As I write this, I am lying down with sweet Vivienne who’s taking a nap on my chest. She makes those sweet baby murmurs that manage to make me think even a burp is darling! She is completely dependent on me at this point in her life and the decisions I make for her. That is a huge responsibility and also the greatest honor I will ever have -- to raise my children and to be their mom.
One of the decisions parents must make is whether or not to immunize their children against a whole host of diseases from polio to measles. Diseases that have the potential to either significantly disable or kill us. Now remember when we make the immunization decision for our own children, we are also making decisions that impact society and other children. Since newborn babies are not immunized right away, they are susceptible to these diseases should there be an outbreak and they are around a non-immunized person. So you are making a decision far bigger than for just your own family. States see this as such a huge issue that it is very difficult to send a non-immunized child to school, and so they are often in need of home schooling.
Now please believe me when I say I understand the fears people may have surrounding immunizations. There has sadly been a lot of unfounded false information given out as it relates to the dangers of immunizations, the most famous being that they cause autism. I want as much as any mother to know what is causing autism and to try and help family's affected, but the blame that has been put on immunizing children has meant the autism community has also suffered as funding for research has become more difficult to garner in the face of the research (now known to be false) that linked autism with vaccinations. Yet, despite knowing this, I will be honest: I am still fearful when I immunize my children. It's impossible not to be as the fear has so penetrated our media and even celebrity mom culture. But when I am faced with the decision, as so often we parents are, I must make the right one based on the facts we have to protect my child (and other children) to the best of my abilities.
I grew up in the days when the only immunizations available were smallpox, tetanus & DPT. I remember how sick and miserable we were when we were sick with measles (I had them twice!), mumps (boys can become sterile if they got it in their late teens/early 20s). And let's not forget rubella,hepatitis,etc. You get the picture. It is a wonderful thing that immunizations cover almost every childhood disease we had in the 50s & 60s. My kids got all their shots & when the dr said new vaccines were available, they got those too! I'm very happy to see that my 8-month old grandson has smart parents who are making sure he gets all his shots! The complications from these illnesses are in most cases worse than some of the minor reactions to the shots. Parents have a responsibility not only to their own kids but to the greater community as well. Get them imunized
I agree with you about immunizations. I'm glad you took such a strong stance. People get so complacent, and this is the reason diseases like whooping cough are on the rise.
As a mother who does not support the over-vaccination of babies, I found this Nia women to be a very irresponsible representation of non-vaccinating mothers. She was completely uneducated and unprepared regarding her arbitrary "stance." All that BS about wanting a "green home" and organics when she obviously had made no effort to do any research in this area. Parabens, phalates, microwaving plastic? She is a total poser and a joke. There are some necessary vaccines, but you MUST ask a lot of questions about what you are getting and the method of delivery. And, YES Rosie, the CDC does bend to the will of pharm companies. The pharm companies pay for the studies that justify the use of their vaccines. just like every other government agency, they heavily rely on outside big business to fund them. It's every parents right to have these choices regarding immunization. Without these choices, our freedom is revoked. However, it is the responsibility of the parent to do EXTENSIVE research regarding this issue.
I was dumbfounded by Nia's ignorance in this episode, coming from someone that appears to be an educated American. I understand that immunization can be controversial, but some facts to back up her opinion would have made her look a little less ridiculous!
I love.. or should say loved.. Rosie Pope and this show! The way she handled the soon to be mom who was choosing not to inject her beautiful, perfect child with poisons and chemicals was wrong! She attacked this poor woman insisting that her belifs were wrong when infact there is tons of research out there showing how harmful vaccintations truely are. She should have done her own research before insulting this woman and her way she was choosing to raise her family!
