The Vaccination Divide

Vaccine preventable diseases make a comeback, refueling the debate
Published: Apr. 25, 2019 at 10:43 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - “Some people call me radical, some people honestly just have questions about why,” said Chelsea Gaul.

Chelsea Gaul is a mother of three.

Her 10 year old has had all the required vaccinations, and her six year old is on a modified vaccination schedule.

And then, there’s her four-year-old daughter.

“We decided with our youngest, by the time she got here we were not going to vaccinate at all,” said Gaul.

After doing some research, she wasn’t comfortable with the process and the ingredients in vaccinations.

“My oldest is what I do consider to be vaccine injured, she had a reading delay,” said Gaul. “She had chronic sinus and allergies which we’ve now fixed through various detox methods.”

Now, her youngest only goes to the doctor if she’s sick.

“We’re not against doctors,” said Gaul. “Modern medicine saved my life a couple of years ago. We just didn’t want to have vaccine visits. We just go when we need to.”

The majority of Americans still choose to vaccinate like Danielle Gibbons.

Should parents be allowed to opt out of vaccines for their school-aged children?

Posted by KFVS-TV on Tuesday, April 23, 2019

She brought her four-year-old daughter, Paisley, to the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center for her kindergarten shots.

Of course Paisley wasn’t looking forward to it, but her mother said it’s worth the tears.

“I just like to keep her up to date on her shots,” said Danielle Gibbons. “I don’t want her to be unhealthy or have something go wrong with her when it could have been helped by a shot.”

Recent outbreaks across the country continue to fuel this conversation.

“When we have a group of unvaccinated individuals, like what we are seeing at this time, we are starting to lose what is called the herd immunity,” said Amy Hector.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 600 measles cases have been confirmed in 22 states so far this year.

Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee are all on the list.

“I’m afraid people aren’t going to see the importance of it until it’s too late,” said Hector.

Amy Hector is a Public Health Nurse in Stoddard County.

She said in her county they’ve also seen cases of mumps and whooping cough.

“Also in this last year we’ve had 37 cases of Hepatitis A,” said Hector.

All illnesses, she said, are preventable.

Hector is a mom of three, and said she practices what she preaches.

“My kids have been fully vaccinated, on time,” said Hector. “They have gotten every recommended vaccine that’s out there. I feel that strongly about it.”

Lawmakers in several states are considering laws to make it harder for parents to opt out of vaccinating their children.

In New York City, vaccines are now mandatory in neighborhoods experiencing measles outbreaks.

On the other side, for example, some Missouri lawmakers want a ban on discrimination against unvaccinated children.

Also, the Illinois Department of Public Health just announced several initiatives to increase vaccination rates statewide.

Those include a campaign to combat what the department considers to be misinformation about vaccines, and bring temporary mobile clinics to under-vaccinated communities.

Chelsea Gaul just wants to be able to make her own decision.

“I don’t think anyone should tell anyone what to do with their kids,” said Gaul.

She suggested you do your own research, which is the same thing you’ll hear from the other side of the argument.

“There’s lots of misinformation out there,” said Amy Hector. “I would encourage them to not just look at anything that’s on the internet. I would encourage them to go to reputable sites.”

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