“Just because everybody’s doing it doesn’t make it right,” is a wise proverb we often hear. To be fair, just because everybody’s doing it doesn’t make it wrong either. However, when it comes to important decisions, our choice should not be concluded on what is the easiest or most popular, but what is deemed right and beneficial based on the evidence at hand.

When it comes to vaccinations, most people do not even know that there is a decision to be made. It is their understanding that vaccinations are mandatory, so they think there is nothing to decide on the matter. However, according to the Minnesota Statutes on Immunizations, there is not a single vaccine that a child must have to attend any level of education in our state, from the day care level all the way up to college.

What is mandatory is that it is reported whether or not a child receives the “required” vaccines, or whether the parents or guardians conscientiously object to their child receiving certain vaccinations or any at all.

Once we understand that we as parents have a decision to make, it is our responsibility to become informed on the subject so that we can make the best choice regarding the health of our children.

There are several factors to consider when looking into vaccinations. The first is to take a look at the particular disease that each vaccine is designed to protect against. What is the occurrence of the disease in our population today, if any? How is the disease contracted, and is your child truly at risk for succumbing to the disease? If the disease is a common childhood illness, such as chicken pox, would it be healthier for your child to go through the illness and acquire lifelong immunity, or to be vaccinated against it, possibly making him or her more susceptible as an adult when more severe complications can occur?

Once you have evaluated each disease, if there are any that you feel your child is at risk for, take a look at that particular vaccine and the risk factors involved in the vaccination. You should not only consider what the chances of an immediate reaction occurring are, but also what long-term effects the vaccine has on the development of your child’s immune system.

Whether we as parents choose to take on the responsibility of becoming informed and make an active decision or not, a decision will be made. The information is available, and the more you know on the subject, the more confident you will be that you are making the best decision regarding your child’s health.

For more information go to Links and click on VaccineDecision.info.