On Sunday, Randy Cohen, the syndicated “Ethicist” columnist, waded into the immunization fray with a column called “Kicked Out of the Play Group.” A mother had written in to say her play group for infants to 4-year-olds, had voted to boot a family who refused to immunize their kids. “Was that wrong?” she asked. Cohen’s answer: yes.
We’re not so sure. Cohen’s rationale was that the family in question was endangering their own children and other non-vaccinated kids, not members of the playgroup. But the latest CDC news on measles outbreaks includes 13 cases of babies under the age of 1 — i.e., too young to be vaccinated. And this playgroup included infants.
What do you think? Punch a button on the poll or click “comments” and weigh in. Want more info? Read on for more information about immunizations, including autism concerns.
Measles, whooping cough, polio — these are all preventable diseases when kids are immunized. When they’re not? These are big time, serious and highly contagious diseases. Need an example? A whooping cough outbreak at an El Sobrante Waldorf School recently sickened 17 children. The disease swept through the school.
We’ve heard from families who think this is a parents’ rights issue, and others who see it as a public health concern. (For the medical viewpoint, check out the American Academy of Pediatrics site — click the vaccine safety link — and Sutter Health’s helpful, comprehensive guide to childhood vaccines.) Opponents of immunizations often point to lingering doubts about the possibility of a vaccine-autism connection, and they say they don’t want their kid injected with thimerosal, a mercury-related compound that hasn’t been used in routine childhood vaccines in years.
What do you think? Was the Ethicist wrong? Should families have booted the un-vaccinated kids? Click “comments” and tell us.