Affluence and education don’t ensure making good life choices

In response to the letter to the editor by Tanya MacDonald, first I would like to say that I am not going to get into a debate on why one should or should not get the flu vaccine. I think that it is a battle that one cannot ‘win’ either way.

I will say that I find it interesting that Tanya MacDonald says, “It should be noted that research has found that parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are generally better educated than their pro-vaccine counterparts.”

As this comment does not relate to just the flu vaccine, I will say that this comment makes it sound like I am stupid because I chose to vaccinate my children against measles and tetanus. I am sure that those parents who have lost children to measles (of which they recently have in developed countries) would not like to be called stupid after they have had to deal with the death of their child.

The aforementioned quote makes it sound like people who have received higher education make better choices than those who have not. I think we can agree that this is not the case in all of life’s circumstances. Just because someone is smart and has the money to get higher education, does not make people make good life choices, let alone in deciding for one’s family whether to be vaccinated with the flu vaccine.

As well, it is my understanding that the research around this speaks not just to people that have higher education but it is fairly clear that it is talking about Caucasian, wealthy, upper middle class people who are able to eat well and exercise regularly and who actually may not fear disease itself (“(Sociodemographic Predictors of Vaccination Exemptions on the Basis of Personal Belief in California”, Yang, Y. Tony, Delamater, Paul L., et al. American Journal of Public Health, 2015 December 22).

Brad Ruff

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