The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 30, 2013

Vaccinations critical to children’s health


DANVILLE — We are all past the first decade of the beginning of the 21st century. There is absolutely no reason why we should be seeing resurgences of pertussis and other childhood diseases that are so preventable by vaccinations.

The only reason we are seeing such outbreaks is because selfish, negligent parents don’t want to be bothered with the responsibility of keeping their children’s shots up-to-date.

Then, doctors and lawmakers feel such astute care isn’t even necessary any longer, so they become lax in statewide requirements. How unfair to the child victims and those whom they infect.

When a handful of people thought the world would end on a certain day, I heard on CNN where someone was preparing for a smallpox outbreak. Someone should have told the man that smallpox has been eradicated from the planet. In order for an outbreak to occur, he would have to go to the CDC in Atlanta and extract the one tiny vial of remaining smallpox, inject a human patient, then let the patient start a pandemic!

However, certain diseases such as pertussis are still out there; they still need a vaccination to control them. To ignore such life-threatening problems is nothing short of stupid.

When I was a child, vaccinations such as polio, pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus and smallpox were required by law. They also lasted for life as one’s immune system developed. Unfortunately, measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox didn’t yet have a vaccine available.

My mother and aunt had one generation of diseases; I had another. By the time my daughter entered school, a new set of vaccinations made the last of the childhood diseases a thing of the past. Who in his or her right mind would want to put a child through what we went through as children?

I have heard every excuse — from vaccinations causing autism to religious beliefs. The vaccinations are even paid for! I can’t believe that anyone would want to make a child suffer when modern medicine has made such advances. It smacks of nothing more than selfish, lazy negligence. People need to stop playing God. It never works. It isn’t our job.

When I taught school in Wyoming nearly 25 years ago, it was very simple — your child got all vaccinations or he/she wasn’t allowed to enter public school. Period.

We had none of the preventable childhood disease problems. As we now see, however, the problem is too close to home.

The rest of the country could learn from us so-called Rocky Mountain “rednecks.”

Tobi L. Peck resides in Danville.