1) Are they effective and 2) Are they safe.
Even before question 1, stop to consider whether the disease in question is one that you actually feel the need to prevent. Most childhood diseases are not life-threatening in most cases, and actually strengthen the immune system. In other words, they are actually beneficial. However, when an adult contracts the disease it can be much more serious (for example: chicken pox). So, it’s much better to have the illness as a child (which provides lifetime immunity), then to avoid it when young, only to be much more susceptible as an adult.
Other diseases are more serious to young children, and unlikely to be contracted over the age of 5 (for example: whooping cough), and so getting a vaccine to prevent it after that age is likely to be useless (even if your answer to question 1 is yes). And yet another thing to consider is the likelihood of coming in contact with the disease in question. For example: Hepatitis B is transmitted by body fluids (blood, semen) and Tetanus can only reproduce in the anaerobic condition (of a deep puncture wound). Are these really things that you expect to be in contact with?
So, on to Question #1: Are they effective?
I don’t believe their efficacy has been proven. In fact, many times the patient will develop the very disease for which he has been vaccinated against as a result of the vaccine. There is much evidence against their efficacy, you can do a search and find out for yourself.
Even if you are believe that vaccines are in fact effective, and that you do indeed desire to prevent the disease in question, you must continue on to question #2: Are they safe?
I believe the answer to that is emphatically NO!!
Vaccinations are not safe. They contain many toxic chemicals that have no business being in your body, such as formaldehyde and thimerisol (mercury). They tax the immune system, making it weaker, not stronger. They stress the nervous system, and I believe there is plenty of evidence that they are linked to autism as well as a host of other health issues.
There are pros and cons to everything. IF vaccinations were effective, you’d have to ask yourself whether the toxins and their effects are worth that protection. If they aren’t, then it’s a no-brainer.
My 5 year old recently fell on a rusty nail and got a deep puncture wound. He had not been vaccinated for tetanus. He probably was not in danger, but we decided to get him the TiG (tetanus immunoglobulin) shot after the fact. Remember that there are treatments and solutions if and when a child does get sick. If my other children never get a deep puncture wound, they might never be in a situation where it is even a consideration to get them such a treatment, and they never need have those chemicals in their bodies.
A great resource for vaccine information is the NVIC.