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Shot in the dark

The flu season is here again, and signs offering flu shots are popping up everywhere. It was less than a year ago that the news reported human deaths from swine flu or what became known as H1N1. The fear of this deadly disease tied with the shortage of H1N1 vaccines caused people to form long lines and wait several hours for a flu shot.But the flu shot is just one of many shots available to the public. Many parents are encouraged to immunize their children against other diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella at a young age. For some parents, the choice may seem easy. They choose to immunize because they feel it is the best way to protect their child from harmful diseases, while possibly helping to stop the spread of it to others. But then there are parents a bit more hesitant and skeptical about vaccines.This month’s Streetwise posed this question to four parents: “Do you feel that using vaccines are safe or harmful?”

Sylvia Hoffstetter
I’ve already had my kids completely immunized and didn’t have a problem with it. But I don’t normally get a flu shot. We don’t get the flu shot at our house so we normally don’t take the time to go get one. We probably should. It has nothing to do with fear, but we just don’t take the time to do it.

Andrea Matheny
Colorado Springs
I personally choose to immunize my child, but I respect the right of other parents to make their own decisions. The physicians give you the sheet that explains the symptoms and risks and then you, as the parent, make those decisions based on the information provided. There are risks in not doing it, too. The effectiveness of the vaccine depends on how many people do it.

Cydney Ryon
No, we do not do them (vaccines). The reason is because they definitely over vaccinate babies when they are very young. They (medical professionals) can screen children and their immune system. We do not do flu shots. They are worthless. They give out old strains of the flu. I don’t believe they build up our immunity from what’s coming. We don’t do it. We choose a different way. It’s definitely pushed on us, but it’s the parents’ choice.

Julie Simmons
I think just because of the unknown, certain vaccines can cause certain things like autism. But the doctors say it is OK. Even though I have those concerns, the “what ifs,” I’m still doing it (immunizing her 4-month old baby). I’m not sure about the flu shot.

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