I didn't vaccinate my children but it was a decision that I made after a lot of research and thought.
There are SO MANY things I could say on this topic but here is a Coles Notes version:
You can NOT just blindly trust your health care professional to know what's best for YOU. My own Doctor explained to me that there are very real risks associated with vaccines but that "it's one sacrificed for the masses"! So do I want that "one" to be mine? No thanks. You also have to realize that many of the doctors are just doing the best job they can, with the info they've been given. And that info is often times completely bias based on the pharmaceutical industry and the money being made from vaccines. You can't deny that money changes everything. Pharma companies do NOT have your best in mind! They have shareholders to answer to. Period.
Furthermore, we are going way overboard on the amount of vaccines given. Chicken Pox?! really?! Now we're seeing kids who are never getting chicken pox but then put at even greater risk for Shingles as they get older! So guess what? They need booster vaccines! Imagine that! More money in the pharma pockets....surprise.
That said, I don't believe in just blindly ignoring the need for protection from certain life-threatening diseases. Our family has used alternative medicines with great success.
Also, our family does not follow your average North American diet -- and I think that is another major part of our decision to not vaccinate. If someone is feeding their kids crap "food" (i.e. fast food, processed food, SUGAR, etc.), then YES, please vaccinate! I don't believe it's right to trash your child's immune system and then not vaccinate them. That's just playing Russian roulette with their health.
I could go on --- but I'm sure that's enough to stir the pot! ;)
As for your question about "are vaccinations really that bad?" -- just ask the parents who lost their kids after a "bad batch" of MMR. I was on the fence about whether to vaccinate my boys when they were first born and I met a woman who takes care of a mentally disabled girl. She was 11 but with the mind of 3 year old. Turns out, her development was TOTALLY normal until she got her MMR booster shot at 3 years old. A little while after getting it, she started exhibiting major signs of autism. Within months, she had full-blown Autism and her mom had to give her up because she couldn't care for her needs as she got older.
The caretaker later found out (at a local support group for those caring for Autistic children) that there were a handful of other parents from the same area that had the same thing happen to their kids at around the same time. Turns out it was a "bad batch" of the vaccine. But of course, no one will admit that mercury and other toxic preservatives cause autism! Because doctors truly believe that the benefits outweigh the risks.
But again, do you want your child to be the one falling on their sword?!
Te risks of serious consequences following vaccination are thousands of times less likely than the risks associated with the diseases that the vaccines protect against.
Don't get medical advice from a social media site. Talk to your doctor, weigh the risks. As for the autism connection, this argument was shredded as fraud. Check out:
I'm no fan of big pharma, but declining a vaccine is an extravagant luxury that only we privileged, first world parents would consider. thousands of children (and adults) died from diseases like Diptheria and Whooping Cough before vaccines were available and still do in countries less affluent than ours.
No diet, no matter how healthy, will protect your children. These diseases were at their height well before fast food and high fructose corn syrup came on the scene.
Whooping cough-Non stop coughing and my ribs hurt from this for months.
Chicken pox-High fever and raised spots that one could not resist scratching. Raised itchy bumps everywhere-in nostrils even. I remember this as pure suffering. If one could part my facial wrinkles -there are scars.
Measles-in bed for days, similiar to chicken pox but not quite as itchy.
Mumps- I can only say-this is a good way to lose weight and suffer. Fever, hallucinations, mega sore throat.........
Polio- There was not enough medicine back in the 1950's for all the school students and it was an epidemic. Some got the meds and I unfortunately got the placebo. I had fever and pains in my left leg for months and was told that it was "growing pains". There was no medical plan then and a kid got taken to a doctor only if it was a matter of life or death. I was not diagnosed but years later a medical practitioner told me he thinks I had a mild case of polio. Well, now my left hip is smaller and my left leg is 1/2 inch shorter than my right leg and because of it I have had serious back and knee issues . Yup, fused disc and knee replacement. Not fun.
But I was lucky-some less fortunate ended in wheelchairs.
H1N1-One of of grandsons who was sleeping over awoke in the middle of the night with a hoarse cough and difficultly breathing. He had H1N1 and strep throat which often go hand in hand. We kept him with us for more than a week so he wouldn't spread it to his family. We were immune because we had antibodies from the Hong Kong flu we both had in the sixties !! Wouldn't a vaccination have been better?
