"I would like to hear how other parents feel about immunizations."

"Definitely have your child immunized. Ask your pediatrician what the odds are for dangerous reactions compared to the risks your child faces from lack of immunization. Consider too our recent measles outbreaks and how much it spread due to the number of children not immunized."

Do not do it!  Read, please!  Educate yourself, then decide.  Follow your intuition and make healthy lifestyle changes.  Read Neanderthin: A Caveman's Diet by Ray Audette.   We do not live in a 3rd world country, nor do we live in conditions like those 100 years ago.  We know how to stay healthy.  Let me give you one statitic.  If your child gets the disease or dangerously ill or crippled by a vaccine it is a 100% risk. Is it worth it to play roulette with a little baby?"

"Our son, now 19 months, received the DPT and oral polio series immunizations. I do not think we will have any others in the near future, if at all. My husband and I no longer have blind faith in our `Western' allopathic medical system. Partly from past experience, gut reaction, and research I wish I'd done sooner. If I had been more in tune with my instinct and been stronger I do not think our son would have been immunized at all. To try to sum up our reasons: (1) I was a sickly child given many drugs now either discontinued or not recommended for pediatric use due to serious side effects. It is not ethical to test drugs on children, but it's okay for a pediatrician to prescribe them? (2) Drug companies are businesses (i.e., to make money). Research is also big business. There is money for what I consider somewhat repetitive and inane research, trips and other `perks' for doctors, yet no money to research a medicine which would likely not be a commercial success. People are injured because a company was more concerned with making money than protecting the consumer. I realize not all companies are like this, but how can I be assured the one(s) my pediatrician uses are honorable. This is also true of physicians. Doctors are less and less likely to have gone through their training for altruistic reasons. They are businessmen. Most have families to support, and there are many times financial ties between doctors and pharmaceutical companies. Studies have shown that doctors over report or under report statistics depending on which is most to their benefit. (3) Vaccines are administered for diseases our parents thought were `routine.' For many, the odds of becoming seriously ill, (unless you travel extensively or do something else to put yourself at risk) or suffering worst-case symptoms and disability are low (what are the odds your six month old will step on a rusty nail in a pig pen?). (4) I have no

control over what is in the vaccine. Vaccines are cultured from things like monkey feces, putrefied horse blood, rotten eggs and the like. These are not things I would knowingly ingest or inject in myself, let alone my children. (5) Vaccination circumvents the body's first line of defense against air borne agents which would normally enter via nose or mouth. The contaminant in a vaccine is far greater than the dose one is exposed to naturally. (6) Illness is not usually the result of a new bacteria or virus invading the body, rather it is usually a weakened immune response to an agent already present in the body. Exposure does not guarantee illness. there is a wide range of reaction to immunization. Why does one child run a 102 degree fever and convulse while another plays and romps after receiving a vaccination? Vaccines do not take into account the uniqueness, strengths and weaknesses of our children. Even doctors themselves disagree on the type and dosage of the different vaccines. (7) Vaccination does not guarantee immunity. Look at the numbers of high school age children who are coming down with mumps and measles because of `failed' vaccines? Why? (8) Infants are immunized on a schedule to coincide with the convenience of the pediatrician. Research has shown the efficacy of vaccinations before 15-18 months are questionable, especially for a baby who is nursed, yet pediatricians continue to administer DPT and polio as early as 8 weeks. (9) Vaccines are one way we give up our responsibility to keep ourselves healthy. Rather than eating wholesome foods in the proper quantities, keeping fit and maintaining our emotional health we would rather look to a pill or treatment to `fix,' rather than correcting the behavior which could contribute to the illness. Up to the age of 14 months my son had seven bouts with Otitis Media. Our personal pediatrician felt this was insignificant, yet one of the pediatricians in the hospital where I work felt tubes might be warranted? Same child, two different doctors, two different protocols? I read a book called, `Childhood Ear Infections: What Every Parent and Physician Should Know.' It suggested alternative treatments, specific nutrition, and other information. We began following his recommendations in late November - our son has not had an ear infection for close to five months. Significant to us since our son had not gone without an infection for more than two to three months previously (the time between infections was growing shorter). (10) There are those who believe vaccines, do more harm than good. There are some who feel Autism is a disease with a basis in immunization. There are parents who can specifically trace their child's autistic symptoms to an immunization. There are many who feel there is a link between immunizations and other dysfunctions of the immune system like allergies, asthma, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, etc. Maybe one's body becomes so involved battling `imaginary' diseases it goes into over drive or worse, shut down. (11) Given the success we've had with improving our child's health, I believe the risks of immunization far outweigh any benefit our child might receive from them. I could come up with several more reasons, however, I am sure you do not have the space to print those above, let alone any more. Thank you for your time."

