid people making ridiculous choices…

      • pixie

        Penn and Teller are my favourite. I’m sad that their show Bullshit no longer airs :(

      • Andrea

        Well they don’t see it that way. They see it as the deadly disease being a remote possibility versus the real danger of autism. Which is bullshit, of course, but that’s how those idiots see it.
        The reality is that autism isn’t cause by vaccines and getting measles is a very real possibility these days because these idiots insist on reproducing and spreading their bullshit.

      • Jessifer

        A few of these anti-vaxxers will be in for a rude awakening on the day they realize that their kid(s) is autistic despite the fact that they were never vaccinated.

      • Andrea

        Considering the sheer amount of these idiots and the probability of autism being 1 in a 100 (something close to that right?), you would think that has happened already. Statistically, it should have.

        Maybe there aren’t as many anti-vaxers as I thought (the few just happen to be really loud and galactically stupid) or maybe it has happened and they did have to STFU so we never heard about it.

      • AugustW

        Unfortunately they would probably just not get the kid tested so as not to ruin their world view.

      • Frank

        I am currently witnessing this, and let me tell you, the denial runs deep. I know a family that is heavy in the anti-vaxx movement. Dad is a doctor that specializes in working with children with autism and mom is a nurse. Both heavily drank the kool-aid about vaccines causing autism a few years back, which caused their adult daughter to become a huge believer/vocal pusher of anti-vaxx crap. Cut to present day… doctor dad has backtracked a little on his vaccine stance because SCIENCE, but meanwhile adult daughter is still hugely involved in this crap, which has caused a big rift with family members worried about her two unvaccinated kids. Her 4.5 year-old son is clearly on the spectrum (even her father, a specialist in this, agrees). He stims, cannot make eye contact, and only speaks in memorized quotes from books and movies. To this day this woman has yet to admit her unvaccinated son is on the spectrum and still posts regularly on Facebook about how vaccines cause autism which is oh so terrible, of course. It takes everything I have not to tell her off each time I see one her dangerous (and false!) PSAs against vaccines on social media.

      • MellyG

        Ok, it really scares me that a DOCTOR was ever anti vaxx *shudders*

      • Frank

        He still believes that vaccines should be on a delayed schedule and limited to the “important” ones. This is not great but better than the alternative of no vaccines ever. I only hope that privately they are getting the son early intervention and any support he needs, and that both kids stay healthy since there is now a measles outbreak where they live.

      • Williwaw

        Then they’ll probably want to blame it on fluoridated water or plastic containers or formula or something…because I think people have a hard time accepting that sometimes things just happen, and there’s no one to blame (or sue).

      • JLH1986

        Formula causes Autism…duh! Only breast milk can prevent autism! Geez I thought everyone knew this!
        ETA: I’m just kidding. that was sarcasm. I wanted to be clear on that point.

      • Larkin

        That was always my reaction, as well. Even ignoring the fact that this theory has been debunked, I would rather my child have a very small chance of developing autism than die because of a preventable disease. All medicines and therapies have side effects… there’s a very, very, very small chance you could have a stroke after visiting the chiropractor, and a very small chance you could develop fatal blood clots from birth control pills, but that doesn’t seem to stop most people. I’d take autism over death any day.

    • Fireinthefudgehole

      Why do people proclaim so proudly that they’d rather have a dead child, than an autistic one?

      • Science!

        Because they are terrible people.

      • NYCNanny

        That’s awful… I’ve never heard that, but it’s awful.
        That being said, the majority of anti-vac people don’t say this.

    • TngldBlue

      Fun with Dick & Jane doesn’t count Kristin. The other day someone posted to FB “why do we need vaccines when the diseases they prevent have been eradicated” and then followed up with “why do you care if my child isn’t vaccinated if yours is?”. And herein lies my frustration with anti-vaxers, they don’t even realize the “points” they make reveal their utter lack of a grasp on basic science, diseases, and how and why vaccines work. It’s rage inducing when it is blindingly clear someone has come to a dangerous opinion via no valid research whatsoever.

