There seems to be a lot in the news lately about whether to vaccinate one’s children.

The “herd immunity” concept sounds like a good idea, but it’s not for everyone.

When my children were born, I dutifully had them vaccinated. Then my second child had a life-threatening reaction to the pertussis vaccine. The doctors told me he could never get the booster shot for pertussis, or it would kill him. I was shocked.

I did some research and learned these shots can be dangerous or even kill for a small number of people. So when my daughter was born, I decided not to vaccinate her for pertussis. Many allergies run in our family, and I was afraid I would lose her.

I did not, however, expect others to vaccinate their children so mine wouldn’t catch pertussis. I taught my children the importance of hand washing and avoiding sick people. I eventually home schooled them.

Some people who have children who can’t be vaccinated because of health reasons seem to expect the rest of the world to get vaccinated to protect their kids. They are asking me to risk my child’s life so theirs can live.

Everyone feels their child has a right to live. In the end, though, it should be the parents’ decision, not the government’s.

Christine H. Gavitt


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