Utah Mom Defends Not Vaccinating Amid Measles Outbreak
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In Utah, there has been one confirmed case of mumps in St. George. While this hasn’t risen to outbreak level, it raises interesting questions behind the movement to not vaccinate children.
As parents, we all want to do what’s best for our children and try to act accordingly.
No parent likes to see their children ill. For some, the choice to vaccinate is confusing and for others there is no question.
“It’s a decision that everybody needs to be able to make for themselves,” said Karen Welch.
Welch is a Utah County mother of two. When she became a new mother, she says she didn’t find enough good reasons to support vaccination, so she made a choice.
“These diseases, especially if somebody is in a situation where they have good nutrition and a lot of access to medical care, even if they catch these things then there’s a lot we can do to take care of it,” Welch said.
Dr. Dallen Ormond at Family First Pediatrics disagrees.
“People aren’t afraid of measles because they haven’t really seen measles,” he said.
Dr. Ormond says measles are especially dangerous in children less than one year of age since they can’t be vaccinated.
“Utah is one of the top states in the nation for elective non-vaccinations,” he said.
While fears of autism once ran rampant due to a fraudulent medical report in 1998, Dr. Ormond says now the most common concern he hears from parents has to do with money.
“The conspiracy theory that it’s just big pharma trying to make money,” he said. “I promise it’s not. I promise I don’t take home a vaccine paycheck each month.”
Instead, he aims to educate as many people as possible.
“Most concerns people state have been debunked over and over and over,” he said. “It’s really sad because it’s due to misinformation.”
Welch says is doesn’t bother her when people criticize her decision to vaccinate; she is happy with her decision and says she would make the same choice again.
“The benefits if you’re living in a country like ours don’t outweigh the risks (of vaccinations),” she said.
In the year 2000, the Centers for Disease Control announced measles had been eradicated in the U.S. That is no longer the case.
About 300 million vaccines are given each year, Dr. Ormond says last year there were only 300 cases of reportable incidents, which means some kind of complication. To put that in perspective, your odds of getting struck by lightning is about one in 700,000.
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