Should any vaccines be required for children?

Sara - posted on 02/11/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates and licenses all vaccines to ensure safety and effectiveness. No federal vaccination laws exist, but all 50 states require certain vaccinations for children entering public schools. Depending on the state, children must be vaccinated against some or all of the following diseases: mumps, measles, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, and polio. Although vaccination is required, all 50 states issue medical exemptions, 48 states (excluding Mississippi and West Virginia) permit religious exemptions, and 20 states allow an exemption for philosophical reasons. As of 2009, the national average vaccination rate for required school entry vaccines was 95.41% .
Proponents of vaccination argue it is one of the greatest public health developments of the 20th century. They point out that diseases like rubella (German measles), diphtheria, and whooping cough once killed tens of thousands of infants every year in the US and are now avoided by vaccination. They argue that, although vaccination is not without risks (including rare but serious side effects such as seizures, paralysis, and death), the public health benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks.

Opponents of vaccination argue that children's immune systems can deal with most infections and that natural immunity should be allowed to develop. They argue that possible severe side effects from vaccination are a risk that children should not be subjected to when, in most cases, diseases that children are vaccinated against are not usually life threatening. They also argue that vaccines can cause adverse reactions including allergies, auto-immune disorders, autism, ADHD, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

As of 2009, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Physicians recommend that children be vaccinated against fifteen different common childhood illnesses . The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, the National Vaccine Information Center, and Generation Rescue take the position that parents should have the freedom to make informed decisions about whether or not their children should receive vaccinations.

What do you think? Do you think that some vaccines should be required and mandated by law or do you think that people should be able to chose not to vaccinate, even though by not vaccinating they are taking the chance of reintroducing disease back into a community?

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Sarah - posted on 02/14/2010

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I'm for vaccinations, both my girls are all up to date with their jabs.
While i see the point that the immunised population won't be at risk, it WILL put at risk young babies that haven't had their jabs yet, elderly people (i think) and pregnant women.
I think if people do choose to not vaccinate, then they really have to bear that in mind.
When i was pregnant with my youngest, there was an outbreak of German Measles at my eldest daughters nursery.......could have been a nasty outcome!! (it wasn't thank god)

So while i don't think you can force people into it, i think you have a moral obligation to think about the consequences and realise that some people and babies ARE going to be at risk. :)

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Merry - posted on 03/24/2011

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I think it should always be in the parents rights to refuse, the doctors should be up to date iwith all the concerns so they can address parents worries, but in the end it's the right of the parent to be able to refuse.

Happy - posted on 03/24/2011

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There is not, nor should there ever be, a federal law mandating vaccinations. If you have done the research, weighed the risks verses the benefits and made a decision to vaccinate because that what you feel is best for your child, then by all means, vaccinate. But do not tell me I have to because YOU think it is a good idea. (Not you personally, you collectively). We do not vaccinate because we have made an educated choice not to, for a variety of reasons. I feel it is up to me, not another parent or especially not a government entity, to make that decision for me!

Happy - posted on 03/24/2011

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There is not, nor should there ever be, a federal law mandating vaccinations. If you have done the research, weighed the risks verses the benefits and made a decision to vaccinate because that what you feel is best for your child, then by all means, vaccinate. But do not tell me I have to because YOU think it is a good idea. (Not you personally, you collectively). We do not vaccinate because we have made an educated choice not to, for a variety of reasons. I feel it is up to me, not another parent or especially not a government entity, to make that decision for me!

Michelle - posted on 02/15/2010

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I think that the responsibility there is not necessarily to vaccinate your children just so that strangers won't get sick. The responsibility there is more along the lines of keeping your contagious baby at home, just like you do when they have a cold....... It's all about making sure you know how to keep your baby safe and the people around you safe, like Jo said.