I have always loved this show and always agreed with Rosie on all advise she's given her moms. On this subject I can not. I am very sad that this particular mom was chosen to represent this very serious subject. I feel like, whether it was intentional or not, this mom was chosen to make anti-vaccinating moms ridiculous in order to sway people to the popular choice of vaccinating. This mom has chosen to been "green" and "crunchy" because at this time it is "tre chic". She has clearly not done her research on most green and organic things, vaccinating being the biggest that needs the most research. I was unfortunately offended by this mom being chosen. I feel like we need to spend as much time and money investigating on how we can make immunizations safer rather than using it to chose sides and fight the opposition. Also we need to investigate ways to delay until our children's nervous systems are more stable and can handle what we are subjecting them to in addition to deciding which vaccines are still necessary.
Rosie I agree that vaccines are a necessary evil. What upset me last night is tht the pediatrician failed to mention the VERY REAL risks associated with vaccinations. I'm talking about injury and death caused by allergic reactions from vaccinations. I am pregnant now and intend to vaccinate I am aware of this reality because in April my two month old nephew died from encephalitis caused by an allergic reaction to his 2mo vaccinations. An autopsy and CDC confirmed. There is a Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 aponsored by the US govenrnment that atests to the the risks. My brothers pediatrician and the pediatrician last night made no mention of those risks and that is disgusting!
As a mother of an autistic child, I am disgusted by your flippant delivery of this topic. Thank goodness we have a bravolebrity to tell us how to protect our children. I will sleep much better tonight.
I understand your point of view however I choose to give my son all his immunizations except the MMR. I have personally had three people that have had thier kids become autistic directly after they had the MMR shot. My dear Makela was talking and once she got the MMR she stopped and is now autistic. I opted to wait until he is three. I go to great doctors that said the same thing. That there is nothing to worry about. I have seen first hand what to be worried about. I think every parent should have that choice.
Thank you, Rosie, for your thoughtful and emphatic post and episode on the vital importance of immunizing children. It saddened and frustrated me to hear Nia's rationale for not wanting to immunize, and I was very relieved to see you walk her through what her decision was based on, and what impact it could have on her child and others.
There is no scientific reason for any person with access to health care to choose not to immunize their children. It is a parent's responsibility to protect her child to the best of her ability. It is a person's responsibility not to bring unnecessary risk to members of her community. If a person chooses not to vaccinate their child, a person is abdicating responsibility. That's every person's choice to make, unfortunately.
I wonder if many parents are not scared of immunizations, but rather, they are scared of autism or of the unknown. Sadly, a parent who chooses to skip immunizations for their child does nothing to affect whether that child will develop autism. However, that child will be left vulnerable to severe, preventable diseases such as measles and whooping cough. We know a lot more now about autism and what may cause it—vaccine is not one of the causes. There is no debate about whether vaccines are safe and effective. They are. The media and the internet have allowed vaccine misinformation to spread to parents who are now unsure what to do. There are 20 states in the US that allow parents to admit their children to private or public school without required immunizations—they don’t need to be homeschooled. This puts the unimmunized children at risk as well as others in the community. Vaccines are not 100% effective and not everyone can get vaccinated (newborns, cancer patients, elderly, etc.), so when an unimmunized child gets a VPD, they put others around them at risk. Parental concerns can be addressed by talking to your child’s doctor. I’m a parent of two kids, they’re both immunized. I’ve made a choice to protect them and help our community as well. We all should.
I’m a parent of two kids, they’re both immunized. I’ve made a choice to protect them and help our community as well. We all should. Rosie, I wonder if many parents are not scared of immunizations, but rather, they are scared of autism. Sadly, a parent who chooses to skip immunizations for their child does nothing to affect whether that child will develop autism but that child will be left vulnerable to severe, preventable diseases such as measles and whooping cough. We know a lot more now about autism and what may cause it—vaccine is not one of the causes. There is no debate about whether vaccines are safe and effective. They are. The media and the internet have allowed vaccine misinformation to spread to parents who are now unsure what to do. Unimmunized children don’t have to be homeschooled. There are 20 states in the US that allow parents to send their children to private or public school without required immunizations. This puts the unimmunized children at risk as well as others in the community. Many of these states have had outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccines are not 100% effective and not everyone can get vaccinated (newborns, cancer patients, elderly, etc.), so when an unimmunized child gets a vaccine preventable disease, they put others around them at risk. Parents with concerns should talk to their child’s doctor or at least use reliable sources of vaccine information, such as vaccinateyourbaby.com.
