Open Letter from an ICU Nurse on Anti-vaxxers in the Hospital

Updated 1/1/2019

I saw this on Facebook the other day and couldn’t help but share it. I edited it a little bit for readability but it’s otherwise presented in the original format. As always, the author will remain anonymous. This goes along with the open letter from a mother and the open letter from a doctor on vaccination.

There are anti-vaxxers in the ICU. But they are there as patients or relative of patients, not as staff.

I’m an ICU staff member. And believe me, it is horrible to have to tell someone that the reason their loved one is so sick.. the reason that their loved one might die.. is because they made a choice. They chose not to be protected from a disease that can be fatal.

It’s bad when it’s something like influenza in an adult and it was the patient’s own choice that they are paying for.

It’s a thousand times worse when it’s the parents that made the decisions for their kid. It’s the kid, not them, who’s the one in so much pain. It’s the kid, not them, who is the one so damn scared. The parents suffer too, for sure, but they aren’t losing limbs, eyesight, hearing, or the chance to live independently.

What sucks so much worse than either of those things though is when you have to tell a parent that their beloved baby is so terribly sick not because they chose not to vaccinate but because their baby is just too young to be protected [from someone that wasn’t vaccinated].

Their beloved baby caught a disease that is still “doing the rounds” because there are pockets and clusters of anti-vaxxers where that disease can both survive and thrive. It’s the parents and their baby that are paying the awful and terrible price for some stranger’s selfish decision that was made out of misunderstanding, ignorance, and misinformation spread far and wide by a cult that doesn’t care.

Sometimes people ask me why this is one of my hot-button issues. Honestly, vaccination is one of the greatest examples of science being used for the betterment of humanity that we as a species have ever come up with. We’ve improved the production process so much that for a few dollars, someone can be protected from being maimed or killed by diseases that have stalked humanity since the dawn of time.

Anti-vaxxers seek to promote an agenda of fear through their own misunderstanding of science. The rabble-rousers that stir up the most controversy profit through speaking arrangements, book deals, and television interviews. Anti-vax bloggers score thousands of dollars of advertising revenue by inventing fearmongering articles to garner pageviews. The whole situation disgusts me. If we could educate anti-vaxxers on the truth of what they fear, our society as a whole would grow substantially stronger.

We’re all in this together. It just sucks when some people have an agenda that so strongly hurts the most vulnerable.

One Response

  1. Anon England
    Anon England at |

    Thank you for this