Regulated to just 140 characters, actress and The View co-host Jenny McCarthy posted the following on Twitter, not realizing the backlash it would generate:
"What is the most important personality trait you look for in a mate? Reply using #JennyAsks”
The TV personality known for her steadfast belief that vaccines caused her son's autism was immediately attacked by haters responding with things like "someone who understands the importance of vaccination" or some version thereof. It also prompted a coming-out party of sorts for fellow celebrity mom Kristin Cavallari, who revealed that she and her husband, NFL quarterback Jay Cutler, didn't vaccinate their son and don't plan to vaccinate their second (Kristin is pregnant).
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My son is 8, and he has received all of his standard vaccines. I trust that the medical community has way more training than I do in these matters, and while I made my decision with an open mind that in the long run, we may learn that some, if not all, don't protect as well as we thought, I chose to trust my doctor and my instincts. Considering all that I've read since my son was born, I might consider an alternative vaccination schedule that pushes some vaccines back until a baby's brain and immune system are more developed if I were to have another child.
Still, I don't think McCarthy or Cavallari deserve some of the vile messages they've received. I understand that staunch believers in vaccines feel that not vaccinating our kids puts everyone in danger, and the recent polio-like illness affecting as many as 25 children in California certainly had folks talking about the power of vaccines again, but what are nasty comments going to get us? More division among parents and medical professionals? Isn't the polar opposite of what our kids need, let alone deserve?
I think our kids are better off when those who disagree about the public health issues affecting them come together in the spirit of learning and open-mindedness, so we can make the most informed decisions possible.
I hope this most recent rant regarding vaccines puts pressure on the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics to continue to study the affect of vaccines as well as what goes into them. In the meantime, let's take it easy on the nasty mom hating. We're all just trying to do the best we can for our kids.
Did you vaccinate your kids? What are your thoughts regarding vaccinations?