The vast majority of parents vaccinate their children. However, those who don’t give their children life-saving vaccines to protect them against deadly diseases tend to get more than their fair share of the spotlight.
In New York City, there is an outbreak of measles currently. So far 19 cases have been confirmed of this highly contagious disease. Parents who have chosen not to vaccinate, along with people from a part of the world where vaccines are not readily available, have been to blame for the recent uptick in preventable diseases across the country.
Often one celebrity who comes out against vaccinations creates far more of a media frenzy than the thousands of parents who routinely follow their pediatrician’s recommendations and vaccinate their children on schedule.
Reality TV star Kristin Cavallari and her NFL quarterback husband, Jay Cutler, were recently swept into the debate when Ms. Cavallari announced she and her husband do not plan to vaccinate their two-year old son or their baby-on-the-way. Citing no specific research, she came to her conclusion because she has “read too many books on autism”.
The reality is that nearly all mainstream doctors recommend vaccinating children on the vaccination schedule set by the American Academy of Pediatricians. Some doctors even refuse to treat children who have not been vaccinated due to their parents’ presumably well-meaning but factually inaccurate assumptions.
Sydney Spiesel, a practicing pediatrician in Woodbridge, Connecticut recently wrote an op-ed article in Slate magazine letting readers know that in his practice, he has certain rules that apply strictly to parents who chose not to vaccinate.
He wrote, “It just seems unfair that one parent's well-intended but perhaps not well-thought-out decision for her own child should add risk for the lives of other children I take care of.”
Parents who are worried about vaccines most often fear these five things:
1. Dangerous side effects
2. Links to autism
3. Getting multiple shots at one time
4. Preservatives in the shots
5. Vaccines do not work