Why vaccinate my children?

why vaccinate my children

Oooh vaccinations. It’s one of those things that maybe should be categorized with religion and politics- don’t discuss it! However, I already break the rules on discussing religion, so why not this too?

I want nothing more for this post to be informative and full of grace- no condemnation or guilt. I just want to explain my point of view on things.

Our firstborn was born with biliary atresia, so his vaccines got pushed way back. There were much more important issues to deal with, like biopsies and surgeries. But I had already decided- even before he was born- that I would spread out his vaccines instead of the recommended schedule.

But let me backtrack. I think vaccines are a wonderful thing. Seriously, can you imagine a world where death by polio and measles are a common occurrence? Neither can I. And I’m so, so thankful that we live in a time where this is almost a non-issue for us.

The herd immunity theoretically works- if most people vaccinate, then a child probably won’t get a certain disease even if he or she is not vaccinated. But Remember the measles outbreak in Texas a few months ago? A church member returning from a trip to Indonesia brought the disease to mostly-unvaccinated congregation and 21 people contracted the virus. So if the “herd” you hang out with is not vaccinated, the theory doesn’t work.

With the number of people entering this country on a daily basis- which I am so thankful for, but they may or may not be vaccinated- I want to protect my children in the best way possible. We live within 4 miles of the world’s largest medical center and sick people come here each day for treatment. Will vaccines 100% protect them? Absolutley not- God is sovereign and he gives us the free will to make decisions based on prayer and the information that we have.

Yes, vaccinations include substances that probably aren’t ideal to be introduced into a tiny baby’s body. BUT -if that sweet baby gets the actual disease, that tiny bit of medication will seem like nothing.

So, I mentioned that I do our vaccines on a delay-basis. For example- I never give the baby more than two shots in one appointment. The four-month infant visit usually includes four shots- which seems a whole lot for a little one’s body. So I do two. Then, a month later, I come back and have the nurse administer the other two. That way, we aren’t usually behind schedule for the next appointment but can still spread them out. It does involve extra visits to the pediatrician’s office, but it’s an inconvenience I’m more than happy to endure.

As for the MMR (measels/mumps/rubella) vaccination which normally takes place at 12 months, I usually delay that shot until 18-24 months. It’s a live vaccine, as is the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine, and I prefer to not give two live vaccines at the same time.

So that’s what we do. I know that each person makes his or own decisions, and I’d love to start a healthy conversation in the comments. Any unfriendly or condescending comments will be deleted. 😉

So, do you vaccinate your kids? Do you follow the recommended schedule or delay the shots?

About Kelli Hays

Kelli Hays is a wife, mother, writer, and friend. She has been blogging since 2008 and loves sharing inspiration for the everyday woman!

Comments

  1. Amanda Wherry says:

    Love this post! We follow the recommended plan. I do wish that I would have thought about the live vaccines tho and I maybe would have spread those out as yall do. It is also so hard to see these sweet babies get so many shots at one time… You’re such a smart woman and a good mommy! I admire you! ❤️❤️❤️ See y’all at Christmas!!?

  2. Kelli~~~
    I’m so overwhelmed with all this new information…
    I don’t have a problem with vaccinations and today E got five shots (I did not spread them apart) :(
    I didn’t think too much into it until like last minute when someone suggested I spread it apart. I might have to for the next appts. Thanks for writing this post! 😀

  3. I’m a big fan of vaccines. You know before vaccines, there were some scary complications from the very illnesses that have been almost eradicated. We think of measles as being quite harmless, but the pregnant mommies who miscarried because they contracted measles did not think they were harmless, nor do the children who went blind because of it. I’m glad I live in a country where we can choose what we put in our children’s bodies, but the most frustrating thing for me is that those who are anti-vax always assume that we are not informed, or else surely we would choose differently. I think this is an area where thinking, prayerful Christians can reach different conclusions. I love my friends who don’t vaccinate, even though I strongly disagree with them on this one area.

