Reasonable, rational people of my acquaintance have made a choice I believe is ill-considered and based on sloppy science at best, but possibly on outright fraud. They are choosing not to give their children any immunizations. None.
I understand those who choose to reject the chickenpox vaccine. Few healthy children ever died from complications of chickenpox and I am very concerned that my immunized youngest son will actually face greater danger as an adult if his immunity from the vaccine wanes. He is immunized, but I worry.
I can understand religious objections to immunizations made with cell lines from aborted fetuses. My church has stated that those cell lines are so far removed from the original abortion that the immunizations are morally acceptable, but I understand those who choose to avoid those immunizations. There are so-called ethical immunizations made without aborted fetal tissue in any part of the development, but these people reject them as well. I do not understand that choice.
I fear that they simply do not understand the risks to which they are subjecting their children. I have seen Hemophilus influenzae meningitis. They are too young to have any memory of that virtually eliminated disease. I have seen an infant with Pertussis (whooping cough). They have not. I survived measles and mumps with minimal damage, but I am well aware of the potentially lethal complications of both.
I was fortunate to have had Rubella at an early enough age that it did not risk damage to my children -- my mother was pregnant with my youngest sister at the time. Fortunately, she suspected the pregnancy and her doctor gave her gamma globulin to ward off the danger. The danger was very real. Mom caught rubella a few years later when my younger siblings did.
I have never seen polio, but I know people who limp and those who lost siblings to that once dread disease. It was easy for me to choose to immunize my children, because I know the risks and the benefits.
Sadly, many people are declining to immunize their children out of fear of Thimerosal -- even though Thimerosal has been eliminated as a preservative in virtually all children's immunizations. It was eliminated even though there is no evidence linking it to autism. Many of the "links" were made by people like this physician who was well-paid by a lawyer's group for his services. He was part of their unsuccessful suit against vaccine manufacturers and the children in his study were parties to the suit. Conflict of interest, anyone?
Dr. Flea is writing a series of posts on childhood immunizations. The links follow. I'll be adding links as he adds posts. Thanks, Shinga, for the suggestion.
Just so you know. I have comment moderation turned on. I won't be publishing any anti-vaccine comments to this post. Feel free to put them on your own blog.
Dr. Flea's Immunization Posts (unfortunately not currently available - I'll re-link if he reposts)
* A Very Great Fright (smallpox)
* On My Left Shoulder (smallpox)
* The Can From Hell (polio)
* Go Home and Die (Haemophilus influenzae type b)
* Strangling Angel (diphtheria)
* Risus Sardonicus (tetanus)
* The Cough of One Hundred Days (pertussis or whooping cough)
* Dew Drops on Rose Petals (chickenpox)
* Yellow Alert (Hepatitis B virus)
* Rota-gate (The facts on RotoTeq and intussusception)
* The Chicken Pox Vaccine Sucks (One he doesn't like)