      • MellyG

        That’s my issue – if you’re going to so loudly proclaim to be against something, at least understand how that something WORKS

      • keelhaulrose

        I actually had to tell a friend, who I thought was smarter than this, that because a disease is “eradicated” in the United States doesn’t mean it’s not anywhere. There’s still places where polio is still around, and all its going to take is one infected person in a place with a lot of anti-vaxers to cause an outbreak. I pointed out that HIV/AIDS wasn’t in the US a few decades ago, but one infected person brings it over and starts an outbreak.
        Just because it’s not here now doesn’t mean it can’t be in a matter of hours.

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy
      • Iwill Findu

        I had a co-worker give me crap for saying I intended to vaccinate my kids, (before I even had kids) until I told her that my hubbies parents live overseas and work in 3rd world counties were these diseases are still around, and I never want to worry about who’s sitting on a plane with us illness wise. But I shouldn’t have to justify vaccinating my kids to these anti-vaxers.

      • JLH1986

        One would think the Whooping Cough outbreak in California last year would have enlightened people…but no. “can’t happen to me/here” mentality.

      • WriterLady

        I am actually shocked by the few people I know who are in the staunchly anti-vaxx camp. One is a nurse; she should know better (clearly). The two others are extremely intelligent individuals who, by all accounts, have a good head on their shoulders and are what I would presume to be “smart” people. They aren’t the types to follow the lead of Jenny and Kristin, just because these celebrities are yapping about not vaccinating their kids. I would describe these people as yuppie-yet-crunchy–always freaking out about every little thing that their kids may come in contact with. When you engage them in a debate, they will cite shady websites that always have “Natural” or similar wording in their title (“Natural News,” for example). The few times I’ve visited these sites, I’ve noticed that the “medical Information” articles are always provided in conjunction with conspiracy theory-type articles. And, most importantly, the original studies associated with this autism myth have been debunked. Period. Very, very few doctors and scientists agree with this philosophy. So, I just don’t understand the thought process of seemingly intelligent individuals who aren’t vaccinating for reasons that don’t involve religious objections. As far as the increase in autism-related diagnoses, I am willing to speculate one of two things: 1.) That an increase in environmental hazards (in general—nothing specific) over the last several generations may have something to do with the rise in autism diagnoses (after all, we have polluted the hell out of this world); and 2.) That autism may be one of those tricky disorders that wasn’t fully recognized/discovered by the medical community until the last couple of decades. For instance, when my dad was young (in the 50s and 60s), kids whose behavior deviated in any way shape or form were unfortunately treated as “different” (or, more honestly, terms that are completely non-PC and inaccurate). Heck, lobotomies were performed on people with severe depression and other common mental health disorders or even physical abnormalities. The only thing I can say is that this movement is highly organized and motivated by irrational fears; therefore, I don’t see it going away anytime soon—unless polio and other horrible diseases that were all but eradicated from the Western world make a major recurrence. Then, it may be too late to convince these people that the CDC and the WHO aren’t conspiratorial enemy agents.

      • Whatwhatque

        I too have a friend who is (was?) very intelligent but has completely gone off the deep end with her crunchiness. I believe that among this cohort, they start with a quite rational desire to “question authority”- are the things that have become norms actually what’s best? And those are fair questions to have but it has turned, instead, into paranoia and an overall distrust of big institutions like public schools, mainstream farming, and especially medicine and Big Pharma. At first this leads to just pro- natural homebirth, extended breastfeeding, homeschooling, intactivism, etc which is pretty harmless, you do what works for your family. But in some sad cases, I have witnessed this go a step over the line into anti-vaccination rhetoric, born form the same paranoia and being advocated for using the same kind of biased mommy memes as the other “crunchy” causes.

      • NYCNanny

        Hi,
        Interesting post I have a question, though… WHY do you care if my child isn’t vaccinated if yours is?” Seriously, I’m curious.

        (I totally get why the “eradicated” question is ridiculous…fyi. just curious about the second q)

      • TngldBlue

        The first is that herd immunity protects those that cannot get vaccinated, such as infants or immune-suppressed individuals (like cancer or HIV patients) or the 1% of people who get vaccinated but for whatever reason their bodies do not mount the immune system reaction it should and the vaccine does not work. The second is that viruses can and do mutate. Allowing the re-introduction of a virus into the population gives it the opportunity to change, rendering the current vaccination worthless and risking a new epidemic.

      • NYCNanny

        Interesting. Thanks for the reply.