"After much reading, discussion and hard thinking, we decided to give our children only the tetanus and killed polio (IPV) vaccines - we waited until they were 2 to begin the series. We were concerned about them contacting the live polio virus from recently immunized children either now (I do day-care) or as teenagers when they baby sit and change diapers. As for the other vaccines - I have grave reservations about putting live viruses into their bloodstreams where who knows what effects they may have on their immune systems over the years to come. The DPT seems just too dangerous and as for the MMR - these are normal childhood diseases which we all weathered, and I think they'll be the stronger for acquiring their immunity naturally. We received a lot of pressure from relatives and others last year during the measles epidemic here, but I finally concluded that healthy, well-nourished children had nothing to fear from the measles, especially with homeopathic and chiropractic health care to strengthen their immune systems. MOTHERING magazine has a wonderful reprint of all their articles on immunizations over the years - both pros and cons."

"My heart aches and stomach turns every time I take my little one in for his immunization shots. Those little eyes plead for me to pick him up and save him from that painful needle and I do it, but only after I help hold him down for those life saving vaccinations. He's to little now to understand the miracle of a few seconds of pain that will save him from a life-time of agony. My brother can only hold the dream of hearing because there was no German Measles vaccine when he was little and my girl friend might be able to walk normally had a polio vaccine been around for her. The side effects are few and extreme effects rare. I stand by immunizing and encourage others to and keep records of them."

"Glad you asked! I think they are a boon. Especially when you consider how many children died of, or were crippled by, diseases that just 1 or 2 generations ago were considered very serious but we hardly worry about now. Though I too am a bit nervous about possible risks of the shots, (I will wait till my child is over a cold first, even though they say it's OK as long as there is no fever, I figure that resistance is down so why take a chance) it's nowhere near as big a risk as that of getting the disease itself - that's why they developed immunizations! Consider also that these diseases are still strong in many other parts of the world, and we have many immigrants, tourists, etc., so don't count on the disease being eradicated. A number of children died of measles las year. Friends of ours do not believe in immunizations, and their 5 children got the measles last year, and one had to be hospitalized and could have died. I consider that they are endangering their own children and it makes me angry that they endanger other children as well - even if I choose to have my children immunized, what about my baby that is too young to be immunized yet? And will your children ever go over seas? They will be exposed to diseases there. Most of the diseases are even more serious for adults, and I think at least some of the shots are somewhat riskier for unexposed adults than for children (i.e. - mumps and German Measles)."

"I would suggest reading a sort of decision making reference guide called, VACCINATIONS. It can be ordered from MOTHERING magazine. It's full of articles, letters and resources. We have decided (for now anyway, we continue to educate ourselves) not to immunize. We are relying on a supportive, non-stressful environment, long term breastfeeding, homeopathic's when they're ill, good healthy diet and activities - to fuel their own immune system for dealing with what comes up. Tetanus is a shot usually administered as needed anyway."

