Baby 411 authors/Ari Brown Response to Vaccine Issue

I received the following response from Denise and Allan Fields of Baby 411. I have also included my response.
After you read it, please vote in the poll to the right(poll will be sent out to a wider audience via email as well) and offer any comments you like.


Thank you so much for writing in. We truly appreciate reader input and your
thoughtful comments are extremely helpful. Dr Brown is part of a national
immunization alliance and would like to share your input with that group.
What do you think would be the most useful way to interact with
pediatricians and experts who can help provide accurate vaccine information?

1. A public seminar offered in local/regional areas
2. A video seminar, offered online that includes all the most common
concerns parents have
3. An 800 hotline answered by live volunteer experts
4. An email exchange answered by volunteer experts

Please let us know if you have any other suggestions.

Best wishes,

Alan & Denise Fields, authors
Phone: 303-442-8792
Address: Windsor Peak Press, 436 Pine Street, Boulder, CO 80302

my response:
Thanks so much for the response. Those are all good ideas for getting vaccine info to concerned parents. I feel that a public, regionally offered seminar would be the most effective, but I also feel that an email exchange with experts is a good idea. Another option is a live streaming seminar that could be seen online in real time and viewed later. With mom schedules, particularly moms with young babies (which would be the target audience I assume since vaccine decisions are generally made early), on online seminar would be easiest to attend and probably the most cost effective for the presenting organization. In such a format, questions could be emailed in real time and answered.
I am going to post your response on my blog, which is read by a good number of like minded moms. I will poll them and poll the mom groups I am in contact with as well. Maybe it will help if I send their opinions on as well.

There is one other thought I would like to share with Dr. Brown and other pediatricians, and that is that most moms I know are concerned with the aluminum content of vaccines and aluminum’s possibly unstudied and as yet unknown consequences for babies as much as or more than they are concerned with autism and vaccines. In my experience with 3 pediatricians so far, all have responded to questions about aluminum with an admitted lack of knowledge. This is understandable because aluminum is a relatively new concern, but the most popular vaccine book, the Sears Vaccine Book, hammers home this idea that aluminum is possibly harmful. In fact Sear’s alternative vaccine schedule is based on the combined aluminum content of shots such that only one aluminum containing vaccine is given at a time. So it seems fair that we should expect that our pediatricians are informed about this new risk, as they are the experts we interact with. When asked, if they know nothing, the mom alarm goes off. Could aluminum be the next mercury? And that fear needs to be addressed with information. Possibly aluminum is exactly as harmful as Dr. Sears fears. It is crucial that pediatricians be able to address current fears about vaccines.
One final thought, and that is that most of the moms I have discussed this issue with do feel a social responsibility about vaccinating. It is very hard, once you have some information about dangers of vaccines, to put your child in what is possibly harm’s way. When asking moms about our social responsibility to vaccinate for the good of all, we should also ask drug companies where their social responsibility lies in providing SAFE vaccines without scary additives like aluminum and, previously, mercury.
Thanks for your time! It’s wonderful to get a response.
Ravyn Abboushi
Austin, TX


9 thoughts on “Baby 411 authors/Ari Brown Response to Vaccine Issue

  1. Well said, Ravyn. I agree with you that community seminars with pediatricians — who are willing to speak their own truths, beliefs, and knowledge — is the best way to present this information AND to have reasonable dialogue about this touchy subject. I also strongly support your belief that it is incumbent upon them to know the latest. I have been completely mystified by the seeming lack of interest in what I see as almost a movement of contemporary parenting toward “alternatives” in pregnancy, birth, and post partum as well as pediatric issues. Even as a yoga teacher I have at LEAST taken classes in and read about or researched methods that I personally (and privately) disagree with; why is that apparently SOME pediatricians are aware of these issues and have not bothered to put together alternatives that will work for parents facing them? When I was in the midst of researching vaccinations for my baby, I was also battling sleep deprivation and unexpected post partum depression. Every decision I made seemed like life and death. And at times, it has been. I literally cried with frustration, wishing there were someone here in town who would listen to my concerns and help me come up with a plan that worked for us. Finally I went with a notoriously “holistic approach” doctor, but he is still pro-vaccination and didn’t necessarily have the information I was looking for at the ready. I longed for a Dr. Sears or Dr. Cave type to tell me what to do. I know that is not rational, but being a parent seldom seems to be. I am not a pushover or even dogmatic when it comes to these issues, but wow would I like to have face time with pediatricians who understand all sides of the issue.

  2. Very nice reply to their response! I’m glad they have been responsive – very encouraging. I especially liked your comment about the drug companies taking responsibility just as the parents are being asked to do – very nice point.I would vote that that a community seminar would be great, but it would be a bummer if it didn’t work with one’s schedule. An email exchange/message board or even blog format would be wonderful – being able to see people’s questions/comments and ask the experts. It would be nice if this place also served as a central location for any links to new information/research/articles that people are finding everyday (such as developments around aluminum). An up-to-date central location that you can access when convenient seems like the most accessible for new moms struggling with sleep dep, PP and the general struggle to find free time.Thanks for forging the conversation and passing along our opinions!

  3. I’m going to speak for a large group of mothers that oftentimes have no voice, or even knowledge of these issues. During the years I worked with disadvantaged families, I found that one of the largest hurdles to parent education was lack of access. Public seminars are a fabulous idea for mothers who have transportation to them, but mothers in poverty often have little resource to rides and save them up for WIC appointments, ect. I think that an educational video that could be watched at a health department or family physician appointment could be useful in addition to the other options. YOU ARE AWESOME – Way to be proactive!!!

  4. I definitely like the web seminar in real time with email questions. It is a bit better than being talked at by a video. However, as Kym pointed out, this is really geared toward web savvy moms. On the other hand, I suspect that is their target demographic at the moment as there is a ridiculous amount of incorrect and misleading information online fueling confusion. The video would be a great supplement especially for economically disadvantaged families. Downloadable videos would be a plus for health care workers who could take it with them.

  5. Hi, I think a web seminar would be helpful as well. I for one would sign up and let all my mamahood friends know.I think when you try to find information about something potentially harmful for your child and your faced with the fact that very little information exists, well it is quite daunting and makes you more skeptical.I feel more research is very much needed and all communications should be open to both the medical field as well as the patients and parents.

  6. I’ve gotten some books and vaccines and what I have read really concerns me. Since some vaccines are given early, I want to make my decision before my baby is born (in April). I work full time so the web seminar/blog ideas are appealing to me. I wouldn’t be able to make it to a seminar. The public health video is also a great idea. People without transportation or internet still need and want this information.

  7. Oh, I so want to launch into one of my anti-corporation rants right now, but I’m tired and I have a no ranting on other people’s blogs policy. If I have the energy, I may rant on my own blog later. For now, I’ll just paste a link to this youtube video:

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