  4. Great post! I’m a nurse so obviously I believe in vaccinations and I administer them on a daily basis. The Mister and I have recently had this discuss and have been trying to decide how we would approach this subject in our own family. We have decided to go the same route that you are following, 2 shots at a time and then back for the 2 others a month later. I think this will just be easier on that little body, but I see the sad fall out of non vaccinated children often and know that isn’t the route we wanted to go. The Pertussis outbreak in Texas recently is terrible. Very scary to both the child and patient that are ill. Thanks for sharing and doing it so well.

    • Thanks Lani! It’s just the route we felt most comfortable with and everything has gone smoothly with all our kiddos!

  5. Vaccines are such a force of good! I Love, love, love that we, as a nation, no longer dread summer because of polio outbreaks! I cannot understand the fear mongering that goes on with some people about fictional issues when the very real diseases can be prevented by the vaccines. Good for you for stepping out to tell everyone!

  6. I always worry about lots of vaccines at one time, too. Do you get much resistance from the doctor to come back 2 weeks or 1 month later for the others?

  7. Andie Burks says:

    My pediatrician is a God send!!! He will NOT give Karson more than 3 single shots at a time or more than one combination shot at a time. We don’t have the choice to not vaccinate our.little because with jonathan.being over seas he may bring home all kinds off harmful things. Our base doctor even told us that when jonathan comes home we need to stay away from any unvaccinated children for 6-8 weeks. If my husband where to give a baby something because they were not.vaccinated he would forever be sad. Thank you kelli for this awesome post!!!

  8. Great delivery. Great arguments. Keep up the
    amazing effort.

  9. I am just reading this, a few years late 😉 We do not vax, after countless hours of research, time, conversations with doctors, friends who have also researched, and on and on. I have to say, although I am a non-vax parent, I am not an anti-vax parent. I know it is a battle for each parent to decide which is best for their families, and it is not a decision that is taken lightly! These are our children’s lives! We love them more than anything. Death from disease is tragic, and death from vaccine injury is tragic. Neither one is more tragic than the other. Our decision came with prayer, and after a personal incident we feel our daughter was protected by it. We do other things to keep her immune system strong! Extended breastfeeding, healthy diets, and vitamins, just to name a few. I have friends who vaccinate on schedule, friends who (like you) delay or spread out, and friends who do not vaccinate. I have friends who used to vaccinate but watched their children regress, or have seizures, or develop issues following their vaccines and choose not to vaccinate any more. It is so personal, and it is sad to me that it’s even a debate! Don’t we all do things to keep our children safe? I don’t debate diets, or electronics time, or breastfeeding with my friends. I trust that they all love their children as much as I love my own and make decisions that they think will keep them safest, and that they are most comfortable with. Thank you for writing this:)

  10. Good post! I love the neutrality of it and lack of “one sidedness”. I don’t have kids yet but this is a topic that I have noticed gets a lot of aggression when it gets brought up. People are made to feel like they have to “pick a side”. My mother vaccinated all of her kids and she spread them out as well. I know this is what I am going to want to do when the time comes.

  11. Cyndi Eason says:

    I did vaccinate my kids, its been a while now though. I have grand kids (2 girls), and my daughter didn’t plan on vaccinating when the first was born. I just suggested while informing herself about the dangers of the vaccine (that was her point), she also needed to inform herself about the dangers of the diseases, otherwise she wasn’t making a fully informed decision. I suppose as I asked her to, because both girls are vaccinated.
    When my kids were little there was no vaccine for chicken pox, you just suffered through it. And my oldest daughter, the one with the girls, had a reaction to the d-tap, and her doctor cut the dose in half after that. I guess that worked fine since she’s never had a problem.
    I work at a Thoroughbred breeding farm now, in equine healthcare, and so I’ve been vaccinating babies for years now. Horses. We have 2 important vaccinations which are both modified live vaccines, and I never give them together, and I stagger all vaccines so they get 2 shots each session. Just my preference, because the recommended schedule has them getting everything at once. So I guess I’m right there with you on your program. Living babies, no matter the species, don’t need to get slammed with everything at once in order to have proper immunity. Good choices!

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