It’s all about risk. Risk tolerance. How much risk you’re willing to take in your life. Since I like my body to heal itself when it can, I try not to take medicines unless I really need them. So if I have a muscle strain, I try every thing I can to help my body heal itself naturally before I will take pain medication, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

Obviously I’m not going to tolerate severe pain when there are medications that can take that severe pain away.

However, if the medication has side effects that are potentially dangerous then I would need to think about whether it’s worth it to vanquish the pain. If I have a muscle strain I’ll try to do stretches, soaking, hot and cold compresses, physical therapy, etc. Same thing with a headache. Sometimes I do breathing exercises if it’s a stress headache or try to use a Neti pot in case it’s sinuses. In other words, medicine is always my last resort. I know everyone doesn’t feel that way but I do. The same way I judge how bad a headache is and how much of it I’m willing to tolerate before I take an Advil, I like to judge how bad the illness is before I take a vaccine.

That’s why I didn’t give my kids the chickenpox vaccine when it came out. I had already had two kids with chickenpox and I had it myself as did all of my siblings so I knew that it wasn’t dangerous. Or at least I knew the risks better than I knew the risks of the varicella vaccine. I knew that the chances of any kid becoming seriously ill or dying from chickenpox was so remote that I would prefer for them to get it and for their bodies to develop a natural immunity. Same thing with the flu. The chances of dying from the flu are infinitesimal, so why would I take a vaccine when it’s highly preferable to use our own bodies’ strengths to fight illnesses? (Not to mention the fact that the flu vaccines are always notoriously ineffective.)

Polio? That’s a no-brainer. That’s a deadly disease that most people became debilitated by. You don’t take the risk. You take the vaccine. Likewise, if there were a cancer vaccine, for instance, I would certainly take that. And I’ve given my kids most of the standard vaccines, although I declined when they were brand new, and I rejected a couple out of hand If I felt they were unnecessary.

But the chances of my becoming seriously ill from either the flu and/or COVID-19 are so small, I’m not putting my money on these vaccines. Even if you don’t believe that you can be “injured” by vaccines, why introduce something into your body that your body can do better without? (Especially something brand new and rushed to market as the COVID-19 vaccine will be.) While I don’t have kids in school anymore, if I did would fight, with all the strength I had, the mandatory flu shot they’re trying to push on school kids right now. And as for some brand new COVID-19 vaccine? Sorry, I think I’ll take a pass.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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