When it comes to making medical decisions for my children, I believe in gaining information through research and reputable medical professionals.
Based on the information I’ve received, I have chosen to vaccinate my daughter.
A recent measles outbreak in a Texas church has caused me to reaffirm my decision to immunize my child. At least 15 people — ranging in age from 4 months to 44 years old — have been infected with the measles virus that was passed on from a visitor to the church. Of the 15, at least 12 of them were not immunized against the virus.
Typically, children are not immunized against measles until one year, so the 4-month-old would not have received a vaccine. The other two had no record of vaccination, so it is unknown whether or not they would have been vaccinated.
The church’s leader, Terri Pearsons, who spoke out against vaccinations in the past, is now urging members of her congregation to take preventative measures including getting the measles vaccine, taking vitamin D and praying.
In addition to religious reasons, some parents have chosen not to immunize their children because of the concern that there is a link to autism through common childhood shots. However, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has not found a viable link between childhood vaccines and autism.
Every parent should be able to make informed decisions that promote the well-being of their child. As I watch more and more parents opt out of vaccinating their little ones, however, I worry that they may be exposed to diseases that can make their kids seriously ill or even lead to premature death.
If this outbreak in Texas has taught us anything; it is to do your research when it comes to the health and safety of your child and those around them. Talk to your child’s doctor, read medical journals, stay informed, and at least consider that a preventative vaccine could one day save your child’s life.
Jen Schneider is a middle school teacher and mom to two children.
Read her blogs every Tuesday on momaha.com
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