After many years at the forefront of the battle against childhood vaccinations, Jenny McCarthy says she is not against giving children their shots.
"I am not 'anti-vaccine,'" "The View" co-host wrote in a piece for the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday. "This is not a change in my stance nor is it a new position that I have recently adopted. For years, I have repeatedly stated that I am, in fact, 'pro-vaccine' and for years I have been wrongly branded as 'anti-vaccine.'"
The 41-year-old explained that her autistic son, Evan (now 11), is the reason she challenged the vaccination system to begin with.
"My beautiful son, Evan, inspired this mother to question the 'one size fits all' philosophy of the recommended vaccine schedule," she wrote. "I embarked on this quest not only for myself and my family, but for countless parents who shared my desire for knowledge that could lead to options and alternate schedules, but never to eliminate the vaccines.
"Blatantly inaccurate blog posts about my position have been accepted as truth by the public at large as well as media outlets (legitimate and otherwise), who have taken those false stories and repeatedly turned them into headlines," she continued. "What happened to critical thinking? What happened to asking questions because every child is different?"
Jenny said she wanted Evan to be given vaccinations one at a time, versus in groups.
"For my child, I asked for a schedule that would allow one shot per visit instead of the multiple shots they were and still are giving infants," she wrote. "I am passionate about important conversations on how we can improve health care for our children and generations to come. This is an extremely important discussion and I am dumbfounded that these conversations are discounted and negated because the answers are not black or white."
-- Erin O'Sullivan
Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.