What I recommend to my clients is to never choose to vaccinate or not because of what someone else thinks--whether it's friends or the medical profession. I strongly encourage thorough research about vaccinations, both the benefits and the risks.
I have found the National Vaccination Information Center website (www.nvic.org) as a great resource for learning about vaccinations.
- State vaccination requirements: http://www.nvic.org/vaccine-laws/state-vaccine-requirements.aspx
- Vaccination information and schedule brochure: http://www.nvic.org/CMSTemplates/NVIC/pdf/49-Doses-PosterB.pdf
Then make your decision based on what you think is best for your child(ren). If, after doing research you choose not to vaccinate, then don’t; and if you choose to vaccinate then do.
There are no set "rights" and "wrongs" in parenting. Parenting doesn't come with a manual and even if it did, it would be full of exceptions because each of our children is different (which to be honest, I didn't realize until I had my second). Their personalities are different and what their bodies can handle is different. What works for one may or may not work for another. We grow as parents as our children grow.
When I chose to no longer vaccinate my children, instead of completing the state exemption form (which I felt was worded as if I was agreeing that I was intentionally putting my children at risk), I modified a form published by the (www.vaclib.org/pdf/id.pdf) that specifically referenced Idaho Statute and supported my right to exempt my children. This site also lists information for other states. The form has been accepted by all schools I have given it to.
Parents make decisions based on what they believe is best for their children. That is their individual right. You make decisions based on what YOU believe is best for your children. That is your individual right. Just because you don’t believe the way someone else does, doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent; and just because someone doesn’t believe the way you do doesn’t mean they are. As long as you're making decisions based on what you believe is best for your child(ren), you are never wrong.
We all do the best we can in the moment with the information we have.