There is a growing movement against vaccinating children in this country. Rachel Figueroa-Levin believes it is a dangerous trend. (Getty Images)

Urban baby blog: The anti-vaccines movement worries me

I’m not a doctor or scientist or anything in the medical field, and this post is based purely on my own research, opinions and emotions. Talk to your doctor when making vaccine decisions. –

I’m going to start off  by being extremely blunt and a little bit (ok very) harsh. Parents who do not vaccinate their children with even the most basic life saving vaccines (whooping-cough, polio– dangerous diseases like that) are acting irresponsibly. Parents like Jenny McCarthy who promote the lies of doctors and other self-titled experts who falsely claim that vaccines cause autism, have blood on their hands. Vaccines do not cause autism. The end. Autism is now considered to be a spectrum of disorders and symptoms, none of which have anything to do with vaccines.

Full disclosure:  I follow an alternative vaccine schedule based on the writing of Dr. Sears (a well-known pediatrician that advocates attachment parenting). Adi is being vaccinated at a slightly more spread out pace, but she is being vaccinated. She never gets more than two shots per doctor visit however.  When she was born I turned down the (almost immediate) hepatitis vaccine for her. I don’t understand why it’s offered to newborns that don’t live in an environment with a hepatitis risk. Adi will get a hepatitis vaccine, but when she’s a little older.

The anti-vaccine movement worries me. It’s based on misinformation, panic, and straight up lies. I don’t necessarily care if you care if your kid gets whooping-cough. I do care if your kid gives it to my kid. I care if your kid gives it to an infant who isn’t old enough for that vaccine yet. I’ve heard local parents and even well-known parenting bloggers say that they aren’t worried about their unvaccinated children because everyone around them is vaccinated. This herd protection idea  isn’t for your middle class SUV riding kids. If you subscribe to the herd protection theory then you should also understand that it is for the protection of  kids who CAN’T get vaccinated because they need chemotherapy or they have severe allergies or some other problem that prevents them from getting vaccinated. We have a responsibility, YOU have a responsibility to vaccinate healthy children to protect the unhealthy children in our communities.

Stop mooching off of my herd, you self-righteous freeloaders. That might seem severe, but that’s how I feel.

We live in a global society. In New York City everyone is literally one airplane arrival away from potentially being exposed to dangerous diseases. This isn’t meant to panic anybody, or call for Ellis Island-esque immigration medical exams. What it should do is make you aware and thankful that life saving vaccines are available to us. Things like whooping-cough, that shouldn’t be a problem in America are becoming problems again.

If you are considering not vaccinating your children please reconsider. There is a lot of research available showing that vaccinations don’t cause autism and are safe. There is no study that hasn’t been debunked that says otherwise. If you have concerns talk to your pediatrician. There’s no conspiracy. Even of you don’t get every single vaccine available, get the basic most dangerous disease ones. If you don’t want to follow the standard or the Sears schedule look for one that works for you and your family.

Urban baby blog: The anti vaccines movement worries me  rachel levin figueroa nbc parenting family NBC Latino News

Rachel Figueroa-Levin is a soapmaker, cofounder and educator at Urban Babywearing, a hyperlocal Inwood blogger and organizer, a political/life/religion/parenting satirist, and all around trouble maker.  She is also the creator New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Spanish-speaking alter ego @elbloombito.  You can reach her via twitter @Jewyorican. 


  1. NKN Amthor says:

    Rachel, that’s nice of you to toot your own horn, but the outbreaks that are affecting VACCINATED children in such high numbers are attributed to a strain from the vaccine itself and not the naturally occuring strain from nature. As well, the highest proportion of cases are supposedly in children who SHOULD be protected by immunization but aren’t because the Big Pharma are getting fined left and right for their faulty data. Go check it out on the .gov sites about fines they’re having to pay and why… Peace out!!

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