Refusing vaccinations, choosing selective vaccination schedules or delaying vaccinations can have adverse side effects in children. At least this is the school of thought for some families. Though many families, healthcare workers and medical professionals can overlook selective and delayed vaccination schedules the real problem comes with refusing vaccinations completely. For those parents who are considering the pros and cons of not vaccinating your children, here are some disadvantages to consider.
The health risks surrounding non-vaccinated children are much higher than those who are vaccinated. There may be several reasons that you choose to avoid vaccinations, such as risk of autism, but overall the risks of exposure to other illnesses are much greater. In 2012 this risk became clear when the country and world watched news reports of children dying due to a severe flu outbreak. The vast majority of the children that did succumb to this increased strength flu strain had not been vaccinated with the most recent flu shot. This changed many parents minds about the health risks they were exposing their children to when refusing vaccinations.
Misinformation Leading to Health Issues
As with any health issue, there is an abundance of information and misinformation. Unfortunately, when it comes to vaccinations there is more misinformation than information available. This misinformation leads to the refusal of vaccinations and ultimately to the misinformation leading to health issues which is a huge disadvantage. Misinformation leading to health issues can result in children being exposed to deadly illnesses that could cause long term side effects or death. Though education would be the best advantage against this particular disadvantage, the fact is the majority of education comes from medical professionals and some families are not as trusting of medicine as they were decades ago.
The vast majority of public and private schools require vaccinations for children prior to enrollment. Some school districts will allow for medical exemptions of vaccinations. The problem is these exemptions are medical in nature, meaning an allergy or some other medical excuse. The reasoning of “we are a non-vaccination family” is not considered a medical reason by many school districts. This is where a disadvantage to refusing vaccinations shows it’s true colors. By parents refusing to vaccinate their children on either a standard or delayed schedule, they may be hindering their children’s acceptance and enrollment into the education system. This can also be true of older students entering boarding schools or entering colleges that require immunizations.
If you are a family that enjoys vacations and you are planning a vacation abroad you will be faced with vaccination requirements. Depending on the area you plan to visit, there may be certain vaccination requirements or restrictions for travel. This is to prevent a non-vaccinated individual from being exposed to an illness and bringing that illness back and spreading it to others. If you choose not to vaccinate your child, then you will be faced with restrictions for travel and with various airlines. These restrictions may not seem like an issue at first, but they are spreading to United States parks and resorts that have foreign vacationers on a regular basis. Parks like Disney World and various resorts are considering taking this measure to ensure the safety of all park goers.