I Believe in Science so I Immunize My Kids | I don't blog, but if I did...

I Believe in Science so I Immunize My Kids

We all want to do what’s best for our kids, but sometimes I think we get sidetracked by all the scary stuff out there. I’m careful to tread lightly on certain subjects, but you guys, we need to talk about immunization.

We need to be immunizing our kids. Vaccines are helpful, not harmful.

Vaccines help protect our kids against several communicable diseases, many of which are life-threatening to our little people. Babies under two are especially at risk of many serious childhood illnesses that are completely preventable through immunization, so why are people not immunizing their kids? Because of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of Big Pharma, fear of the “studies,” and memes that are circulated telling them vaccinations are full of poisons and toxins. But listen: kids don’t have to die from these illnesses.

We’d done away with some serious, life-threatening illnesses until people started thinking vaccines were bad. Now kids are suffering through very preventable illnesses and yes, sometimes they die from them.

Even delaying important vaccinations means serious cases of diseases are spread. It means our most vulnerable kids, including those who are too young to be vaccinated and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, are unsafe.

We followed the schedule of vaccinations at Ontario.ca/vaccines because I firmly believe in the science. Having had a child born with life-threatening allergies reinforced in us the need to protect his vulnerable system as best we could. Following the schedule means that children are protected at the earliest time possible for vaccine preventable diseases. And I believe in protecting kids who cannot get vaccinated. Just like I believe in keeping my kids home from school when they’re contagious so they don’t spread their germs.

Our son has asthma and is at serious risk of contracting lung disease and I want him protected effectively, which means we all have to get the vaccines for them to work. My mother has weakened lungs and gets pneumonia and other lung infections easily, which can be deadly for seniors, so it’s important we work to protect her (and others like her), too. With measles outbreaks on the rise and increasing hesitancy to vaccinate, I have to wonder why we’re turning our backs on the solid science of saving lives. In order for herd immunity to work, the herd needs to get on board.

In order to attend public school in Ontario, kids must be vaccinated for the following (unless there is a valid exemption):

  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Polio
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • meningococcal disease
  • whooping cough (pertussis)
  • chickenpox (varicella — required for those born in or after 2010)

In addition to all the vaccines recommended in infancy and early childhood, at 4 and 6 years old, children should receive the following vaccines:

  • tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox

In grade 7, children should receive the following vaccines:

  • meningococcal conjugate (Men-C-ACYW), hepatitis b, human papillomavirus (HPV)

Between 14 and 16 years old, teens should receive the following vaccine:

  • tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis

I encourage everyone to look past the memes and fear-mongering, and really learn about the studies that are done into the safety and efficacy of vaccines. The safety of all our kids matters greatly to me, and I bet it matters to you, too.

 

This post was developed in association with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The opinions are my own.

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8 Responses to “I Believe in Science so I Immunize My Kids”

  1. Alyssa aka @AMotherhoodBlog

    Thinking back to the time my brother and I both had chicken pox as young children because there was no vaccine, I’m happy all three of my children are vaccinated and healthy. I don’t judge those who decide not to but wish they’d just think about it a bit harder. The population has grown and there are more diseases out there. If you can prevent it, do it!

    • alexandria

      I know that people feel they’re making the right decisions when not vaccinating kids, but I just can’t understand how they can believe that with such solid proof otherwise. We need these immunities.

  2. Stef.

    How many peer-reviewed safety papers did you read on vaccines? Did you look into the robustness of the statistics behind the Epidemiology studies regarding vaccines? or are you happy to cite others with blind confidence? You say that you ‘believe’ in science. Sorry, but science has nothing to do with faith, it should be scrutinized. Currently it is difficult to scrutinize, from a scientific and statistical viewpoint, the science of vaccines without being accused of fear mongering, so much for science.

    • alexandria

      I don’t know how many, to be honest, but as a very well-read individual, I’m confident in the multitude of studies indicating the safety of immunizations. What’s more, I’ve seen the results of not vaccinating, and those aren’t risks I’m willing to take with my children’s lives (or with the lives of those who are immunocompromised). All science should be scrutinized, naturally. All claims, all studies, all results need consideration.

      I’m also a fan of many naturopathic treatment options (even some that – gasp – are a little on the unproven side), but seeing deaths from preventable illnesses isn’t something I think is necessary.

      Thank you so much for reading, and for your thoughtful, balanced comment.

  3. Al

    do you work for pharma? how else could you be so blind? please give me an explanation for Dr William Thompson of the CDC. then google Marcia Angell and Richard Horton. these are two people who know all about studies in peer-reviewed medical journals (they are former editors of NEMJ and The Lancet). And they say that most studies are full of bias and lies, falsified data, you name it. modern science ain’t what you think it is ma’am, sorry to break it to you but it is a certain truth. Science has been highjacked by unscrupulous industry (hi there pharma, i’m looking right at YOU!) to sell their harmful and completely unnecessary products. You are absolutely wrong on your stance and the REAL science strongly supports that.

    • alexandria

      Well, if three people say that, it must be true, right?

      Immunizations save lives. Children in the developing world would (and do) give ANYTHING to gain access to life-saving vaccinations. It’s such a privilege to be able to choose not to bother to protect ourselves from preventable diseases.

      I am confident in our decisions and happy my kids are safe and healthy.

      Thank you for stopping by!

  4. Miro

    Aside from the faith or belief that broad sweeping statements about vaccine safety by industry is complete true and factual, it seems you are also very precise in your statements about the laws of the land in regards to school attendance and vaccines. Naturally , this reflects upon the authors credibility all together.

    School attendance does not require vaccinations. It requires the disclosure of vaccine status. And, exemptions are available.

    There are many points I could make beyond this simple point , but who has the time .

    • alexandria

      Miro — If you re-read the article, you’ll see the point made about exemptions to vaccinations being available for children to attend school.

      Look, we can agree to disagree, and my immunized children will be safe and healthy, end of story.

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