As a parent, you make choices to protect your child’s health, safety, and overall well-beingevery day. You find the best daycare and schools for your family, make sure to buy the best and safest equipment, and make sure that visitors are safe and healthy. Your choice to immunize is no different. Making an informed choice about immunization is critical to maintain your child’s health. Vaccination has become more popular, and several generations have grown up without being exposed to epidemics of disease, however, during the recent decade an anti-vaccine movement has emerged. Many parents choose not to vaccinate their children.Order now
I remember when I was little my mom took me to get my vaccinations before I started my school year. At first, I didn’t understand why, but as I grew older I began to understand how vital vaccinations were. In fact, the vaccinations I got helped keep me safe from harmful disease. It is likely that we all have memories of going to the doctor, having them give us a shot and crying, but getting a lollipop or a sticker in the end. These shots are filled with a vaccine for a particular strain of disease. Vaccines were made to act like the immune system, which means that the vaccine contains components of the disease that have been altered to a point where they can’t hurt the child and that then allows the child’s body to create a barrier against the disease to keep them from getting it again and also without the possibly of the deadly consequences that come with getting the disease (“Background Information on How Vaccines Work”).. Although we dreaded getting them, they are an important part of keeping people healthy and alive. There are many reasons why people choose not to vaccinate their children.
In Love Thy Neighbor: Vaccinate, there is a collection of stories and news articles about why people do or do not believe in vaccinating their children. It has become apparent that a rising number of parents are choosing to not vaccinate their children even though the risks of not doing so can increase the chances of getting diseases for not only themselves but also other people. This issue was discovered when “health officials began to trace an outbreak of measles to people who had visited Disneyland. Many of those infected turned out never to have been vaccinated against the disease, which raised the puzzling, and frankly, enraging question of why this is happening when measles had essentially been eradicated in America (Raushenbush, 2015). But why were they not vaccinated?
Some children cannot be given vaccinations for medical reasons, and some people are either too young or old to be given or to react to vaccinations. It is every other person that can receive the vaccinations’ responsibility to receive them in order to protect those who cannot receive them. People may not believe in vaccinating due to personal beliefs such as risk of side-effects and ingredients. Parents of young children today may not believe that their children need vaccinated due to many childhood illnesses already having been eliminated or reduced in occurrence due to vaccination, so they do not understand the importance of vaccines.
Many parents will not use vaccinations due to their religious beliefs. Parents may take a passage from the New Testament, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy” (New American Bible, 1 Cor. 3:16-17). Others may use the passage “You are children of the LORD, your God. You shall not gash yourselves . . .” (New American Bible, Duet. 14.1). Christian parents believe that our bodies are, “temples” and should not be tampered with. According to an article called, Parents Should Be Pressed to Have their Children Vaccinated, a social worker and founder of National Council for the Child named Kadman says, “There are those who say ‘God will protect the children, not the vaccine.’ They think that the fact that the majority of children are vaccinated will protect them. But this is a selfish attitude, as the lower the vaccination rate in the general population, the greater the risk that the disease will break out among unvaccinated children. (Siegal)
Vaccinated children will not guarantee resistance against disease as well as the influence from Christian values. In the article on the Public Health Report website called, The Biology of Vaccines and Community Decisions to Vaccinate, Freeman states that, “immunization strategy for protecting entire communities can only be effective when herd immunity has been achieved. Herd immunity is achieved when there is a sufficient level of vaccine protection in the population to prevent circulation of the disease to those who remain biologically susceptible.” Therefore, if the majority of the population is immunized, there are enough people to prevent the spread of disease through the population.
Other parents choose not to vaccinate for fear that the vaccines causes more serious problems. The main issue today is the concern of vaccines, especially the MMR, causing Autism and neurological problems. None of these vaccines have been proven to increase the risk of Autistic disorders mainly because Autism is something a child is born with and the main accusations of vaccines leading to Autism are from parents whose children had not yet been diagnosed before vaccination leading them to falsely believe it caused the Autism (DeStefano et al). This is the reason many parents fail to vaccinate their children which not only puts their child at risk for infectious diseases but other people’s children as well.
