Young Moms Shouldn’t Be Gaslit Into Giving Their Babies More Vaccines Than They Want

During a recent 12-month wellness check for her baby girl, a mother encountered an unexpected situation that left her pondering the dynamics of patient care and communication in healthcare.

By Gina Florio4 min read
Pexels/Nataliya Vaitkevich

Upon learning that her daughter was scheduled for several vaccines, the mother requested to review the vaccine inserts for detailed information on ingredients and potential risks, a standard practice for any medication.

Instead of the inserts, the nurse provided Vaccine Information Statements, which, while informative, were not what she sought. Clarifying her request, the mother explained her interest in the manufacturer's disclosures typically found within the vaccine packaging. Initially met with confusion, the nurse labeled these documents as clinical rather than patient information, suggesting they were not intended for patient review. Nevertheless, after some discussion, she agreed to let the mother examine the inserts for all scheduled vaccines, highlighting their extensive length and the necessity to return them afterward.

The visit culminated in a conversation with the doctor, who, while acknowledging the daughter's overall health, addressed the vaccine matter. The doctor assured the mother of the vaccines' safety and the necessity of their ingredients, yet seemed dismissive when she expressed a desire to discuss both the benefits and risks associated with vaccination. This led to a somewhat tense exchange where the doctor, initially resistant, admitted to the existence of risks, albeit minor, associated with all medications.

The discussion took a personal turn when the doctor, visibly emotional, stated she could no longer provide care for the daughter due to their differing views on vaccination, and left the room abruptly. This experience was disheartening, especially as a first-time mother seeking to engage in open dialogue and make informed decisions for her child's health. The mother approached the situation without bias, merely requesting information and a balanced discussion on the topic.

This incident raises important questions about the nature of patient-provider communication and the expectations parents have when seeking medical care for their children. It underscores a troubling trend where questions and concerns are met with resistance or emotional responses, rather than information, dialogue, and understanding. This experience serves as a reminder of the challenges that can arise when navigating the healthcare system, emphasizing the need for transparency, patience, and respect in all interactions between healthcare providers and the families they serve.

Doctors Rarely Ever Accept Questions About Vaccines 

This interaction is bewildering on multiple fronts. Initially, the nurse was unfamiliar with what a vaccine insert was, mistakenly considering it an irrelevant document for patients. This confusion was compounded by a contradictory stance from the doctor, who wavered on the existence of risks associated with vaccines, oscillating between denial and acknowledgment, and trivializing the concerns listed in the inserts. Interestingly, the very Vaccine Information Statements provided by the nurse, which she and the doctor appeared not to have reviewed thoroughly, explicitly mentioned the risks and directed patients to consult their doctor for the inserts for more detailed information. This irony highlights a glaring disconnect in the provision of patient information and underscores a lack of readiness to engage in informed discussions without resorting to emotion or dismissiveness. The doctor's emotional response and eventual refusal to continue care, citing an emotional investment in the matter, showcased a concerning level of unprofessionalism.

More and more people like this mother are coming forward to tell their stories about how doctors ignore their concerns or questions about vaccines and instead gaslight them or simply leave the room and refuse to offer care. But the last few years have taught many parents that we have to look twice at the kind of medication and vaccines that are being administered to our children. That was one of the silver linings of the coronavirus pandemic – millions of people started to wake up to how predatory and coercive the conventional medical system can be, and many are realizing that doctors don’t actually know as much about vaccines as they should. They’re simply told this is the vaccine schedule or are incentivized by Big Pharma to administer the vaccines to as many children as possible. 

We’ve been programmed to believe that doctors can do no wrong, that their knowledge is the end-all-be-all, and that we should always defer to them.

Now consider the god-like veneration that has been placed on doctors over the last couple of decades. We’ve been programmed to believe that doctors can do no wrong, that their knowledge is the end-all-be-all, and that we should always defer to them on matters of health. Because, after all, they’re the ones with the medical degree, and we’re just uneducated rubes who don’t know anything about our kids’ health. It’s not quite clear how much time doctors spend learning about immune health and vaccinations in medical school, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a doctor who is equipped to answer investigative questions about the children’s vaccine recommendations.

The CDC and FDA’s recommendations on the children’s vaccine schedule has dramatically changed over the years. Several decades ago, kids were only given a few different shots, or perhaps several. But today, that number has increased significantly to tens of different vaccines that doctors recommend to their adolescent patients. It’s disturbing that so many pediatricians are unable (or, even worse, unwilling) to answer questions about the possible side effects of the vaccine schedule, especially when parents raise concerns about their kids receiving multiple vaccines in one visit. So, how are parents meant to approach their children’s medical providers when it comes to the vaccine schedule? 

How To Face Pediatricians When It Comes to Vaccines

Above all, it’s important to find a medical provider who listens to your concerns respectfully, without gaslighting you or making you feel small and uneducated. If you have to try out a couple of different doctors in order to find the right person, take your time and do so. You should never settle for a doctor who doesn’t make you feel comfortable. The next step is to arm yourself with information. The topic of vaccines can feel so overwhelming, but there are some great resources out there that will help you better understand the industry and the history of vaccines. There’s a 7-episode series called The Truth About Vaccines that is an easy place to start. If you’re looking for something more contemporary, author and podcast host Candace Owens has a show called A Shot in the Dark, in which she breaks down many of the most popular vaccines and their origins. 

When you’re in the doctor’s office, sitting across from a medical provider, it can get intimidating, even if you go in feeling knowledgeable. The key is to stay calm and ask clear questions, forcing your doctor to answer specifics about the vaccine rather than letting them take charge of the conversation that ends with them simply saying that this is good for your kids. At the end of the day, you are the one who is in charge of your child’s health, and that doctor is there to help you and your family. There’s no need to be accusatory or aggressive, but just stand your ground and be confident in your ability to care for your child. 

It’s perfectly acceptable to ask tough questions, including whether your doctor receives any kickback or payment for administering the vaccines to their patients. It’s also acceptable to bring information with you, printed out, so you can point to certain things and ask for clarification on anything in particular. Maintain strong eye contact, don’t raise your voice, and keep in mind that everything you’re doing is for your children’s health. 

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