Letters: Bigger picture missing in debate over vaccination

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter in response to a letter written about vaccinations. To qualify myself, I work with children with autism, autistic tendencies run in my family, and vaccinations have concerned me in the past as a possible trigger for autism to occur. 

I believe it is quite possible that vaccinations could be a trigger. I also believe pollution, processed foods, dyes, pesticides, and chemicals in general could be triggers. I am quite certain it runs in families too. 

When it came time to vaccinate my own children, I researched and researched. I spoke with parents who chose to vaccinate and others who chose not to. I wasn’t comforted in the least. 

However, this is what I found missing from arguments on both sides… the bigger picture, if you will. 

When it came right down to it, I decided I would vaccinate, not because there wasn’t a risk because the risk was very real. I thought to myself, what if I was responsible for everyone on the planet? What if it was my job to decide what was best for everyone as a whole? 

Let’s face it, when we make the decision to vaccinate or not we are doing just that… making a choice for everyone. 

Would I want to be responsible for, I don’t even want to guess how many people, catching and spreading a disease and death or any one of the long term side effects associated with them, or would I want to be responsible for a child with autism? 

What is disconcerting to me, is what I view as a lack of seeing outside ourselves and our immediate issues and environments. 

Where is empathy? Where is accountability? 

That being said, as knowledge becomes available to me I may change my view and I believe in educating ourselves and in turn, one another. 

I am grateful for the people that are doing solid research and sharing it regardless of whether or not I agree. My mind is open but for now, until a better argument comes along that sways me against vaccinations and includes the bigger picture or community as a whole, I cannot support the view not to vaccinate.

Jennifer MacQueen, Aldergrove

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