Immunizing Your Child: Your Choice

It’s a controversial topic, whether or not to vaccine your child. While some parents vaccinate their children without hesitation others prefer doing a little research before making that decision. Regardless, immunizing your child is an important decision that you will need to make before your child is born because most babies (considering the health and if they are full-term or preemie) will receive an initial Hepatitis vaccine at the hospital unless you choose not to.

baby immunizationBecause my daughter was premature and both of my kids spent their first few days in the NICU, both of their vaccines were delayed. Your doctor may choose to delay vaccines based on certain medical conditions or family history of allergies to some of the ingredients contained in certain vaccines. Also, at first I let my daughter get elective vaccines such as the flu shot because she was born early and her immune system wasn’t as strong; however she had been hospitalized with the flu just months after receiving the shot. Although it was a different strand of the virus from the one in the injection she received, after this I chose not to have either of my children receive elective vaccines.

These are solely my opinion and every parent feels a certain way when it comes to what they feel is best for their child. If you have concerns about immunizing your child, discuss them with your pediatrician. They can help you make an informed decision.

I recently conducted a survey on the matter to find out how other parents chose when it came to immunizations. A poll asking over 100 parents concluded these results:

76% said they chose to vaccinate their kids on schedule.
13% said they did not vaccine their children.
11%  said they did vaccine but delayed or spaced them out over time

How States Weigh In On Vaccine Requirements for School

The laws regarding vaccine requirements prior to starting school vary from state to state, however you do have a choice. For some parents, the choice in immunizations is determined based on religious views that are opposed to immunizing. Others chose not to vaccine based on personal preference, moral, or other reason. All 50 states do allow the exemption of vaccines due to medical conditions. In terms of religious or philosophical reasons, this was how other states weighed in.

Mississippi and West Virginia are the only states that DO NOT allow exemption from vaccines based on religious beliefs. In all other states, you have the option not to vaccinate your child due to religious views.

The following 19 states will allow exemption from vaccines based on personal preference: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. Missouri allows exemption but only for daycare, preschool and nursery school.

The remainder of the states (any not listed above) do NOT allow exemption from vaccines primarily due to philosophical preferences.

Reference: School Immunization Exemption State Laws


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