When I had children I went with the norm and my kids were vaccinated. I'm so glad that they never had all the illnesses that I had to endure.
However, my thinking at this point is---maybe kids these days are being given a molitov of vaccinations at too early of age??? I guess the medical system think it cost efficient to give all in one or two needles???
We may sometimes forget the soldiers who gave their lives for our freedom and let us not forget the people who died of diseases and plagues before vaccinations. If everyone refused vaccinations- what then? Will these plagues and diseases not return??
People who chose not to vaccinate their kids these days may be right in their thinking. We are fortunate enough to live in a relatively safe and healthy environment because of the previous generation's precautions.
That being said, when we travel to foreign or exotic places we still check in to the Travel Medical Clinic and get vaccinated for the local plagues and illnesses we may encounter. I see no point in a repeat performance of illness and suffering.
And, yes, usually we are among the first to get the flu vaccination as well.
Once bitten, twice shy.......
This whole thread makes me angry. Vaccination is one of the few things as a parent that you don't have to think about at all. Just DO IT. If you really insist, go research it for a couple days and find out that it is thousands if not millions of times better for your kids to get the vaccines. The last thing we need is to beat this dead horse all over again, and have a few more parents wondering if maybe they should risk their kids lives because of some sensationalist media bullshit that has been thoroughly debunked already.
Note Peter R and and Cristal A have already made the point much more eloquently than I, their responses are right on the money.
Well here I go. My kids are getting a booster shot later on today. Thanks for the input everyone. Now for a follow up question. Any tips on how to make the experience go smoother (for me ;-) or to make the needle less traumatic?
Such a hot issue, and I have to agree with Henry B - the best points have already been made. Like Edith D said, polio put many people in wheel chairs - a cousin of mine being one of them. These diseases have been close to eradicated, and I am not sure this should even be a choice given to parents (I know that won't go over well ;) ).
As for the argument that lifestyle changes can prevent these diseases, they aren't lifestyle diseases. If the vaccine was for something like diabetes, then it is a different story. They vaccines are for diseases like polio, rubella, measles etc, and they don't really care if you eat organic or not.
It is also impossible to travel in many parts of the world without vaccinations. They are required for visas etc. If you children want to travel and see the world, they will need the vaccinations regardless.
In response to Stacy N, I have had a TON of vaccinations, more than your average, but I also grew up in the third world. My mom always made it easier by 1) Never telling me it wouldn't hurt, but saying that it would be over soon. I really appreciate that she never lied to me about pain. 2) There was always a treat to look forward to at the end - usually an ice cream, or candy bar that we very rarely got. They had to be imported from North America, so I do mean RARELY.
The crux is that vaccines, like anything you put in your body, can go wrong. There are very real risks for sure. The autism thing is linked to some kids with weaker immune systems or infections or other issues when they're infants are given vaccines because no one knows they have those issues. The vaccine often has a weakened live virus which does not affect most people negatively but CAN affect those with compromised immune systems (note your doc will send you away if you show up for a vaccine while you have a cold).
It's true that for most people vaccines don't cause problems, and are LIFE SAVING but for some, and babies/kids are NOT tested for anything prior to getting their first vaccines, it can be detrimental or even deadly. I guess you have to weigh the possible risks of the vaccines with the risks of ending up with a deadly disease that could have been prevented with a vaccine.
For me I've gotten my kids vaccinated because I couldn't live with myself if they got something like whooping cough... which is on the rise since more people are opting next to vaccinate. I am more willing to accept the risks of vaccinating than the risks of NOT.
The links between vaccines and autism have been completly de-bunked. The "doctor" that published the study has had his license revoked for falsifying data and admitted his misconduct. There are risks associated with everything but infant mortality rates have plummetted since vaccines have been in use. Most babies survive childhood now where as, previous to vaccines, many, many babies died.
You can't say that vaccines do not cause autism. I agree it's unlikely and yes Wakefield was a fraud. He was working for his clients who were suing big pharma because they believed vaccines caused their kids autism... so he "found" the proof. So yeah full of shit. BUT without knowing what causes autism you can't say that something definitively does NOT cause it.
