To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate?
Posted on 17 July 2014 by Leonie Satori
One of the many questions that come up when becoming a new parent is in regards to vaccination. While many parents would not give it a second thought and simply surrender to the protocols enforced by the conventional medical profession, others may take the time to query this action and weigh up the pros and cons.
Vaccination belief differences can really divide a family, especially where two parents disagree, or grandparents and in-laws feel that it is their responsibility to impose their beliefs on the parents. Unfortunately, what can happen in these situations is that one parent may take it upon themselves to vaccinate the child without the consent of the other parent. Realistically, one would hope that most parents would discuss and come to some kind of agreement before this kind of situation arises; however, it is more common than many of us would like to believe.
This brings to the fore another question – whose responsibility is it to make this decision for vaccination?
Ultimately the decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate should be made jointly with the parents or guardians of a child. Obviously not an issue to be taken lightly, strong opinions can be felt on both sides of the argument, the onus is on the parents to make the best possible decision based on the information that they have on hand at the time. As with any major decision, a discussion with parents may result in a compromise, and consideration for each individual child and family situation will vary. Ultimately information and education is the key to making the correct and informed decision with parenting, and after a vaccination, there is no going back.
Some things to consider as a parent when discussing this topic is the health of the child, while a child is immune compromised, sick or unwell, it is advised to delay immunisation if possible. In the early stages of a newborn’s life, the immune system is still developing; so many parents will delay vaccinations until after the first six months. Consideration of family history is important, particularly if it is believed that another family member may have reacted to a particular vaccination. Also, many parents will decide to vaccinate for certain diseases, but not for another – again, assess the health of the individual child and their necessity for the vaccination. Lastly, consider the information that you have at hand as a parent - research, read and ask other parents, but form your own opinion based on your own beliefs and discuss this with the other parent or guardian before making a decision.
As a parent, there are many decisions that you will make on behalf of your child, however vaccination is not be taken lightly or without proper information, if you are unsure, delay the procedure until you are satisfied that you have made the right decision.