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Dear Doctor, are my kids in danger?

I have a friend with four kids who doesn’t immunize them. Both my kids are up-to-date on their immunizations but, while I don’t mind that my friend doesn’t immunize, I wonder if my kids are in danger by being around her kids. Likewise, we have a mutual playgroup where other children may not be immunized. More than anything, I just want to make sure my kids are healthy and safe.

- Concerned in Caldwell

 

Dear Doctor, where should I get immunization info?

I just gave birth to my first child and I’m stumped about immunizations. In the mothers group I’m a part of, it seems like every mom has a different opinion about what’s best for my child based upon what they decided was best for their child. I’ve visited a number of blogs online, but it’s hard to tell what information is reliable. Even at home, my mother-in-law says one thing and my sister says something totally different. All this advice is making my head spin. I just wanna know where to go for the most reliable immunization information that’s right for my child.

- No Shortage of Advice in Ammon

Dear Doctor, aren't those diseases already eradicated?

I’m a mother of two and I guess I’d describe myself as ‘cautious’ when it comes to immunizations. Some of the diseases that the shots are meant to prevent, like whooping cough or Hepatitis, make sense to me because we see them in the news. But when was the last time you heard of someone getting polio or rubella? It just seems like some of the shots are unnecessary, especially if those diseases aren’t really around anymore. Can we ever look forward to a time where we have fewer, rather than more shots?

 - Tired of Shots in Twin Falls

 

Dear Doctor, do flu shots even work?

I’m generally on board with all the immunizations recommended by my kids’ pediatrician. That being said, I feel a little apathetic about getting them a flu shot. From what I’ve heard, it doesn’t even protect against most of the common flu strains and I’ve even had some friends who say their kids came down with flu-like symp­toms after having the shot! I want to do what’s right for my kids, obviously, but if that means dragging them into the doctor for another shot that may not even work, I’d rather opt out.

- Feeling Stubborn in Sandpoint

Dear Doctor, is there room for a little flexibility?

Maybe I’m an overprotective mother but I’ve already gone through four different pediatricians in the search for one I feel comfortable with. My problem is that many pediatricians seem to have an “it’s my way or the highway” approach. I’m not anti-immunization but I do think a parent should be active in deciding things for their child, particularly when it comes to the immunization schedule. What’s so wrong about wanting to space the shots out a little more? And what’s so wrong about searching for a pediatrician that will listen to my concerns and offer up a little flexibility?

- Willing to Compromise in Coeur d’Alene

Dear Doctor, what's the big deal about immunizations anyway?

I don’t know if I’m taking it too lightly, but I guess I don’t see what the big deal is with immunizations. In my family, it seems like it was always treated like a personal choice, like deciding whether or not to have your baby boy circumcised or getting your baby girl’s ears pierced. I imagine a lot of people don’t get their kids shots while some others do. Does there really need to be a big argument about it every time it gets brought up?

- Wondering What the Fuss is About in Weiser