"I feel immunizations are dangerous and unhealthy - not only because of immediate reactions but because of probable long term immune suppression. Nearly all childhood disease - related to deaths - had declined prior to the introduction of vaccines. The vaccine industry is not well regulated and dosages are inconsistent. The U.S. still uses a primitive pertussis vaccine (included in DPT), whereas Japan and Canada are using a less toxic one. It is our constitutional right to have a choice regarding the injection or administration of anything into our, or our children's, bodies. Minnesota guarantees that right by providing a conscientious objection exemption on all immunization forms required by schools and day-care centers. My son has received only the IPV - the dead polio virus vaccine due to the fact that the only cases of polio currently are caused by contact with feces of children recently given the oral live virus. It is not an easy decision to make, and one which requires investigation. A good resource for making the decision is a book entitled, THE IMMUNIZATION DECISION, by Dr. Randall Neustaedter."

"We have decided not to immunize our children, which Minnesota law allows. I was also not immunized. I highly recommend a book called, BUT DR., ABOUT THAT SHOT, by Robert Mendelssohn, M.D. Immunizations are often ineffective. One reason is that some vaccines have mutated from the original virus strain. Hence, immunized people get the disease any way. Another reason is that some immunizations are given before the baby's immune system is mature enough to even produce antibodies. Another concern is the violent reaction of some children to immunizations. Injecting millions of viral cells directly into the bloodstream of a baby is a shock to the body. When the body naturally comes into contact with a virus, the body starts producing antibodies when the first cells enter the nasal passage. By the time the germ reaches the bloodstream, the body already has antibodies fighting it. Another cause for the reaction is that along with the virus, you are injecting harsh chemicals used in the vaccine preparation into your child. The final question is what are the long term effects of injecting toxins into the body? Do they 30 years later attack the nerves or immune system in some people, causing so many of these nerve diseases nowadays? We really don't know enough of the long term effects of immunizations."

"I understand parents' fear of serious reactions to immunizations - I've certainly shared that apprehension as I've taken my own children for their shots - but the risk of long term, debilitating side-effects as a result of childhood immunizations is small compared to the actual danger of the spread of the diseases they were created to prevent. Since such diseases as diphtheria have been under control in this country for decades through immunization, many people are unaware of how horrifying - and fatal - they can be. I am alarmed when I hear of parents who are not just neglecting but choosing not immunize their children, and I resent the risk they are thereby imposing on my infant daughter, whose shots have not been completed. I feel that it is only fair to our children and to society at large to have them immunized, while working to make sure that dosages are kept to the reasonable minimum needed to prevent disease."

"As a concerned parent, I've read up on the possibility of severe and even fatal complications from immunizations. The possibility is minute but real. As a medical technologist, I see children in the hospital suffering from diseases because they were not immunized. They suffer from severe complications and some even die. This possibility is greater and frightening. I'm totally in favor of immunizations. In fact, I've given permission for my daughter to be part of a measles study. this study will help further knowledge about immunizations and improve them."

"I think vaccinating children against the potentially deadly diseases with any minor side effects that might happen to your child is a small price to pay for his or her health and well being. We are fortunate to live in an age where medical technology exists to protect us from diseases that once killed and crippled many, many, of us. Though the chance that a child today is very small that he or she can contract the polio or meningitis virus - it's enough of a risk for my children to be better safe than sorry!"

"I would never want to return to the days when thousands of children were crippled or killed by diseases such as polio or diphtheria. the minute risk of a child having an adverse reaction to an immunization is far outweighed by the benefits of universal immunization programs."

"I had to work so my husband took our daughter in for her first shots at two months. After her shots, he said he knew why I worked that day. It breaks your heart to have your baby cry like that. Needless to say, I get to bring her in for her 4 month immunizations next week. I do feel immunizations are very important though. I have an uncle who is crippled because out of 12 children, his polio shot was overlooked. Not getting immunizations can be tragic."

"I think immunizations are vital and necessary for the well-being of our children. The benefit outweighs the risk by far."

"I think the immunizations are critical to the health and well-being of our children. Fortunately, many of us `young' parents haven't had to deal with these diseases. We should be asking our parents and grandparents who had to deal with these diseases whether our immunization shots are worth it."

"I am all for them. Please read the newspaper! Recently there has been an alarming increase in the number of children contracting childhood diseases. Had they been immunized, they wouldn't have gotten them. There is a much smaller chance of complications from immunizations than from the actual disease itself. I also think that it is in the adults' best interest to keep up with his/her own booster shots."