      • rrlo

        I also hope that those that choose not vaccinate their children at least notify their kids when they are older. If I wasn’t vaccinated, I certainly would be very cautious of where I travel to. Many of these diseases are rare in North America – they certainly aren’t rare in other parts of the world.

        I really wish some of these parents take a look at the mutilated faces of people around the world who contracted these diseases (e.g. measles or mumps).

      • SusieD

        Because it’s selfish and there’s no reason NOT to vaccinate your kids. There are a significant number of people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons – a compromised immune system, not old enough, etc. If your child isn’t vaccinated, and gets sick, it puts all of those who have a valid SCIENTIFICALLY AND MEDICALLY VALIDATED reason not to be vaccinated at risk. It’s called herd immunity. By vaccinating as large a group of people as possible, it protects the smaller number that can’t be vaccinated.
        Better question is, why WOULDN’T you vaccinate your kids? If the answer has the word autism or autistic in it, it’s wrong.

      • NYCNanny

        Susie, chill… I get it. Thx.

        PS: I will NOT be getting into why I’m on the fence about vaccines. Last time I commented on a mommyish blog about my opinions, I legit got the meanest private messages for days after. No joke… Chill out mommies. It’s all good.

      • SusieD

        I’m generally pretty chill on most subjects, but this is one of the few subjects, along with prohibiting gay marriage, insisting that creationism is taught in public school science classes, and people who take offense when they see a mommy/baby breastfeeding team in public, that gets me riled up. So I apologize for using my angry internet voice. But my question still stands, why not? I am actually curious.

    • MellyG

      I love this podcast – perhaps Ms. Cavallari and all else who don’t understand how vaccines work should take a listen. The thing is, with small pox, in the beginning there were STILL side effects, in fact, people GOT small pox….but in a smaller dose, so ya know – not dead or with horrible side effects. People understood this was “better”- like, hey i’d rather take a week or two of small pox in a small dose than be DEAD. What has happened to us that we’v lost sight of this basic premise? Oh, and measles are back………..i’m glad all my vaccines are up to date, because if i get measles i swear i’m going to hunt down this woman and jenny mccarthy and infect them. http://www.missedinhistory.com/blog/missed-in-history-edward-jenner/

      • Harriet Meadow

        I always try to point out to anti-vaxxers that the only reason we have the LUXURY to worry about the supposedly dangerous (and mostly minor) side effects of vaccines is that the VACCINES WORK AND WE NO LONGER HAVE CHILDREN DYING FROM POLIO AND MEASLES AND ALL THOSE OTHER AWFUL DISEASES ALL AROUND US. I think they’d feel differently about vaccines if we were still in the heyday of polio, etc.

      • MellyG

        Exactly – smallpox was horrific, and changed the course of history due to the amount of people it wiped out. And because of vaccines the only small pox left is laboratory samples. That’s the ONLY time that’s been done. But ya know….yay polio? Yay measles?

      • Katherine Handcock

        My parents saw the results of the diseases we vaccinate for every day of their childhoods; they would NEVER have considered not vaccinating us. When you’ve never seen a kid with polio, measles, rubella, etc., it’s a lot easier to consider a theoretical/proposed autism risk more serious than the diseases.

        I saw the National Geographic special about Jane Goodall where polio hit the chimps at Gombe. Yeah, should be required watching for anyone considered not vaccinating/delayed vaccination for any reason other than medical issues. Watching it certainly made me – at 10 years old – pro-vaccine!

    • AZLabRat

      Terrific. We have another graduate from the University of Jenny McCarthy.

    • Kara
      • Joye77

        I love it! I almost spit out my soup!

    • Momma425

      I’ve read books too. All about life before vaccines and western medicine. And I would so much rather live in a world where someone sneezing could wipe out the whole town, and outbreaks of diseases often times meant dead bodies lining the streets. Oh, the simple life.

      Autism statistics are so much scarier than the statistics of children and adults quite frankly who die of completely preventable diseases. “Hi world, I don’t care if my kid is in an iron lung, or coughs on someone else’s baby and kills it- at least he didn’t have autism!”

      *rolls eyes*

      • Sara610

        But didn’t you know? Before vaccines and the evils of Western medicine, we all lived in peaceful, tribal communities where no one ever fought or got sick, the maternal and infant mortality rate was a negative number, and we all just walked around all day with rainbows and unicorns shooting out of our asses.

