Why are so many parents skeptical about vaccinations? Let's face it over the last 20 years many parents are hesitant towards vaccinating their children and to be quite frank, I can't blame them. No one wants to even take the flu shot. I remember taking the flu shot years ago and immediately I became ill. As a result of my bad experience, I was deterred from ever getting the flu shot ever again, nor did I want my children to take it. Even though the flu can be deadly, I don't trust it and wasn't sure that it would prevent the flu. I chose to be exposed rather than vaccinated.
According to The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control, all newborn babies are required to have the Hepatitis B vaccine. Now if you are a mother who currently has Hepatitis B and risk transmission to your newborn than I believe that the baby should have the Hepatitis B vaccination but if you never had Hepatitis B in your life and there is no one in your immediate family who does there is no need for the baby to receive it at birth in my opinion.
Many parents are opting out of vaccinations due to religious beliefs and various reports concerning autism, ADD and ADHD. I remember watching the infamous Oprah interview with Jenny Mccarthy back in 2007. Jenny spoke about autism and the role vaccines may have played in her sons' diagnosis. She said “Vaccines are safe for some kids, and vaccines are not safe for some kids. Let's protect the ones who are weak.”
Jenny McCarthy's son, Evan, was diagnosed with autism in 2005 and as a concerned parent, Jenny wanted answers. She never said she was anti-vaccine but as a parent watching her you have to second guess yourself, do you vaccinate your child or not? I personally did not vaccinate my children according to the recommended schedule. I was skeptical about the timing of the vaccinations and its grueling schedule. I also felt it was way too many shots in one visit. So what I did was set my own timetable for doctor appointments and I didn't permit the pediatrician to give my child too many vaccines at one time. My child's pediatrician would declare you have to take these vaccinations today and I would say no, my child is only getting one shot today and I will return at a later date to administer the other vaccines. I could sense hostility and defensiveness in her tone but I stuck with my gut. Some physicians can be a bit intimidating. I would even prolong my visits on purpose to allow my baby to grow and become healthier. Was that an extreme position for me to take? Yes, it was but I was being precautious.
Do vaccines cause autism? There is no medical proof that it does. As a person of color, my community has always been skeptical towards vaccinations due to the horrific “Tuskegee Experiment” that was conducted in 1932. It was the study of the progression of untreated syphilis in impoverished African- American men in rural Alabama. According to the Centers for Disease Control, which took over the study in the early 1960s, none of the men were ever told they had the disease. The CDC purposefully withheld penicillin after the antibiotic became a proven treatment in 1947. So you can understand my stance on this issue and relate to my skepticism.
I am not against vaccinations, but I do believe that more research needs to be done and everyone's body reacts in a different way. I have heard stories where parents have taken their children to get vaccinated and their never the same again. A vaccine may have no effect on one child but affect other children differently and because the pros outweigh the cons vaccines appear to be a better choice but due to statistics, there is cause for concern. With a significant increase in Autism, ADD, and ADHD, all have allegedly been linked to vaccines but has not been medically proven. The number of children being diagnosed with autism has increased at an alarming rate over the past 20 years. Nationally, 1 in 59 children had a diagnosis of autism by age 8 in 2014, a 15 percent increase over 2012. What's happening to our children?
I do believe that vaccines have played an important role in preventing illnesses and deadly diseases. The world is a lot safer due to vaccinations but at the same time, I think we owe it to ourselves and our children to give them a fighting stance. We must question everything and use our best judgment in each situation. If you choose to vaccinate or not it is up to you.
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