Three weeks ago, when Ella and I traveled to Georgia, I upheld an important annual fall tradition of mine - I got a flu shot. I am always very careful to get my flu shot because several years ago, when I was in college, I got the flu. The real flu. The I-feel-so-terrible-that-I want-to-die-because-this-is-worse-than-having-my-fingernails-pulled-off-by-tweezers flu. That was the first time since I was born that I've had to go to the hospital, and it was horrible, so ever since then, I have always made sure to get a flu shot.
This year is a little bit different, however, because in addition to getting my own shot, I am taking Ella to get her flu shot. Several people that I know have questioned whether this is wise, since there seems to be a recent trend opposing vaccinations for young children. I do not follow this trend, and I honestly don't really understand it. I do believe that parents should have the right to make this decision in accordance with what they believe to be right for their children. But I do not appreciate people who try to scare me out of getting my child vaccinated. There are decades of research to support vaccinating your children, and if you're going to play the odds, I'd much rather have my child take the chance of getting some unproven side effect of a vaccination than the well established (and much scarier) risk of them getting a terrible, and often life-threatening, disease. I realize that people don't like to trust the government, and being a conservative, I often agree with that viewpoint. However, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention studies give well-established, peer-reviewed information about the usefulness of such vaccines.
I'm not trying to convince people that they're wrong if they choose not to get shots for their children. But that's not a risk that I'm willing to take.
What are your thoughts?