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Thread: Parents who don't vaccinate their children

  1. #1

    Question Parents who don't vaccinate their children

    This topic has been bothering me and I'm not sure if this post has been made before. So my question is; how do you feel about parents who choose not to vaccinate their children? And how do you feel this impacts the child everyone else?

  2. #2


    It's their own choice, I see it as a risk/reward thing. The reward is that kids won't get certain strains of the flu, as well as other various diseases, but vaccines also have a (relatively) high chance of screwing up. It's like one in a few hundred thousand, but there is still the chance. I personally think that anything really bad, (IE generally fatal or incredibly common) should be vaccinated, but there is no need to vaccinate every possible flu or disease ever, when the cases of thayt disease are almost unhears of, or the virus is just annoying, (like chicken pox.)

  3. #3


    Actually, Locke, there is a component of the vaccination "choice" that leaves the rest of the population in harm's way. If an unvaccinated infant contracts a disease, any caretaker is liable to contract the disease as well, and an epidemic can ensue, particularly if the disease is one of those insidious types that do not manifest symptoms immediately.

  4. #4


    Thing is, the chances of getting those diseases are rare _because_ of the vaccinations. In the grand scheme of things, the relatively small percentage of people not getting vaccinated isn't going to bring back TB or anything, but it still seems kinda selfish. Like you're not taking the risk yourself but relying on the fact that everyone else is.

    In general I'm split on the issue. I believe in vaccination and I think the risks are pretty damn minimal. That said, I don't think we want a society where the word of doctors (or anyone else) is treated as unquestionable gospel.

  5. #5


    I'm one of those children!

    Sort of - me and my siblings got the major vaccines, but not all of them - never got the swine flu shot, for example. And I never got the swine flu anyways.

    So what's the logic behind it? Well, my family has a vast history of neurological disorders and highly sensitive immune systems. So, one of us could easily get the disease from the vaccine. My mom's all for the natural stuff... And it really does seem to work.

  6. #6


    My parents never had me vaccinated either. I never contracted any horrible diseases and ive never even had chicken pox or swine flu or anything else.

  7. #7


    Like I said, vaccinations for major epidemics is one thing, but when it comes to things like swine flu... Single strains of the flu that have to be weeded out and targeted specifically are so rare and unlikely that there is no need to vaccinate them, mainly because by the time they have the vaccination, (or had, in the case of swine and bird flu,) the disease was essentially gone anyways.

  8. #8


    I believe parents should have their children vaccinated as my wife and I did. Un-vaccinated children risk the health of others. I'm old enough to be a charter member of the polio generation. I watched classmates and neighbors contract that deadly disease. The vaccination was a godsend. People celebrated in the streets. Imagine watching your child in a lung machine, hoping they would survive. Suddenly there's a vaccine that wipes out the disease in this country. And there are so many other diseases which have been eliminated because of vaccines.

    It's easy to be down on vaccinations when we are two generations separated from their devastation, but try to imagine a world with not just polio, but small pox, diphtheria, mumps, measles, whooping cough, and even rabies if you get bitten. I don't think we want to return to the early 1800s.

  9. #9


    So, a lot to say about this topic, in general I am firmly on the side of allowing a competent patient to determine there own treatment, in the case of vaccinations in adults such as the influenza vaccine, pneumovax or zostavax I really wouldn't make it a huge issue. However, moving back on topic, parents refusing vaccinations for their children is a completely different scenario, and I think it is important to remember what has changed from these vaccines, we now have markedly decreased children who present with menigitis and other life-threatening bacterial infections through the use of vaccines such as the Haemophilus influenzae B and pneumococcal. It is also important to remember that diseases such as chickenpox, which in the vast majority of children is a mild disease, can actually be life-threatening and pre-vaccine previously healthy children would die from chickenpox each year. And that has barely scratched the surface of the diseases childhood vaccinations prevent, or come close to eliminating, and that is only considering previously healthy children.

    Another essential benefit of vaccinations that was mentioned was herd immunity, this is even more essential as we consider those children with disease processes that predispose them to serious infections and limit the effectiveness of vaccinations, if we have widespread vaccinations the risk of exposure to these diseases will be significantly reduced.

