My Vaccine Decision: No Vaccinations continued...
Public health officials stress that vaccination is important for the public good, not just the individual child. Do you agree or disagree, and why?
I definitely understand that, and I think it would be hard to be a parent of a child who was immunocompromised. But I feel it’s more important for me to look out for my own child than the public as a whole. I know it sounds awful, but I can’t reconcile giving her a shot that could have life-altering consequences, just for everyone else. She’s fine without it. She’s still breastfed and gets my immunities, and so far she’s a happy and healthy 14-month-old. We’ve done a lot of reading, and haven’t seen anything that makes us seriously question our decision.
My Vaccine Decision: Fully Vaccinated
Jody Urbas, 37, teacher, Medina, Ohio.
What did you decide about vaccines?
I have two daughters, ages three years and three months. My girls get all their vaccinations on schedule.
How did you make that decision? Where did you seek your information?
My husband and I both were very much in agreement from the outset that we would do all of them. I work around kids in a school setting, and so I see all the diseases that are going around. With my kids also being in day care, I wouldn’t want them to catch something from someone else. My husband points out that these things that we vaccinate for were all epidemics in the past, and if we don’t vaccinate now, they could come back, like we’re seeing with whooping cough in California. I just feel the benefits outweigh the risks.
I know some people say they don’t give certain shots or delay because of an autism risk, but that’s not a belief for me. I don’t think the evidence supports it. A substantial number of those with autism are boys, and that’s what I see at school too. If vaccines were involved, then it would be the same among girls and boys.
I did a lot of research online, and I read Dr. Sears’ Vaccine Book with the alternative schedule, but I just didn’t have any issues that made me want to consider delaying any vaccines.
What ultimately convinced you to make the decision you did?
I’d be more scared of my child having the illness than having the vaccine. After the first time we took our oldest daughter in for her vaccines at two months, she didn’t have any reactions at all, and she still hasn’t. So I didn’t have any reason to not give them to her. I can see some people who delay them because their kids have reactions, but we are comfortable with full vaccinations, including flu shots. I got the H1N1 shot when I was pregnant, and my DTaP [diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis] booster in the hospital when I had my second daughter.