Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Vaccines: Digging a little deeper (Part 4)

I have had concerned emails after my posts on vaccines.
Please know, this is certainly not something I take lightly.
Believe me when I say I have done the research and looked at information on both sides of this issue. I have 2 doctors in my immediate family and I do not believe that modern medicine is the enemy. I do however feel that the evidence surrounding vaccine injury gives reason for concern.
But please don't take my word for it.
Educate yourself.
If you fear vaccines, but still worry about consequences of not vaccinating, you need to do more research. You do not yet have a full knowledge for yourself, and won't have peace about not vaccinating until you do.
Right now, I would suggest simply holding off on any scheduled vaccinations.

When Morris was born, I had not yet come to a place of peace and so we made the decision to hold off on any shots until I felt calm about doing so. The more I read, the more I was glad we hadn't rushed into anything.
Do more reading when you can. Discuss it with your partner, and reaIly meditate about it.
I don't want to talk you into anything, but it will not hurt to take some time off the vaccs and gain more knowledge on the issue. No matter what you decide, you will be glad you made your decision based on knowledge, and not social pressure.

If you decide vaccines are not for your family, know that you have to be educated and firm in your belief. I will admit, it is not always socially acceptable. I have had women not want Mo to play with their child for fear he will give them an illness. Not all your family will agree with the no vaccs philosophy and they might try to get involved.
You also need to think about how you will respond if your child does contract a disease. Vaccinated children contract the very diseases they were vaccinated for all of the time. Somehow this is considered a fluke. I have heard the words, "At least they did everything they could". This, of course implies that parents who choose not to vaccinate are not doing everything possible to protect their child. These parents are often looked at as irresponsible or conspiracy theorists.
This entire issue plays upon an interesting trend in our culture. Of course we as parents do anything and everything to protect our children. Doing makes us feel as if we have control over the circumstances. Doing makes us feel proactive. But what about Not doing. What if not doing is the "proactive" choice? Can we forgo that sense of security that we had "done everything possible"-- That if our child gets a disease, we can rest assured we had done everything we could? We need to ask ourselves those difficult questions--Who is the vaccine really for? Does it serve the child? Or is it mostly to calm our need for assurance--that we have done something? Can we give up our own need for assurance? It requires a different kind of knowing--a different kind of parenting. You realize you cannot rely on anyone else to make that decision for you. There is too much at stake. We are not suggesting naive recklessness--rather a thoroughly informed decision.

Sarah-- a reader, commented on the outbreak of whooping cough (pertussis) that is going on in her country of Australia. Many of the children who contract the disease have been vaccinated. Due to this, they are not diagnosed or treated in a timely manner because of their assumed immunity from vaccine. They are not only untreated, but continue to pass the disease for up to 3 weeks. This is not an isolated case of vaccinated children contracting and infecting others.
Dr. William Atkinson, senior epidemiologist with the CDC, admitted that "measles transmission has been clearly documented among vaccinated persons. In some large outbreaks...over 95% of cases have a history of vaccination." Problems with efficacy seem to plague vaccines. For example, in a 2003 U.S. outbreak of pertussis, 4 of every 5 people who contracted the disease were vaccinated against it.
I'm not selling a false sense of security through a magic shot. I am suggesting that you keep asking questions. Keep Asking Questions! And look for your own answers.


Beth said...

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said to ASK QUESTIONS. It does not mean you are weird, it means that you want to know what you are getting into. Thanks for helping us become informed!!

daydreamer and midwife said...

thanks for sharing - well thought out and great series.

Sarah said...

These posts have been so helpful! It is so hard when there is such a stigma around even asking questions. We are parents who want what's best for our children, it is our responsibility to educate ourselves and be advocates for our children.

Tanya Leigh said...

My biggest problem came when everyone started pushing the Human Papoloma Virus for young girls. This seemed so ridiculously like jumping the gun on a largely un-tested vaccine, for a virus that largely only effects permiscuous people.

Tanya Leigh said...

ps. I love how I can't spell anything up there.

Emily Ruth said...

I hate that comments don't do spell check. I need it BAD!

Jane Doe said...

Glad to have found your blog and connect with others who take a similar approach to their health! I am happy to see you highlighted the fact that vaccination does NOT confer immunity - I have tried to explain this to many friends who resist hearing that just because you have been vaccinated, doesn't actually mean you have built immunity. I just took my daughter in for possible whooping cough and found it interesting that the medical community blames non-vaccinated individuals for putting others at risk, however vaccinated individuals are probably more likely to put others at risk because as you said the "assumed immunity." I was also told to have her vaccinated when she gets better. ? That made me laugh a little actually.