To vaccinate or not? That’s the debate. (Citizen file)

To vaccinate or not? That’s the debate. (Citizen file)

We asked you: Your opinions are firm on vaccinations

Should vaccinations be mandatory for school enrolment?

Should vaccinations be mandatory for school enrolment?

We asked you that question on Facebook along with a post of a story in which a mother from Maple Ridge is calling for mandatory measles shots for school enrolment and boy are there some strong opinions out there on both sides of the debate.

“Parent who don’t vaccinate should be thrown in jail,” wrote Olivier Perron.

“Please re-educate yourself,” replied Mary-Jane Bateman. “Big pharma and the people who inject over 50 required vaccines into our kids are the ones who need to go to jail.”

“Yes all children should be vaccinated. There are some children that have bad reactions so we need herd immunity so those children can be safe as well,” wrote Britney Chambers. “For a long time these diseases were almost nonexistent then all of a sudden people jumped on the anti-vaccine bandwagon and now these are all coming back full force.. pls protect your children, babies and other kids that can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons.. It is our job as a parent to protect our children.”

“DO YOU KNOW THE INGREDIENTS THAT ARE IN VACCINES??????” asked Bev Walsh in all caps.

“Government shouldn’t be allowed to force anything on anyone. Do you know how many doors this open[s]?” asked Lindsay Anne.

Morgan Samborsky said if the anti-vaxxers “looked at credible sources they would realize how important vaccination is and how ridiculous they sound, it’s pretty common sense. I’ll stick to medical professionals and scientific research rather than some ridiculous theory brought to light by a celebrity with no fact based arguments or information that hasn’t been disproven time and time again. Facts are more important than feelings, I don’t pretend to know better than people who have dedicated years of their lives to learning about the human body and understanding how vaccines work, and I sure wouldn’t selfishly put other people’s lives at risk because I made a stupid decision.”

“No,” said Jennifer Mabbott. “Where there’s risk there must be choice,” to which Chrystina Hastings replied, “Then you have the choice to not send your kid to school to possibly kill other kids.”

Whatever side of the fence you’re on, one thing is certain — it’s everybody’s goal to do what’s best for their kids.

Here’s what the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have to say about vaccines.

“Vaccines are one of the top public health achievements because they have reduced or even eliminated many diseases. Thanks to vaccines, most young parents have never seen the devastating effects diseases like polio, measles, or whooping cough (pertussis) can have on a child, family, or community. It’s easy to think these are diseases of the past, but they still exist.

“Before a vaccine is approved and given to children, it is tested extensively. Scientists and medical professionals carefully evaluate all the available information about the vaccine to determine its safety and effectiveness. As new information and science become available, vaccine recommendations are updated.

“Although your child may experience some discomfort or tenderness at the injection site, this is minor compared to the serious complications that can result from the diseases these vaccines prevent. Serious side effects from vaccines are very rare.

“Nearly all children can be safely vaccinated, but there are exceptions and some children may not be able to receive some vaccines:

• Children with allergies to something in a vaccine.

• Children with weakened immune systems due to an illness or a medical treatment, such as chemotherapy.”

These children depend on herd immunity — that is, almost everyone else being vaccinated.

Cowichan Valley Citizen