Another big problem among parents today is the worry that a child’s immune system is not mature enough to withstand all of the vaccines at once but Dr. Schaffner, a professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, says that a child’s immune system is much stronger than you think (“Mom Advocates for Vaccines…”). But a parent must look at both sides when choosing whether or not to vaccinate a child. Not vaccinating a child puts them at a higher risk of a deadly or crippling disease than they have of experiencing side effects from the vaccine (“The harm of Skipping…”). The Family Doctor website has an article called, Vaccines: What They Are and Why Your Child Needs Them that affirms, “Vaccines are generally quite safe. The protection provided by vaccines far outweighs the very small risk of serious problems. Vaccines have made many serious childhood diseases rare today” (Editorial Staff).
A pediatrician and bioethicist from Vanderbilt University, Dr. Ellen Wright Clayton, on the Flu Vaccines Withdrawn in Alert Over Side-effects article also says, “Vaccines are important tools in preventing serious infectious disease across the lifespan, from infancy through adulthood. All health care interventions, however, carry the possibility of risk and vaccines are no exception.” According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website, “Any vaccine can cause side effects. For the most part these are minor . . . sore arm or low-grade fever and go away within a few days.” The risks of contracting a side effect of the vaccine are outweighed by the benefit of being able to not get that particular disease.
Amber Kronemann, a young mom to two daughters and one son, says that they believe in vaccinations, but they still choose not to vaccinate due to the ingredients of them. After asking her to expand on that statement, this is what she said: “I found that the ingredients listed here were quite treacherous to be putting into our children’s bodies, if we were to physically feed our children detergent, monkey kidney, aluminum, formaldehyde, aborted fetal lung sissies (human diploid cells) mercury etc. that we would go to prison, but yet, we can inject them straight to our blood stream. We (Amber and her husband) didn’t agree with aborted fetal tissue as being against abortion myself I will not fund the governments money supply by paying for vaccines which therefore causes more vaccines to be made and needing more volunteer women to abort their fetuses.”
Jana Loeschen, an elementary school teacher and mom to four grown daughters, is on the fence about vaccinations. “I have close family members who chose to vaccinate and those who have chosen not to. Knowing what I know now, I probably would choose not to vaccinate my children. All who are reading this, do you know the ingredients, preservatives and ‘stuff’ that are in vaccinations? Do you know the side effects of them? If you research them – and I’m not suggesting Google- for instance on ewg.org, and/or pubmed.gov, you may vaccinate with much more hesitation or not vaccinate at all. I have a grand daughter who went in for her second round of shots and an upon arriving home my daughter received a phone call from the doctors office ‘uh…we’re sorry. we gave her too much…’ What! So how do you correct that? You don’t. The name calling in the above script? Responsibility? Just more adults (nurses or parents) trying to be responsible but possibly made a mistake that can change a family’s life forever?! We continue to pray for no serious side effects to arise from our grand daughters experience. We have close friends whose child developed autistic tendencies, then was diagnosed with autism after vaccinations.
As Jana mentioned, there is a rumor that autism is a result of vaccinations. This rumor has been disproved, but still, many people choose to believe it. Val Quayle, a middle aged business owner with no children, shared this on my Facebook post. I found it interesting. “Now I’m not a mother but if I ever become one I would still choose to vaccinate. I have also niece with autism (which you may think because I think I would be absolutely against) however- they delayed vaccines to help prevent something like this happening, and it still happened.”
The debate over whether to get your children vaccinated is likely a debate that will never come to an end. People will always disagree on the benefits and risks of vaccinations. Others may not agree on the religious reasons to not vaccinate. And while people do not have to agree with other people, sometimes we just need to listen to their thoughts and reasoning behind their decisions.