While I am taking time off for baby, I am putting my husband to work! As I began making a list of potential guest bloggers I wanted to include someone without a medical background to give their view on immunizations. After a little persuasion and a few pre-blogging jitters on his part I am happy to introduce you to my husband, Eric Bethea! Eric graduated with a degree in finance from the Business Honors Program at Texas A&M University in 2003 and completed an MBA at Rice University in 2007. He is currently a consultant for the executive compensation consulting firm Frederick W. Cook. Please enjoy!
I admittedly don’t have any level of medical background, so I was a little worried about what to write for a guest blog. What was someone with an MBA going to offer on a medical subject—-particularly recognizing the negative effects several celebrities with no medical expertise have created for this cause? With this in mind, I decided to simply give my non-medical perspective on immunizations and why I am so passionate about making sure we protect our children and communities from potentially life-threatening diseases.
As someone in his mid-30’s, I haven’t directly witnessed the effects of polio, but I have heard stories from my parents who vividly remember this disease and how it shut down pools and permanently disabled some of their friends. It’s amazing how such a debilitating disease has effectively been eradicated in the US in the relatively recent past. However, a big reason for this was my parent’s generation’s willingness to immunize their kids. In my mind, that is a very basic story that exemplifies the power of immunizations.
I also recognize how blessed we are in the US to have the technology and capabilities to immunize our children. It’s very frustrating to me to see parents in the US refuse to immunize their children for unfounded reasons while people in other countries literally wait in lines for days to get the same treatment. I’ve heard people say they don’t want to immunize their kids because they think it’s just a money grab for physicians and pharmaceutical companies, or it will in some way physically harm their little baby to get a shot, or it’s simply not necessary and their kid won’t get the disease. First of all, having not spent 10 plus years studying medicine and not dedicating my life to the science behind it, I would never consider that I know more about immunizations than the medical professionals I trust to take care of myself and my family. It is shameful that so many people have formed their opinions on immunizations based on the recommendations of a former Playboy Playmate with absolutely no qualifications to give medical advice, let alone write a book on the subject. Second of all, I personally refuse to subscribe to all the conspiracy theories that imply doctors are unethical and only interested in making money. I don’t understand why there are parents who refuse immunizations based on the ideology that doctors are trying to hurt their children in an attempt to make more money. If anything, immunizations are money losers for most medical offices. Finally, I have been to several meetings and presentations with the Immunization Partnership that have discussed many of the misconceptions surrounding immunizations. These presentations use real research and common thinking from the brightest medical minds in the world to debunk the common misconceptions about immunizations.
At the end of the day, I know I am not an expert on immunizations and I have never claimed to be. But for the same reason I would hire a lawyer for legal advice or an architect to design my home, I would consult a doctor on medical issues before I would trust my own expertise. In consulting leading medical professionals on immunizations, it’s clear to me that the benefits gained by immunizing are enormous for not only our children, but other high risk individuals as well as our communities. I highly recommend people who question the merits of immunizations to reach out to leaders in the medical industry to gain accurate insight into this important issue.