Are Your Kids Vaccinated? More Parents Choosing Not To Have Kids Get Shots.
The trend has been increasing, especially since there have been questions about the combinations of substances used in children's vaccinations, particularly thimerosal, a mercury-containing organic compound used as a preservative that has been linked in the public's mind to autism. Because of that risk and other factors, more parents are deciding not to have their school-age children vaccinated. According to reports, there has been an increase of 1 in 20 public school kindergartners being unable to fulfill their entrance requirements because parents have not taken them to the doctor for their shots. Instead, they have opted out.
Of course this is a trend that alarms health officials.They do not wish to return to the nightmares of the early 20th century in having to deal with outbreaks of diseases that were nearly wiped off the public education map in the last forty years. But an analysis found that during the last five years, more than half of U.S. states have seen a slight rise in the rate of vaccine exemptions with the highest rates occurring in the West and Upper Midwest.
Each state has its own rules for allowing exemptions. Some include medical, religious or philosophical reasons, and the specific categories yield varied parental responses. For some parents it is skepticism about shots being as essential as officials make them seem. They count on their children's immune systems to work out the potential diseases. Other parents have bought the thimerosal argument against vaccinations, though the FDA has limited and continues to limit the compound's use. Some find filling out the paperwork and getting the shots to be too laborious and time-consuming. It is easier to just check the "opt-out" box on the enrollment form. Finally, other parents remain undecided and find older vaccines efficacious (probably the ones they had as children, like chickenpox) but newer vaccines questionable.
By the time a child is 6, if the parent has agreed to vaccinations, the child has been needle jabbed almost 24 times, with many of the shots administered in infancy. What is the cumulative effect of 24 vaccinations in a child's formative growth years? Unknown. There has been no study conducted to date that has revealed conclusive results. So the effects have not been studied in depth, some parents insist. Another reason to opt out.Continued on the next page