I love your show, but was shocked at how hard you pushed for vaccines. I think it is a personal decision. People need to know what they are putting into their children's bodies. But, there is a lot of information out there about mercury, etc... and this comes directly from the EPA website: Well, thimerosal contains mercury which is one of the most toxic substances known to mankind. Mercury has been proven to severely impair neurological development. The following comes directly from the EPA website....
For fetuses, infants, and children, the primary health effect of methylmercury is impaired neurological development. Methylmercury exposure in the womb, which can result from a mother's consumption of fish and shellfish that contain methylmercury, can adversely affect a baby's growing brain and nervous system. Impacts on cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language, and fine motor and visual spatial skills have been seen in children exposed to methylmercury in the womb.
Why would we want to inject this into our children? If you are choosing to vaccinate, maybe go on a delayed schedule. I choose not to vaccinate my children, for these reasons and more. I am an intelligent, informed mother of soon to be 6 children.
Rosie- Thank you so much for holding your ground and educating Nia about immunizations. It's become almost fashionable to withhold them. I am an NICU nurse and have seen many infants who have gotten pertussis and have either died or have long term brain damage as a result of the support they required during their hospitalization. I think that those illnesses feel far away and the consequences seem nebulous to the general public because they don't see how babies can be ravaged by something that is preventable. You are doing babies and their families a service by speaking out and holding your ground. As for Nia feeling that babies are born perfect and whole, there are thousands and thousands of infants populating NICUs across the country with cardiac defects, gut issues, kidney/liver issues, genetic anomalies, etc. Life is precious but it is also delicate. Everyone with a healthy baby should be grateful and should guard that health with every tool available.
And in what state, and only one has to be named, what state makes you home school your children if they aren't immunized? I call bull poop. I don't believe that statement to be true, at all. One could sue that system based on religion alone.
I really appreciate you taking on this issue in a serious and caring way. Thank you for providing information and helping Nia separate facts from rumors and conjecture. Of course, it would be the world's greatest hope that all children be disease and disability free but stopping childhood immunization is not the likely path to get there and is more likely to become a serious threat to public health.
Nia was quite possibly one of the most annyoing people I have ever seen on television. She is such a follower. She didn't fully understand what it means to green. She just wanted to be trendy with all of her other 'green' buddies. What a joke. What a snob.
I'm not a mom yet, but since I work in a Cancer Center I see the impact this anti-vaccination movement can have on the lives of immuno-compromised children and adults. Children with cancer and certain other diseases are not able to receive immunizations -- they rely on "herd immunity" to protect them from potentially deadly infections.
Perhaps parents who claim special "conscience" exemptions that enable their non-vaccinated children to attend public schools should consider that their ill-founded decision means that they're barring kids with cancer -- who certainly have enough obstacles and isolation to deal with -- from attending, depriving them of a normal, supportive, social experience that means so much.
Your advice and guidance, as always, was spot on!
That is fine that you believe in immunizations, as do I, in theory. But, you should have at least acknowlwdged that there are risks with them and severe risks with certain ones and then you could have brought up that it is a small instance but it is out there and you also could have researched alternate immunization schedules where 2 week old-2 month old babies are not getting 7 shots at one time. It is perfectly healthy to do the alternate schedule and could make a scared mommy feel better that there are options. These are things I think you should also inform your mothers about.
Sadly, Nia was as uneducated and ignorant as she was stubborn and arrogant. Her attitude toward the professionals (the pediatrician, the toxicologist etc. ) was horrible, as she was full of disdain toward anyone who was more knowledgeable than she was and ever will be. Rosie was much more patient with this woman spouting complete nonsense than I could have ever been. Brava, Rosie!