      • Momma425

        Yes! Let’s all go back to the times where, when someone got sick, we took them to a “healer” who would wave their magic fingers to cure small pox. That worked out so well…why did anyone even feel the need to invent vaccines?

    • cabinfever

      What happens to the anti-vax movement when these diseases start coming back?

      There are small outbreaks of measles across the country right now.. would that not be enough to send you running back to the doctor? How do you continue to believe that you’ve done the right thing for your child?

      • shel

        Sadly I think it’s going to take more than measles and whooping cough… I mean, really… just a few dead kids is no big deal, right?
        We are going to have to wait for the polio epidemic to start killing/crippling people before they will even think twice. And even then, I still don’t have much hope that they’ll change their minds, because people are stupid.

      • Iwill Findu

        If it weren’t for the kids being the main ones effected by this whole anti-vax movement I would call it the “Darwin movement” but it’s not the babies fault their parents are stupid.

      • Justme

        We’ve also had a lot of whooping cough in my area.

      • Andrea

        Oh everyone knows is just the poor dirty people who get those diseases! It can’t happen to my white blond clean organically fed child!
        /sarcasm off

      • JJ

        Oh no they will probably proclaim its just some part of Darwinism and survival of the fittest when the diseases come back. Then when none of their anti vax friends are looking they will sneak out to the doctor and get their kids their shots all while hypocritically protesting vaccinations using paranoid theories.

    • Science!

      I’m autistic, a college professor and soon to be mother of twins.
      Autism isn’t a death sentence – polio can be.

      I love the people who are amazed when I tell them I’m autistic (usually after I’ve gotten really excited and stimmed in front of them, I tend to flap my hands when I’m happy) because I seem so “normal”. Granted, these tend to be the same people who are amazed to find out not only am I autistic but I’m autistic AND married AND I have sex. That blows their mind.

      • Joye77

        You sound awesome , especially since your name is “Science!”. Makes me think of that 80s song, She Blinded Me with Science. :)

      • Science!

        “Because, SCIENCE!” Is my favorite answer when someone asks me why I’m doing something (like dropping eggs out of my second floor window or building a catapult taller than me. I teach physics, btw. I don’t waste eggs for the hell of it)

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        You sound like a hell of a lot of fun. :)

      • pixie

        That’s amazing!
        Whenever my younger cousin (who’s 11) has a question that I have zero idea as to the answer (or occasionally don’t feel like answering because I know it will only make her way more confused), I’ll tell her, “it’s SCIENCE!” and wave my hands outward like I’m being all mystical and magical. Thankfully that usually still is enough of an answer for her.

      • MellyG

        I totally want to hang out with you. And you remind me of my good friend’s daughter – she’s autistic and awesome and i adore her to bits. She’s currently a bright and thriving teenager and getting amazing grades, with an amazing social life. I hope she grows up like you <3

      • Katherine Handcock

        I love how the supposedly “normal” people are the ones getting easily confused by something like “I’m autistic AND married AND I have sex.” ;-)

      • Science!

        Oh I know! I know some autistic people (or people with autism, which ever you prefer) don’t like sex, be then again a lot of neurotypical people don’t like sex either!

        My husband jokes that I like sex because I find repetitive movements relaxing, like rocking or swaying.

    • Joye77

      Even if, in some other dimension, autism and vaccinations were some way related, I may never understand why people would rather have a dead kid than an autistic one. Sad.

      • JJ

        I agree. Seriously what an offensive thing to suggest to parents of kids who do have autism.I would rather love a child with autism and raise them to the best of my abilities then leave my child at risk of getting horrible, potentially fatal disease’s because some outdated research books say vaccines cause autism.

    • Ptownsteveschick

      Sounds like the “books” she read were all authored by Jenny McCarthy and her crazytown friends.

    • CMJ
    • Andrea

      For the last time: This is the COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF A PERSONAL FUCKING CHOICE!!!!
      This is a choice that affects everyone else your yunike snohflayke comes in contact with you stupid moron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

      GAWD I wish these people would (1) STFU already and (2) get their own freakin island away from civilized society.

