Two small things about the vaccination controversy occurred to me today. Update: No, three. Two-and-a-half.
There are other diseases and conditions claiming more lives than measles. But I think medically-trained folks have increased irritation because of the frustration of This should not be happening. This was conquered territory. Victory was in our grasp. That's certainly my feeling, and it is likely to be greater for them.
Second, there is a qualitative difference in choosing to vaccinate - to do something to your child - rather than not doing something. It is not merely that the child will feel some pain or will cry, or doesn't like it. That might be a minor factor, but most parents are pretty used to doing things over a child's objection. The merely quantitative evaluation, that there is 1/1,000 chance of something bad happening this way vs 1/100,000 chance the other way, leaves out the part of being the cause of something. As in the ethics experiments where they ask people whether it would be okay to push one person in front of a train to save six others, being a participant changes the dynamic.
If your child is one of the ones who has some bad effect, there is the always going to be the idea I did this to her. When parents who are already worried about risks contemplate the action of needle going into skin or medicine going down throat, that unwillingness to take action that might turn bad may be part of what is going on behind the scenes.
Relatedly, either point 2A or point 3 - the moment of decision is where one's opinion, literally and figuratively comes to a point. It is the risk entering your child now. It is stark, it is either-or. For those who think of vaccines as something protective, this brings a sigh of relief. Whew. One less thing to worry about. But for wafflers, it's not so clear.