CENTRAL ILLINOIS -- It's a controversial health issue: should parents get their child vaccinated against diseases like the mumps, measles, whooping cough, and follow a typical vaccination schedule?
Dr. Matthew Knight is an OSF Pediatrician in Morton. Dr. Knight says vaccines are scientifically safe and have been thoroughly studied in the medical field.
"The risk benefit of vaccinating children is clearly in favor of the benefit. The risks are very low," said Dr. Knight.
Risks include a low fever or a rash for roughly a week. As far as whether or not vaccines cause autism? He strongly disputes that.
"If you look internationally, the incidents of autism has not changed. When someone chooses not to immunize, not only are their children at risk for acquiring the disease but other children are, too," said Dr. Knight.
However, there's another side. Chiropractic Dr. Susan Mitchell in Bloomington has researched vaccines for over 15 years. She is against immunizing because of potential negative health impacts. Her evidence includes several studies done overseas on vaccinated versus non-vaccinated children.
"Vaccinated children had approximately 20 percent more asthma, 20 percent more allergies than their counterparts," said Dr. Mitchell.
She says parents need to be pro-active in educating themselves about what exactly is in a vaccine and potential consequences.
"When they come to me, they're frustrated because I tried to talk to my doctor about the aluminum and the doctor got upset and said there's no aluminum in the vaccines when it states clearly on the insert that aluminum hydroxide is in the vaccine," said Dr. Mitchell.
The issue is so controversial, we have received dozens of comments on our Facebook page along with many e-mails.
Sherrie Lynn Dixon said, "I have gotten all four of my children their shots from the time they were born up until now and one has grown up and doing it with my grandson now."
Dawn Ray Marlyere posted, "Vaccines are worthless and only injecting unneeded poisons into people's bodies. I see it like this, if you're so sure those vaccines are protecting your child, then it should do just fine to protect against my unvaccinated child period."
The immunization issue is so controversial, even those educated about the vaccines cannot come to an agreement on their safety.