I'll admit at some point when I was pregnant with Sidney, I considered an alternative vaccination schedule because I got spooked by some things I read on the Internet and some stuff a few fringe moms had said. But I quickly came to my senses and remembered that I believe in science. So the moment Sid came out, we got that kid on the standard vaccination schedule and haven't looked back. (I didn't even hesitate with Calvin.) Because when it comes to protecting my kids from deadly diseases, immunization is the best way to do this. Of course it SUCKS as a new, sleep-deprived mom--nerves frayed and protective as hell--to walk into that well-check appointment to get 4 shots and they need your help to hold the baby down. After the first stick, your little precious looks up at you with surprise, terror and betrayal, or just screams like this one in the KUOW article.
|Flickr Photo/Dan Hatton (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)|
But the success/disaster of the effectiveness of vaccines is that in our lifetime, most of us have never seen significant outbreaks of these strange diseases. So it's easy to get lulled into a false sense of confidence, as some parents have, and take for granted that this safe medical innovation can prevent unspeakable anguish. These parents send their under-vaccinated kids inevitably into the same playgrounds, daycares, classes and elementary school as my kids. So then a "personal decision" for that family becomes very personal to me, indeed. It'd be one thing if we all lived out in the country with acres between us and homeschooling was the norm, but we don't. I think it should simply be: under-vaccinated kids don't belong in public schools. They just don't. Not only does it put the fellow students at risk but also their younger, not-yet-able-to-be-fully vaccinated siblings, any immuno-compromised teachers/staff, and pregnant teachers/staff/parents.
Obviously there is a very small population of kids who can't have vaccines on schedule for medical reasons and I am sympathetic to that. It might be the only good reason to object to vaccines but that's an even bigger incentive to make sure all the kids who can have vaccines, get them. It just smacks of selfishness by burdening the rest of the group. You wouldn't send a kid to school without the necessary pencils, notebooks and supplies. So why would you send him/her to school without all their immunities onboard?