    • JJ

      I hope all these anti vaccinations types don’t plan on bringing their not vaccinated kids around any elderly people, anyone undergoing cancer treatments or with immune system disorders because unfortunately those are the people who ultimately catch the disease’s you didn’t vaccinate against. I hear to many anti vax parents who say, oh well it only affects my kid your kid is vaccinated so why do you care? I care because there are people in this world who are unable to get vaccinations due to medicals issues and they are the ones who end up getting sick from your kids because you “don’t believe” in vaccinations. Don’t want to kill grandma now by passing measles, mumps or polio on to her do you?

      I say all these anti vax people can go live on an island together if they are so convinced that science and medicine are soo evil! If you want to bring polio or measles back then go nuts but keep it to yourself and the rest of your anti vax friends. We should totally just go back to centuries ago when people commonly died at young ages because of ravishing illness’s that we have now miraculously found cures for. But ppffft who needs that when we can just play darwin games with ours and others lives because science is the evil.

      • G.S.

        And not just Grandma, but what if these parents have another baby and their non-vaccinated kid brings home Whooping Cough?! Or their non-vaccinated kid with a disease gets in contact with a baby at daycare or the library, or whatever?!

    • Angelica

      I have a neighbor whose first son is autistic so she decided not to vaccinate her second son, fearful he would become autistic, too. He is autistic anyhow, and it certainly wasn’t vaccinations that caused it. We do not know what causes autism but it has been proven the study that said there was a link was a farce. Unfortunately, some people prefer to live in their alarmist little world and will wind up doing much harm to the population at large. And, by the way, is an autistic child really so much worse of a possibility to these parents than a dead child?

    • C.J.

      I fear the the anti-vax movement is just going to get worse until major outbreaks of disease start to become more common. This is sad since it is totally preventable. To me the only good reason to not vaccinate is a medical reason. Normally I don’t care what other people do but the choice to not vaccinate can have consequences for everyone.

    • Valerie

      I just find it maddening that there was a time in our very recent history where parents would have done anything to prevent the diseases we have vaccines for now. And now, we have a whole segment of society who thinks vaccines are bad and dangerous. Really?? I had a great-uncle who contracted polio as a young child in the 1930′s and it crippled him for life. I’m sure his parents would have done anything to save him from a lifetime of limited mobility and a childhood fraught with ill health. I’m sorry, but some people are just fucking idiots.

      • JJ

        Apparently these people just really want to bring iron lungs back into style. Nothings more natural the pushing your child around in a giant, awkward machine with only their head sticking out.

      • pixie

        This just in: the season’s trendiest “new” accessory, the retro Iron Lung!
        /sarcasm

      • Valerie

        People really are dullards sometimes. Watching my poor uncle hobble around my entire childhood made me feel awful for him. It makes me ragey to think of people being so cavalier about these “eradicated” diseases. As if they really weren’t that bad after all.

      • pixie

        I know, it makes me ragey, too. I didn’t even personally know anyone affected by any of the “eradicated” diseases (my mom did have measles and german mumps, and I think my dad did too, but neither had any complications), but I still can’t believe the things that come out of some peoples’ mouths about vaccinations.

        For myself, I get jabbed with everything possible when I travel, during flu season, and when I get my boosters. I figure since I’ve never had an adverse reaction to vaccines (I rarely even get a fever and have never had “flu-like symptoms”), I might as well get everything to not only protect myself, but to also protect others.

      • Valerie

        Yes, I’m the same way. I make a point of being up to date on everything.

      • G.S.

        But at least he doesn’t have AUTISM, which is the worstest thing in all of Worstestville! Having your kid be neurotypical is TOTALLY worth him having zero mobilty/independence and losing the ability of his lungs! Please, God, ANYTHING but AUTISM!

      • Williwaw

        My mom grew up in the forties and fifties and she said that during the polio epidemic 3 or 4 kids out of her just “disappeared” – the other kids came in and the child’s desk and all their belongings were gone and even the carpet around her desk had been cut away. Because another kid had gotten polio. My mom’s dad wouldn’t let them go to the public swimming pool because of it. Back then, parents (and a lot of kids) lived in terror of winding up in iron lungs, like their friends. I think they would have done anything for a vaccine.

      • Valerie

        Crazy. It’s sad these vaccines are taken for granted by some when we are only a generation or two separated from that dirt of thing.

      • Justme

        I think there are parents out in third world countries that would STILL do anything and everything for their child to have a vaccine!

