To vaccinate or not? This is the great vaccination debate. It really is a personal choice, but the push to vaccinate is stronger than ever.
My heart breaks for the children who have been afflicted through no fault of their own, as well as the parents who chose not to vaccinate their children and spread the disease. As a parent, every day we have to make choices. Bottle or breast? Daycare or nanny? Cloth or regular diaper? To immunize or not has now become one of the most difficult choices parents have to make.
I never thought that this would be an issue in our culture. Annabelle is vaccinated. Our decision to immunize Annabelle was based on family tradition. It was never really a discussion in our household because our parents did it, so we did it too. The controversy has brought up fears about the future of our children. What if we have another child who has not yet been inoculated and then is exposed to a child who has a contagious disease (which could have been prevented)?
For example, whooping cough, Pertussis, was nearly wiped out in the 1970s. Now it is back with a vengeance. When Annabelle was born, I was almost too scared to leave my house after hearing that cases of Pertussis were being treated at the hospital in our town. It wasn’t until I knew she was safely immunized that I ventured into the public.
Our Experience with the Vaccination Debate in the Schools
Yesterday I received an email from Annabelle’s baby school. They wanted to reassure parents that all the students at our school were required to receive the Measles vaccination (unless granted an exemption for valid medical reasons). The Management Team wants parents to know they will continue to provide our children with a healthy and safe environment.
After the recent outbreak of Norovirus, I know how fast illness can spread throughout a school. So while I am pleased with their email, I am also a little fearful having experienced contracting a contagious illness firsthand.