By Sylvie Beljanski
Your children and grandchildren are back to school! For any parent, their health and safety is a priority.
VACCINATION IN THE WORLD: A HOT TOPIC FOR POLITICS
In the United States, no federal vaccination laws exist. Instead these laws are state regulated however all 50 states have laws requiring children to be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles and rubella in order to enter public schools, and in some cases, other institutions such as daycare centers. Medical, religious, or philosophical exemptions from vaccination requirements do exist but these vary from state to state. Due to compulsory education laws in all 50 states, if parents choose not to vaccinate their children and are not eligible for an exception, they may be required to provide home schooling for their child to fulfill educational requirements.
In Italy, the government plans to impose 12 mandatory vaccines.
In France, for 2018, the Minister of Health has decided to expand the list of mandatory vaccines for children under the age of two. The 3 currently mandatory vaccines are those against tetanus, diphtheria and poliomyelitis. In 2018, 8 new mandatory vaccines will be added to them: pneumococcus, meningococcus C, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae B, pertussis, measles, rubella and mumps. This compulsory vaccination is intended for all children under 2 years old, representing a total of 25 to 40 shots. Being afraid for your children is understandable as it is well-known that before the age of 18 months, the baby’s immune system is not yet fully developed. What are the risks associated with so many injections in terms of allergies, autoimmune diseases, etc.? Of course, the French Minister of Health did not mention it. If you decide not to vaccinate your children, the government has convincing arguments: resisting parents who do not vaccinate their children risk up to 6 months in prison and a €3,750 fine as mentioned in article L3116-4 of the French Public Health Code.
Australia has already found another way to "motivate" parents to vaccinate their offspring, by playing the financial incentive card. The Australian government offers parents $129 for each child who receives the recommended vaccine package between the ages of 18 and 24 months, with payment being repeated if the same conditions are met between the age of four and five years old.
Immunization is a subject that evokes very strong opinions and usually stirs up heated debate as to its efficacy, safety, and reliability.
THE MAIN QUESTIONS PARENTS HAVE TO ANSWER ARE WHETHER TO IMMUNIZE OR NOT, AND IF SO, WHEN AND WHICH VACCINES?
The basic idea behind immunization is to produce a state of immunity to these childhood infectious diseases through the deliberate, artificial stimulation of the body's defenses against each disease. Ideally, this is done without causing any symptoms or signs of illness. In reality, no immunizing biological agent is completely safe, and it may produce side effects.
According to Eric S. Jones, ND,1 it is important that healthcare professionals assesses each individual child and each individual vaccine to provide a framework to the parents from which they can make their educated decision regarding immunization. Several criteria should be evaluated before a decision is made:
• What is the risk or probability of the child getting the disease?
• What is the child's health history and present health status?
• What are the health consequences of the natural infection if contracted?
• How safe is the vaccine that is available?
• Is the immunity provided by the vaccine solid and long-lasting?
• Will the vaccine stimulate the appropriate parts of the immune system—is the route of vaccine administration compatible with the route of natural infection?
• Is there a way to protect the child from possible side effects of vaccine administration?
• Are there alternatives to immunization, and if so, are they safe and effective?