      • Justme

        Exactly. My mother’s younger sister contracted the measles in the 1950s and it went to her brain and incapacitated her in an infant-like state for 23 years. This wasn’t a hundred years ago – she SHOULD be a sixty-year-old woman with children and grandchildren…but she is dead.

      • Andrea

        Ya know it really wasn’t all THAT long ago that these diseases harmed/killed people. My sister (now in her late 30s) had the whooping cough when she was a child. It was HORRIBLE for my parents to watch her gasp for breath. She could have easily died. It boggles my mind that parents could risk that.

    • Edify

      Anti-vaxxers need to be stranded on an island surrounded by crocodile infested waters surrounded by sharks with fricking laser beams.

    • Sara610

      No, it’s fine, you guys. She read “a bunch of studies” and some books, and everyone knows that studies are always credible, never flawed in their methodology and books are infallible. No one publishes complete schlock with no scientific basis, which is blatantly biased, because they know it will make money.
      Also, everything you read on the Internetz is true.

      • Valerie

        I always read your posts in Daria’s monotone voice. Lol.

      • JJ

        Well everyone knows if Jenny McCarthy said it then it must be true. She also read a bunch of studies too.

      • NYCNanny

        I totally get it, but where did YOU get YOUR information from…? “A bunch of studies”…? Mommyish articles and comments?
        We are all reading studies and articles and watching videos. Saying she read “a bunch of studies” is correct.. but it’s correct about you, too. No?

      • Sara610

        I take my medical advice from my doctor, who is going on the recommendations of the mainstream medical community and her own expertise that includes things like medical school and years of experience in practice, which I certainly don’t have. When the American Academy of Pediatrics says that vaccinating on xyz schedule is recommended, they didn’t just pull that out of thin air. It’s based on years of medical studies and the medical community at large has stated that this is their recommendation based on all of their collective experience and expertise.

        I don’t make major medical decisions based on what I read online or books that may or may not be valid and unbiased. If I do read something that seems worth looking at, I ask my doctor about it. I spent a lot of time finding doctors whose qualifications I trust, and once that process is done, I’m going to take their advice because I respect them as professionals. If something I’m told doesn’t seem right, I go and get a second or even third opinion–from another physician. Not from Google and definitely not from Jenny McCarthy.

      • NYCNanny

        Ok, thanks. You seem very responsible and well informed.
        That being said, I know many anti-vaccers who have also gotten their information from doctors, nurses, and other parts of the medical community. I’m not saying one side is more “right” than the other.. I’d just like to point out that not all anti-vaccers are stupid granola hippie moms who get their opinions from actors and/or “Natural Awakenings” flyers. :)

    • tk88

      I’m so sick of people like this. They should be dropped into a 3rd world country where women there are forced to watch their children slowly die from curable diseases simply because they don’t have the access to medicine. They would cut an arm off just to get a fraction of the medicine available to children in first world countries. For God’s sake there is a REASON children don’t die in childhood so often anymore. There is NO CORRELATION BETWEEN VACCINES AND AUTISM!!! People are so desperate to “blame” autism on something man-made. Well, Down’s Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder are two things that I hope my children never get either, but if they get it, it’s because of genetics, JUST LIKE AUTISM. But really, I think we knew all the people on The Hills were stupid years ago. This is just another confirmation.

    • Dramatic Anti-Climax

      “And there’s studies”??? What does she mean by this? There was only one study, that was disproven, and everything else is just a repeat of this (unfounded) study. There isn’t more than one study that links autism to vaccines.

    • AugustW

      Ugh. I want to stab these people in the face.
      My daughter has “atypical autism” and yes she was vaccinated, and yes even if I thought vaccinations caused autism, I would still vaccinate. Autism sucks, but I would rather have my child the way she is than see her die from some stupid preventable disease.

    • Jessieface
    • aliceblue

      When did interviews with Jenny McCarthy and anti-vax blogs become “studies?”

    • Darras

      ‘To each their own’ is all well and good when the lives of others do not depend on herd immunity. Anti-vaxers make me so damn angry!

    • Plonk

      These people really worry me. I happen to be part of a small percentage of people who are not vaccinated against tuberculosis because the vaccine won’t “take” on us. So far, no booster shot has worked either. I also live right next to the biggest cluster of tuberculosis in my country. I need people to get their shots because I don’t fancy dying of consumption.
      Thanks to the anti-vaccine movement, we also account for half the cases of measles in Europe (and they are on the rise) despite the fact that it should have been eradicated in 2007.
      This is ridiculous. Measles can kill a child. Tuberculosis used to kill 2 babies over 3 ! I don’t understand why you would take such a risk with your children, especially when you most likely had the privilege of being vaccinated yourself.

