Jacqueline Knuth: Vaccinations protect more than the individual

By Jacqueline Knuth, early childhood education student

Ferris State University
The recent phenomenon of not vaccinating children has caused me great concern for the next generation and all current and future educators. I find it utterly amazing that parents cannot or refuse to see the dangers in not vaccinating while they are caught up on the tiny (still not proven) concerns that come with vaccinating.

As a future educator, I feel it is important to bring up the issue of children with weak immune systems being exposed to a child who is not vaccinated. Parents need to remember each child is different, so if the non-vaccinated child is not sick, it does not mean they are not carrying the deadly disease on them for the weak, vulnerable, vaccinated child to catch.

Consider the child who has a parent at home with a newborn who has not yet had the chance to get their vaccinations. Or what about the child recovering from an illness who has lost all defense and is starting over?

Your unvaccinated child can be a carrier of a deadly disease and you may not even know it. And please don’t forget about the educators who have the same risks of catching illness in the classroom as their students. Each child is different, yes, but please remember that as a parent you would not want your child to catch something from another child because they were allowed to go to school sick. The same goes for a child who was allowed to go to school unvaccinated, unknowingly carrying something terrible.

Please understand I am an advocate for young children and strive to be the voice they cannot yet be. Having a small child with no voice of their own to choose if they get the chicken pox or not, hurts my heart more than you know. It is time for parents to see the big picture. It is time for them to understand vaccines are here to help, not hurt.

Please, vaccinate your child, not for me, not for you, but for them. Give them the safest, happiest, healthiest life you can. Vaccines are just the start.

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