For many moms and dads, the choice of whether or not to vaccinate is a complicated one. It shouldn't be. But the fact is some flawed scientific studies and a lot of paranoia have led to fewer parents vaccinating. And these people aren't necessarily who you would think.
A joint survey between CafeMom and Parade revealed the views of many parents when it comes to vaccination, and there were some big surprises. For instance, only 47 percent of our respondents claimed they follow their pediatrician's advice all the time and another 43 percent said they only trust their pediatrician a little or not at all.
That's pretty stunning when you think about it. How can you possibly work with a pediatrician you don't trust? Is this paranoia? Or are these parents right? See some comments from the survey below:
Immunizations are a guaranteed, serious source of income to Big Pharma. and every doctor. Immunizations prevent our children from developing a strong immune system. Childhood diseases are no more than an 'inconvenience' because there isn't a parent in the home! When mercury is used as an ingred. of vaccines, how much concern was there for the 'health' of our people/children? School districts have no right to even weigh in on immunizations, their job is to educate.
That they have to look at the big picture, that not vaccinated doesn't just involve their children but the 32,661,022 entire community. There is no reason why healthy kids should not be vaccinated when there are babies, children and adults with uncompromised immune systems that depend on herd immunity!
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Clearly, people are very, very mixed on vaccination. But they need to get over it. Really. They do. Every child that isn't vaccinated is a risk to another child who may have some kind of physical reason why they either cannot be vaccinated or cannot develop immunity. The less people who vaccinate, the more likely we are to have eradicated diseases come back.
Obviously we don't have to follow every bit of information our pediatricians give, but the fact is they have our child's best interests at heart. And if you think they don't? You need a new one who does. All of this is based on flawed science. There is more.
According to our survey, people are divided 50/50 as to whether the states should allow parents with "philosophical reasons" to not vaccinate. As of now, only 19 states offer that as an option while all allow for religious or health reasons. Another 53 percent of our respondents felt that children who are unvaccinated should NOT be allowed in public schools.
They have good reason for these concerns. "Herd immunity" -- the immunity that develops for an entire group of people -- is compromised by the segment of the population refusing to vaccinate. If they had REAL scientific evidence, it might be one thing. But they don't. It's fear. It's paranoia. And it's hurting us all.
There isn't a mother alive who isn't sympathetic to the idea of worrying about what we put in our kid's bodies. We all know that fear and worry and we all have it. But to compromise all children for a bit of wacky "science" that has no basis in reality is downright wrong.
I agree with the majority of our survey-takers that children who don't vaccinate shouldn't be allowed in the public schools unless they have some kind of very specific reason. It's just too risky to younger siblings, adults, and those with compromised immunity.
Choosing to not vaccinate is playing with fire. If you don't trust your pediatrician, get a new one!
Do you vaccinate? Do you want kids who don't vaccinate in public schools?
Image via USACE Europe District/Flickr