But has our society taken vaccines too far? Do we really need to inject chemicals into our children to protect them? Smallpox, sure but chickenpox?!
How safe are these injections anyway? I remember mercury levels was a hot subject not too long ago but I have been assured by our doctor that that issue has been addressed.
As a well-educated parent, my instinct is to research an unknown into the ground until I have a thorough understanding of the risks and benefits. I have found that this approach is exhausting when it comes to raising a child in our modern Western society. The plethora of information and misinformation is overwhelming with the "right" answer frequently left to the parent to decipher.
Other matters are dictated by laws and standards, however. I recently learned that the chickenpox vaccine is mandatory for children entering school. Good luck successfully objecting to that on whatever basis. One mother I know was told she had to keep her unvaccinated child home.
How thorough have these vaccines been tested? How dangerous is the disease itself? An article defending the necessity of CP vaccines asserted that children were developing secondary infections from scratching the pox-spots and being hospitalized.
How effective are these vaccines, anyway? My son's daycare just experienced an outbreak involving a vaccinated child. Not exactly reassuring, medical people. Apparently they either wear off or carry the risk of incomplete protection. I also read that children under 1 year old will not carry the immunity which terrifies me on several levels.
Not to undermine serious health threats, but I went through my itchy rites of initiation when I was 8. I remember lots of chicken soup, pink calomine swirls on my skin and slippery-wet baking soda baths. And a lot of daytime soap operas since we spent the majority of our convalescence on our grandmother's couches.
So to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. That is the question.