Parents Should Have More Say In Vaccinating Children

2475 words - 10 pages

Introduction
When I became pregnant with my first child in late 1998, my life was forever changed. For the first time, I had someone else to think about, someone else to worry about. I did my best to follow the orders of the doctor the girlfriend-esque physician that I had chosen to deliver my bundle of joy. I took my prenatal vitamins and made sure that I was eating enough for two. In fact, I may have been eating for triplets during that pregnancy, as I gained a whopping 60 pounds!
My daughter became the center of my universe in August of 1999. I could not imagine doing anything to put that little 8 pound 12 ounce angel face into harm’s way. Being young and naïve, I questioned nothing that they did to her. She was given her Hepatitis B vaccine without ever giving it a second thought. The doctor said that it was necessary, so be it.
Many go through life following doctor’s orders without ever thinking “what if they’re wrong?”, “what if this makes me sick?” Doctors are people whom we trust, without question. We take their advice and always assume that they would never do anything to put us or our children into harm’s way. Our best interest is always in their forethought, or at least, that is our assumption.
Even though many of us trust our doctors without fail, many parents are choosing to take a different approach these days when it comes to vaccinations. Many are choosing a delayed vaccination schedule for their children, while others are choosing to forego many vaccinations that are viewed as essential by the medical community. Even though there is much evidence to support the need and effectiveness of many vaccinations used in the United States, parents should have the right to choose, not the government, which vaccinations are given to children and when they are administered.

The Beginning of Vaccines
Smallpox, yellow fever, measles and whopping cough all strike fear in me as a mother, yet I know relatively little about any of them and my children have been vaccinated for a few of them. Vaccinations play a vital role in security and safety of people not only in the United States, but around the globe. For many hundreds of years, vaccinations have been used to stop the spread of many life threatening diseases, such as those listed above, eradicating some from our everyday fears. According to The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and their website titled The History of Vaccines, there is evidence to show that the earliest smallpox inoculation or variolation, an injection of a small dose of the smallpox vaccine which was hoped to build a resistance, was used by the Chinese in 1000 CE (“History” par. 3).
Despite the benefits of vaccinating children, many skeptics walk a fine line of fear, gambling with their children’s health. Do the benefits of a vaccination outweigh the risks? This is a question that many moms and dads start asking themselves. An article written by Roger Bernier, associate director for...

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