I have always loved this show, but I have to disagree with the way immunization debate was handled. I don't feel that someone should push her own opinions, and that is what they are, opinions, on other people until they change their minds. You asked why someone wouldn't immunize their children, how about this? Thimerosal contains mercury which is one of the most toxic substances known to mankind. Mercury has been proven to severely impair neurological development. The following comes directly from the EPA website.... For fetuses, infants, and children, the primary health effect of methylmercury is impaired neurological development. Methylmercury exposure in the womb, which can result from a mother's consumption of fish and shellfish that contain methylmercury, can adversely affect a baby's growing brain and nervous system. Impacts on cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language, and fine motor and visual spatial skills have been seen in children exposed to methylmercury in the womb. In truth, vaccine makers have little incentive to improve vaccines since the law shields them from liability, and the federal government defends vaccine injury claims and determines compensation. The law also created the vaccine court, which does not provide for a free exchange of information (legal discovery) similar to civil court, and is used to settle vaccine injury and death cases quietly (that means they pay out money). I will end with this thought: If I mixed mercury, aluminum phosphate, amonium sulfate, formaledhyde with viruses , then got a syringe and injected it into my child, I would be arrested, so why is it legal for doctors to do it? We need to educate ourselves. I am a well-informed, intelligent mother of soon to be 6 children and I choose not to vaccinate my children.
I agree with the these comments, I use to like the show, it was cute, mindless tv, but it has gotten serious, first with the Home Birth show, OMG! I was so annoyed at the people that were chosen to be on the show, they of course were doing the right thing, but they were made out to be 2 crazy hippy people, when actually LOTS of educated people choose to have safe home births. (me included) I feel the show is very biased and leaning towards one way only...they want it to seem that she is "helping" when she is really just make them do it her way. Let's talk about the subject of vaccines...Rosie Pope sounded like a complete ignorant idiot when she said, "the CDC has nothing to do with pharmaceutical companies?!" "Vaccines aren't about making money" ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!! Please educate yourself before you make ignorant comments like that. I agree that "they" (Bravo, producers, whoever) picked a couple that was not fully informed on vaccines, making it seem that the majority of people who choose not to vaccinate are like this, or do it because it is "tre chic" I am not completely against vaccines, but I do believe we OVER vaccinate babies and vaccines actually do suppress the immune system...I don't know if I am going to watch this show anymore...
As a public health professional THANK YOU for addressing this very timely topic! It is so disappointing to watch other celebrities espouse anti-vaccine "junk science". I must admit that when I saw previews I cringed a bit, thinking you might be of the same mindset. While I really enjoyed your show before, I am now a superfan! Thank you also for consulting a physician--I don't know how she (and you) kept your cool in the face of such comments as asking who has polio. I kept waiting for you to take Nia to visit one of the many adults still suffering from post-polio syndrome in this country.
Thank you for speaking the truth! It's uncomfortable to go through the process of immunizing your child, but no clear-thinking person could land on the side of skipping such a vital step to ensuring the safety of your child and the community at large. It's sad that so much scare mongering has taken hold, but it's never been anything more than blatant mistruth. Only the truly stupid would withhold vaccinations from their children...god help the kids in the care of those misguided souls.
Rosie, I strongly support your efforts to help inform new parents about the need to protect their young child by vaccinations. I'm old enough to have survived a very bad case of whooping cough when I was age 6. I also knew of cats that died from distemper before that vaccine was available. My father's young sister died of diphtheria. You're doing a great joy in providing information from reliable sources (a doctor) so that parents are able to make an informed decision. Kudos to you on this important subject.
