Traverse City Hosts Immunization Forum

“Every parent is left with the obligation and the responsibility to make the choice that’s best for their child.”

A public forum hosted by the Traverse City Human Right Commission faced many questions, including the growing concern over a new rule in Michigan.

It requires parents to meet with a health care worker before signing a waiver that would exempt their child from school vaccine requirements.

“Once you start allowing government mandates as to what you have to or can’t do health care wise, that becomes a really slippery slope. And it’s something we need to be proactive with,” says Doctor Julie Brons. She’s a chiropractor who sat on the panel, and has concerns over the new waiver requirement.

“Most of us who choose not to vaccinate don’t do so because we’re not educated. We choose to not vaccinate because we’ve studied the subject. It’s not an easy decision to come to,” says Dr. Brons.

Some who oppose vaccinations asked the panel about shedding. The theory that a child given a vaccine, say for measles, could somehow pass the disease to non-immunized children.

Doctor Robert Sprunk is a pediatrician who says that’s not possible.

“They’ve fooled the body into thinking you’ve had an infection such that you develop an immune response to it, but they don’t actually produce the disease,” says Dr. Sprunk.

He’s for vaccines, but acknowledges it’s a tough topic.

“My final defense is what would you do? I’m vaccinated, my kids are vaccinated, my grandkids are vaccinated — I believe in it. I recommend the full vaccinations,” says Dr. Sprunk.

But many who attended aren’t convinced vaccinating kids is the only way to maintain public health.

“To say that an unvaccinated child is a threat to the community, I think, is a very one sided way of looking at the issue… I think that we can all agree that it’s a heavy decision and that every family wants what’s best for their children,” says Inga Everson. She attended the forum and opted to not vaccinate her kids after lots of research.