A recent outbreak of measles in New York has really fanned the fire on the issue of vaccination. Yesterday The New York Times posted an article about eliminating vaccine exemptions. At the moment it's perfectly legal to refuse vaccination for yourself and children because of any personal and religious belief.
Kristin Feemster, pediatric infectious disease physician, states, "Vaccines protect our neighbors — like following traffic laws, drug tests at work, paying taxes — they are a shared responsibility." To me, she makes this sound like you are neglecting some patriotic duty if you do not vaccinate. What? You don't vaccinate? You must be some weird antiestablishment freak.
This mentality has raised the issue of vaccination by force. What's next? Should we force all women to breastfeed? Should we have mandatory circumcisions? No, thank you. Is coercion really the answer here?
Maybe we should be addressing the issues raised by parents who choose not to vaccinate rather than labeling them and ignoring their concerns. Maybe if parents had more faith in our failing medical system this might not be an issue.
My husband and I have decided to do delayed and selective vaccination. We will take the boys in to get their first vaccines this summer (Daniel will be 3 and Frankie will be 2). Yes, they haven't been vaccinated yet. And yes, they are still alive. And I'm sure they did not transmit the latest outbreak of mumps or herpes. That being said, I may have taken a different approach on this if they were going to daycare where they would be exposed to dozens of children on a daily basis.
Bottom line — keep your paws (and needles) away from my children. Even though I plan on vaccinating my children, I would be beyond furious if someone were going to say I had to do it. Isn't this supposed to be America? Land of the free? I understand that you may feel you are right and the other people are too dumb to make decisions regarding their own children, but that is our right.
If vaccinations only work if 99 percent of the population receives them, maybe scientists should be working on better vaccines rather than trying to force people into getting the ones that obviously aren't working 100 percent of the time.
The article mentioned above says individuals who are not vaccinated are the cause of the measles outbreak. It stated that three of the 11 people infected had proof they were vaccinated against this disease, while many of the others believed they were but had no documentation. In a perfect world shouldn't a vaccine protect an individual from said disease regardless of who they come into contact with?
Again, I am not antivaccination. Parenting is hard; we should all be encouraging one another. I'm sure all of us will f-up majorly at some point. If we can't be positive and uplifting to one another maybe we should mind our own business, in my opinion.
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