"What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You About Children's Vaccinations"
by Stephanie Cave, MD, FAAFP with Deborah Mitchell.
You can read the first chapter here.
You can also read the U.S. vaccine schedule here.
Now...before I go any farther, let me just set you straight on my intentions. I sought out to read this book out of a desire to learn more about the risks associated with vaccines so my husband and I could make a wise choice about vaccines for our children. With several family members having auto-immune diseases (MS, Parkinson's Disease, diabetes, etc.), I wondered if that put my children more at risk for complications from vaccinations. I also wondered if there was any proof of some people's opinion that autism could be a result of vaccinations. Obviously not all children have auto-immune diseases, including autism, so I wanted to find out if there was truly a correlation, if any. This post is just my opinion based on my findings and our family's personal choices about vaccinations. I am not a doctor or nurse, just a teacher at heart.
First of all, I find it odd that our society accepts and even pushes organic products for the health of our families, yet we pop pills for everything and anything, and inject so many different things into our bodies without much question. I believe many parents wonder at the hepititis b vaccine within the first several hours of birth and the alarming 6 vaccinations our little 2 month old children get at their second check-up. I mean just to a normal person it seems WAY excessive. BUT...we trust our doctors and their opinions and just do it anyways. That's what we did with our first child. Honestly, looking back we were so overwhelmed by her health problems (failure to thrive) that we never really looked into it.
Luckily, I don't believe my daughter's vaccinations have had any affect on her health... except for one thing. After she received the chicken pox vaccine (around age 15 months) she got a small case of them. You can read the experience in the post "An Uninvited Guest" and "She's on the Chart!" I soon found that MANY parents had experienced the same thing. This was serious for us though as every ounce of weight mattered to her health until age 2. This vaccine set us back 2 weeks in eating. My pediatrician basically said that the vaccine didn't cause her getting them...like the flu-shot, am I right? Ummm hello! Seriously I can't even count the parents that said that their child had the same thing happen to them! In my mind it just goes to show that there seems to be a gap in logic out there about vaccinations. I'm not saying that doctors are dufuses or anything...just that vaccinations seem to be trusted a little too much. I will also stop to say that I LOVE my pediatrician. She was in the armed services for a while. She is a vaccine-aholic :) but I do trust her opinions in many areas.
After reading this book, I am overwhelmed by the lack of education that is given to us parents and certainly the lack of research that has gone into some ingredients found in vaccines. I agree with the author that the reason that more education is not given about vaccines is because many parents would opt not to give some, most, if not all vaccines. Some of it is just common sense and now I have a book that gives me statistics and information on these vaccines to help me make an informed decision for my family. I am so thankful.
So my opinion about this book. I am a teacher at a heart, so I love reading statistics and finding my opinion in a topic whether I disagree or agree with something. This book was great at explaining each vaccine: what it is given for, what types of ingredients go into it, risks and positives. HOWEVER, I caution that this book, again in my opinion, is very one way. When I started this book, I basically felt I needed the other side of the coin so to say because I feel like medical professionals make us feel like our children will die if they don't get all of their vaccines. I wanted to know true risks of not getting them and getting them. This book sometimes made me feel like my child could die or be so severly hurt by vaccines. I did not like feeling like that, but I took it all in to make my balanced decision remembering both sides.
ONE KEY FACT that I really hung my decision on was the fact that children do not start producing bile until 6 months of age. For those of you trying to remember what bile is (honestly needed that myself), bile is produced by the liver to break down fats. It also helps to rid your body of toxins in your body. So when we put these vaccines in our little babies, they don't have bile to help rid the toxins from their bodies. It would also seem that our babies have a very weak immune system which is why they get their antibodies from their mother's milk...and as the baby grows up, the milk gradually decreases in it's antibodies. Now, my doctor would say that the vaccines have barely anthing in them...in fact she said that they are significantly lower doses than when my parents were growing up.
ONE LAST KEY FACT came from the significant changes in our children after the altering of the vaccine schedule/reccomendations in 1994. Autism, asthma, diabetes have all been on the rise. Plus those of us in the teaching field would tell you that kids are much different these days. Many are hyper and hard to contain at times. This is concerning! There may not be a correlation, but something is going on in our society. The main difference in the schedule was the Hep-B vaccine. Knowing that France has banned it since 1998 because of it's links to MS and other neurological diseases...makes me stay FAR AWAY FROM THAT ONE! Besides...realizing that Hep-B is an autoimmune disease that is passed by blood, semen, and other bodily fluids and that my family is not a carrier...makes me wonder why so many people get it without thought. I don't plan on my little baby boy at a couple of hours of age getting a tattoo, getting acupuncture, etc. If he was going for a blood tranfusion or had other risks, then certainly it would be a consideration. On top of that, I plan on homeschooling for a while...so this decision may need to be weighed if I decide to send them to school or daycare.
I believe that looking at your family's healthy history is the way to go in this area of immunizations. Honestly, knowing that MS and diabetes are very prevalent in my family, makes me more cautious with immunizations. So...here was our decision. Based on the cases seen in my dr's office with whooping cough and that the Amish community in our area does see cases of whooping cough as well...we did give James the pertusis, tetanus, diptheria (DTaP) vaccine at 3 mos. This was a hard decision for me based on the earlier finding about the bile. I actually cried when he was so unhappy just a few hours later praying that we had made the right decision. I believe it was for my family. At 6 months, I will reevaluate what may be next for my little guy as far as vaccines. At this point I don't plan on getting the boosters for the DTaP. At the advice of my dr. we did eliminate the rotavirus and the hep-b at this time. She did want us to get, I think it was the Pneumococcal, 3 weeks later, but I decided against it. Even though she is all about vaccines, she was accepting that my decision was to take it slower and eliminate some of them altogether so this made me feel I was making a good balanced decision....because again I appreciate her opinions and thoughts very much.
So there you have it...all my opinions and some of my findings. I realize that some of you reading this may be more on the every vaccine on time route, others on the no-vaccine list and then some may be in the middle like me. Whatever your choice for your family, I just pray that you make your decision by educating yourself on your family history and what each vaccine is all about. All we can do is trust the Lord and take in all of the information we have and do our best! Feel free to leave an opinion or other information you have found in your studies in the comments below! It is great when we can learn from each other.