Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Children Get Vaccinations!

Today we went to the pediatrician for Joseph's two-week appointment and to get Stephanie her flu shot. I feel like getting the flu shot is really important for our family, because little Joseph is too young to get it, and I never got it in time when I was pregnant to provide him with the antibodies. But, with Dan, Stephanie and I all having it, hopefully that will be enough to prevent the virus from being brought into our home, and therefore preventing Joseph from getting the flu.

This "community immunity" idea is one of the biggest reasons why I am a supporter of vaccines. Children receive vaccinations for a variety of communicable diseases that can cause horrible side effects, debilitating health conditions, and even death. I for one would rather see my children get their shots than get one of those illnesses. But, there are children who have conditions and/or immune system issues that prevent them from receiving vaccinations. However, if the children around them receive their vaccinations, those other children will be that much more protected because the disease won't get spread around. The more people who get vaccinated, the less potential for an outbreak, and the more protected we as a community will be.

I know there is the whole "Autism is caused by vaccines" movement. Many people feel so strongly about this, and therefore do not vaccinate their children. I have done research on this, and talked to Dr's and specialists during my time as an Early Childhood Educator, and I have made the personal decision that, whether or not this is true, I will vaccinate my children anyway. I would rather have them protected from a deadly disease, since it has never been definitively proven that there is a link between Autism and vaccines.

I also don't buy into the whole "oh, these diseases have been eradicated, so I don't need to vaccinate my children" idea. In fact, several diseases, such as whooping cough and measles, have seen a recurrence in recent years. I know that I for one don't want to risk that my child catch one of them.

Lastly, there are those parents who just don't like the idea of putting foreign substances into their children's bodies. While I can see their point, again, I think the risk of a deadly disease is greater than the risk of any chemicals from a shot.

I know that not all parents agree with me, and I know that this is a heated topic among the mommy community. I'm also not saying that i'm right and that parents who choose not to vaccinate are bad. I am saying, however, that my personal belief is that my children should get their shots. I want them to be protected, and I feel like I am doing the best thing I can for them by keeping them on a vaccination schedule.

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