Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
Well, there are people who think they are safe and people who don't. I think I'd work on getting the medicare straightened out as soon as possible and I'm sure with all the government red tape, that won't be an easy task. But, if you're working on it and have documentation that you're working on it - copies of emails or letters sent - CPS shouldn't be able to find fault with you on being behind. There are places you could research about whether a vaccine is safe or not and I'm sure some of the members here would be able to give you some excellent links.
We have a Non-Vaccine Support and a Vaccine Support board that might be able to give you a little more help.
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DCFS can't take your kids away for not vaccinating. And it is not required for school entry. They try to make it seem like it is, but there are plenty of kids who go to school who are not vaccinated. You just tell them they are not vaccinated and sign a waiver.
As for if you should vaccinate or not it really is
While I agree of course that DCF can't take the kids away for not vaccinating, I wanted to clarify this part...
In my state *the form* is required for school entry, or there is no school entry.
'The form' is either the certification of immunization signed by the child's pediatrician, or the religious exemption form that you have to go through a few hoops at the Dept. of Health to obtain. It's a shame that it's either vaccinate or lie (I don't particularly have a "religious" objection to my kids getting vaxed), but those are the only two options in my state. There is no waiver that you sign at the school level here. Each state has its own rules and I'd urge the OP to check her state's requirements.
There are specific medical conditions which could make some or all vaccinations inappropriate, such as an allergy to something used in the manufacture of the vaccine or an immunological disorder.
but they help protect other members of the community as well. If enough members of a community are immune due to vaccination, illnesses can't get a hold in the community and there is less chance that those who cannot be vaccinated will be exposed to the illness.
This statement cannot be accurately quantified.
Yes IMO the benefits outweigh the risks...
This slide in a presentation by Dr Neal Halsey gives some insight wrt boys being more susceptible than girls, they don't know why that it appears more boys than girls are affected:
Dr. Halsey's presentation at the National
Vaccine Advisory Committee Workshop on Thimerosal and Vaccines held in
Bethesda, Maryland on August 11-12, 1999.
in the Faroe Islands follow-up study required very sophisticated
testing to detect very mild, subtle neurologic defects that would not be
evident on routine examinations. The results provided many interesting
observations, including the fact that the minor defects were noted
primarily in boys. The biologic explanation for increased susceptibility
to mercury of the male fetal brain has not been determined. There are
other genetic factors associated with susceptibility to mercury toxicity
which we may understand some day.
Gotta love that, other genetic factors associated with susecptiblity to mercury toxicity which we MAY UNDERSTAND SOMEDAY!!!!
However, in the meantime, we will continue to shoot your children and infants up with it.
Here's a a link to the entire slideshow but the actual slide images seem to have a broken link.