'Your Child's Shots Could Mean Life or Death for Mine': 10 Real Stories About Why Vaccines Matter

Wendy Robinson | Jul 20, 2016 Being a Mom
'Your Child's Shots Could Mean Life or Death for Mine': 10 Real Stories About Why Vaccines Matter

There are few parenting debates more contentious than the issue of vaccinations. With more families than ever opting out the standard vaccination schedule, and the resurgence of outbreaks of illnesses like measles, many fear that we are approaching a public health crisis. 

While some argue that vaccination is a personal decision, there are others who have deeply personal reasons for worrying about the reduction of "herd immunity" that comes when vaccination rates drop. 

Vaccines are a modern miracle and if you are on the fence about what is right for your family and your community, please read on for compelling reasons why the anti-vax movement needs to end. 


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  • Exposed

    Image via iStock.com/Christopher Futcher

    "We took our baby to the peditrician's office for his two-week checkup. Everything went fine. And then we got a call letting us know that he had been exposed to measles while we were in the waiting room. 

    I have never been more angry in my life. Waiting to see if he caught it was terrifying. It is probably a good thing we didn't know the name of the other family who exposed us. I don't know that I would have been able to stop myself from going off on them for being so reckless with my baby." -- W.E. 

  • When It Hits

    Image via iStock.com/Mixmike

    "I work for a public university in northern California, near an area with one of the lowest vax rates in the country. For the last few years, we've had a small task force trying to make plans for what we'll do in a few years when the first big surge of unvaccinated kids starts living in dorms. Dorms are amazing locations in terms of spreading illness, and it is a matter of WHEN -- and not if -- there is a major measles outbreak on a college campus. 

    And I can tell you, it won't be pretty when it happens." -- B.C. 

  • Happiest Place on Earth?

    Image via iStock.com/Christopher Futcher

    "Living in southern California, we go to Disneyland a lot. We happened to go during the window a year or so ago when there was a measles outbreak [that] was traced to unvaccinated people who were infected going there. 

    Even though my family IS vaccinated, it still felt scary and frustrating to know that we were exposed to something that could have made us really sick." -- S.F. 

  • Save Her Life

    Image via iStock.com/Christopher Futcher

    "My daughter has been fighting leukemia for just over two years. We are hoping she can go back to school next year but it is scary to think of her being in classes with kids who aren't vaxxed. She has a compromised immune system and can't get the vaccines she needs to stay safe. Measles [and] other [preventative] sickness could literally KILL her. 

    Please, people, please: A few shots for your child could be life or death for mine." -- M.C. 

  • Doctor and Mother

    Image via iStock.com/Christopher Futcher

    "I'm a mother and a doctor. Setting aside the fact that it makes me CRAZY when people think that Google plus the advice of a former Playboy model is somehow equivalent to my literal decades of study, I can't get over how big of a risk non-vaccinating parents are taking with their kids. I know they believe they are making an informed choice but the science is so very clear on this. 

    Ultimately, parents who don't vaccinate aren't welcome in my practice anymore. I can't take the risk to my other patients." -- K.S. 

  • Special Needs Child

    Image via iStock.com/Christopher Futcher

    "My 5-year old-daughter is an amazing little person. She has some special needs and physical limitations. As a parent who has spent A LOT of time dealing with scary health challenges for my kiddo, I can't begin to understand why people would forgo medicine that could prevent their little one from getting a serious illness.

    Talk about privilege." -- R.E.

    More from CafeMom: Quiz: How Much Do You Really Know About Vaccines? 

  • So Insulting

    Image via iStock.com/SerrNovik

    "My son in on the autism spectrum and I think it is appalling and insulting to him that people act like autism is a fate worse than death. He has his challenges, no doubt, but how is his life worse than dying of a preventable disease?

    And, no, I don't think vaccinations had ANYTHING to do with his autism. That link has been disproved so many times but people are still scared about it." -- J.R. 

  • Cancer Hits Home

    Image via iStock.com/ttsz

    "I got diagnosed with cervical cancer when I was in my 20s. It was almost certainly caused by HPV. I have kids now and you can be DAMN SURE they are getting the HPV vaccination. Cancer sucks and any parent who wouldn't protect their kid from that is an idiot. Sorry not sorry to say that." -- L.N. 

  • International Perspective

    Image via iStock.com/aydinmutlu

     "I've done two tours in the Peace Corp and have lived in several countries where people are still literally dying from diseases that vaccines prevent. Once you see it, it is impossible to imagine why anyone would turn a vaccine down. They work. They work amazingly well." -- D.A.  

    More from CafeMom: 6 Celeb Moms Take a Public Stance on the Vaccine Debate (PHOTOS)

  • Making a Comeback

    Image via iStock.com/ivanastar

    "My nana had polio when she was a child. She is terrified that polio will make a comeback with the whole non-vax craze. I'm scared too. People just don't get how scary all of this really was just a generation or so ago." -- J.J. 


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