"I have begun to research folk, cultural and herbal medicines for healthy, natural options. In the case of immunizations, I feel it's too risky not to have them done. However, the uses of antibiotics, which also destroy `good' and necessary bacteria, are too widespread and indiscriminate. There are lots of choices for health maintenance and prevention in our natural world!"

"I am an RN, and while I sometimes disagree with the lack of information given to parents about mild and severe side effects of vaccination, I think it's important to have children immunized. The bad things that can happen from getting the illness (rather than the vaccine) are severe (and not as well known among today's parents). These illnesses also have not been wiped out, and with the recent trend away from vaccination, the chances of getting these diseases goes up. I know several children and adults who've been very ill or died from the very diseases we vaccinate against. I think it's always a good policy for parent's to ask their pediatrician questions and learn about options, but in this case my 2 children, husband and I are all fully vaccinated."

"I had a hard time deciding about what to do about immunizations. I decided the pro's very much out weigh the con's and I know the occasional bad reaction is hard to accept but I at least felt I had done something to keep her from the terrible diseases she could have incurred had I not at least tried immunizations. I also though about how guilty I'd feel if she got mumps, polio, small pox, etc. These are painful diseases and I would have felt I should have tried, but it would be too late."

"Get them for your children! The risk of any severe side effects is very slight - the horror stories exaggerate them. The worst aspect of not getting immunizations is that the disease so easily prevented are on the rise, just because so many children are not immunized - and the diseases can and do lead to severe debilitation (like the crippling of polio) and even death! Immunizations should not be an option - they should be required, since they so effectively protect our public health."

"I work as a social worker in a hospital, so my view may be somewhat stilted, but I would do anything I could to prevent my daughter from going through a serious illness."

"My son spent his eighth month in the hospital (2 1/2 weeks in a coma), up until then he was very happy and healthy - he had just learned to crawl and pull himself up on furniture. That was 2 1/2 years ago. He started back at less than a newborn, and still can't roll over, sit, stand, walk or talk. What happened? He got hemophilus influenza type B (HIB), which developed into meningitis. At that time the vaccine wasn't available until 18 months old. It is now given at the same time as the DPT - at 2, 4 & 6 months, with a booster at 15 or 18 months. The risks of immunizations are far less than the diseases themselves (talk to your pediatrician about the risks). Please don't risk a lifetime of looking back and saying, `If only we had our baby immunized.'"

"I decided not to immunize my 12 1/2 month old daughter, feeling that immunizations have multiple dangerous side-effects (which are severely under-publicized) and because her immune system was too vulnerable for a massive attack from multiple immunizations (there has been very little research done on the effects on the immature immune system after the massive immunizations which are favored in our society). I also felt the diseases for which we immunize are either not sufficiently threatening to risk an immunization or almost eradicated. I have since changed my mind about some of the immunizations (polio, tetanus and diphtheria, for example) because I know we will later travel in 3rd world countries. I am, however, waiting until she is 18 months before I start!"

"Even though it is painful to see your baby or child hurt by the shots, the benefits are great! Medicine can now prevent so many childhood illnesses (some that were once fatal). Some day soon they will be able to prevent diseases like cancer with an immunization. I pray for that day! My first son died from a brain tumor at age 7."

"I feel they are important even though I cried when my 2 month old got his shots, I'd rather have a little pain and fever than the sicknesses that they can get."

"To me, immunizations are very important. There might be a slight risk involved particularly with the pertussis portion of the DPT, however there is a much greater risk of the child actually dying if he were to contact whooping cough. Also - without immunizations, your child can't participate in play groups, pre-school and regular school."

"Parents who do not immunize their children are endangering them and other children - Medical science has come a long way - don't be foolish and take unnecessary risks."

