I read an article the other day in Time Magazine. It spoke about the fact that children in some Middle Eastern countries are no longer getting vaccinated against the polio vaccine. The reasoning behind this is because these countries feel that the US and other western countries are using the vaccinations as a way to spy on the country. More specifically, Time Magazine spoke about this with the Taliban in Pakistan. Of course, these countries have reasons to be skeptical and feel this way. After all, it was found out that before Osama Bin Laden’s capture and death, the CIA conducted hepatitis vaccinations to obtain DNA samples that could help locate Bin Laden and his family.
This is the extreme for not getting a child vaccinated, but even civilized, Western states such as the United States have parents who REFUSE to have their child vaccinated. The reasons can range from religious reasons to just choosing to opt out because technically the vaccines are a version of the disease we’re looking to expunge. Many parents just don’t feel the need to subject their children to a disease in order to prevent it when it’s possible they may NEVER contract the disease anyway.
I’ve tossed this around since the birth of my child. I’ve followed the schedule of vaccines, making sure that Davey has had all of his shots. Granted, it’s been the most difficult time of my life, watching him in pain and squirm while we pin him down to poke him. It’s almost torture for me and him, but in the end I firmly believe I am doing the responsible thing as his mother. I am doing the best thing for my child.
Initially, I’ve been quick to bash other parents who chose the option to not have their child vaccinated. For starters, when they go into public school systems (or in public in general) they risk contaminating the population should they contract the disease. There isn’t just a sense of responsibility with their child, but also the welfare of an entire population.
Where religion is concerned, we can exactly force parents to vaccinate their children, especially not in this country where freedom of religion, speech, and the separation of church and state are held so highly.
I’m curious, though, what are the thoughts of all my readers? Did you vaccinate your children? If so, why and if not, why not?