Child Vaccines: Saying No (and Feeling Good About It)

Our blogger stands by her decision not to immunize her child



When I wrote the blog about our decision to not vaccinate Coraline, I did so with a large amount of trepidation. I try hard to be as transparent as possible in my posts, which is not an easy thing to do considering so much of the parenting experience is complicated and personal. The vaccination post made me feel especially vulnerable, simply because It is such a controversial subject. One of my friends (who did not vaccinate) told me that she goes to great lengths to not disclose this fact to others. Not because she is ashamed of her decision, but rather she doesn’t want to open herself up to criticism. I feel similarly, though I find myself increasingly desensitized to that possibility. Perhaps, three years in, I’ve just truly embraced the Bean Dip strategy.

Over the past three years my position on vaccinations has not changed; if anything, I am even more convinced that my decision to forgo all vaccines was a sound one for my child. At Coraline’s latest baby visit, her pediatrician declared her incredibly healthy, throwing in that he’d seen four cases of whooping cough that week, all in vaccinated children. And recently, a friend sent me the link to an interesting article, written by a doctor, about how chronic fatigue syndrome is the modern form of polio, which suggests that the polio vaccine does not necessarily work. All of that is just to say, I think it’s okay to not vaccinate. There are scientifically supported arguments to be made for either side. Which you believe, I think has less to do with the truth and more to do with which angle you’re coming from, that of a skeptic or that of a believer.

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One mom's plan to raise a kid — without raising greenhouse gases

About This Blog

Shannon Gallagher

Shannon Gallagher
Rhinebeck, NY


Dutchess County native Shannon Gallagher is a contributing editor for Hudson Valley Magazine. An erstwhile thrill-seeker, these days she courts disaster of a different variety wrangling a spirited toddler, honing her vegan baking skills, and chasing the ever-elusive work-family balance. She teaches Pilates and does fascial bodywork, and lives in Rhinebeck with Coraline, a cat named Otie, and Sushi the Fish (named, of course, by the toddler).

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