"The chance of contracting the devastating effects of polio, whooping cough, etc., far outweigh the risk of having a negative reaction. But I have always carefully monitored my children's reactions to their immunizations. Everyone should know that congress passed the Vaccine Injury Compensation Act so that those few children who do have a reaction have the extra costs borne by the government - by all of us who benefit. If your child does have a negative reaction, be sure and tell your physician and if you need assistance please contact an advocacy organization for children with disabilities."

"This is definitely one of the hardest issues my husband and I had to face. Before doing anything, I advise you to read as much as you can, both pro's and con's. Mothering magazine has a booklet you can purchase with a variety of opinions written by mothers and pediatricians. Don't feel that just because everyone else is doing it, that you should too. From the research we've done, it shows that in many cases, around 50% of those people that come down with the diseases were indeed immunized against it. We decided that 50/50 odds just weren't good enough to alter our sons own immunities unnaturally, so we've decided against it; as have many other parents we know. If you live in a clean, sanitary environment and eat well, your body should be able to fight off such illnesses without interference, and in turn, build up its own strong immunities naturally."

"The risks are far greater by not having the shots. My only complaint is they're required by state law but insurance does not cover them. It gets very expensive."

"It is very scary and upsetting to see your little one cry. I try to keep positive thoughts while the shots are going on and speak gently to my child. I know that a little discomfort now - will have great pay-offs later. I always make sure the doctor explains anything and everything to me about the immunizations so I can have a better understanding of what is going on."

"I believe immunizations are important, not only for the health of your child, but for all those he or she comes in contact with."

"I feel they are a necessary evil. I hate the thought of taking my precious daughter in for shots - and the long night that follows. (It's also stressful on my husband and I to hear her crying from being uncomfortable.) Tylenol and time help - and I would rather have a few tears now than have her seriously ill or dying from some horrible disease."

"I never think twice about immunizations. I have 4 children and have run the gamut from terrible reactions in my oldest to no reactions. but I'll take a week of `up every night' with a miserable baby to having a child permanently damaged by the disease. My dad was a young doctor before polio vaccine was invented. He has seen polio. Listening to him talk just makes me more sure that we are blessed with the gift of immunizations. We can't be complacent just because we've never seen the horror of these diseases."

"Our children don't receive the pertussis part of the DTP shot because our oldest child has epilepsy, which is one contra indication for pertussis vaccination. Parents need to read & educate themselves and then make their own informed decision. Your doctor cannot guarantee that the DPT will not hurt your child. Consider that!"

"I am adamantly opposed to them. For one thing, they aren't all that effective. For another, there are risks associated with injecting disease into the muscle of a healthy body. Additionally, many of the diseases we now immunize against are non-existent, have diminished for reasons (such as improved hygiene & sanitation) other than the immunization's that have been developed, or can be easily treated. For further reading, try `HOW TO RAISE HEALTHY KIDS IN SPITE OF YOUR DOCTOR,' by Dr. Robert Mendelsohn."

"I'm a full-time working mom and I find it impossible to get to the free county shot facility in our area. My 5 year old son just received his shots and that to the tune of $78.50! Our insurance company won't cover this cost, but the company will let us take time off to take the kids for shots. Great, but if it takes 1/2 a day, an hourly paid employee loses at least that in wages...you can't win. the mass shot theory is nice but all those screaming kids in one place only feeds the fear."

"After having had our 2 month old son immunized with the DPT vaccine, my husband and I have looked into this issue extensively. the pertussis vaccine is very controversial among pediatricians because of possible side effects. Also, immunizations have been linked to SIDS, brain damage, seizures, etc. We have opted to not have our baby get the DPT vaccine. We concluded that the risks of side effects is nearly as great as the risk of disease. I suggest you do research on the issue of immunizations. Don't just accept it as standard practice that is harmless to your baby."

"I am very opposed to mandatory immunizations. As with all medical treatments, I feel we parents, as the consumer, should read up on the pro's and con's and make our own decisions. Some excellent books to start with would be: "DPT: A SHOT IN THE DARK," by Coulter & Fisher and also "CONFESSIONS OF A MEDICAL HERETIC," (I'm can't remember the author's name)."

