CDC Public Meetings on Vaccine Schedule (A Personal Account)

14 Jul

By Lori Buher

The CDC is holding meetings throughout the country this summer to ask for public input about adding a recently approved meningococcal vaccine to the current recommended vaccination schedule for infants and toddlers.  We attended the meeting held in Seattle this week.  I was touched by the sincerity of the parents attending.  They want to protect their children, but many have doubts.  When our children were small, my husband and I did not question the childhood vaccination schedule.  We simply followed our pediatrician’s advice.  Today, some parents do not feel that same confidence in our medical professionals.   They have doubts; doubts that are fueled by the emotional debates going on throughout the country.

As the mother of a survivor of meningococcal disease, there is no question in my mind that the vaccine should be added to the schedule.  Carl was 14 when the disease attacked him.  The horrors he survived included amputations, months of painful skin graft surgeries, years of healing before he could begin to walk again.  Do I want every baby to be vaccinated against meningococcal meningitis, rare though it might be?  Of course I do.  I can’t imagine any parent of any child who has been a victim of meningococcal disease that does not believe in vaccination.  The challenge I saw clearly at the Seattle meeting is that many parents are afraid.  I stood up and told about our journey with this disease; others stood and shared their similar stories of grief.  Still others spoke out against vaccines, questioning their doctors’ advice and the CDC’s recommendation.  They are not convinced.

I respect their sincerity and their right to choose.  Yes, vaccination does carry some slight risk, but to deny our children the protection it provides is foolish.  Parents who have concerns should educate themselves, evaluate the benefits and risks and make the right decision:  vaccinate!


Lori Buher is a board member of the National Meningitis Association.  Find out more about NMA by visiting

3 Responses to “CDC Public Meetings on Vaccine Schedule (A Personal Account)”

  1. vjoejoe July 17, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    Make the vaccines safe, do the research, show us its safe don’t just say vaccinate, my son got brain damage as a result of vaccination. Don’t push something as toxic as vaccines on others that has not been proven safe. Do you have a conscious?


  1. Whose Business is it Anyway? « Shot of Prevention - July 26, 2011

    […] are speaking up in favor of things such as  stronger mandates, limited exemptions, vaccine developments, and further availability and accessibility […]

  2. Carl’s Story « - July 29, 2011

    […] of you may have read Lori Buher’s report here on Parents Who Protect regarding a local Seattle meeting to determine whether meningococcal […]

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