And I still think vaccines are worth the tiny risk that may exist with a fraction of the population that are more susceptible.
I think that today's parents have been given the option to be "choosey" when it comes to vaccines because we live in a population and society where a large majority of us have been vaccinated. I think we take for granted how deadly, dangerous, painful and tragic these diseases can be because we have not been exposed to them... because we, and most of our prent's generation, were fortunate enough to be vaccinated! If the tide swings back and more and more parents choose not to vaccinate their children and these diseases make a come back... I bet you that these unvaccinated children will be lining up to get their own children vaccinated in 20-30 years!
Mothers living in poverty would do anything to have these sort of advantages offered to their children! I agree that the real question is not: "what is bad about vaccines?" - but "what is bad about NOT vaccinating?"
This is really crazy! By saying NO to vaccines for deadly diseases, you are gambling with your children's lives that they won't get the disease. I know of two people that got meningitis, and one died from it, the other had complications that effected the rest of their life. This is serious stuff - and could result in death! I really hope that people fully understand this when trying to protect their children.
And for the record, these diseases were around long before junk food. As for autism, I also know a few children with this - and none of their parents would ever say that they wish they hadn't vaccinated thier child - they all did, and don't blame the vaccine for their child's challenges.
My husband and I are world travelers and have had to get many vaccines to visit countries around the world - unfortunately, getting vaccines doesn't get any easier to take, I'm still nervous about needles...even as an adult - but I'm so thankful to be able to be protected!!
I vaccinated my children and I really hope that vaccines continue in our family. My mother died of polio in 1953. I was 9 months old. She was diagnosed on Thursday, in an iron lung by Saturday and dead on Tuesday. She kissed my tummy on her way out the door going to hospital on a stretcher. She was going to an iron lung. Her sister held me up because she could not hold me or move and her lungs were losing their ability to breathe. Polio is a virus that attacks the spinal cord and paralyzes its victim.
Her mother, my grandmother, was crippled by polio (right leg withered). She used crutches and a brace all her life. (She called it "crippled by polio" because she said she didn't want anyone making what happened to her a lighter burden than it was.)
My maternal grandparents raised me until I was 5 and then they lost me, against their will, to my abusive father and stepmother. My mother had run away from my father and was staying with her parents. They had found a place to hide us. My father didn't know that my mother had left him. How different my life would have been if she had lived.
Ironically, Jonas Salk, a Canadian, developed the polio vaccine in 1954 and Canadian children were being vaccinated by 1955.
This is a link to the CBC archived story about the polio epidemic in Canada in 1953. http://www.cbc.ca/archives/categories/health/pu...
Everyone makes their own choice. I would not sentence my children to my grandmother's physical challenges or my mother's death. Polio has not been eradicated yet. Neither has diptheria, nor many of the other diseases we are vaccinated for:
April 2010 - A young woman was treated for diptheria in Nanaimo BC
We might be safe thanks to our luxurious lifestyles here, but what about when we travel? I have been to South America, Africa and many places in Europe and let me tell you I was very happy to not have to worry.
I am moving to Belgium in the fall and had to go through some pretty rigorous paperwork to get my student visa. The Belgium embassy has just about every little bit of dirt on me that they could, among it being my medical history. Short of having an actual blood sample, they know it all. I was vaccinated as a child with every routine shot (polio, measles, mumps etc) however, I wonder about the implications had I not been? Its another consideration to this very heated thread that has formed here!!
Owen: Sure, I'll weigh in again. But I typically don't involve myself in online debates on the topic of vaccines, simply because it's an argument that gets people extremely emotionally charged (on both sides) and tends to end in total strangers using their "behind-a-screen" bravery to say hurtful and ridiculous things. That said, I appreciate that everyone here has been (mostly) respectful.
The reality is, I'm not opposed to the actual "dead" diseases in the vaccines...it's the preservatives that have been linked to so many adverse reactions and I would ABSOLUTELY NOT put in my child's body. Period. Heaven forbid you have a child who is immune-deficient because they will be the one to have the serious reaction. And of course all studies will be skewed because many children have sufficient immune defences and won't react to a vaccine so it's hard to have a proper study and control group. But unfortunately, you find out at the expense of your child's life being ruined forever.
