Friday, March 20, 2009

to vaccinate or not to vaccinate?



Jaxon is now 7 months old and has had none of his vaccinations yet. I'm very torn whether I should get them done or not. I'm scared to get him immunized, and I'm scared NOT to get him immunized! There is conflicting opinions out there about the safety of vaccinations and their link to autism, especially in boys.

I have found this website very interesting and helpful - it's Jenny McCarthy's website on autism.

One of the things that REALLY surprised me is the number of vaccines that are given now, compared to the number that were given in the good ol' 80's when we were kids. Look here to see the comparison. In the 1980's autism was known to affect about 1 in 1,000 children, but now the National Institute of Health estimates the number to be 1 in 150. Hmmmmmm....

I can't stand the thought of my precious, sweet and smart little boy developing autism if it was completely preventable in the first place. But at the same time, I also can't stand the thought of him developing something like measles or Rubella because I didn't get him vaccinated!

Just FYI - we DO plan on eventually getting Jax immunized. Jenny's site has an alternative vaccination schedule on her website. It suggests to wait until your baby is 18 months old before starting the vaccines, and she's got a whole list of other precautions to take when you do get to that point. It also suggests that you get no more than 1 vaccine given at a time, which is an issue here in Canada. You can't get the "5-in-1" shot separated, because "that's how it comes". Grrr.

Generation Rescue did a survey that revealed some interesting facts.

"We surveyed over 9,000 boys in California and Oregon and found that vaccinated boys had a 155% greater chance of having a neurological disorder like ADHD or autism than unvaccinated boys." - Generation Rescue

All vaccinated boys, compared to unvaccinated boys:
  • Vaccinated boys were 155% more likely to have a neurological disorder (RR 2.55)
  • Vaccinated boys were 224% more likely to have ADHD (RR 3.24)
  • Vaccinated boys were 61% more likely to have autism (RR 1.61)
It's pretty hard to get a clear answer from any medical professional. They basically say that "there's no evidence that vaccines cause autism".

I guess I need to keep researching (and praying!) till I feel peace one way or another. I'm sure this is just one of the many confusing decisions we will have to make as parents!

Any (kind) input is welcome.

17 comments:

  1. Hi Laura!
    You probably have no idea who I am, but I check out your blog once in awhile through my friend Amanda! It was so encouraging to see this post because you bring up such a controversial topic that not many people want to talk about! I am extremely proud of you for going with your motherly instinct, waiting, researching and checking out other options. My daughter is almost 20 months old and still has not had any regular vaccinations. I also have a problem with the increased amount that babies are given now compared to when we were young...it's phenominal and kind of scary actually! I take the same stand as you in that at some point I think some vaccines are nessesary, but the question is when and how many! So...in the meantime, I have done my own research and taken my daughter to a Naturopthic Dr. and given her 'Nosodes' which are a completely natural form of the same conventional vaccinations just in a much milder dose and without any of the harsh additives or preservatives! They are extremely safe and effective and give me the peace of mind knowing that my little girl is protected in the same way as any other child until I figure out what I want to do about the regular ones. The only catch is that because they are not recognized or funded by the pharmacutical companies, you have to pay for them, which to me is still worth any price. And of course...your regular dr. isn't gonna recommend it because they don't get paid for it! It was quite interesting though that when my OB was asked if she vaccinated her kids (and keep in mind that she's the one telling me to do it)...she told us she didn't, but would never admit that to anyone else! And when we asked her why...she responded, probably the same reason that you don't feel right about it...Hmmm! I apoligize for this being so long, and feel free to delete it...lol...but I would also love for you to contact me if you have any other questions :) God bless you and your husband in making your decision...I will pray for you! Congrats on your little Jaxon...he's Amazing!!!
    Sheila
    smeikle@telus.net

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  2. It's an interesting debate for sure! I found it intersting what sheila said about 'Nosodes', so if they are extremely safe and effective, how come is it not being used regularly, especially with this being a hot topic? My other question was I would like to see what the majority of Dr's/nurses do with their kids (to vaccinate or not?). Interesting to hear that her Dr. didn't! If there is a real problem with vaccines, why isn't anything being done? Doesn't the Government make just as much money with 'natural vaccines' vs. regular vaccines? It is a tough call, and I think the biggest problem with making a decision is information, what are the facts? statistics can be so misleading because you can make numbers do what you want them to and there are so many factors that may not be mentioned when taking stats into account! It's like either way (vaccinate or not) you 'can' lose, it's just picking the lesser of two evils in a sense :) Sorry I'm not much help, but am very interested to see what the responses are.

