The Feb. 4 article titled “Calling the shots: More Utah County parents exempting children from vaccinations” had some unsettling statements in it regarding doctors and modern medicine. I’m not a doctor, so allow me to just offer a personal anecdote.
When I was young, I discovered our family Bible had an extensive family tree in it. I asked my mother where were all of her cousins since I’d only met two of them. She informed me that more than half of them had died of various illnesses. She herself had barely survived polio; two of her surviving cousins had been mentally handicapped as a result of measles. She explained that my generation (I’m 60 now) was the first to not have lost so many children to diseases because we had vaccinations in the 1950s. Since that conversation, many more vaccines came available so that my children did not endure illnesses that I had: measles, mumps, chicken pox and whooping cough (pertussis).
Today, my little grandson is at risk for several of those diseases, not because his parents are refusing to have him vaccinated but because so many other parents are refusing to have their children vaccinated. As the article pointed out, vaccinations aren’t perfect, but they do greatly reduce the odds that you’ll acquire the disease. If you’re exposed to a virus often enough, no vaccine can protect you.
Are there valid reasons not to be vaccinated? Yes! They are listed at http://www.vaccines.gov/
basics/safety/should/ and include factors such as age, allergies to components of the vaccines and health history.
Vaccines can and do save lives and prevent suffering when they are properly used. Do we really want to risk losing children to preventable diseases?