On a recent installment of momversation the ladies are discussing the issue of vaccinating your children. There has been huge speculation about vaccines in conjunction with cases of autism, asthma, diabetes and learning disabilities. As someone that is planning on having children in the (hopefully) near future, I’ve read the research and have made my decision.
Will I vaccinate my child(ren)? Absolutely.
Here is why… These vaccines were created for a reason. A good reason. Take measles for example. Measles causes fever, hacking cough, rash, lesions and often leads to other complications like bronchitis, pneumonia, seizures and death. When the measles vaccine was introduced in 1963 the cases of measles in the US dropped 99 percent. Prior to 1963, there were approximately 3-4 million cases each year and about 450 deaths. Smallpox is another disease that has been entirely wiped out due to immunizations.
Heather Armstrong blogged about this issue and shared a story of an un-vaccinated boy bringing the measles into the United States from Switzerland. He shared this disease with other children whose parents had chose to not have them vaccinated and others that were too young to have received it yet. He was able to pass this along just by being in the same pediatricians office the same day as a young baby. Seventy children were exposed to the measles just from this one young boy. I can’t help but wonder how fast it would take for the death toll to rise from senseless diseases if everyone stopped vaccinating.
As far as concerns about learning disabilities, according to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention, there is no relationship between vaccines and autism. They are continuing to study this issue but as of now, there is no evidence to support that theory. I am sensitive to the stories about families that associate their children’s illness with a vaccine. I could understand why someone would hear such stories and consider not vaccinating because of them. But while you are hoping to alleviate some problems, you are encouraging others.
Until there is some legitimate research indicating severe risks from vaccinating, I will continue to support it. As with anything else in this world there is good and bad, positive and negative, decisions and consequences. Many times we are given two choices and can’t always pick one that is best, but one that is better.