This is a long topic and it seems to have gotten many people riled up. lol. I spent 2 days sporadically reading this topic just so I could see what everyone had written. I don't have children, but I do have dogs and I did get them vaccinated when they were puppies. lol. And I am not a doctor, so if those two things make my opinion mean less to some people I don't care; it doesn't mean I am not informed about vaccinations.
What started as a flu vaccination topic ended up talking more about meningitis and measles and chicken pox and living past 100 years than the flu. Did anyone else realize that? LOL. I do not take the flu vaccination, although I probably should, and I have gotten the flu 3 times in my life - and literally, I wished for death. If the H1N1 is worse than the regular flu, then I should probably consider getting one because I do not want to feel that bad ever again in my life. It is miserable.
And I do have to defend Red Fraggle on a couple of things. She's right about vaccinations. Everything she posted and all of her research is correct. And although someone said she has a Ph.D., she has an M.D.[or whatever the UK's equivalent of that is...] When I get my Ph.D. in Business Management, although I'll have "Dr" in my name, I still won't be a medical doctor. So there is a difference. I know some medical doctors who are completely inept, and several surgeons who continually botch people's surgeries. I know some people with Ph.D's who can't spell to save their lives. So, in some ways, the degree someone holds doesn't necessarily mean that they are an expert or smarter than anyone else. And they are all human beings, and humans are apt to make mistakes at times.
Having said that, I have talked to several people about the relation of autism and vaccinations. I talked to Dr. Davis [or dean of nursing], a medical doctor, and several people with doctorates in Early Childhood Education, and one who has a Master's in Early Childhood Ed and who spent 20 years working with special needs children. They have all said the same things basically which is that although some parents believe vaccinations caused their children's autism, nothing has proven that. There's a spectrum of autism and some children are misdiagnosed and written off as autistic when they're not autistic. They said that some parents said their child exhibited signs around 2 years old after a set of shots, but that autism exhibits itself at that age anyway and nobody can say for sure that the vaccinations caused the autism. Just because B follows A does not mean that A caused B. So there's no way to say that vaccinations WILL cause your child to have autism. Or that they're "dangerous" to all children. Most of the time, the illness is much worse than anything the vaccination may do.
I was vaccinated as a child. So was my mother and my brother. Because of the vaccinations, we did not contract measles, mumps, etc., In the years since I was a child and had my vaccinations, our government and the doctors in America have greatly increased the number of vaccinations. When my mom was a kid, they put the polio vaccination on a sugar cube and you had to eat it. It wasn't like that when I had my shots 17 years later. They didn't have the chicken pox vaccination when I was a kid (or I didn't get it) but I got the chicken pox and it wasn't that big of a deal. From what I understand, chicken pox can be deadly in adults.
These days they do tend to give kids too many shots too soon. If a person doesn't agree with the vaccination schedule, they can always slow it down or not get certain shots, and they can also get a second opinion if that pediatrician is not respecting their decision to refrain from vaccination. It is the parent's decision whether or not to vaccinate their child, and that is not something that we should take away from them. Once the government starts forcing us to do anything they will force us to do other things. It's a slippery slope and we should retain the right to make decisions about our bodies and our children's bodies.
It's not necessarily child abuse if they do not vaccinate... And if the child gets sick then I would feel sorry for the child for being sick, but I would not feel sorry for the parent for having a sick child because that's a risk associated with not vaccinating your child. Children shouldn't be subjected to a miserably or deadly illness just because the parent is scared of pharmaceutical companies. I think that parents need to talk to their doctors, do research, and consider each child on an individual basis. Is it going to be more harmful or beneficial for THAT particular child to get a vaccination?
Everyone has to make that decision for themselves and then live with the consequences. This is one of those cases where you'd have to ask yourself, if your child did contract a deadly illness because they didn't have the vaccination and it was your decision, how much guilt would you feel if the child died?