Did you get the polio vaccines for your kids? Assuming that your decision was well thought out (some people admit that they started out their parenting journey by unquestioningly getting all of the vaxes), what was the reasoning behind your decision?
I will be enrolling DD in preschool in the Fall. At the time of enrollment, she will be up-to-date on her DTaP and MMR vaccines. I am claiming a philosophical exemption to Hep B. Polio is the only one that I am debating. According to the CDC catch-up schedule, she will need 4 separate doses. So far, I haven't given her any, and I have the legal option of claiming a philosophical exemption.
On the one hand, polio is a disease that I take seriously. Paralysis is nothing to monkey around with, and neither is post-polio. And until now, I had just assumed that she'd be getting this vaccine.
On the other hand, I know that DD's chance of catching it, ending up in an iron lung, and spreading it is next to nil. First, she'd have to do something to get it via fecal-to-oral contact (In this country, it won't be in the water supply). Then another kid would have to do the same thing to get it from her. Then it would have to develop into the extremely rare kind. If I pressed the issue, did the math, and calculated down to the percentage point the chance of any of this happening, I doubt that I'd feel any urgency to get this vaccine.
(And by the way, am I the only one getting sick of the iron lung references from the pro-vax camp? Iron lungs sound horrific, but they are no longer in use. Nobody who gets polio in this day and age will end up with an iron lung. I suppose that for the fear-mongerers, a respiration tube would sound less dramatic. Sorry. I digress).
I'll confess that the utilitarian appeal (i.e. the herd-immunity/patriotic-duty argument) sounds somewhat compelling. Indeed, it is the one reason that Robert Sears argues in The Vaccine Book that kids should get the vax. (He admits that there's no quantifiable risk of your LO actually getting polio in the U.S.)
On the other hand, we haven't seen any known cases of wild polio in the U.S. for over 30 years, and I don't know if my "patriotic duty" is a compelling enough reason to inject more formaldehyde into her veins. Also, ethically speaking, I'm vegetarian and don't believe in killing animals for human use unless there is a direct, immediate, and life-threatening reason. I don't know if the polio vax, which contains monkey kidney cells, fits that definition.
All of that said, I can start her four doses any day now....
As selective vaxers, you obviously see a value in certain vaccines. Is the polio vaccine among them? Please help me sort through this decision! Thanks!
Edited by Turquesa - 3/28/11 at 1:44pm