Amy W: we actually lived in Europe recently and it's funny that you bring it up because Europe is WAY ahead of North America when it comes to using alternative medicines. In fact, my completely-western-medicine-trained MD (in Europe) would prescribe vitamins and homeopathic remedies! OH MY WORD -- can you imagine if a doctor ever tried to do that here?! They're not even allowed! So although I was in the "ground zero" of vaccines (Basel, Switzerland, the central of all pharma headquarters), I never felt ostracized for not vaccinating my kids (whereas here in the US, you can have a hard time even finding a pediatrician that will see your unvaccinated kids and in most states, they can not attend public school). Yet many families in Europe use alternative medicines instead of traditional vaccines and you can buy any and all alternative medicines in your average pharmacy there.
Sarah and Angelique: You call Dr. Wakefield a fraud but are you simply believing the media hype without doing any research yourself? Why not read the other side of the story and see what Dr. Wakefield (and many respected medical professionals) have to say about the claims against him (which were made by a journalist, not a doctor!): http://www.naturalnews.com/035513_Andrew_Wakefi...
Safe to say that the government, including the CDC (which has had it's own VERY questionable dealings in the past few years, including their cover-up of the autism/mercury connection: http://www.autismspot.com/news/CDC-Scandal-Expo...) and the FDA are controlled by our capitalist society -- GREED and MONEY at the root of it all. End of story. It's foolishness to think that major organizations which have bills to pay would have anything but their bottom line motivating them. They are no different than every other capitalist corporation.
How's that for stirring the pot?! ;)
Well, if all parents chose not to vaccinate because their child may be immune deficient what then??
Back to square one and plagues etc. I certainly wish I'd had the polio vaccine in 1953. I maybe could have been a model if I my legs were the same length and I could walk gracefully :>(
Ah but Edith, you're comparing today's vaccines to those of your childhood. And truth be told, the polio epidemic was already declining BEFORE the vaccine was ever implemented so your argument lacks proof.
According to VACCINES Are They Really Safe & Effective? by Neil Z. Miller, "From 1923 to 1953, before the Salk killed-virus vaccine was introduced, the polio death rate in the United States and England had already declined on its own by 47 percent and 55 percent, respectively. Source International Mortality Statistics (1981) by Michael Alderson."
In yet another example of how pharma companies just want to make a buck at the expense of the people they claim to be "helping", we see the polio virus being given orally (because it's cheaper) and then the live strains are actually being found in stool, which is then found in public spaces (like schools where kids don't wash their hands well enough) so now these vaccinated kids who have been "protected" against the disease are causing outbreaks of the disease! How is that fair? Or safe?
We saw Nigeria experience an outbreak and it was completely unnecessary! It may have never happened if they hadn't used a vaccine in the first place: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32418446/ns/health-...
Today's vaccines are not the same as 50 years ago. Today we give babies upwards of TEN vaccines AT ONE TIME and expecting their under-developed immune systems to just "deal with it". And the reason for multi-doses, as per the CDC's website, is "to avoid the need for multiple doctor visits". So we put our kids at risk because we're lazy and too busy?! And even though we have the science to have non-toxic vaccines that don't need any harmful preservatives, we have yet to make those regulatory. And why?! Right...MONEY.
There is a time and place for certain vaccines, but I ABSOLUTELY do not agree with children being vaccinated against things like chicken pox and STD's, to name a few. They failed to tell us that our children vaccinated against chicken pox are now at HIGH RISK of getting shingles as adults! What would have been merely uncomfortable as a child (chicken pox) turns into a life-threatening disease (shingles). Oh but wait! They have the "magic pill" for that one, too! You guessed it, BOOSTER SHOTS!
Booster shots = MORE MONEY FOR PHARMA & GOVERNMENT
More "mandatory" vaccines = MORE MONEY FOR PHARMA & GOVERNMENT
The pharma companies are modern-day snake oil salesmen. Strike fear in the hearts and minds of the people and then tell them to buy your magic potion and everything will be fine. Again, polio was going away on its own...and THEN we started vaccinating.
You are all drinking their Kool-Aid and worse yet, doing their own marketing propaganda FOR THEM by ostracizing people like me, who have actually DONE the research and made a wise and conscious decision!