Wednesday, April 20, 2011

To Be Or Not To Be... Vaccinated?

Alyssa had her 2 month shots done this week and it made me think more and more about all the controversy over vaccines.  When it was time for Lynden's vaccines we talked to our family doctor about it - and yes, doctors are going to say they need to be vaccinated, but she did have a large influence over our decision (I'll explain more in a bit). 

I can't speak for my husband on this, but I know I looked online about the various pros and cons on the subject.  And it seems like for every article that says 'faxtor x' is good there's another to say it's bad.  It's hard to take it all in.  When you type in "should I vaccinate my baby in Canada" into Google you get 460,000 results.  Who has the time to read 460,000 results??  And how do you filter out fact from fiction?

There isn't a simple yes or no, and as a parent I don't know that I have made the right decision.  But with the information I had (and still have) I made a decision that at the time felt right for us.  We decided to vaccinate our children.  And the biggest decision (as discussed with our doctor) was herding vaccination.  Yes, viruses like Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Whooping Cough are rarely seen anymore -0 due to the fact that vaccines are available.  But with fewer children getting vaccinated we may see these viruses coming back, and if they do I want to ensure that my children are protected from them. 

I know vaccine ingredients have changed from when I was vaccinated as a child, and we don't Really know what is in those needles, but I have to trust that "they" wouldn't put ingredients and chemicals in there that are harmful (yes, watered down isn't good for us, but in the bigger picture sometimes you have to chose the lesser of two evils).  And you have to think about how much our environment has changed in the last 20+ years. 

However, Lynden was vaccinated for Chicken Pox even though I wanted to delay it (we did not agree on giving him the shot but Danny wanted to so we went ahead with it, only to have him change his mind after the shot was given).  I felt there was not enough information about the effectiveness of it (would a booster be needed later?  Would it prevent him from getting Shingles later or is that another vaccine or would he not need to worry about it?) and even when I asked our doctor and the health nurse they were not able to give me an answer I was content with.  I would have preferred to try to expose him to Chicken Pox before he was 5 and if we weren't able to then we would get him vaccinated.  We'll be delaying Alyssa's.

And then there's the MMR-Autism debate.  Every time there's something published saying one thing there's another new article disproving the first.  I think it will be a long time before we ever get a definitive answer one way or another. (And that's all I'm going to say about that)

I am not saying there is a right or a wrong answer to this never ending question.  Every parent has the right to make the decision they feel is right for them and no one should judge them for that decision. 

What are your thoughts?  Did/would you vaccinate your kids, why or why not?


  1. We did. I know a lot of people who are for and some against. The chicken pox vaccine will prevent shingles. Because you have to have had chicken pox to get shingles. I have had shingles and would not wish it on my worst enemy...never mind my children. I have heard of as young as 12 getting shingles. Once you have it, it can come back several times and there is also ongoing pain. Unless you have had it, you would never understand. Currently you cannot get the vaccine for shingles until you are 60, and then I believe it's around $100 each year...not just a one time deal. But saying that, I understand also why people don't want to do vaccinations. I have heard the reasons, yet I still would rather protect my children against the deadly viruses out there.

  2. so divided on this issue. I did it because the majority of people do. If anything happens (God forbid), I won't feel like I'm alone- so many choose the same route. Having said that, I still have my doubts and anixieties. We all want what's best for our children and we're not always sure what that is until we find out that the vaccine's weren't good, some 15-20 yrs later. My parents still think marko developed autism in his third year of life (when the symptoms usually show up) and that's from his six month shots I think... don't know... Just hoping it doesn't affect Viena... I think it's isolated cases and the benefits outweigh the cons so the children are ok most of the time:S