Vaccinations. A veritable tirade.

This really is, as one woman I know put it, the “million dollar question”.
What have you decided to do about vaccinations?
If you have young ones at home, or are planning on it, this is your issue. For me it is more weighty than circumcision, perhaps more important than what name to give, more gut wrenching than where to give birth.
Even if you decide to go ahead with the CDC recommended vaccine schedule, the fact is that you decided to do it that way. Never before have parents had so much to decide in the arena of vaccination. This is both good and bad, as I am finding out and as you probably already know if you read this blog.
Good: we can make the most intelligent choices about what goes in to our children’s bodies and what risks we are willing to take (or not).
Bad: While these choices are so important to our children’s health and the health of us all (the health of the herd, so to speak), there has been precious little research made available to parents. So how do we decide? How do we even know where to begin researching and whose research to trust?
Good: there is beginning to be a bit more vaccine research coming out now to the public that was either not being done before or was previously written off as the product of fringe scientists and “new age-y” doctors.
Bad: if you are a parent, when do you have time to read all this new research? We can’t even eat sitting down and if we do get the time to actually read something, shouldn’t it be something fun? And you’d pretty much have to be a scientist or a doctor to wade through all the research confidently.

And yet, what we parents hear is that vaccinations may cause/be linked to/play a role in the ever rising rate of Autism in this country. Not to mention the other side effects.
And what about the whispers that the more radical among us are listening to that say vaccinating before age 2 is useless anyway? Or that the preservatives and additives in the vaccine make the vaccine as dangerous as the disease it treats? If you have read what is in a vaccine, you might not think that is such a radical idea (“baby cow serum”? aluminum? formaldehyde? stem cells from monkeys?). According to a recent article I read, the aluminum content alone is cause for alarm. Particularly since there is no current reliable research to tell us that a healthy 2 month old baby can process out of the body without brain or other tissue damage the huge dose of aluminum she will get upon receiving the first round of CDC recommended vaccinations. With all this static, who wouldn’t begin to question? It’s right that we question, considering what is at stake. But parents who question vaccines are often put in a certain category: hippy. Over protective. Irresponsible. On a recent visit to my pediatrician’s office the doc I saw turned to me and said, “Usually at 2 months we talk about vaccinations. Or are you one that wants to delay?”
The problem isn’t the questioning, it’s the lack of answering. The problem is most doctors don’t have the time or training or willingness to talk to you about vaccines. The problem is our litigious society. The problem is really complex.
The fact is that vaccines have been incredibly valuable to us as a society. How many of you know someone with polio? Had diphtheria? rubella? I am guessing not many. Thank you, vaccines. But it’s time to take another look at the way we are dosing our children with these drugs.
This is not a decision parents should have to make in the dark like we currently do. We should have doctors to turn to, scientists to trust, and studies to read. There is a veritable underground railroad of non-vaccinators or vaccine-delayers who contact each other to find out which doctors won’t kick them out of their practice for straying from CDC guidelines. It shouldn’t be like this. Wanting the best thing for your children is not only something to be proud of, it’s the most natural thing in the world.
And yes, absolutely there is a component to this which concerns what is best for humanity as a whole. The immunity of the herd, so to speak, is at stake. A friend recently put it this way: Yes, there is a social contract we enter into when we decide to vaccinate our children. The immunity of society as a whole. But I will uphold my end of that contract when the drug companies uphold theirs. Give us safe vaccines to inject our children with! No more of this aluminum and preservatives to make the drug shelf life longer. Give me a safe vaccine and I will uphold my end of the social contract by vaccinating my child.
I agree.


6 thoughts on “Vaccinations. A veritable tirade.

  1. Well I may get hated on for this but here goes.1. I do know three adults who had polio, one being my grandmother. And it is absolutely debilitating and continues to have lasting effects despite the fact that she is now in her eighties.2. I don’t think the issue with the research is that it is new agey or hippy. It’s that it is not statiscally sound. This is my industry and I deal with this kind of data everyday. The way the research on the link between autism and vaccines is setup is fine if you are writing an anthropological study. But if you were going for drug approval ( or removal) they would not hold up. If there is a connection, larger controlled trials need to be performed.I don’t really understand why doctors get upset about delaying but completely not vaccinating can turn into a public health issues. And I don’t intend to add fuel to the fire but Texas (as well as most other Southwestern states) have higher rates of the “erradicated” diseases compared to other states. I vaccinated Elise per the CDC scedule with no issues.We should always continue to question. Science is not infallible either. I’m pushing for a non biased, non profit group to run a long term, controlled trial on vaccines effects. Just my two cents.

  2. I think part of the issue that inhibits the knowledge that you seek about he reality of vaccines, is the way the research is funded. A lot of the kind of research that needs to be done hasn’t been because the money is not there to fund it. Unfortunately, a lot of the funds come from parties heavily vested in the results (such as the manufacturers), and even if results are released, there is a lot of doubt cast on them as a result. There needs to be a lot more done to inform docs and parents about the real risks. Until medicine becomes much more evidence based than it is today, that kind of research will be a long time coming.I the mean time, I am skeptical but as lost as you on this. Keep me updated on your choices.

  3. Aye, the inevitable choice!Our 2 month appointment is Wednesday and I still don’t know what we’re doing. Keep me posted on what you do. I think your entry is awesome. It really speaks to our whole generation of new mothers I think. We should write a song about vaccinations : )

  4. Tammy B, well said. We really need more non (or at least less) biased sources to fund these studies.Also, I sound way more harsh in my first comment than intended. I was really trying to address my general issues with the debate in general, not the specific post. Sorry, I was typing from my iPhone at 5am. I’m not the most eloquent at that time of day 😉

  5. I think the issue of funding for research is huge. The more educated the public, the more thorny the issue of trusting the government and drug companies becomes. And the road we are going down is one that could be disastrous. A resurgence of eradicated diseases is sure to follow if we see a majority of parents stop vaccinating. But who is to blame? I say certainly not parents, who are naturally driven to do the best they can for their children. And honestly, I think it is the rare parent who looks at their own child and decides to risk that child’s life for the good of everyone else’s children. A great idea that is not very realistic, because it is hard to be that rational about the risk of injury to your child even if we should be.

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