After we had our son, we went back and forth about whether or not to have him vaccinated. One of the reasons for our indecision was the fact that a friend of ours had a seemingly normal child who started exhibiting signs of autism after getting the MMR shot back in the late ’90s.
Ultimately, since my child was in a daycare setting at my university with kids from other countries, we decided to go ahead and vaccinate, and then worked with our pediatrician to spread out the shots as much as we possibly could. (We also made sure none of the shots included the mercury-containing preservative thimerasol– which many see as one of the links to autism.) I’ll tell you the truth–like so many parenting decisions, the choice was not an easy one.
You probably heard that a government report came out this week saying that the number of measles cases in the U.S. is now at its highest level since 1997. (Here’s the link to the story posted by NewsAnchorMom blogger Jen Christensen.) Apparently, nearly half the cases originated from people who do not have their kids vaccinated. The CDC’s review also noted that many of the children were home-schooled, and therefore not required to have the shots. Relatively speaking, the number of people who caught measles is still small, at 131 people infected in the last 7 months, but doctors are still troubled by the trend. (None of the patients, who were almost all 19 or younger, died, but 15 were hospitalized.)
What do you think? Do you vaccinate your kids? If not, please share your concerns about vaccinations with the EP community.
About Elisabeth Wilkins
Elisabeth Wilkins was the editor of Empowering Parents and the mother of an 10-year-old son. Her work has appeared in national and international publications, including Mothering, Motherhood (Singapore), Hausfrau, The Bad Mother Chronicles, and The Japan Times. Elisabeth holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine.