Truth be told: Hey rich people, vaccinate your kids & stop being irresponsible!
Apparently, there is a new fad du jour in parenting: willfully denying your child vaccinations. Not because you are a doctor or your child is proven to be immune to polio, whooping cough, meningitis and measles, but because you are a giant elitist asshole who thinks WebMD and your seven-figure income makes you qualified to make the decision on behalf of your child. Oh and because you think class privilege means not doing what all those poor kids are doing, getting vaccinated. Hey rich people, wealth does not equal immortality. Be safe, vaccinate.
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There is a growing trend among wealthy parents, especially in California, to not inoculate their children. Some of the elitist private schools in our country have a vaccination compliance rate as low as 20 percent. That is 80 percent unvaccinated. You know what happens when an unvaccinated kid gets whooping cough? He gets it full on; he passes it to other kids and maybe even dies. Can someone explain to me why in a day and age when we have the means to protect our children from childhood diseases that we would not? Do the economic elite think their kids are invincible or disposable? Help me understand.
I used to be of the live and let live parenting camp. If you want to be crunchy, be crunchy. If you want to vaccinate or not, do that. Not my business. I also thought that the numbers were lower and that the main groups not vaccinating were the Christian Fundamentalist and the super crunchy, raw food eating vegetarians who lived on a commune. I thought these unvaccinated kids were segregated from the general population. But no, the highest numbers of unvaccinated children belong to the richest people in the country. They are the general population. They are the kids traveling and going places, carrying diseases everywhere they go.
Class privilege equals no vaccinations because one nobody wants to be lumped in with those damn sniveling middle class children who get shots and go to public school. But also, I want to decide if I want to take a chance with my kid single-handedly bringing back polio or wiping out the nation with meningitis. Have you seen meningitis? I have. It can kill a kid in a weekend and it doesn't give a shit if you have a million dollars or are homeless. And P.S. I don't want my kid dying because you are too big of an elitist to get your kid vaccinated!
I get it; a non-vaccinated kid is a status symbol. Who needs a Berkin bag when you've got your very own non-vaccinated kid? Make him special: kid yoga, check. Vegetarian, check. Clean living, check. No television or socializing with the lower class, check and check. But what the elitist parents fail to recognize is that it is not the vaccination that is the great equalizer between the classes but the diseases that the vaccination prevents.
There is good news though, for those of us who want all children without moral exception to be vaccination compliant, there is a growing interest in parents filing noncompliance lawsuits. You don't vaccinate your child, another child catches their disease or worse dies and you can be held liable. Hell, lets take it a step further. Your child starts the plague because you refused to vaccinate, the state tries you for third degree murder. Sounds fair to me.
So dear rich people, please don't put you elitist status before the health of your children. Vaccinate them to keep them healthy.
Image via Julien Harnels/Flickr