Parker still has at least another week until arrival, and as suggested earlier, probably won’t be here until around his due date. I know the wife and I are both ready for him just to be here, but honestly, what’s 10 more days when you’ve waited so long already?
Today I wanted to blog a little bit about child vaccination. I know that this is a fairly controversial subject among many people, but I felt it was important that I share my views on the topic of immunization.
Parents have many different options when choosing what/when/how to vaccinate their children. Some parents choose to follow the recommended vaccination schedule. Some choose a delayed vaccination schedule. Some–for some reason–choose not to have their children vaccinated.
The reasons for vaccinating or not vaccinating, or vaccinating on a delayed schedule are many. Prevention of disease is often the biggest reason that parents follow the recommended schedule. For those vaccinating on a delayed schedule, they are concerned about possible adverse side effects due to often multiple vaccinations in a single doctor visit. For those not vaccinating their children, it becomes a concern about possible links to autism, or feeling that the risks of harm from vaccines outweigh the benefits.
Parker will be vaccinated according to the recommended schedule. We, as parents, feel that the benefits associated with vaccination far outweight the risks of possible adverse side effects.
Of course I do not believe that people who refuse to vaccinate their children are ‘bad parents’, but I believe it’s playing a dangerous game of roulette with a child’s health. I understand the arguments. That vaccinated diseases have been virtually eradicated from this country, so now the risks outweight the benefits. That vaccines use dangerous chemicals. That vaccines could be linked to autism (they never have).
I simply know this: I would rather my child suffer soreness in his arm, or experience a fever than contract measles, or whooping cough, or polio. Yes, vaccines can produce much more serious side effects, but I feel that the risks are so low that it seems silly not to vaccinate.
I encourage every parent to vaccinate their child, even on a delayed schedule. Serious disease has been largely eradicated in this country solely because of vaccination. In 1952, there were 21,000 reported cases of polio causing paralysis in the United States. Since the switch to the inactivated polio vaccine, the last case of polio in the United States was 10 years ago, no wild-virus in the US since 1979, and the disease has been fully eradicated from the Western Hemisphere, completely due to the polio vaccination.
For more information on the importance of vaccination, please visit the following websites:
Centers for Disease Control
Food and Drug Administration
Immunization Action Coalition