Amish and Vaccinations

Sarah Bowman
Sarah Bowman, born & raised horse and buggy Mennonite till age 40

“Amish,” in the public mind, seems to encompass such a large variety of groups, religious denominations, and degrees of acculturation spread across the entire North American continent and beyond that it is impossible for me to answer this question with a simple yes or no. Not all people whose women wear long dresses and head coverings are Amish; many are Mennonite or perhaps some other denomination. Within the Amish there are a large number of denominations and degrees of acculturation; the same applies for Mennonites.

Some vaccinate their children according to public health standards while others do not. In the 1960s my parents had their children vaccinated for a few basic things like lockjaw but not all the “baby needles” my aunt and uncle had for their children. In the 1990s my one brother did not believe in vaccinating his children while another brother did. Because both my brothers belong to the same Mennonite denomination, I think this had more to do with each man’s philosophy of healthy living than with religion. The same applies to my parents and aunt and uncle.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s