Just Do It.
Although maybe not what you think.
Just vaccinate your damn kids already. I am so tired of having the same argument over and over with people who 'know someone whose friend had a niece who got autism from a vaccination'. Sure they did. But right now there is a young boy on the pediatrics floor with meningitis because his mother didn't believe in vaccinations. When questioned further about her beliefs, the mother admitted that she didn't have any concrete evidence or research to back up her decision, but a friend of hers suggested that vaccines were like 'putting poison into her child'. So she put it off. And refused it when her family doctor offered it. Repeatedly. She had been meaning to do the research herself, she said, but she just didn't have the time.
Hope you have the time to deal with a brain-injured child.
I have yet to come across anyone who can provide me with actual fact-based evidence to support a decision not to vaccinate. Particularly with the tried and true vaccinations-- MMR and DTaP-IPV. I am more likely to understand the hesitation to incorporate the 'new' vaccines with the (albeit misguided) reasoning that new vaccines have less safety data backing them up. But childhood vaccinations have changed the face of disease in the past 50 years. Smallpox has been eradicated. Polio has been eradicated in the western hemisphere, with the exception of some confined outbreaks in religious communities that are anti-vaccination. Diseases such as mumps, measles and whooping cough are so rare that when a child is admitted with one of them, medical trainees parade through the room at a constant pace to see how it presents.
And with the newer vaccines (Hib, Menjugate) even during my short medical career we've seen the impact. Meningitis used to be a much more common childhood killer. Since the advent of the Hib vaccine (hemophilus influenza B being one of the most common causes of meningitis in infants and young children) the incidence of meningitis has gone down dramatically (I think it's by about 90 percent, but don't quote me). Epiglottitis, an airway emergency that we're taught to be suspicious of in any child coming into the emergency room with stridor and drooling, is actually now more common in adults.
This topic infuriates me. If anyone out there in cyber-land can give me evidence (and by that I mean peer-reviewed trials, not the word of your next-door neighbour) that backs up the decision to avoid childhood vaccinations, I'd love to hear it. Because every time I see another kid come in suffering from a vaccine-preventable disease, I have to bite my tongue not to point out to the parents that their inaction was directly responsible for their child's suffering.
Judgemental? Sure. But YOU try treating a kid with meningitis who, up until admission, was a totally normal kid and is now deaf and brain-injured. And then find out that mom had opted out of vaccinating because she decided to take the word of her cousin's friend over her family doctor or pediatrician. And let's see how judgemental YOU become.