45 answers

Please Weigh In: Pros and Cons of Vaccinating Your Child

Mamapedia Mamas: Would you mind sharing your thought on vaccinating your child? Do you worry about the side effects of some vaccines, or do you believe that the benefits far outweigh the risks?

Some stats: "Depending on the state, children must be vaccinated against some or all of the following diseases: mumps, measles, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, and polio. Although vaccination is required, all 50 states issue medical exemptions, 48 states (excluding Mississippi and West Virginia) permit religious exemptions, and 20 states allow an exemption for philosophical reasons. As of 2009, the national average vaccination rate for required school entry vaccines was 95.41%."

Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts. It is great to hear from both sides.

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Featured Answers

I think all kids should be vacinated. Some of those diseases are VERY deadly to children! What I don't get is why people think that not vacinating their children is not anyone elses buisness. My child has been vacinated, but if another child who hasn't been gets...lets say the measles, the virus can mutate and my child can get sick as well!

18 moms found this helpful

Well, we have a serious whooping cough (pertussis) epidemic here in Washington State this year. We also have a lower-than-national-average vaccination rate. You do the math.

Here is a thoughtful essay by two mothers of infants who caught pertussis.

http://www.parentmap.com/article/two-local-mothers-whose-...

Granted, with pertussis, the issue is often (though not always) that adults have not gotten the Tdap booster and unknowingly/unwittingly spread pertussis. But, other younger kiddos can also easily spread the disease. This one hits infants the hardest. Witnessing a young one with pertussis would break my heart.

Here is another, even better, thoughtful series on the vaccination question. It is from the pro-vaccination viewpoint and is a compilation of posts/responses by doctors, mostly pediatricians and immunologists. If you want to save time, look for the posts by doctors who are old enough to have seen many cases of the diseases that we can now vaccinate against.

http://seattlemamadoc.seattlechildrens.org/tag/vaccine-he...

15 moms found this helpful

Looking at the effect vaccinations have on public health, it really is the only way to go. The benefits are many! I do not believe that vaccines cause any kind of autism (there was a big article to debunk that myth within the last year or so anyway) and they protect my children from serious and deadly diseases. Whooping cough is making a comeback and even those who have been vaccinated are getting it b/c there are so many more people moving away from vaccines therefore causing mutations.

12 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I am helping my brother raise his two daughters because his wife died from cancer several years ago. All three of us firmly believe in vaccinating children, let me tell you why.

I have an autoimmune disease, and while I am fully vaccinated, vaccines offer little protection for me because of my disease. Because of that, I rely on others to be fully vaccinated in order to be protected. Lots of parents say that not vaccinating their child only affects their child but that is simply not true. I cannot live in a bubble. I must go to the grocery store to eat, I have to go the doctor's office when sick, I go out in public to live my life. If an unvaccinated child in exposed to a vaccine preventable disease and comes into contact with me, then my life is at risk. I've had whooping cough twice now, and I caught it both times during known outbreaks in my community. I'm sorry if I offend anyone, but nobody has the right to put my life at risk. And it's not just me who is at risk...its the elderly, infants and others who are immunosuppressed (like those who have cancer).

Several years ago, I was working in the preschool Sunday School class at my church. A little boy came in with a high fever, and was obviously not feeling well. We had to get his parents out of the service so he could go home. We found out later that he had a severe caseof the measles. He wound up giving them to his baby sister, who died from it. He is now profoundly deaf. Guess what? The family had chosen not to vaccinate their son. They now have to live with the consequnces for the rest of their lives. This was totally preventable, and in my opinion should never of happened. Diseases like this are making a comeback because parents are refusing to vaccinate their children.

I think part of the problem is that people are forgetting how horrible it was to have these diseases around. Talk to anyone in my parents generation or older, they can tell you the horrors of measles, mumps or diptheria. It's not nice, but we are forgetting that.

I'd rather see my neices vaccinated than dead.

25 moms found this helpful

Because the benefits outweigh the risks.

I don't understand the people who say the risks are greater than contracting the disease. Sure until no one is then what? There is a reason these diseases are nearly gone and a reason they are starting to come back.

