I’m a bit of a television junkie, sue me. Watching television gives me a mini escape from the hectic reality that can be my life, but there are those rare moments that actually make me think. The other day I was indulging in one of my guilty pleasures, Pregnant in Heels starring maternity concierge Rosie Pope. In this particular episode she was dealing with a black couple who were debating the issue of whether or not to vaccinate their soon to be born child. The father felt that the vaccinations were necessary to keep their baby girl safe, the mother however, a self described “Bohemian chic, granola type of chick,” wanted to raise the child green and in her opinion part of that lifestyle meant not immunizing her child.
According to the mom, most of the diseases we vaccinate against are antiquated, “Like who gets Polio anymore,” she says, and felt that the nutrients in her breast milk and some plain old fashion luck were enough to keep her daughter healthy.
Throughout the show Rosie tried her best to help the mommy to be see the error of her ways by showing her how many germs live on a playground and even took her to a doctor who shared with her that over 600,000 children die in the U.S. each year from whooping cough (one of those antiquated diseases) and even shared her own personal story of when she neglected to get her son a vaccination and he almost died.
In the end the new mom changed her mind and all was well, but it got me to thinking about how many other parents feel this way and whether or not there really is still a need for vaccinations. Now I don’t have any children, but I can imagine that I would want to do everything in my power to keep them healthy and safe and that includes vaccinating them.
But do we really need to?
We’ve been told to pump ourselves and our children full of drugs and chemicals for so many generations that we’re not sure if one, we really need them any more, or two, if our bodies can naturally fight off some of the things we are still immunizing against. Worse yet, no one seems to really have accurate data on whether or not un-immunized kids are more or less healthy than immunized children or exactly how many children go un-immunized each year, so parents can truly make an informed decision.
Personally, I believe in erring on the side of caution so until some accurate, concrete data is released, I plan on immunizing my future children, but even still, I can’t help but wonder if there is a better way.
Do you believe in vaccinations?