I remember growing up and always getting vaccines. It was what people did for their children. Many of us got vaccinated for diseases that could debilitate or even kill us if we contracted them. I was even given the Hepatitis B vaccination in school. I distinctly remember going to the gym 2 or 3 times my 4th grade year to receive the vaccine with my fellow classmates. I don’t even know if that is a practice anymore.
I do know that vaccines are “required” for children to start school. Even vaccines like the one for varicella (aka, Chicken Pox). I believe I was among the final generations to actually contract the disease instead of receiving the vaccine. But today, Shingles is making its appearance well known, so the varicella vaccination is strongly encouraged.
But this can be fought. Pieces of paper declaring that getting vaccinated is against one’s belief system are semi-easily obtainable and give a child a pass into many schools. However, even with the pass, I know some children that are not allowed to play with some of their friends during times of illness if they aren’t vaccinated due to the fear of some pro-vaccinators.
Needless to say, immunizations are a hot-topic at the moment. Being a healthcare worker who believes in alternative healing methods and natural remedies, one can imagine how difficult this debate is for me. I have the factual knowledge from my education and the CDC telling me one thing and my 1-year-old niece who may get shot up with bunches of chemicals and preservatives telling me another.
So…I decided to start investigating.
I am reading two books. One pro-vaccine. One anti-vaccine.
The Pro-Vaccine one has caught more of my attention so far. It uses case studies and statistics to explain some of the discrepancies I read about in the anti-vaccine book. I take each of them with a grain of salt, because as with many books such as these, there is typically some bias involved. Both are written by medical professionals and I believe they are credible sources. I have not finished either of the books and I don’t anticipate being swayed in either direction, but I do think they are worth the read. I don’t know if I will make the “right” decision regarding this topic when I have children in the future and I’m sure it will be a topic that is always debated. The best we can do is become better informed. These books are my beginning to that.