The first vaccine was brought to the U.S. in 1800 according to historyofvaccines.org, and now, more than 200 years later, we have more vaccines than we can count on two hands.
Many of us, myself included have received vaccines or painfully watched our children receive shots with no questions asked. But should we be asking questions?
Vaccinations have become a controversial issue in the U.S. when people began questioning whether childhood vaccines lead to things like autism, multiple sclerosis and sudden infant death syndrome.
The Children’s Hospital says there is no evidence that childhood vaccines lead to these diseases. Instead, since the start of widespread vaccinations in the United States, the number of cases of formerly common childhood illnesses like measles have declined dramatically. Immunizations have protected millions of kids from potentially deadly diseases and saved thousands of lives.
The Children’s Hospital also says that vaccinations still play a crucial role in keeping kids healthy. Unfortunately, misinformation about vaccines could make some parents decide not to immunize their children, putting them and others at a greater risk for illness.
As there are many pro-vaccines organizations, there are also anti-vaccines organizations that want parents to know, they have choices.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program says that since 1989, 2,631 compensations have been made to families who have experienced extreme negative effects from childhood vaccinations.
Dawn Winkler, the Executive Director of Health Advocacy in the Public Interest, a non-profit organization, said the decision of whether to vaccinate your children isn’t a decision to be made overnight. It takes time and you are not likely to get the truth about it from traditional MD’s, the health department, or the media. Ultimately, it is the parent’s decision.
The point is that parents have options about vaccinating their kids.
“The Center for Disease Control makes recommendations via the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and you will see on the Colorado immunization certificate vaccinations that are recommended but not required by the state of Colorado,” Winkler said. “Either way, no one has to have any vaccination to attend school in the state of Colorado.”
Parents in Colorado can sign either the religious or personal beliefs exemption which is now found on the standardized immunization form.
“There is also a medical exemption which requires the signature of a doctor.” Winkler said. “In my experience, this exemption is nearly impossible to obtain because in general, those in the medical profession refuse to acknowledge harm caused by vaccination or the potential risks.”
Ingri Cassel, director of Vaccination Liberation said that children are naturally healthy when they are provided with life’s essentials — clean air, food, water, exercise and a loving home.
“An observant parent will note that children who are not vaccinated and eating a healthy diet free from processed foods are healthy, vital and highly intelligent,” Cassel said. “They will also note that parents who follow their pediatrician’s advice are prone to allergies, ear infections and, worse, learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorders and childhood leukemia.”
Winkler suggests that parents research each vaccine, each disease and the ingredients in vaccinations to determine whether or not they believe the practice of vaccination leads to better health or prevents disease.
Parents need to know that they have choices when it comes to vaccinating their children and there is a lot of information available, both pro and con on the vaccination of children.