    And all of this barely scratches the surface of the benefit of vaccinations from both the personal and public health aspects.

    So, now the questions of risks, or adverse affects, do they exist? Of course, but the more important question, and the question that has been obscured by bad research is how significant are those risks. The simple answer is, for children eligible for vaccinations the evidence is extremely strong in support of both there safety and efficacy. The vast majority of studies alleging significant negative effects from vaccinations are either poorly designed, or outright manipulations of the truth (some of the autism studies out of the UK). From a clinical perspective this leaves me with a personal medical opinion/practice very strongly in favor of as close to universal vaccination as possible.

    So now to what is the underlying question, should parents be able to refuse vaccinations for there children who have no capacity to make medical decisions? From a legal perspective my understanding is yes, however, my personal opinion is that from a medical perspective the evidence is so overwhelming in favor of vaccination that I would feel required push strongly for, at a minimum, some form of vaccination, especially when parental concerns are based on poorly conducted research and media frenzy, as is the situation in the vast majority of cases.

    Edit: Sorry to jump around so much but one of the posts made since I started writing this brings up another important concern regarding chicken pox in the age of vaccination, while generally (as mentioned above) a fairly benign course in childhood it is in fact a very serious and life threatening disease if contracted as an adult. So now we could be faced with the situation of an unvaccinated child never being exposed to the disease, not developing immunity, and then if more people in their community do not vaccinate there children, maybe there is a chicken pox outbreak, but now instead of getting it at age 7 they contract it at age 27 and have a life-threatening illness

    And another edit: Can't believe I missed this one in the first post, but to address the concerns about getting the disease from the vaccination: For the VAST majority of vaccinations, especially the most important ones this is IMPOSSIBLE. Most vaccines are not using any live virus/bacteria, as such there is NO way to get sick from them. In the case of the flu vaccine, if you are concerned about this make sure you get the injection as that is killed virus, the nasal spray is a live attenuated vaccine which can give you some very mild cold symptoms. Not going to go into detail about which are live vs. killed other then that, but it is something that can be easily looked up.

  10. #10


    I agree with dogboy and bdb2004. Because of people who don't vaccinate their children many deadly diseases are again on the rise such as whooping cough. In my state it's been declared an epidemic and we already (from jan 1 2012 to may 12 2012) have 10 times more cases than all of last year and the highest rates of the last 30 years, and that's just so far. It's terrifying. The reason these diseases are nearly gone was for a couple of generations almost everybody was vaccinated leading to the decline of the disease. As long as the disease is still out there, anywhere, there is a huge potential risk for an epidemic in an unvaccinated area. Especially if the unvaccinated area happens to be a popular migration destination such as the US or Europe. Parents who don't vaccinate their children are not only putting their child at risk, they're putting everybody at risk.

    Now I agree that if you are a immune-healthy adult who only has contact with other immune-healthy adults then you might not need to get the yearly flu vacc.. However, that only applies to that portion of the population. Anybody who has regular contact with children, the elderly, or the immunocompromised should most certainly get vaccinated as that puts them at risk for contracting the disease from one of those three groups and puts those three groups at risk of contracting the disease from the adult.

    I also think that unless there is sufficient evidence to prove that the child being vaccinated is immune-compromised and therefore the vaccine itself is a risk, that childhood vaccines should be mandatory for children and it should be considered reckless endangerment of a child to not have it vaccinated for a non-medical or non-religious reason. Because as mentioned before the parent is not only putting their child at risk, they're putting everyone who will ever come into contact with that child at risk.

    And for someone who said that chicken pox isn't very dangerous I must beg to disagree. It can be a deadly disease to an infant, an elderly person or an otherwise healthy adult. There was a chicken pox outbreak at my high school a couple years back that, due to parents not vaccinating their children, was so bad that you were not allowed into school unless you had a note from the doctor proving either vaccination or previous history of illness; and school was almost closed entirely. Four students were placed into intensive care and almost died because of the chicken pox and many more were hospitalized. Several other schools in my area were also greatly impacted by the "innocuous" disease. The virus also lives dormant inside the person's cerebrospinal fluid for the rest of their lives and can mutate and cause diseases like Shingles and Herpes Zoster.
    Last edited by LittleMiss; 28-May-2012 at 04:25.

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