news that the research study that claimed that there was a link between the MMR vaccine and autism had altered facts and statistics. So the MMR vaccine does not in fact cause autism. Wow, that's embarrassing. Because of the MMR/Autism scare, there are thousands of kids who didn't receive their vaccines, and as a result measles are actually becoming endemic in parts of Great Britain.
Now I have a few mixed feelings about vaccinations. I believe that vaccinations can be a wonderful thing. Vaccinations have saved millions of lives. However they are not without their faults. If you read the information sheets that come with your vaccinations they list some pretty daunting possible side effects including seizures, neurological problems, permanent brain damage and death. These side effects are very rare and it is more likely that your child will be afflicted by the disease by not getting the vaccine (which for some of the diseases can also lead to neurological problems and death) than that they will be affected by rare severe side effects. Severe side effects are not as common as they once were, as vaccinations have been developed and improved through the years. But those risks are still there and every parents should be aware of them.
Another thing that many people don't realize is that vaccinations are not 100% prevention. Even if you get all of your vaccinations you can still contract the disease they are trying to prevent, it's just not as likely. I had all of my vaccinations and I still came down with the measles when I was six. It stands out as the most physically miserable experience of my childhood. (I remember having sores every where and feeling too weak to even scratch them. And I remember all of my joints aching like I have never since experienced.) But if most of a population has been vaccinated against a disease, it makes it difficult for the disease to spread. (On a side note because I actually had the measles, my antibody levels against the measles are more than six times what the average immunized person has. I only know this because my doctor's office, high school and county health department all lost the record of my booster shots and I had to lab work done to prove that I have in fact been immunized before they would let me start my first Pediatric nursing job.)
I personally have had my kids vaccinated for everything except the flu. (Flu vaccines have proven to not go over well in my family, hospitalizing multiple relatives. For us it's easier just to deal with the flu.) It's something that I prayed about long and hard before deciding. I felt that the benefits outweighed the risks. But I can't speak for every parent. Every child is different and their reactions may not be the same. I have an aunt that when she took her daughter into get her standard vaccinations and a strong spiritual experience that told her that she should not get her child vaccinated. No one know what would have happened if she had ignored that prompting, but she didn't and her children have all been remarkably healthy. As a parent it's part of our job to determine what is best for our own children, and if we follow the Lord, He will help us along the way. I believe that for the vast majority of people vaccinations are a great thing and I highly recommend them. They have helped to decrease the incidence of many diseases that have been known to maim and kill untold numbers of children. But if a parent told me that they had prayed about it and strongly felt that their child should not be vaccinated, I would not argue with them.