Is the H1N1 vaccine safe for kids? That’s usually the fear-based headline we see, and it’s intended to trigger a knee-jerk reaction from those for and against the vaccine. It’s also the kind of headline that sells a lot more newspapers than those that say: “An Analysis of the H1N1 Vaccine.”
Yet the cortex parent does just that. We begin this analytical process by temporarily forgetting everything we think we already know about H1N1. That way, we can truly be open to whatever information we acquire.
Next, we ask questions and seek answers to them from both sides. Since unbiased reporting is kinda rare today, we need to go to sources beyond the ones we ordinarily rely on. Otherwise, we’ll only likely get a diluted (at best) version of the “other side.”
Here are some possible questions when exploring H1N1 vaccine safety:
Once we’ve gathered all the information — from as many diverse sources as possible — we’re now ready to ask a question that’s more inclusive than just whether the H1N1 vaccine is safe for kids. Instead we ask: Which has more overall risk for my child: the H1N1 flu or the H1N1 vaccine?
Guess what? It’s very possible that parents from different families will come to opposite conclusions. But even thought their final answer may differ from each other, such parents still have this in common: Their decisions were based on solid cortical reasoning versus a fear-based reaction — and that’s always the goal of the cortex parent.