20 moms found this helpful

I believe in vaccines. The more we comply as a whole, the fewer breakouts of these diseases will happen. My mom has told me about the terrible suffering people went through when she was a child. Oh my goodness, the polio - dear God. People forget what this really means. How German measles cause birth defects in unborn babies exposed to someone the mother just happens to encounter with it. Whooping cough that my mom described. It's not like someone just coughing their head off. It's serious stuff. Red measles that can cause permanent damage.

When there is no more chickenpox, older people won't be getting shingles. Shingles is dangerous for older folks.

I'm grateful to those who vaccinate. You can always do a modified schedule if you don't want to do them all at once. But you should do them.

D.

20 moms found this helpful

I wish I still had the link to the article from my hometown, that completely cemented my opinion of vaccinating.

A 3 week old baby died in my hometown last month, from Whooping Cough. Something that is usually vaccinated for. It's so sad, because she died even after getting immediate medical treatment. Babies are so defenseless against things like that.

What is even more sad, to me, is that she didn't HAVE to die. Many parents decide not to vaccinate their children, thinking that 'herd immunity' (enough kids are vaccinated that there is no one to carry the disease, so their kid won't catch it...) will keep them safe... but what happens when too many parents decide to follow herd immunity? THE DISEASE MAKES A COMEBACK! That's what happened to this baby. Pertussis was practically eradicated in our country, until people got so against vaccinations. Now look at the comeback it has made, and the ones who are dying are the ones who are too young to have been vaccinated yet. How very sad is that?

19 moms found this helpful

I think all kids should be vacinated. Some of those diseases are VERY deadly to children! What I don't get is why people think that not vacinating their children is not anyone elses buisness. My child has been vacinated, but if another child who hasn't been gets...lets say the measles, the virus can mutate and my child can get sick as well!

18 moms found this helpful

My own pediatrician has young children as does the other pediatrician in her practice. That other pediatrician has lost a child to SIDS so I am always reminded that the family part of their practice is something near and dear to them. Not just doctors, they are parents. Because of that, whenever I seek any treatment, vaccination or evaluation for my child, I ask them outright what they would do for theirs. As a result, my son is up to date on all of his vaccinations. I don't regret or question that move at all.

A friend of mine, Anne, - a well-respected pediatrician in Kansas, whose practice is alas, 45 minutes away - posted this [below] as her facebook status update last week. It stuck with me and touched something in me.

"I'm so thankful to live in the post-vaccine invention era. Though I'm concerned my 19 month old has a 104.3 fever, I'm confident she'll wake up in the morning because she's fully immunized. I know HiB or pneumococcus or any of the 10 other vaccine preventable illnesses she's protected from won't take her from me tonight. Millions of parents from our recent past would have given anything for that, to keep these monstrous illnesses from stealing their babies at night."

16 moms found this helpful

Well, we have a serious whooping cough (pertussis) epidemic here in Washington State this year. We also have a lower-than-national-average vaccination rate. You do the math.

Here is a thoughtful essay by two mothers of infants who caught pertussis.

http://www.parentmap.com/article/two-local-mothers-whose-...

Granted, with pertussis, the issue is often (though not always) that adults have not gotten the Tdap booster and unknowingly/unwittingly spread pertussis. But, other younger kiddos can also easily spread the disease. This one hits infants the hardest. Witnessing a young one with pertussis would break my heart.

Here is another, even better, thoughtful series on the vaccination question. It is from the pro-vaccination viewpoint and is a compilation of posts/responses by doctors, mostly pediatricians and immunologists. If you want to save time, look for the posts by doctors who are old enough to have seen many cases of the diseases that we can now vaccinate against.

http://seattlemamadoc.seattlechildrens.org/tag/vaccine-he...

15 moms found this helpful

As an example:
In my State, a 6 month old baby died due to Pertussis. The baby was not vaccinated. The parents didn't believe in it.
The baby, contracted the illness from an adult relative, who thought she just had a regular cold. So then they thought their baby just had a regular cold.
The parents, are now advocates for the vaccine.
They no longer have their baby.

The Pertussis vaccine, DTaP, is given in stages, at 2, 4, 6, months of age. Then boosters.
http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Pertussis/

Booster shots for Pertussis, is also highly recommended for the Elderly or adults/teens or those with compromised lung issues.

14 moms found this helpful

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