Ever since Jenny McCarthy went on the news and blamed her child’s autism on vaccinations, many parents have decided not to immunize. It is pointed out that many diseases children are vaccinated for have been dormant for years so the need for the immunization is “unwarranted.” That could not be further from the truth! Many diseases are a thing of the past because of immunizations.
Not only can old diseases, such as Smallpox reappear, but new diseases have also emerged. H1N1 Flu (also known as Swine Flu took the country by surprise. But why should any new disease be a surprise? America is visited by people of all nations whose countries might not require vaccinations or they might be more susceptible to contracting a disease and bringing it over to an unsuspecting people. Such was the case with the Swine Flu and while it might well be under control, who is to stop it from happening again? I would not be surprised if a vaccination for it does eventually appear in our infants’ immunization schedule.
What causes problems with parents overriding doctors is they are leaving their children susceptible to powerful and sometimes fatal diseases. The repercussions of not vaccinating your child far outweigh the risks involved with shots. Instead of trusting their doctors, parents make up their own immunization schedule for their child and others outright refuse shots for the fear of autism. Many doctors refuse to see the infants anymore because they can not do their jobs properly due to the parents’ unwarranted concerns. The only “link” that was proven with autism is MMR, and that is also a very rare occurrence. Yet parents start messing with the immunization schedule because they are uneducated and buy in that all vaccinations should be voluntary!
Such is the case of a mother of ten-month-old triplets who decided not to have her babies vaccinated at all. She contracted a very rare form of cancer and it has put the entire family at risk. Since she has a weak immune system, just coming into contact with someone with any sickness can mutate itself in her body and become something much worse. A regular cold can turn into Pneumonia and could be fatal, not to mention any sickness means she can not undergo chemotherapy. To add the fact that her triplets were never immunized poses unnecessary risks to them. They could potentially become ill from their mother and there is nothing stopping the disease from turning into RSV (which could be deadly) and weakening their lungs forever!
She has kept her children very sheltered and has never had them around other children because she did not want them getting sick. Her plan was to school them from home, but this rare form of cancer is inoperable and will more than likely take her life. The husband will have to return to work and has no other choice but to put the children into daycare and school at that time. They have lost the window of opportunity for the RSV vaccine to be effective (since it is recommended before the child reaches 6 months), and the children have not been able to build the resistance to the Hepatitis B series yet- this is bad because this disease can lay dormant for years and later turn into a lifelong disease. Why play with the fate of your children like that?
Parents need to trust their doctors and research vaccinations if they have concerns. Vaccinations work because by vaccinating the majority of people in one area, the chances of the disease infecting the population decrease with the higher number of people vaccinated. Many do not remember or were not around for the polio epidemic in 1952 when it crippled 58,000 people during the course of one summer. Many diseases such as polio have been snuffed out due to an international effort, but diseases can reappear. There is still the immunization for it however to keep the disease out. Many people opt not to receive it because in the past it was given as an oral “live” vaccine that resulted in one out of a million contracting into a serious form of the disease. However, it is now given as an inactivated polio virus immunization, but many still elect not to have this shot because they feel it is unnecessary or still are afraid even though they have been told the risk has been deleted. Know the United States requires students to have many vaccinations before attending schools so those immunizations are not up for debate.
Some immunizations have had very rare serious side effects that ended up in a permanent change to the vaccination. A mercury-containing preservative, Thimerosal, used to be used in immunization serums but was discontinued when studies suggested the chemicaIs had a possible link to reduced motor control and autism. The scare of autism made many parents begin to research risks involved with vaccinations, which made many decide to take preventing disease into their own hands. Leading pediatricians note that risks of contracting the diseases are much greater than those associated with immunization because the side effects are much milder and less frequent than the effects of such diseases as polio, measles, or hepatitis B. Many people haven’t seen what it can do to a neighborhood, city or country so they lash out against the vaccines. If the majority of the population opts not to immunize, don’t be surprised if such dormant diseases like smallpox and polio don’t resurface.
Has there been a direct link ever proven to link autism with all vaccinations? When it was suggested MMR was to blame, the CDC broke it up into three different shots. However, parents refusing to take all three parts caused the break-up to cease and it is now administered as one shot with all three vaccinations inside once again. Certainly you can take precaution and research immunizations, but know when you start messing with the immunization schedule, you are putting your child at risk of contracting diseases that can affect them for their entire lives. I know I will not mess with my childrens’ safety on a subject that should be left to their pediatrician- after all, they are the doctors, not me. Besides, I know if they contracted a rare disease because I failed to immunize them against it, I would know I only had myself to blame.