LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR ENOUGH TO VACCINATE

As "The Most Wonderful Place On Earth" spawned a Measles outbreak the mommy wars have been re-fueled. Is vaccinating responsible or playing Russian roulette? In the 1990s I served as a medical missionary at the Sihanouk Hospital, Cambodia where polio and other preventable diseases were rampant. Children and adults with polio wear flip flops on their hands to walk quadruped because they cannot stand. Measles and mumps are prevalent and fierce, causing much pain and deformity. The Cambodian people would come hundreds of miles on foot, moto or wagon and wait for days desperate to receive treatment.

Our scientists have literally eradicated these diseases in the United States and a few generations later an anti-vaccine movement has grown. Why? From most of what I can tell from talking with the anti-vaccination supporters, in and out of the clinic, on social media, and at the gym, there seem to be several misunderstandings that I will briefly address


1. Education--Most anti-vaccination supporters do not understand how to critically analyze scientific research and rely on internet "journal" articles using their Google Ph.D. I suppose this is a step up from taking medical advise from Parenting Magazine. Many parents of special needs children are dealing with the guilt and shame of their child's condition and don't understand that autism, seizures and developmental disorders are genetic in nature. Some are concerned about the preservatives in the vaccines and don't realize that the Coke they gave their child is more toxic.


2. Desire To Assert Freedom--Fortunately because the majority of people who have been compliant with vaccinations, we have a healthy society in which people have the freedom to choose whether or not to vaccinate. There seems to be resentment towards the government "force" in this issue. The diseases the CDC is requiring vaccination for admittance to public schools and international travel are NOT the cold or flu...and this brings us back to a lack of proper education on the issue.

As a mom of a child who needed a delayed vaccination schedule because he was not healthy enough to receive a vaccine, I too have weighted out the vaccination issue. My son has spent too many nights in the hospital and has more doctors than he has had birthdays, he will be 7 next week. My son was very ill early in his life but he did not contract the measles or mumps or scarlet fever or polio or chicken pox, all of which could have been fatal to him. With his pulmonary challenges, I'm certain he would not have survived whooping cough. He did not contract these diseases because most people chose to keep him healthy by vaccinating their child. Vaccines are not 100% but they do save lives, period. I am grateful for all of the people who did choose to vaccine.

Jesus taught us to "Love Our Neighbor as Ourselves" Mathew 22:39. It's not feasible for me go around and thank every single person in my community who has loved my son as a neighbor and vaccinated their child. When my immune compromised son was healthy enough to be vaccinated, I got in line and took the "risk", knowing that this small thing is a doing my part to keep our country healthy, but also to love my neighbor and community as myself...or as my son.

Tara Galles

Tara is the founder of YOGATHEA® inspiring others to "Breathe the Peace Which Transcends All Understanding - Mind + Body + Spirit” through Christian Yoga + Meditation DVDs, CDsInstructor Training Program, and Women's RetreatsTara currently resides in Kokomo, Indiana with her husband and 4 children where she practices Occupational Therapy and has made peace with the snow.