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  3. I COMPLETELY understand how you feel about this whole issue. We struggled with it too with Tate...not so much with Emily since we've made our mind up now. :) We haven't vaccinated either of our kids yet, and to be honest, I'm still not sure if we ever will. I think we probably will...but we'll wait until they're much older. The way that I've come to think about this whole thing is this: If God wants them to get measles or any of the other things they vaccinate for, then they'll get it whether they're vaccinated or not. I know it's harder said than done, but really our kids are in God's hands anyways, so I just need to trust him that he'll protect them from any germs or that he'll give us the strength we need for whatever sicknesses they may catch. And for us (we have a whole list of reasons if you're interested! haha), vaccinating our kids (at least any time in the near future) is just not what we feel is right or best for them. Good luck with your decisions on this...you're a great mom, so I'm know you'll make the choice that you feel is right/best! :)

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  4. It's so hard to know what is right hey? It would be great if they would split them up in canada. That way you could choose which one's you want or not at all.
    I guess no matter what side you choose there are stats and people who are going to tell you that you are making the right/wrong choice. And that is unfortunatly the way that it goes in parenting. That's what so hard about making a decision either way.
    My advice is to focus on facts and really study both sides with an open mind. For how many articles you read on pro vaccinations read equal amounts for those who are against. That way you get a fair view on both.
    Just remember tbat both can cause harm, both can cause good.
    I guess above all ask God for peace in making a decision.
    Happy researching
    Erin

    P.S. Just in case you are taking a poll, Colby has his vaccinations.

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  5. That is a tough call. When we had Anson six and a half years ago, I hadn't heard any of the controversy and just trusted my doctor and had him vaccinated. Thankfully he had grown into a healthy, intellegent boy. And I can say the same with my other two boys.

    I commend you for doing the research before prayfully making the decision.

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  6. it's interesting to hear all of your views! Thanks for commenting.

    Shelia - I have never heard of the natural vaccines and I am VERY interested in them!!!!

    Ellen - you mentioned that you didn't know why the natural vaccines wouldn't be more used if they are so good.......there are people who believe (I haven't done enough research personally to have an definite opinion) that it's a big pharmaceutical conspiracy....and doctors get paid for the drugs that they prescribe and administer so that COULD be why. I also don't believe that the government gets NEAR as much $$ for natural vs. regular.

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  7. Wow, and here I thought we were one of the few struggling with this. Our child isn't even born yet and we have an ongoing discussion in our house as to whether we will vaccinate. I don't like the idea of not vaccinating but I appreciate the concern of vaccinating. From the research Jamie has done (and this is what I remember so it may be distorted a bit) most of the problems come because of the AGE that the vaccinations are given. If that is truly the case I can see us vaccinating on an alternative schedule. However, having said that, I know that Jamie has a huge issue with the additives and preservatives used in vaccinations. SO, who knows what we'll do... not much help to you but know that you are not alone on this issue!

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  8. Here is an interesting article I found a while back. Turns out that Dr. Andrew Wakefield (the guy who published a study linking vaccination to autism) was being paid by a group of parents of autistic kids who wanted to start a lawsuit against the makers of the MMR vaccine.

    http://www.medbroadcast.com/channel_health_news_details.asp?news_id=12865&rss=67&rid=999999&channel_id=1020&rot=3

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  9. Anonymous11:15 PM

    http://www.medbroadcast.com/channel_health_news_details.asp?news_id=12865&rss=67&rid=999999&channel_id=1020&rot=3

    I think I didn't copy the whole link

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  10. http://web.me.com/warrenandliane/The_Thiessens_Playground/Words/Entries/2007/7/17_Give_‘em_the_shot_already!.html


    Maybe this will work!