"My daughter is 9 1/2 months old. When she was 2 months old I took her in for her immunizations. I was afraid to have her get them after reading all the warnings of what could or might happen. I didn't know there was a rare chance that the child could get the disease they were being immunized for. I still worry, and will be glad when the days of immunizing are over for my daughter. I have talked to other people who feel the same way I do. They are afraid of the shots too."

"If you should ever question whether or not to immunize your child, think back 50, 100 or 200 years to what you've read about the spread of diseases and the `short' life expectancy then. Immunizations were developed and started to save lives. If we all decide to become exceptions to this rule, the only rule will be new epidemics of old diseases. Please immunize your children."

"I am concerned that our parental and constitutional rights are being eroded on this issue. There is plenty of convincing evidence that so-called `immunizations' often fail to actually provide immunity and they may even be causing long-term health problems. (I feel strongly that we as parents need to do what we think is best for our children's health without coercion by the state.) Besides, if those shots are so great and protective, why does everyone see my un-vaccinated child as a threat? Could all this mass `immunization' in the last few decades have anything to do with a dramatic increase in aut-immune disease, as well as more insidious problems such as allergies, arthritis, etc.? We are never informed when we subject ourselves and our children to vaccines that no long term study of these kinds of health effects has ever been done. We're all part of a big experiment!"

"I can not emphasize enough the importance of immunizations. If you need some perspective, read about 3rd world countries where tens of thousands of people die each year from diseases for which there are no immunizations or ask someone who was alive before immunizations were available. Your child can get a vaccine and face a 2 day fever, or else run the risk of permanent disability or death. Have you ever seen a child with meningitis or diphtheria. It is not pleasant and should not be taken lightly. The reason you rarely hear about polio, etc., these days is because of vaccines. It's true your child may never catch these diseases even if not immunized, but why take the risk? You probably don't think twice about strapping him/her into a car seat to go grocery shopping, yet the odds of a fatal car accident are much higher than the odds of a serious reaction to an immunization. I personally am anxiously awaiting the soon-to-be announced chicken pox vaccine and I'm glad any future children I have can be immunized against H-flu at 2 months rather than waiting to 15 months when the most vulnerable months are past. Don't forget too that most states require proof of immunizations for entry into school. It's a matter of benefit vs. risk as all life is. In this case it's huge benefit, minuscule risk!"

"Most of the immunizations are a must in order for kids to get into school so there isn't much choice. I have chosen to give my child (1 year old) all immunizations available at this age. I do consult with my son's pediatrician and get her opinion (she too is a mom) on whether or not to give the immunization. I trust her as a doctor and mom. All shots have turned out well this far."

"We have chosen not to vaccinate both of our children (3 years and 5 months). My husband was nervous about the decision until I provided him with two excellent resources: THE IMMUNIZATION DECISION, by Randall Neustaeder, and VACCINATION & IMMUNIZATION: DANGERS, DELUSIONS AND ALTERNATIVES, by Lean Chaitaw. Immunizations should be viewed as only one aspect to health decisions to be made for your children, but because they're scheduled to begin as early as 8 weeks, the choice is a critical one. The majority of our health decisions involve alternative methods including homeopathy, accupressure, herbs and a health enhancing diet that includes purified water. My advice is that no matter what your decision is, educate yourself. Don't let it become an emotional issue or don't wait until something happens to make the choice that is right for you."

"I understand the uncertainty in all new parents minds on whether the DPT shots are really needed for their baby. I had the same uncertainty, so I started reading any materials I could get my hands on. Every article said the same thing that the DPT shots could cause high fevers of 105 degrees, high pitch crying for 3 hours or more, convulsions or brain damage. So my husband and I decided that a discussion with our son's doctor was in order, even though he would be getting his shots and oral polio from the county health department. He gave us a pamphlet on immunization review and told us the averages involved with getting your child immunized. He also pointed out what could happen if our son came down with diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus or polio. Then he left it up to us. Now that our son has had his DPT shots and his oral polio, we know now that we made the right decision in having him get his shots. He had a slight fever the first two shots but giving him Tylenol took care of the fever."

