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Difficult Decisions

Rosie explains why immunizations are so important.

By Rosie Pope

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.  When it comes to Nia, her argument wasn't even the most common, it was that children are born "perfect and whole" and should be able to get sick then fight off the infection if they eat the right foods.  I believe children are born perfect and whole too, but this doesn't mean their immune system is developed to be able to fight deadly diseases.  The argument simply made no sense and as a mother I had to change her mind. 

Defiant in the Park

I know this subject is sensitive, I know some of you may strongly disagree with me, but with what we know today, I ask you, how can you make any decision other than go ahead with immunizations?  If someone out there knows something I don't, I want to hear from you, because we are making these decisions for all of our children and that means having a conversation and trying to make a unilateral decision together so it works.

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