The court of public opinion has had a roller-coaster relationship with vaccinations. But after Jenny McCarthy‘s claims were pretty much decried by every scientist ever, it became clear that vaccinations don’t cause autism, and in fact, every child should get them. So why are 10% of parents still delaying or skipping them altogether?
Vaccinations aren’t mandated–but they are strongly recommended by Federal law, and some schools require documentation of them or a good reason (like a religious one) for why they haven’t been completed before they’ll enroll a student. Which means that a lot of parents still have the option to make the choice to abstain when it comes to their kid. And indeed, some still are.
According to a study reported on today by the Associated Press, 1 in 10 parents is still either opting out, or deciding to delay the vaccinations for 14 diseases, as recommended by the CDC. The national survey, which was conducted online, showed that many parents were delaying vaccinations for health or safety concerns, believing that older children’s bodies are more prepared for the inactive viruses in many vaccines.
Others, however, reported delaying the immunizations for practical reasons–because shots for whooping cough and others have been found recently become less effective after just 3 years, and a child under the age of 3 is unlikely to be exposed.
Even still, some parents remain skeptical of the safety or necessity of vaccinations and immunizations at all, opting to skip the entire process for their kid.
As one mother told the AP, ”I have to make sure that my child is healthy, and I do not want to put medications in my child that I think are going to harm them.”
Of course, this raises concerns for parents of children whom non-immunized kids may come in contact with. Vaccinations such as the one for measles, mumps, and rubella are more effective against some diseases than others, and even kids who have gotten the shot may still be vulnerable if those around them have not.
The CDC and the American Association of Pediatrics are very upfront about the safety concerns related to vaccinating kids, yet erroneous information still seems to be swirling around the topic, and nearly everyone still has some questions. CNN even reported today that even parents who are compliant–that is, they get their children vaccinated–have feelings of doubt toward the safety of these shots.
Do you choose to give your kids vaccinations? Would you feel comfortable knowing that children in your kid’s class weren’t immunized?
Let us know in the comments.