    • AngryMama

      I find it interesting that if you knowingly are spreading AIDs or HIV you can be arrested, but it’s not considered against the law if someone who is unvaccinated gets a child sick with measles or mumps or anything else. My LO is too young to get the MMR vaccination and quite honestly if some irresponsible parent is the cause for my child contracting a disease that shouldn’t be making a reappearance in the 21st century you better believe someone is going to be held responsible.

    • G.S.

      Okay, I know I’m right late on this, but do you know what really sucks? Not getting your kid vaccinated because your scared about Autism not only screws up and destroys our herd immunity, which will undoubtedly cause a shit-ton of preventable deaths, but it also keeps Autism as a boogeyman that people fear and try to sweep under the carpet. I mean, I’m not trying to say that Autism is gumdrops and rainbows and Rainman superpowers, it’s not, but it’s really hard to get people on board with embracing and understanding Autism and looking into and creating treatments and therapies and other help when everyone’s convinced that there’s no hope for people with Autism and people with Autism are to be feared (since apparently, every Autistic person is angry and violent all the time and only have the reasoning of a two-year-old and that’s all there is to it) instead of loved and helped. It’s a step backwards in so many ways.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      Quite apart from the many problems in the anti-vax “logic”, why on earth would you take any kind of medical information from a D-list celebrity? Idiots.

    • NYCNanny

      I have a legit question…
      If pro-vaccinators are vaccinating their kids, why do they care about other people’s decisions…? Your kids are “protected” and can’t catch the disease… so who cares if other kids are not “protected”? They can’t give your vaccinated kids anything.

      Seriously… I’ve always wondered this.

      • CMJ

        There are people who cannot get vaccinated because of various allergies or illnesses. There are people with compromised immune systems who get sick easier. There are also babies that are too young to get their vaccinations who could die if they get measles or whopping cough.

        Also – herd immunity.
        http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/pages/communityimmunity.aspx

      • NYCNanny

        Gotcha. This is what I assumed. Just thought there may be an even bigger answer. Thx.

    • NYCNanny

      Everyone on here is pro-vacc…fine. But you’re all stating that anti-vaccers are stupid because they read “some studies” and came to their (dumb) conclusion.
      That isn’t really fair… You pro-vaccers also read “some studies” and came to your own conclusions. I don’t think all the commenters on here are doctors with years of vaccine research under their belts. We are all reading “some studies” and all coming to our own conclusions.

      • CMJ

        Except the “study” that linked autism to vaccines was thoroughly debunked and the doctor who wrote said “study” lost his medical license.

      • NYCNanny

        Yep, true. But there’s more than one reason people are anti-vacc… it isn’t only autism. And they aren’t going on only one study. But I honestly have no desire to get into this on a mommy blog comment section. Last time I did, I got the rudest private messages from commenters on how I should be sterile and never be allowed children, etc. :)

      • CMJ

        I didn’t even know you could private message.

        I only used the autism link because that’s specifically what Mrs. Cutler is talking about.

      • TikiTavia

        If you didn’t want to get into it, why did you comment then? I’d really like to hear these “other” reasons to completely abstain from vaccinating, I’ve never heard any argument except autism. I’ve heard plenty of doctors who do delayed immunization or alternative vaccination schedules for many reasons, mostly to do with side effects of receiving multiple vaccinations at once. But none of those doctors are advocating complete non-vaccination like the anti autism crowd does.
        If you’re arguing for alternative schedules or delays in vacccines, you’ll probably find many supporters here.

      • TikiTavia

        Every single study linking vaccinations to autism has been discredited. The doctor who did the original study has had his licence to practice revoked. There’s a difference between reading studies based of actual research and reading those that have become laughing stocks in the medical community.
        It’s not just reading things, it’s what you’re reading.
        If you can come up with a better reason to not vaccinate that isn’t the autism boogeyman, I’d love to hear it.

      • NYCNanny

        Yep. But there are also plenty of established, practicing medical doctors in NYC (I’m sure all over the country) who aren’t super gung-ho about vaccines. Just sayin’.

