I don't think any parent should have to choose between putting their child thru what they consider to be an unacceptable medical risk, or enrolling them in school.
We, as the parents of FireGirl, chose for her to not have two vaccines, and to delay others. This is based on our own research of each individual vaccine.
Why look at each one individually? Because they're all different, that's why. They each have different benefits, including rates of protection, and different risks, including side effects and rates of side effects. So it doesn't make sense to look at all of them together, as if you can make one generalized decision.
Think about it.
If my doctor wants to prescribe Augmentin to me, as an antibiotic, would I object? No. It's reasonably effective, and I have no known reactions to it.
What if my doctor wanted to prescribe Illosone, as an antibiotic, to me? It's also an antibiotic, right? Well, yes, it is. But as an infant it almost killed me. So guess what, I'm gonna object, and refuse.
Kind of a simplistic example, but I think you get my point. Just because all vaccines are lumped together in a group called "immunizations" doesn't mean they're all equally effective, or equally safe. Therefore, it is wise that we look at them individually.
So... back to my point...
The only "legal" objections to not vaccinating your children for school, at least in my state, are religious (but this is a blanket exemption for all vaccines, and doesn't pertain to us), or medical (which does individualize, but essentially requires your child to have a pre-existing condition).
Which means that no matter how much I believe a particular vaccine is not right for my child, I have to choose between the medical risks, or enrolling them in school.
And I don't think a parent should have to make that decision. More importantly, I don't think our government should force those decisions on parents. Or anyone.
Now, before someone says "well, if you don't vaccinate then other parents will have to choose between the risks of being around your unvaccinated child or sending their kid to school" - I want to point out that if their child is vaccinated... if vaccines are so awesomely awesome that you felt it was worth the risk to give your child that vaccine... then why are you worried? Your vaccinated child should be perfectly safe, right? Isn't that why you got the vaccine? The only children in real "danger" would be those who were unvaccinated. And if that's not the case, if you're not so convinced that a vaccine will protect your child from the disease, then I must ask: why were you willing to put your child at risk for the side effects if you didn't believe it would work?Ugh.
I just finished re-reading the package insert for one of the vaccines. I'm literally sick to my stomach now.
Listen, I am not anti-vaccine. I understand that vaccines serve a purpose and there are benefits to getting vaccines. I'm not anti-medication or anti-doctor.
What I am is anti-government-telling-me-what-is-best-for-my-child.
I am anti-no-one-can-tell-me-the-long-term-ramifications-of-this-vaccine-because-hasn't-been-out-that-long (and I'm planning on FireGirl living past her teenage years, so...).
I am anti-someone-else-telling-me-what-to-do-without-the-willingness-or-capability-to-provide-(what I consider) reasonable-proof-to-back-it-up.
And I am sick to my stomach. We believe it is best for FireGirl to attend school, including the private (but still-required-to-meet-gov't-regulations-about-vaccines) preschool she just started. We also believe it is best for her to not get these two vaccines. We are intelligent, well-educated parents who have done our research and have reached these conclusions based on what is best for our daughter.
And, as someone with a degree in history, I am still trying to figure out how the government even has the right to make such stipulations to begin with. In fact, I'm pretty sure they don't. I just don't know what to do about it.