I belong to a couple different groups on Facebook that I joined because I wanted to become informed. I wanted credible sources, first hand accounts, a place to go when I had a specific question. One of these group is called Proud Parents of Unvaccinated Children.
(Now, before you jump on me and the hating comments begin, just pause the judgement and continue reading. =) Thank you.)
I consider myself a pretty level headed person who doesn’t make rash decisions just because everyone else is doing something, especially when it comes to my children. Before Moira came along, when I still thought that all doctors had our best interests at heart, I just did what the pediatrician said and never thought to question. Gabby had all her vaccinations from birth on as did AJ. I had no cause to think otherwise. Then the whole VBAC drama with Moira started and I began to question the whole medical system. I asked questions, I researched, I looked at studies and who funded those studies, and I listened to other mothers who went through what I was going through. I learned that not every doctor has our best interests at heart and that sometimes money speaks louder than common sense.
One of the hardest decisions that a parent has to make today is concerning vaccines. Books like Dr. Sears’ “The Vaccine Book” suggests an alternate schedule that allows for a more spread out approach while the CDC and AAP stress that vaccines are totally safe, vital to a child’s health, and are no cause for alarm. The decision to vaccinate has to be made before birth because in the hospital most babies get a Hepatitis B vaccine, something that more and more parents are opting out of. (Unless the mother has Hep B or the baby is going to be working the corner, Hep B is not something to worry at birth!) It is really hard to know what resources are credible, where the funding for the studies comes from, and which way to go though.
We knew that there was no way that we were going to get Moira the Hep B vaccine and have never looked back from that moment on. Since that first decision we have gotten more comfortable reading studies, articles, books, and so much on our quest to become educated about vaccines and the benefits/dangers they possess.
A couple of days ago I read an article written by a doctor who wanted to know what she could do to assure parents that vaccines were safe. This is a very personal question and depends on what each family has experience in the past with vaccines. So I am going to share what makes me uncomfortable with them and what it would take for me to consider vaccinating again.
1. Hold the vaccine industry accountable for their product. This is one of the top issues for me because if you are making a product that is going to the ENTIRE population and are protected by the government, what is the driving force for quality and safety? No one would buy a car that doesn’t have a warranty, why would you inject something into your body that could possibly be a “bad batch” and have no way to hold the company accountable??
2. Do not allow doctors kick-backs for fully vaccinated their patients. If my doctor is getting thousands of dollars for making sure everyone has their vaccinations, is he really going to look closely at reactions, properly report them, and question their safety? No. He is going to explain the reactions and events away. Less than 10% of vaccine reactions are reported to VAERS, making it very difficult to track serious problems with vaccines.
3. Eliminate dangerous preservatives and ingredients from the vaccine. Pretty self explanatory. And yes, I realize that in each vaccine the amount of the dangerous chemical is considered “safe”, however, think about the sheer amount of vaccines kids are supposed to get these days and the “trace” amounts quickly add up. ( You can read more about this here)
4. Evaluate adverse reactions following routine vaccinations, including high fever, swollen limbs, brain dysfunction, seizures, and other incidents that are often dismissed as coincidence.
5. Do not administer vaccines of any kind to children without parental consent. When states pass laws that allow children as young as 12 to make medical decisions without parental knowledge or consent, I have a problem with it. What if that child has a reaction? Who will know why it is happening and who is going to be accountable for permanent injury or death?
6. Medical professionals need to acknowledge natural sources of immunity instead of adding more and more chemicals into children. By dismissing these cheaper natural solutions I am not as receptive to vaccine recommendations. For instance, it is common knowledge in holistic and chiropractic medicine that Vitamin D is more effective at preventing the flu, however I have never heard a doctor recommend that over a flu shot (which may or may not work against the many strains of the flu). I am much more willing to work with a doctor who first turns to natural immunity boosters before suggesting man-made chemicals.
7. Medical professionals admit that there are some risks associated with vaccines. This one is a big one for me as well because it opens the door for a rational, realistic conversation.
(Of course there are other factors that would cause us to reconsider our current position– traveling overseas, serious and true epidemic of a deadly disease (Chickenpox is not one of these diseases), or a medical condition which would cause a normally treatable illness to become deadly.)
This is a movie that discuses the whole vaccine debate in a scientific, rational matter… it is a great starting point!
Many people incorrectly assume that people who choose not to vaccinate their kids are lazy, dumb, conspiracy obsessed parents who are infecting everyone with diseases. I can’t stress how this is false. If anything, I have my children’s health at heart. I do not listen to celebrity’s or mommy bloggers but doctors, nurses, and scientists who see that there is something truly wrong with the current vaccines and the vaccine schedule we are imposing on our nation’s children.
So there ya have it… that is what it would take for me to reconsider vaccinations!