A rather strange anti-vaccine argument you might sometimes hear is that you can’t unvaccinate your kids (even though they push detox plans that say they do exactly that), so go ahead and wait to vaccinate them until you have “done your research” and are sure.
The problem with that argument, like most others that anti-vaccine folks use to justify their decisions to skip or delay vaccines, is that you can wait too long.
“In 1736 I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four years old, by the smallpox taken in the common way. I long regretted bitterly and still regret that I had not given it to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of the parents who omit that operation, on the supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child died under it; my example showing that the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen.”
Benjamin Franklin Autobiography
Tragically, Ben Franklin wasn’t the last parent to regret not vaccinating his child.
More Parents Who Regret Not Vaccinating Their Kids
Roald Dahl, who famously wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, is less well known for having a daughter who died of measles. It was just before the measles vaccine came out, so he didn’t regret not vaccinating her, but in urging other parents to protect their children, he did seem to regret that a vaccine wasn’t yet available.
For many other parents, a vaccine was available that could have kept their kids from getting sick.
“In 1989, the Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine was relatively new and not yet routine. I was aware of the vaccine’s availability, but, busy mom that I was, I had not yet made the trip to the health department to get the immunization for my two-year-old daughter, Sarah. I will always regret that bit of procrastination and the anguish that it caused.”
Some of them have shared their personal stories, including the parents of:
- Abby Peterson‘s “pediatrician steered her away from vaccinating her daughter” against chickenpox and her mother, Duffy Peterson, now says that “she wishes she had questioned the doctor’s recommendations more forcefully.” Abby died of a chicken pox infection.
- Emily Lastinger who was unvaccinated and died of flu.
- After all seven of her unvaccinated kids caught whooping cough, this parent regretted not having them vaccinated.
- Claire Noelle Bakke who got pertussis when she was five weeks old
- Scarlet Anne Taylor who died of the flu during the 2014-15 flu season
- this unvaccinated three year old who spent six days in the hospital (part of it in a slight coma, during which they weren’t sure he would survive) with Haemophilus influenzae type b epiglottitis
- Abigail who was unvaccinated and died of invasive pneumococcal disease
- these two unvaccinated kids who developed severe dehydration from rotavirus infections
- Sarah who was unvaccinated and developed a croupy cough when she was two-years-old and ended up on a ventilator with Haemophilus influenzae type b epiglottitis
- Ashley who died from the flu and had never gotten a flu shot
- Evan who died of a vaccine-preventable disease because his mom was not told about the vaccine that could have prevented it
There is another group of parents who have regrets about vaccines. Those parents whose kids can’t be vaccinated (too young to be vaccinated, have cancer, or have another medical exemption, etc.) are put at risk and exposed to vaccine-preventable diseases by intentionally unvaccinated kids. These parents typically regret that those around them don’t get vaccinated and protected.
Your decision to get educated and vaccinate your family shouldn’t be based on fear or concerns of regret if you delay or skip any vaccines, but these types of personal stories are important to review, especially if you also hear, watch, or read any stories about vaccine injuries.
What To Know About Regretting Not Vaccinating Your Kids
Delaying or skipping one or more vaccines isn’t safer or healthier, it just puts your child at increased of catching the vaccine-preventable diseases the vaccines protect you against and might lead to feelings of regret if you wait too long.
More On Parents Who Regret Not Vaccinating Their Kids
- Families Fighting Flu Stories
- Haunted by memories of the consequences of not vaccinating
- Roald Dahl on Death of Olivia
- Meningitis Angels
- Shot By Shot Story Gallery
- Personal Stories About Vaccine-Preventable Diseases
- Victims of Vaccine-Preventable Disease
- Infectious Diseases Real Stories, Real People
- Real Stories of Meningitis
- Parents Who Vax
- My son has cancer. He can’t go into day care because of unvaccinated children.
- When It’s Not a Choice: Measles and Leukemia
- Chickenpox hits young cancer patient, despite vaccination