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.