One reason why parents can be reluctant to immunize is that vaccines have been so effective that parents do not have experience with most of the diseases we can protect against. They therefore do not know the devastation the illnesses can cause,
As I approach my 17th winter as a pediatrician, I find that many patients with familiar symptoms and equally familiar diagnoses are filling my schedule. While examining the patients and counseling the parents, I am pleasantly surprised about my continued interested in these illnesses despite having seen them thousands of times.
Nowadays, many parents are reluctant to vaccinate their children, having been told, incorrectly, that vaccines are too dangerous. This is far different from when vaccines were first developed. When the Salk vaccine for polio first came out in the 1950s, parents would endure long lines for a chance to avoid a disease that crippled or killed hundreds of thousands of children yearly in this country alone.