Tuesday, April 1, 2014

To Vaccinate or To Not Vaccinate: Another Debate of Today's Parent

I am all for moms supporting one another and not against each other when it comes to this mommy judging thing. I like to think I’ve conveyed this pretty well here. However, some thing has hit the news lately that I feel I am often torn on staying nonjudgmental. In keeping with my honest approach too on being truthful and upfront about this motherhood journey I am on I wanted to talk about it on here.

As many probably know there is an outbreak of the measles in California. They also feel this outbreak is due to unvaccinated children, and of course this is causing quite a stir among parents on both sides of this debate.

I vaccinate my children. I do occasionally ask that they have an adjusted schedule from what the doctor suggests such as at their one year appointment when they are getting a couple vaccinations in one visit. My children have never had any side effects aside from the typical crabbiness of having shots.

I don’t feel that any choices we make as parents are really anyone else’s business; we make them because they work for our families.  We could all argue that there are repercussions , maybe even risks, and effects to our choices of birth, bottle verse breast, cosleeping verse not, working verse staying home, homeschooling verse public schooling,  but any negative setbacks or effects from these choices aren’t doing any of us outside that family any harm. No matter our choices we’re all going to make mistakes, learn lessons, maybe even have a few regrets along the way, so I think we can all cut each other a little slack.

But my concern with the vaccination choice is the harm it can bring can go outside the family. A family with a newborn baby recent lost their baby after being exposed to a virus from an unvaccinated child. Infants rely on herd immunity. Even though they are not vaccinated yet; the vaccination of their family and those around them will protect them from the disease until they have their own vaccination.

Now in all fairness, sometimes I do wonder why we need a vaccination for everything such as the chicken pox. I had chicken pox as a kid, and it’s just an annoying childhood illness. But it’s not dangerous.  Many of the vaccinations are to prevent annoying but not life threatening childhood illnesses.  If our own child is vaccinated then we would like to hope they are protected, but just like anything in medicine it is not 100% so I guess this is where the whole “your kid can’t play with my kid” thing comes in because even if it’s not 100% effective if there’s no outbreak there’s no fear. People fear what they don’t know.

With more and more parents choosing to not vaccinate their children, the likelihood of outbreaks increase.  I am unfamiliar with all the diseases except chicken pox that we vaccinate our children for so of course automatically as parents we associate the word “disease” with deadly and bad. Not that I ever want my child to be sick, but from my reading of some of these old childhood diseases  they sound worse than typical childhood illness lasting 14-21 days sometimes with lifelong effects. I also know that some of these illnesses can be deadly to an infant, and even though I don’t have an infant I can understand the worried and concerned parent that does.

I know the other side argues that they don’t vaccinate for fear of side effects like the recent autism claim; however, that in itself is a whole debate. Depending on which source you consult has been proven one way or the other; however, I would suggest anyone to prove the validity of that source before trusting its accuracy.  Every choice has its pros and cons and its risks; I think everyone needs to be more educated and have good solid reasons and facts to support their decision. I also think whether it’s the choice to not vaccinate or the choice to not allow our children around unvaccinated children, it needs to be understood that both decisions are being made by parents that think they’re doing the right thing to protect their child.
 As parents in today's media society we are overloaded everyday with a constant flow of information. Information that is constantly trying to convince us one parenting choice over another is supposedly better.  It is very easy for anyone to skew the facts to support their view so read and evaluate your information that's helping you make such an important parenting decision carefully.


  1. Sadly, every outbreak is blamed on the unvaccinated when that's simply not the case. Fordham University recently experienced a mumps outbreak despite the fact that those who were infected were vaccinated. There is a lot more than just autism to be concerned about regarding vaccines including the fact that: 1) vaccine manufacturers cannot be held liable for what they create and cannot be sued (despite this, many settlements for vaccine injuries are reached every year, but the money comes from a tax paid by the consumer every time a person receives a vaccine. In other words, we're paying our own vaccine injury "rewards." The companies are unscathed.) 2) vaccines are not tested against true placebos (i.e. saline or sugar pills) but rather against other vaccines with "known profiles" 3) there's a lot of evidence to suggest that SIDS is frequently caused by vaccinations but is reported as being the result of an "unknown" cause. There's a drastic increase in various neurological and physical ailments experienced by current children compared to those of years past. The idea that voluntarily injecting aluminum, mercury (which many claim is no longer in vaccines, but that's not true, per the cdc's website and the ingredient list for the 2014 flu vaccine!), formaldehyde, and various other ingredients known to be toxic into anyone, let alone children, without question is scary to me. I highly recommend Dr. Tenpenny's website and youtube videos (a former ER physician who used to, in her words, hand tetanus shots out like candy) and the film The Greater Good for more information on this topic.

  2. I have chosen to vaccinate my children, actually just had a doctors visit yesterday. In my heart I feel it's the right thing to do. I don't worry about my children being around those that haven't been vaccinated, perhaps I'm naive but if my kids have had the shot shouldn't that protect them from the illness?

    It is a parents choice and I don't judge. I just want everyone to be happy and healthy! :-> So happy to have found you through Turn It Up Tuesday!

  3. What great information and am so glad you are helping young parents out. Thank you so much for sharing it on our Four Seasons Blog Hop. Pinning Now.