"I think they are a very needed precaution to ensure our children's health and safety. The benefits to our children and society far outweigh and risks. Years ago, before immunization was available or possible, many children died or became handicapped. Why take any chances of an epidemic or worse. There are risks, but they are so minimal that in good conscience, I've felt that with my own child, it was worth doing."

"When my mother was small, many people died because they were not lucky enough to have the shots we have today. Now everyone (almost) gets shots so no one really gets those deadly diseases. But we have to remember the reason we're not getting them any more. Because now we have immunizations. The more people who rebel and don't get the shots, the more likely it will be that those diseases will come back! Shots save lives!"

"I was so surprised to see some one questioning the subject of immunizations. It encourages others of us who sometimes feel all alone. We have chosen not to immunize after much research (most available at public libraries though it is seldom given public attention). As parents we need to make educated decisions. Instead of following anyone's advice, including that of a doctor. We need to check out all possibilities and any alternatives and decide what's best for us and our children. We read several good books to get the other side of the story. Personally, we found immunizations to be unnecessary and, in fact, dangerous. And yes, we have taken a great deal of flack about our decision so you need to know your stuff. As a result our children have been very healthy - no ear infections, colds, etc. And beware that the normal things said to be associated with immunizations are in fact - not normal - rather the body's way of trying to ward off some foreign bodies from inoculations that have been put into tiny, helpless bloodstreams. Recently, California conducted a study showing SIDS to be related to immunizations. Please be informed - know the facts. Information is available, however don't expect to get it from your pediatrician. Parents need to question things and dig up the truth!"

"Don't skip them - the diseases they protect against are worse than the slim chances of reaction to the immunizations. Remember the devastating diphtheria epidemics of the 1910-20's. Whole families of children died."

"Once a nurse was asked how she could bring herself to give babies shots when it was so apparent that it caused a lot of pain. She responded that it was difficult to do each time until she had to take care of some babies that were so ill from not having the shots. She'd rather cause them to cry for a little while with the shots than to see them so sick that they couldn't cry."

"Although it's scary to deal with the fever and minor illness that often occur with routine immunizations - try to think how it must have felt to have to deal with the serious illness that these immunizations have all but eradicated. I feel that although there are risks associated with these immunizations, the benefit far out weigh them."

"What's to question? Sure there are a few possible side effects. We've all heard the terrible stories. Just say your prayers. After all, I'd rather my children experience a few hours of discomfort from the shot than a life time of dealing with one of these diseases, or worse yet, dying!"

"There was an article a while back in the Minneapolis Star Tribune written by a father whose daughter became deathly ill because on of her peers hadn't had their immunizations. Even though the daughter had had her shots, she was still vulnerable because nothing is 100% This situation made me angry. I took the minimal risk and immunized my children and it bothers me that another parents' over-concern or lack of concern could still hurt my child. I think immunizations should be mandatory, the risk is so minimal, especially compared with the epidemics of the past."

"I think they are very important for helping prevent certain diseases. They are given for diseases a person has a high chance of getting in the future. They prevent your child from getting a potentially life threatening disease and prevent the disease from spreading to others (epidemic). It is hard to see your child being given the shots (mine is 18 months old), but I think it is worth it in the long run. It is important thought, to be cautious in case your child has the potential for adverse reactions to the vaccines."

"I understand that they are very important. the shots are far less painful than the disease they prevent would be if your child became inflicted. Still, I feel awful when my baby gets his shots. I feel like I'm responsible for the pain, as though I'm letting someone (the doctor) hurt him. I feel that he loses trust in me. But, I can't remember when I was immunized. He won't either."

"I think they are a necessary evil. The DPT shot causes fever, irritability and a sore leg in my daughter that a dose of Tylenol cannot completely cure. However, she is so precious to me that I couldn't imagine losing her to an illness these immunizations prevent."

( What advice would you most like to give about experiencing life with a new baby?"
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Questions and Answers Index.