I know many parents have struggled with the question of vaccinating their children. With all the possible side effects, the questionable ingredients, and so much more floating on a blurry grey line of to inject or not… how does one decide?
I believe in the power of prayer for healing, but I also believe that God sometimes uses medicine and doctors to facilitate such healing. Surgeons and scientists are brilliant for a reason–that talent was given to them on purpose. How they choose to use it is what is in question for me. Here’s where my vaccination debate comes in: is it OK for me to use vaccinations made from an electively aborted fetus to better the health (maybe… there is a lot of debate about “bettering” anything with vaccines) of my child?
As parents, Mr. Gray and I have decided to pursue ethically developed (read: animal cell) vaccines for Baby Gray. From what I have read, these exist for all of the recommended vaccinations except the chicken pox vaccination. While there are some serious risks associated with actually contracting chicken pox, I cannot bring myself to allow Baby Gray to be injected with cells developed from an aborted child to “stop” this virus.
Do I want my child to be protected from harmful diseases and illnesses? ABSOLUTELY.
Do vaccinations do that? There is no absolute answer there, in my opinion. Side effects, long-term effects, etc. are all possible with the vaccinations or without.
Do the benefits out weigh the costs? I don’t think we can be sure. Some children suffer greatly from the vaccination–some suffer greatly from going without and contracting an illness. I think each set of parents have to look to their values and beliefs to see what matters to them. It is something I have prayed about, read about, discussed with Mr. Gray and other friends, and more to come to a conclusion.
We go in on Monday for the Hepatitis B shot that should have been given at birth (we declined it at the time because we were not sure of our decision). I’m nervous. It’s a scary step. I have verified with my doctor’s office that it was ethically developed. I will have them show me the information about it before they give it to Baby Gray. I pray that God sees my heart and sees that I want to honor him by choosing the ethical option in conjunction with the medically recommended option.