i agree w/the previous posts that the argument presented on the show regarding immunizations was very one-sided and very surface. there was no discussion of the numerous toxins included in vaccines, the fact that vaccines can cause permanent injury (hence the need for a vaccine injury hotline), and the thousands of families who have seen firsthand how vaccines have caused developmental delays and regression in their children. a healthy, 2-mo old baby could reasonably handle 30 micrograms of aluminum in one day, based on available studies and the american academy of pediatrics. the hep b vaccine given on day 1 or 2 of life has 250 micrograms of aluminum. we have no idea how this is affecting our children. the safety of vaccines is a huge question mark, and frankly, rosie, you are FAR from educated on this topic. why not bring in experts on both side of the debate, like you did in past episodes? i hope and pray you will continue to educate yourself (and the public) on the truth about vaccines in a non-biased, informative manner.
Thank you for taking a stand on this. The medical evidence on this issue is indisputable -- vaccines save lives. End of story.
You really have no authority to speak on vaccination. Why not have a guest speaker like Dr. Sears explain any pros or cons? As for the recent episode sparking this blog post, I also don't appreciate how when the lady (who is certainly not the best poster child for anti-vaccination by a long shot!) was asked, "What is the worst that can happen if your daughter is vaccinated?" and then there was no answer! I'll fill in the blank. The worst that can happen is death, life-long disability, serious impairment. Doctors may have led you to believe we are the "one in a million" but if you start counting, that is just not the case- reactions are much more prevalent than you would expect. My nephew has a seizure disorder as a result of his 5 month shots; my own son developed eczema, and severe gastrointestinal problems and has an autism diagnosis. My child had a febrile seizure (this is when the gastro issues began also) after the MMR and then has had many absence seizures over the years. My brother-in-law had syncope episodes after two different shots. Do not bully people into vaccinating... children with a family history of autoimmune issues such as rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, food allergies etc. should not be immunized because the benefits do not outweigh the risks. Unfortunately vaccines take a "one size fits all" approach that does not take many childrens' susceptabilities into account. Believe me, I was once in your shoes... I vaccinated my child, but I can no longer make that decision for my family in good conscience. There are some things that need to be left to the parents to decide. This is one of those issues.
Rosie is awesome. Bridezillas have nothing on these "Pregnant in Heels" clients. She is direct and still manages to keep her clients working towards what is really important. I know there are lots of mom's/mom's to be who want all natural, at home, etc. etc. births, doing something with the placenta, anti-vaccine, and on the opposite end, schedule my c-section around my work schedule/before Jan 1st for tax deductions, since your there already add a tummy tuck. She is pretty good at sniffing out what is behind their thought processes, making sure they are getting the all the info. of the issue at hand. Let's face this no vaccine mom.............she wanted that path because it was trendy. She (the mom) even said it herself. I have heard it is against my faith. Sometimes a baby/child ends up with a bad reaction. As a mom of two teenagers every vaccine they hand you a pro's and con's sign for consent sheet. It is HARD to get past that con side. But Rosie comes across so sweet, caring, and LOVES babies. Bravo Rosie, Bravo. No pun intended.
Rosie - I really don't know how you do your job dealing with some of these insane women!! Nia is completely ridiculous, and is obviously more worried about her image than the health and safety of her child. She wanted her house toxin/chemical free, but I was cracking up laughing at her when she started to get so pissed about having her precious make-up thrown out. Then trying to blame other family members for bringing in the cleaning products was too much!! I really wish they would make people take a test before they allow them to have a baby!! I hope that the baby girl gets her father's brains, otherwise society is going to be stuck with another idiot who is more concerned with appearances than with being an intelligent, informed person of substance. PATHETIC!!!
People who do not vaccinate their children should not be allowed to send them to public schools or daycares.
Children going through chemo or children who have any other form of a comprimised immune system, can not receive the live vaccines. They depend on immunity from healthy kids who Can receive vaccines. Please do kids with cancer a favor and immunize your healthy kids!
