Earlier this week my 6 year old daughter was home sick with some sort of wicked case of strep throat. She had an on again, off again fever topping out at 103, was tired, lethargic and just not herself. My biggest concern was that she might possibly have influenza but after a few doctor's visits, it was confirmed that it was strep. The wicked, worst kind. It was a few days of sickness, some lost work time and missed school but it could have been worse. So much worse.
The next day I read story and story and article upon article about the measles outbreak in California and then later this week learned of the University of MN student with a confirmed case.
I don't know about you, but this scares me.
While I understand he had travelled internationally, we already know that there are more and more cases of measles here in the states.
We made the decision to vaccinate and this was not a decision taken lightly yet, it was the best decision for us.
And while that gives me some peace of mind, knowing my kids have been protected against this disease, I also can't help but wonder how this epidemic will continue to spread.
I respect other parenting decisons and values, I try to be open minded in my opinions but this is one that I just struggle to understand. In the year 2015 when we have so many medical resources and so much knowledge and have rid our society of so many terrible diseases, why would one choose NOT to do it?
I get that a vaccine isn't a guarantee of health. I get that there are some risks associated with vaccines.
The benefits of being vaccinated way outweigh any second guesses I could have. Knowing my child can travel without fear of contracting a once deadly disease, knowing that they are not only keeping themselves healthy but those kids who CAN'T be vaccinated. Because there are families who wish and pray and hope their child can be vaccinated but due to health reasons, CAN'T. Knowing that my child will likely not have measles or mumps or rubella.
Any hey, new moms, you can't tell me the perks of a sleepy baby post shots isn't a benefit too.
So, let's try to keep it civil, but help me understand. Why is it you choose not to vaccinate? Please don't quote Jenny McCarthy or any other celeb who's got a strong opinion. Tell me what it is you've decided, why you've decided and how do situations like this one affect that decision. If you don't vaccine, when you hear of a measles outbreak, are you concerned or do you question your choice?
When I hear from parents who choose to not vaccinate I seem to hear this recurring message of why do I care, it doesn't affect you, sort of message. But here's the deal, "Measles is so contagious that outbreaks may occur if any more than 5 percent of the community is unvaccinated." via Children's.
I'm glad we live in a country that allows us to make choices about such things but can't help but hope it doesn't backfire on us either.