      • rrlo

        There is NOTHING wrong with questioning safety and side effects of vaccines. We should always question and ask for safer and better vaccinations. And like everything in life one has to weigh the pros and cons of every decision.

        However, vaccinations – especially the standard childhood vaccines – are one of those things where the pros overwhelmingly outweigh the cons. All governments, medical organizations – AAP, CDC – what have you – are united in recommending vaccines. Even the ones that question vaccines (like Sears) actually recommends vaccination but prefers the alternate schedule (for whatever reason – who knows).

        There is no conspiracy here. Before vaccines, villages and towns would be wiped out by infectious diseases. After vaccines, that is no longer the case. There is no way to deny this historical fact.

        Fact is that my Aunt died at the age of 1 from Diphtheria – if she had been vaccinated, my father would have had one more sister.

      • NYCNanny

        I completely agree with you. I’m not a conspirator. I’m not anti-western medicine. I’m not even anti-vaccines.
        I’m actually childless and planning on staying that way forever (biological children, no… adoptive/foster, hell yeah in the future)… I’m honestly just curious and questioning because WHY NOT? I don’t like to be a sheep and simply listen to one doctor or a few blog commenters. I appreciate your answer…thanks!

    • rrlo

      I am really not sure at what point this “debate” will stop being a debate. I am so sick of this vaccination conversation and the fear-mongering around it. Why would anyone want to usher in the age of plagues again?

      Vaccines are the best defense against infectious diseases – I don’t understand why anyone would be “against” it. Why would anyone not want their children be vaccinated against infectious diseases?

      And it isn’t about just “death” or “autism”. Many of these diseases cause a lot of problems like blindness, brain damage, sterility – and when the child has the disease they have the potential to suffer greatly – even if they come out unscathed in the end.

      And I absolutely hate those that call themselves “skeptics” – when they are only skeptical about “big pharma” and “science” but show absolutely no skepticism when it comes to their naturalists or homeopathic practitioners. It is absolutely pathetic.

      The Spanish flue killed 50 million people. Just under a 100 years ago. 50 million! That’s more than the population of Canada – DEAD. Why would ANYONE want to risk that????

    • Bill
    • rrlo

      Since anecdotes are the only evidence some people believe – have a look at this http://shotbyshot.org/story-gallery/#Polio. Plenty of anecdotes.

    • SA

      It always makes me sad to see the amount of hate for non-vaxxers. I do vaccinate my child, but I have a family member who is very anti-vax. She is anti-vax because her child had a severe reaction to one of his vaccines and also ended up with autism. Now obviously those two have not been proven to be related, but she feels that she did this to her child. Not all autism is simple ‘quirkiness”. This child is non-verbal, requires special schooling, therapists, and yearly specialists visits that are their vacations. It is costly as these expenses are not covered by insurance. They can never just call a sitter when they need to, they can not go out to eat as a family, it is a very hard life. She in turn decided not to vaccinate their second child. This child is the epitome of health and avoided any childhood disease, so to them this was not a choice of death over autism. I do not necessarily agree with everything that she believes, but I know she does all of this out of such regret of something she feels that she could have prevented.

      I put a lot of thought into whether or not we were going to vaccinate. And we do. On an alternative schedule. We have experienced some bad reactions even doing less shots with more visits. It is scary to watch your kid have a seizure. So while we will make sure our kid does get all her vaccinations (albeit on a slower schedule), I will never judge this family member for her stance on the issue because I have no idea what it is like to live her life.

    • Thomas Johnson

      “When infectious diseases of childhood are not mismanaged by the administration of antibiotics, or by suppressing fever, the diseases prime and mature the immune system and also represent developmental milestones.

      Having measles not only results in life-long specific immunity to measles, but also in life-long non-specific immunity to degenerative diseases of bone and cartilage, sebaceous skin diseases, immunoreactive diseases and certain tumours as demonstrated by Ronne (1985).

      Having mumps protects against ovarian cancer (West 1969).

      This is the area that should be researched and the results heeded instead of trying the impossible: to eradicate infectious diseases.”

      • rrlo

        Only if you live buddy… only if you live.

    • Amber Starr

      Homegirl should stick to what she’s good at: being a barely-relevant, D-list “celebrity”. Leave the docterin’ to the people who went to med school.

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