I, too, lived in a time when vaccines for measles, mumps, etc. were not available. I got the mumps when I was in high school and had a rough time. I never had chicken pox, and recently had a bout with shingles. We have many high-school students ill with whooping cough in my area. Kids are going for medical care, but aren't staying home from school like they should. Some schools have needed to do extra sanitizing and cleaning to help prevent the spread of germs, especially since it's so close to state exam time. My niece had whooping cough when she was a baby, she caught it from her day care provider, who had no idea that she did have whooping cough. i think parents need to have as much information as possible in order for them to make a decision on whether or not to vaccinate their children. I would think that Nia, given where she lives, would get her child vaccinated. Many people from all over the world come to NYC to visit, work, and/or make NYC their home. Many people leave from NYC to travel abroad as well. Not all countries are as strict about vaccinations for people as the US. Parents can and should work with their pediatrician re: when to get vaccinations.
Im a parent of four 100% vaccine free children and a member of a group of over 15,000 that have chosen not to vaccine our children. Most people criticize us because they just don't know or understand the research behind not vaccinating or because they have never been hit close to home with a vaccine injured child. Thank God my decision not to vaccinate came to me before I even got pregnant with kids when one of my best friends who had identical twins vaccinated one at the 18 month shots and didn't vaccinate the other because he had a very bad cold and her peds told her to wait because the vaccine was going to lower his immune system and make him sicker. The child she vaccinated with 48 hours developed seizures and his motor skills were back to one of a crib baby, no muscles no strength and no more verbal skills. The ER doctor actually admitted to her that it was a vaccine reaction. And all she got was "I'm sorry you will have to live with it" she immediately stop all shots and started her battle with with a disabled child. She tried suing the pharma company but as many don't know it is against the law to sue any pharm company because of a vaccine reaction. The government protects them because they are the number one $$$$ contributing company to all govern agencies. All she got was a small settlement because she reported the injury. A settlement that only lasted for the first 3 months of therapy. For every vaccine that is given a small % goes to a vaccine injured fund that when you report an adverse reaction to any shot, you are entitled to a monetary compensation which of course is meanness compared to what your life has ahead of you. You said that babies are not immunized right after birth...I don't know where you have given birth but in the USA the first vaccine administered is the Hepatitis B within minutes of coming out of the birth canal and if you research Hep B is only acquired by having unprotected sex with multiple partners or using drug needles and last time I checked no newborn was a whore or a junkie.!!! Also to state that most states make it nearly impossible for parents to send their kids to school shows the lack of not knowing your facts: every single state in our nations has religious, medical, or philosophical exemptions that the gov issues those parents that choose not to vaccinate. That idea of not been able to send your kids to school if they are not immunized, is what doctors use to scare parents and make them do want they want. Parents that vaccinate have nothing to be scared about if they trust their vaccines so much, if anything the "unprotected" child is the one at risk since most "diseases " are started by vaccinated kids. One of my kids had Whooping Cough about 2 months ago, she got it in school a class mate who had it but was told she only had walking neumonia and after seeing that the antibiotics were not working, they said it was whooping cough. It was not a big deal, a bad cough that lasted over 3 months and took care of it at home, now her and her 3 siblings have natural immunity to the virus!!!! I teach vaccine seminars in my state...I'm actually doing one this Saturday the 16th of June at 11am in Miami Florida.....also if anyone here wants to learn a little more buy the movie "The Greater Good".....you can trash us all you want But we have live proff that not vaccinating doesn't kill you it only makes you stronger!!!! God Bless
I will make no comment on the adequacy of science education in this country (and worldwide). I will, however, say that herd immunity is a concept *everyone* should know seeing as it has such a huge impact on everyone's quality of life and safety. The main reason why the government and doctors push vaccinations so much isn't for the health of an individual baby, but because herd immunity cannot be established unless most of the population is vaccinated. Wikipedia has an article on this, I suggest anyone unfamiliar with this concept read it. Even with vaccinations, some people (even those who are not immuno-compromised) will be susceptible to certain diseases. Herd immunity protects these people from disease.
