Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Vaccinations in Minnesota

I never really gave child vaccinations much thought until I had my own children, nor did I give any thought about the possible harm that multiple shots could bring to my child. I did some reading up on childhood vaccinations and found that there are serious side affects that can result from allergic reactions. Thankfully, my children did not see any of these effects.

In Minnesota, there are numerous shots that are required in order for your children to attend school. Thankfully, Minnesota is one of the few states that allows parents to opt out of shots for two reasons:
  1. It goes against parental religious beliefs

  2. A parent does not personally believe in giving the child the shot

Most states give the parents no option. In fact, on the national news a few nights ago, there was a story about a town in Maryland that sent out notices to 2300 parents warning them that if they did not bring down their children to the county courthouse for vaccinations by a certain date, then the parents would be sent to jail. Are you kidding me? Threatening jail time over a shot! What has our country become that parents no longer have parental rights in deciding what is right for our children?

One shot that I have a hard time believing in is the relatively newer Chickenpox shot. I am of the belief that it is good for our kids to get sick. What good is an immune system if you don't give it the natural chance to build up resistance to disease? Yes, I understand that it is mostly a convenience thing and keeps kids from weeks out of school. But chickenpox is almost a right of passage for kids...I still have a small scar on my forehead. Currently only one shot is needed, but starting in 2008, a second Chickenpox shot will be required in Minnesota for kids entering kindergarten or the 7th grade. I think I will be opting out of that one, siting " conciencioulsy opposed" to it.

Now don't get me wrong, some shots are great and have erradicated childhood diseases that affected thousands...like polio, but as medical science knowledge increases and new cures are found, more and more immunizations will be required for our children. My question is, when does the need to be disease free actually begin to hurt our bodies? Another problem I have is the government telling me as a parent how I need to raise my kids. Just my opinion.

If you have children and are planning on moving to Minnesota, below is a list of immunization shcedules you might want to reference:

Minnesota Immunization Schedule for Babies

Minnesota Immunization Schedule for Kids

Minnesota Immunization Schedule for Teens

If you would like to read more about Minnesota's Law and history on childhood vaccinations, view this pdf.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jennifer - I've enjoyed following your blog.

Another fear of vaccinations is yes, they could do harm? Before Ihad my children (5 months and 2.5 yrs old) I never though getting shots was anything more than an annoyance...I have a wonderful doctor whom I've talked through risks with and have definitely been made feel more comfortable - as she agrees that some are more beneficial than others, based on what she's seen in practice over the last almost 20 yrs.

Also, an interesting book I'm waiting to receive is the new Dr. Sears vaccine book...talks much about the current research and a potential modified vaccination schedule. The best we can do as parents is be informed, even if we choose to go the 'normal' route - though I am grateful we live in a state that allows us the choice in how we raise our children!
-jamilee

Jennifer Kirby said...

Jamilee - education on the subject is the key. Some parents don't bother learning about the severe side effects, and some don't even know they have a choice in Minnesota. I am thankful we have the choice to opt out for a reason other than religious beliefs. While most vaccinations do benefit the child, my major problem with the whole system is that it is "required" by the government.

Thanks for reading my blog! It's great to know I have readers!

Stapeliad said...

Jennifer...just have to comment here...I have a 2 year old and I stopped vaccinations after the first year. Had I been able to, I would never have had her vaccinated but NY is one of the hardest states to get an exemption in. I had to pay a lawyer. thankfully my doctor doesnt have an issue with it, but I have heard of doctors reporting parents to child services over vaccinations.

I am beyond happy to read this post about the Minnesota law.

Jennifer Kirby said...

I know people like to think that vaccinations are wonderful for our kids, and true, some are. But I see a growing trend with the government to create even more required vaccinations for our kids. One example is the Cervical cancer vaccinations they are recommending girls recieve when they turn 9 years old. Don't be surprised when it happens, but in a few years, that one will be mandatory too. For what reason? If anyone has a good reason let me know... "prevention" isn't good enough for me.

Glad that you found the post beneficial. For the liberal state of Minnesota, I am surprised they allow such an option.