So the thought goes: "If I don't give my kid "needless" vaccines that the "doctor recommends" then they have less risk of getting autism or some other vaccine-related malady."
That's really special, and I respect your right to protect your kid from the frying pan by placing them in the fire.
But here's the thing, and for some reason I hadn't thought about this before:
My daughter is protecting yours from polio, and that's not fair.
You see, if nobody got the polio vaccine (like they did before 1955), then polio would rage unchecked through America (like it did before 1955), and the health problems would abound (like they do in countries without polio vaccine availability). But widespread use of vaccines has made diseases like polio and smallpox rare if not non-existent in the United States. Parents that choose to not vaccinate their children against these diseases may get away with it; the vast majority of children get the polio vaccine and act as a buffer, making the disease essentially intransmissible by factor of the lack of viable hosts.
So what you end up with is a bunch of liberal elitists, refusing to vaccinate their children against deadly diseases for fear of autism or other possible drug side effects...who are completely depending on the masses to go ahead and vaccinate their own children and protect the unvaccinated from the disease. But these anti-vaccine parents are dependent on the U.S. drug machine to keep something like 80% of kids vaccinated, or some of the diseases could catch hold. And then who'll be looking down their nose?
The funny thing is, you see it in their eyes when they tell you "we've figured out how to skip 19 of the shots doctors recommend for babies between 0-18 months of age." and you say "well I just let my doctor give my kid whatever shots he thinks my kid needs. You know, because he's a doctor and I'm an engineer and therefore he knows more than I ever could about this." and they respond "well that is your choice" but what they are really saying is "thanks for keeping my kid safe while I make stupid decisions based on my the-man-is-out-to-get-me-and-playing-Russian-roulette-with-my-kids-health-is-okay philosophy towards the drug industry."
If you are offended by this, take a good long look at your kids. Do you want them to look like this? Because that is what polio looks like.
UPDATE: Just spotted this coincidentally timed post by Melissa Lafsky, the web editor at Discover Magazine and blogger at Reality Base. Worth a read, because I am so right it makes me laugh sometimes.