By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published May 12, 2008 at 5:20 AM

In light of the recent measles outbreak, we asked the Parent Posse for their thoughts on vaccinating children. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 11 vaccinations, but by law, parents can opt not to vaccinate their kids for religious or personal reasons.

For a lot of parents, the decision to vaccinate is no longer as simple as trusting federal recommendations and school or daycare requirements. Some reject vaccines because they're worried about overwhelming immature immune systems and / or suggested links between mercury in vaccines and increasing autism rates.

Meanwhile, other parents insist vaccinations protect the masses, and that not vaccinating is socially and publicly negligent. The parents of vulnerable children with diseases like leukemia or those who underwent organ transplants are at the forefront of the fight against parents choosing not to vaccinate.

Here are the opinions of several Milwaukee parents, and feel free to add your two cents’ worth on this controversial issue by using the Talkback feature.

"I was very hesitant about vaccinations.  My daughter is 4 months old and she will get her second round of shots at her well-baby appointment next week.  I did not accept any of the vaccinations in the hospital, and I still question the necessity of Hepatitis B vaccines.  It is difficult to get accurate information.  If you do a lot of research, there are many people that feel the "Hep B" vaccines are simply a way for drug companies to make money and for the government to intervene too much in our child rearing.  But how do you stop a disease without vaccinating everyone? 

"I do research on every vaccine that she gets and I thoroughly go over all my questions with my pediatrician.  I trust her implicitly, but I also realize that this is one aspect of life that we will never really have all the answers on.  The truth is usually somewhere in the middle of what the government is mandating and what the protesters are claiming.  Also, I had to do most of the vaccines for her enrollment in daycare."
Kate Borders
East Side

"Vaccinations protect our kids from life and death diseases.  Yes, we vaccinate our kids according to the recommended schedule of vaccines.  We keep regular wellness visits according to schedule, too and discuss the pros and cons of the vaccines there, so that we can be informed parents and a partner in the healthcare process with our pediatrician.  But ultimately, we have found that the benefits outweigh the negatives with vaccines.  If I didn't get them vaccinated and they came down with some disease that was preventable, I would feel awful and be ultimately responsible for their suffering.  As a parent, it sucks to have little kids have to get poked with a needle, but its a lot better than the alternative suffering that would ensue if we didn't put them through the minor discomfort of the shot."
Carol Voss
Bay View

"My children receive vaccinations and I hope all their playmates do, too.  I'm a strong believer that the risk of disease far outweighs the risk of side effects.  I have confidence and trust in my pediatrician and the American Pediatrics Association.  Whatever they recommend I pretty much do.  I do think it should be a requirement to let parents know when children who are not vaccinated will be mixing with those who are."
Stephanie Bennett
South Side

"After this measles outbreak, it has caught our attention how important vaccinations are, especially since a lot of parents are now choosing not to vaccinate and increasing the chance of catching / spreading diseases.  We will be sure that at his next appointment he does receive his measles vaccination.

We have chosen to move forward with all other vaccinations.  Our reason being that we don't want him to "catch" something that was preventable.  In addition, all of the discussion around autism has raised serious questions and we did not take it lightly.  We talked it over with our pediatrician and other parents and felt positive about moving forward with the first year's schedule of vaccinations."
Gigi Gamboa
Jackson Park

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.