Jocelyn - posted on 02/13/2010

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Jo you have a wonderful post! That is exactly how I feel about it. I agree with vaccination for the most part, but I believe that there are some unnecessary vaccinations (chickenpox, and the flu [including h1n1] ) and I don't believe in making vaccinations mandatory because who is to decide which vaccinations will be required? If someone was to tell me that my kids HAD to have the stupid shots (see above lol) I would throw a fit!
It always errks me when I hear parents who are like "your kid's not vaccinated! if she catches it she's gonna get my kid sick!" those parents must not believe in the vaccinations if they think that a couple sick kids are going to start an epidemic. The parents who choose not to vac. are taking risks, but I don't see how that little percentage will affect the population (the immunized population) in general.

JL - posted on 02/13/2010

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I agree with JO.

I don't think they should overall be mandated, but at the same time the people who choose not to vaccinate should take some life skills course not just so they will be able to protect their children, but also so that they are aware that if their child does develop symptoms of something that they have not been vacinated against that they should not have their child around newborns and babies that have yet to get vaccinated since newborns and infants are at a higher risk of developing life threatening complications to those illnesses that vaccinations prevent children from getting. It is a public health risk to let unvaccinated sick children in public areas where they can pass on the virus to a unvaccinated baby and that is where issues do arise with responsibility to public health.

Rosie - posted on 02/13/2010

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i don't know about making them mandatory. what about the children who are sensitive to some vaccinations, or religious reasons, etc.? however, the classes the jo suggested are a good idea. i feel very strongly that people should get their children vaccinated, but i just don't know how it would work to make them mandatory.

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I'm for most vacciens, but not all because the risks outweigh the benefits (such as chicken pox and H1N1). I don't think they should be required by law because I like the fact that I can do my own research and avoid the vacciens that I don't like.

Michelle - posted on 02/11/2010

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Jo, that's one of the main reasons that we choose to vaccinate our son as well.

I don't think that vaccines should be more than "encouraged," personally, not at this point in time. There was a time in the United States when these diseases were relevant problems. That is not the case anymore. Therefore, I should not be REQUIRED to do anything to my child that I do not want to do. However, I do agree that there should be a regulation such as these classes that Jo suggested.

That said-- I will not be getting Caedyn vaccinated for the flu, the H1N1 strain, or the chicken pox. Various reasons, but mostly because I am aware of the symptoms and the preventative measures I can take and I know what to do if he were to contract these diseases. They are not life threatening if I take the precautionary measures possible, and react to the symptoms in a timely manner as an responsible parent would do.

I also think that there should be a more detailed information about what is in the vaccines available-- easy to understand for everyone, what is in them, how it does and might effect our children. Jo.... You basically took my whole point on that lol.

?? - posted on 02/11/2010

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I think that the people that choose to not get their children vaccinated should have to take a mandatory course in life skills to make sure that they are providing optimal circumstances for their unvaccinated children to have every other 'natural' resource in their bodies to fight those infections.



I am not a proponent or opponent of vaccinations - I think that every person needs to choose for their children what is best for them.



BUT if you choose to NOT vaccinate your children, you had damn well be giving them EVERYTHING they need to build those natural defenses -- diet, exercise, enviroment, social interaction -- the whole works.



Gabriel is up to date on all of his immunizations except for chicken pox vaccine. Everything else, he's gotten, because I am well aware of my own flaws and ignorance of MANY things in our 'natural' life. I know that I am unable to control certain things and I am not able to give him EVERYTHING he needs in order for his natural defenses to be optimally efficient to fight off every infection. And that is my choice for my son.



If I knew more, if I was able to be 100% positively sure of more information, be able to be in control of more things in life, then I probably wouldn't.



So, I don't think it should mandatory that children get immunized - I think it should be mandatory that people are given the information to keep their child the safest they can.



I would also be up for making that mandatory for people who are choosing TO immunize. So that they are aware of what is going into their child, what it does, how it protects, what else they can do, what they could do INSTEAD.... etc etc etc

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