This morning while scrolling through my Facebook feed, I saw a post by a Vet Tech friend of mine reminding us of the areas where Lyme Disease is prevalent, and to vaccinate our pets if we are in at risk areas.
Wait. There’s a vaccine for Lyme disease?
And my dogs can have it, but my humans can’t?
So I looked into it. And there used to be a vaccine against Lyme, developed in the early 2000’s amongst growing concerns that Lyme disease was becoming a very real and very scary public health concern.
The vaccine was kind of a cool one. In really simple terms, it didn’t actually make the humans immune to Lyme disease. It evoked a type of immune response that actually prevented the tick from being able to transmit the disease. Basically, some antibodies would be swirling around in your blood, and when the tick bites you and starts to ingest your blood, these antibodies would bind to the infectious part of the bacteria in the ticks gut, making it unable to cross the dermis ( a skin layer) and infect the human. It would usually take 2 or 3 doses to be most effective- and it was effective… about 80% on average.
That’s the Coles Notes version. If you want to read more about it, here is the Oxford Journal of Medicine article.
So what happened to the vaccine? Well according to the above article and several others that I read, some people decided that the vaccine was causing a (Gasp!) side effect called autoimmune arthritis. So the vaccine developers did some double blind studies and found that it actually wasn’t the case, the vaccine was safe and effective.
And then guess what happened?
The fucking Anti-Vaxxers got a hold of the story and started going to the media and suddenly the internet was flooded with stories of “vaccine victims” and all the horrors that this life saving vaccine was doing to the world. Class action lawsuits were filed, the vaccine become more expensive to manufacture and defend than was worth it for the companies, and it was withdrawn.
And as usual, the allegations were based in sensationalism and pseudo-science and unproved hypothesis. No matter what science disproved the theories or supported the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, hysteria won out again.
And now, I can protect my fucking dog from this horrible vector borne disease, but I can’t protect my children.
So, good morning, Anti-Vaxxers, and fuck you very much on this fine Tuesday morning.
Here’s the thing: For a group that constantly screams ” MY CHOICE” “YOU CAN”T MAKE ME PUT THINGS IN MY BODY” you have taken my choice away from me. Why are you the only ones who get a choice? WHO asked you to save people from things they don’t actually need saving from?
You know what I don’t what to put in my body?
Lyme Disease. That’s what.
But I guess me and the kids will have to just take our chances this summer, because once again, you fucking know better. Better than all the people who have spent their lives studying infectious disease. Better than all the doctors who want to prevent a potentially life altering disease that is difficult to detect early enough to treat and often difficult to treat. A disease that can be effectively prevented with a decent vaccine.
And don’t tell me how it’s no big deal. How natural immunity is a thing. We’re talking about a bacterial infection. The kind that requires antibiotics to get better….if you catch it early enough. For someone like me who has severe, life threatening allergies to a long list of antibiotics, that doesn’t make me feel very positive about how well I’d fare if I got Lyme disease.
So really, if you want to go ahead and continue not to protect yourself against a long list of preventable diseases, fine. Go ahead and get sick. Go ahead and risk disability. Hell, go ahead and die, if that’s what having a choice means to you.
But stop taking away the choices of everyone else around you. Stay away from public places so you don’t accidentally pass on the measles to a baby too young to be vaccinated. Don’t take the vaccines. Fine. It’s your body. But please just shut up long enough to allow the rest of us to make our own decisions concerning our bodies. Whether or not I am vaccinated doesn’t affect you, so why fuck it up for me?
Stop getting in the way for those of us who believe in science and medicine and would otherwise have wanted to have the option of protecting ourselves and our children from things like Lyme disease. Your choice has once again affected MY ability to choose what’s right for my family.
This is such bullshit.
At least my dog will still be ok though. Thanks for letting the dogs live.