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  11. Hi Laura!
    You and I have talked a lot about this topic and I know we're both in the same boat... what is best for our babies? We still haven't vaccined Taden at all and he is almost 16 months old. I've been putting it off, thinking we would space them out and delay them until he is 18 months or 2 years old, before we start, but have still felt hesitant about starting. Even if we do start them, we don't plan on doing ALL of the vaccines, just certain ones. However, hearing about the "natural" vaccines DEFINITLY perked my interest. Do you know if they can be purchased at a natural / supplement store? We have one near us that I might check out. I've used natural teething tablets with Taden, maybe there's hope for the natural vaccines?? Let me know if you hear any more info on them. And I'll let you know if I find anything out at the natural store near us. Love ya! Give Jax a hug and kiss for us :)

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  12. Well, aren't you brave to bring up such a controversial topic :)

    I find it interesting that people are waiting for someone to prove that vaccinations cause autism (along with other health problems). I'm waiting for the drug companies to prove me to me that what they are providing are totally 100% safe and will do my child no harm.

    If there are risks for either decision, I will take the no vaccination risk. Would I rather my child have mumps, measles, or autism? Thankfully, much of what we are vaccinated against are not life threatening. Uncomfortable, but not necessarily deadly.

    I have never heard of natural vaccines...definately something to find out more about!!

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  14. My kids are both vaccinated, and though I was a little afraid to do it, I'm glad I did. Remember that vaccines were made for a reason, and we are fortunate enough to not have seen all the horrible things that happened in previous generations.

    Be careful what research you base all your decisions off of too. All the information you quoted is US information. You might be surprised to know that Canada's system is quite a bit different than the US.

    The fewer people that get vaccinated, the more people are going to get the horrible diseases that they are supposed to prevent. Why do we think it's so important that 3rd world countries get vaccines, yet we refuse them for our own children? Is it OK for them and not for us?

    Just a few things to think about. I have also heard that a child will not just all of a sudden get autism without having been predisposed to it. So if a child's autism began after a vaccine, it was likely that they were heading in that direction already, and the vaccine just jumpstarted it.

    Praying for our children's health is very important, but I also believe that God gave the doctors wisdom to help us, and denying that is kind of silly, don't you think? No, doctors are not always right, but they aren't trying to kill us :)

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  15. Micah6:45 PM

    Laura
    Take a look at these websites. Sarah and I are looking into this issue as well.

    http://www.vran.org/docs/VRAN-Immunization-Fact-Sheet-v6.pdf

    http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ccdr-rmtc/97vol23/23s4/23s4b_e.html

    http://vran.org/legal/forms.htm

    http://vran.org/docs/form-2.pdf

    These are from a canadian website. You might find them interesting.

    Micah

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  16. I hate, hate, hate vaccinating my children for all the above reasons. Besides Jenny McCarthy's views, I found no substantial evidence to go alone with my fears of "what-if links to autism."

    I prayed about it a lot, my husband said to go with my gut. I decided to go ahead the the vaccinations, but I started at 6 months with my second born. Her last round of shots she had 7 vaccinations at once and had a terrible reaction. High fever and so lethargic I was sure I had permanently damaged my child forever. My nurse friend said to wait a few days and the symptoms did go away. Unfortunately, that fever/shots episodes seemed to weaken her immune system because she's been sick with one cold or flu bug after another for almost a month.

    For child #3, I plan to do a slower pace with the vaccines, start later, and not get so many at once.

    Good for you for giving this so much consideration.

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  17. This has been on my mind a lot as Korban rapidly draws near his 1st birthday (April 23rd)... I've postponed researching into it because I knew I wouldn't vaccine this early anyways. I guess now is the time to actually research though! Thanks for the links, I'll look into them. My sister waited until her daughter was almost 2 before starting. One of the vaccines is only given to kids under 2, so she opted out of that one. She's planning on doing the same thing with her 2nd. I need to look into all of this, but my thought is that he will get some vaccines (not all) but more spaced out and starting closer to 2...

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