Everyone seems to have a passionate feeling on vaccinating children pro or con.
However, each child is an individual and each family is different with different needs, concerns, risks, and history that needs to be carefully considered.
Ultimately, the decision comes down to the parents and the physician caring for the children and/or the family.
Here are a few reasons that families choose not to vaccinate
- It is in opposition to their religious beliefs.
- There is some history or allergy.
- There is some other contraindication to the vaccine.
- There have been concerns raised that vaccines are contributing to the raise in Autism, ADHD, and psychiatric diagnoses.
- There have been cases where pharmaceutical companies have appeared to be untrustworthy by covering up the dangers of certain medical therapies in order to presumably continue making lots of money.
- All vaccines have potentially dangerous chemicals in them.
There have been cases of vaccines that were considered safe being pulled from the market after adverse effects.
Other countries regard vaccines with more caution (than the US). You can’t undo a vaccine, but you can always choose to get vaccinated.
Different countries have different laws and guidelines for vaccines. Even with in one country different provinces or states can have different laws. For example- the state in the US where I live has a religious and medical exemption for vaccines. Meaning if receiving a vaccine is contrary to a families religious beliefs they are not required to get it, but they can be required to submit a written statement to that effect. Another reason families do not get vaccines is if there is a medical reason that may not receive it. This reason requires a note from the doctor with an explanation. Vaccination records or the alternative statements are required for a child to enter public school.
The reality is vaccines were developed to prevent and hopefully eradicate disease. Most of these disease are dangerous and can be deadly especially to children and people with weakened immune systems. Vaccines are most effective when a larger percentage of the population is vaccinated leading to herd immunity. According to this theory, when people are getting vaccinated they are not just protecting themselves but they are protecting the community at large, particularly those who ineligible for the vaccinations.
In the developed world we are somewhat sheltered from the reality of these diseases. People suffer and die from these diseases daily all over the world and it is easy to forget that when we do not see it daily.
Whichever side of the debate your fall on do your research. Don’t believe something just because it is what the cool moms in the area are doing, or because some blogger said so. Make sure your information is accurate. One book I highly recommend is the Dr. Sears Vaccine book. In this book Dr. Sears discusses the pros and cons of each vaccination in an unbiased manner. In the end parents need to be the ones to make this decision for their families. I whole heartedly believe that whichever side of the vaccine debate individual families fall on they are making the best choice they can for their family.
Choosing a Healthcare Provider for Your Child
For the longest time I thought that families would either see a family practice doctor or a pediatrician for their medical care. These are still the most common choices but there are other options.
In our family we have a lot of children so we opted for a family practitioner. It was easier for us to all see the same doctor so she would know what was going on with us across the board. When one of my kids got strep and I had symptoms a few days later, she was able to call in antibiotics for me quickly. She has all of our history together.
Pediatricians are specialists in children’s medicine. Naturopath doctors are doctors who specialize in natural healing.
I know a lot of people who are very happy with their practice and have had great results. Often families use naturopaths as a supplement for their pediatrician or family doctor.
Chiropractic doctors are doctors who treat and heal the body without using medicine or surgery. They are not limited to treating back pain. My son who would puke every time he nursed saw a chiropractor and after one adjustment he was a different baby. Like naturopaths, these doctors are often used in conjunction with family medicine doctors or pediatricians.
I like to consider it a team approach. Doctors want help their patients get and stay healthy and families want to get and stay healthy. Like no man is an island, no doctor is either- we all have to cooperate and work together.
When choosing your medical team remember that no two doctors are the same so interview a few and find the best fit. If something isn’t working out, change providers. This is another area in which doing your research is essential (and you thought you were done with research projects after university) your families’ health is not something to take lightly.