Being pro-vaccination isn’t just a public health issue—it’s now a fashion statement.
A Los Angeles mom (who requested her name be withheld) has created Vaccinate Your Fucking Kids, an online boutique with T-shirts, stickers, and tote bags plugging the pro-vaccination message. What better way to tell the world know your stance than to wear your f*cking feelings on your sleeve?
The merchandise has a no-nonsense message, printed with two crisscrossed syringes and blatant text reading “Vaccinate Your Fucking Kids,” (or for those who don’t want to wear the f-word, an option with “VYFK” is available).
“The anti-vaxxers seem to get all the press, [so] I decided it was time to promote some rational thought. It’s strongly-worded because the situation is dire,” the website’s creator says.
As a mother of a toddler and a resident of California, which has a steadily declining immunization rate, the issue resonates with her. In 2014, only 92.6 percent of kindergarten students met state immunization requirements for measles, according to the California Department of Public Health (PDF). She said concern for her son’s wellbeing has made her more invested in the issue.
“He was born in the winter, and couldn’t get the whooping cough vaccine until he was two months old,” she says. “I was terrified of him catching it. It’s a miserable illness with many possible complications.”
If children are not vaccinated, they pose a threat to an entire community. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the measles virus lives for up to two hours, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Just breathing the air or touching a surface and then touching eyes, nose, and mouth can lead to a contraction of the virus. The measles vaccine is very effective, at 93 percent for one dose and 97 percent for two, according to the CDC. Not vaccinating is dangerous, not only for those who are not vaccinated, but for babies who are too young to be vaccinated and for those with weak immune systems.
“We have a responsibility to each other,” VYFK’s creator says. “To refuse to vaccinate your child without a shred of scientific evidence that supports your view is ignorant and extremely dangerous. You are putting babies, the elderly, and the immunosuppressed at risk.”