Due to recent measles outbreaks throughout the US, and the numerous lawsuits that have followed, vaccinations are a very hot topic right now. Every choice you make as a parent will have an impact on your children, and uneducated medical decisions can result in serious consequences.
Exercising good judgment
A parent’s job is to do the very best they can for their children because they love and care for the safety and well-being of their children. Informed and appropriate decisions should be made regardless of whether or not the children, the religious community, or their neighbors appear to understand the issues. No clearer example can be had than in the choice to vaccinate your children.
The falsehoods and myths surrounding the reasons not to vaccinate your children exceed any limits of good judgment. Unfortunately, when a very limited study connecting the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism was published in 1998, people jumped on board and began to panic. This study has been retracted as it was proven to be extremely flawed and false. Instead, it’s a widely proven fact that vaccinations save lives.
Vaccinating your children is a societal obligation
Vaccines will not only potentially save the lives of your children, but every child that your child may interact with when they go to school, play on the playground, ride the bus, participate in activities, go out to dinner, and more. This is commonly referred to as herd immunity. Because germs can travel quickly from person to person, they have the ability to cause a community outbreak. But if everyone, or almost everyone, in the community is vaccinated, the germs cannot easily travel and the outbreak can be prevented. Eventually, the disease will become rare or maybe even be eliminated.
It is necessary that children get vaccinated according to the schedule. If you have questions or concerns regarding your children’s immunological health, certain vaccinations can be given over an extended period of time. But, there are rare circumstances where a child’s immune system is so compromised that vaccinations are not recommended, and they rely on herd immunity to prevent contracting diseases that are preventable by vaccines.
How to find accurate medical information about vaccines
If you aren’t convinced that vaccinations are safe, or if people in an authoritative position – whether it’s religion-based or your parents – that are telling you not to vaccinate, do the research so you can be confident that you are making the right decision.
There are plenty of national and international medical societies that have explored and continue to explore this subject, such as The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and World Health Organization (WHO). You can also call the regional hospitals and medical schools in your area. You will find that there is no ambiguity. The recommendations are to get your children vaccinated. If you choose to make a religious leader happy, your parent happy, or someone else you respect happy at the expense of your child’s physical well-being, you are demonstrating poor judgment as a parent.
Unless a doctor has told you that your child cannot safely receive vaccines, parents must vaccinate their children. Those who choose not to vaccinate demonstrate that they are, without a doubt, not making decisions that are in the best medical and physical interest of their children and the children in the community at large. Vaccinations are safe, a fact that is not subject to medical questioning. Philosophical or holistic approaches to life aren’t a substitute for good medical judgment. Religion isn’t either. Not vaccinating your children is, from my perspective, irresponsible and dangerous.