It’s time for a Baby Friendly Vaccine Initiative!


We are in the midst of a dramatic resurgence of vaccine preventable diseases sickening hundreds of children at the cost of millions of dollars. It’s time to take a page from the lactivist playbook and start a Baby Friendly Vaccine Initiative.

The central premise of breastfeeding promotion effort is that no mother would refuse to breastfeed if she only understood the benefits and got the proper support. Adapting to vaccine refusal means no mother would refuse to vaccinate if she only understood the benefits and got the proper support.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Those who vaccinate are better mothers than those who don’t.[/pullquote]

Considering that vaccines save millions more lives in practice than breastfeeding ever could, increasing vaccination rates should take priority over increasing breastfeeding rates. That’s why I propose an immediate overhaul of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative to promote vaccination instead of breastfeeding.

The Ten Steps to Successful Vaccination are:

  1. Have a written vaccination policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits of vaccination.
  4. Insist that every mother sign a vaccine contract that emphasizes that anything other than full vaccination on the CDC schedule threatens baby’s health.
  5. Mandate frequent visits by a vaccination consultant to provide constant support for vaccination.
  6. Help mothers initiate all recommended injections within one hour of birth.
  7. Show mothers how to obtain vaccinations even if they are separated from their infants.
  8. Accept no refusal to vaccinate unless medically indicated.
  9. Encourage vaccination on demand by the pediatrician.
  10. Foster the establishment of vaccination support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center.

Wait, what? Some mothers think there are legitimate reasons not to vaccinate their babies? There are no legitimate reasons; it’s just a sign that they haven’t received enough vaccination support from hospital personnel, their peers and society at large.

Wait, what? Some mothers think that vaccination harms their infants? Who cares what they think? Public health officials have spoken on the issue of vaccination and mother’s observations of their own infants are irrelevant.

Wait, what? Some mothers think this is an issue of personal freedom? It most certainly is not. Vaccinating a child does not simply protect that child, but it provides a measurable benefit to society.

Lack of peer support for vaccination is a serious problem in and of itself. There are webpages and Facebook groups that encourage parents not to vaccinate or to diverge from the CDC schedule. Such webpages and Facebook groups must be ruthlessly suppressed along with public shaming of anyone who doesn’t support routine childhood vaccination.

Let’s face it: those who vaccinate according to the CDC schedule love their children more than those who do not. Only a lazy, selfish mother would listen to anti-vaccine quacks instead of the CDC.

I even have a motto for the new Baby Friendly Vaccine Initiative:

Breastfed Is Good,
Fed Is Better, but
Vaccinated is BEST!

Why waste time promoting breastfeeding when we could be promoting vaccination and saving far more lives?