Also, I'm seeing some comments concerning mercury and Autism. Routine vaccinations don't even contain thimerosal anymore. The studies linking Autism to vaccines were written by people who falsified their data and methodology. The other studies did not show a statistically significant correlation between the two. Yes, there are risks associated with vaccines. Smallpox is no longer routinely used because the risk of complications exceed the risk of actually contracting smallpox (eradicated). Other diseases (including chicken pox) are more likely to harm or kill a person than a vaccine.
Rosie, distilling fears surrounding vaccinations down to unfounded claims about autism suggests that you are not following this issue closely or thoroughly. Its much bigger than this, but have you looked into Dr. Wakefield's description and defense of his research? It might challenge your understanding and inform your advice to viewers. In fact, you sum up beautifully the way I used to view vaccinations. That is, before I started looking deeper. I've found the more you dig on both sides of the issue, the more confusing and complex this issue becomes. It's really quite complex. My doctor has assured me that vaccinations are safe and there aren't risks. This is simply untrue. Of course there are risks. But it speaks to a culture of intolerance of honest discourse or critical thinking. Too bad your show and this blog is perpetuating this.
If you're asking the question "does someone know something I don't?" at the end of your blog post, then chances are you have a limited one sided exposure to the arguments of this very complex issue. Perhaps, before you advise mothers, read what non vax moms are saying even on chat boards or online communities. Unlike your guest, these moms are typically educated and articulate. Just a few of the issues are that 1) we just don't know what levels of aluminum (a known toxin) or other metals are safe, 2) we are injecting kids with antibodies to diseases they do not come into contact with today triggering autoimmune responses with varying severity, 3) a one size fits all schedule is a questionable medical practice in any circumstance, 4) there isn't a lot of conclusive research about vaccine safety that hasn't been funded by pharmaceutical companies and that especially bothers me, a real conflict of interest, 5) the are known cases of vaccine injury, even a "vaccine court" to handle these claims and big payouts (not paid by the pharmaceutical companies, they're protected) in the event a vaccine was founded To cause injury or death, 6) and there is a culture of intolerance to openly discussing these concerns. They are often summarily dismissed by doctors. This is just for starters. Rosie, it's just not that simple. I will vaccinate my child, albeit on an alternative schedule. This was a labored decision and I have a lot of reservations. I strongly believe we need more independent research and more tolerant discourse. For more information check out the DVD "The Risks, The Benefits, The Choices" or a documentary called "The Greater Good.". Thank you.
Parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are being selfish and thinking only about themselves. Yes, YOUR child might be able to fight off an infection, but one of the main reasons that we vaccinate is keep diseases eradicated and to protect those people who cannot mount an immune response to diseases. Since parents have been deciding to not vaccinate their kids recently, we've seen a rise in the incidence of diseases that had previously been eradicated. That might be OK for a healthy, hearty child, but what about a child who is on immunosuppressants because of a transplant, or the elderly? Parents think its this great thing that their kid fought off a disease naturally, e.g whopping cough, but that's not what it's about!! It's about create an environment that is free of life threatening illness. How do you know your kid didn't pass this bacteria (yes, whooping cough is a bacteria, not a virus) on to someone who wasn't able to fight it off? Are you OK knowing that your negligence may have killed someone? And yes, we haven't seen Polio in the US in a long time; however, it still exists in other countries and its only a matter of time, with travel and immigration, that it starts to resurface in this country. As will all the diseases we've fought so hard to eradicate.
No one is saying that YOUR child cant fight off diseases naturally. I'm sure they'll be just fine. But there are other people out there who can't. Vaccinating is part of our inherent social contract. If you want to go live in the woods, away from society, then feel free to do what you want. But if you want to be contributing members of society, vaccinate your kids. Nothing is 100% fail proof in medicine. Nothing. Vaccines have risks, as does nearly every other medication out there, but the benefits COMPLETELY outweigh the risk. I'll take 1000 kids with "mother diagnosed autism" over the alternative any day.