• josh

    I can’t find the reference, but the doctor who promulgated the stories about vaccines causing autism, etc just admitted that he faked the research. it’s an urban legend and a lethal one.

  • Andrea

    Well said. My point of view exactly, but I have never been able to articulate it so well.

  • J

    well put.

  • Anonymous

    I really believe each parent does the best that they can for their child, with their child’s wellbeing in mind. Do not forget that immunized infants, children, & adults can STILL GET ILLNESSES they are vaccinated for. No one is ever completely immunized, thus the ‘booster’ concept.

    I really feel that acceptance and understanding needs to replace blame on both sides of the issue. Loving parent’s intentions are for the good.

    I was exposed to late-stage TB while working at a homeless shelter years ago. I never developed TB (yet) as a result of that positive ppd result. I never blamed the homeless woman who utilized the shelter on a regular basis, who exposed me and others. It happened and I dealt with it.

    So, good for those who vaccinate! Good for those who don’t! Good for those who alter the schedule! I believe you all are doing the best you can for your child.

    Parenting is tough, lets support eachother in our common journey instead letting that judgement overcome us.

    As for us, we did choose to vaccinate selectively on a alternate schedule.

    And to those who said they could “never forgive”, wow. Forgiveness is for YOU, not the other person.

  • Katrina

    I am one of those moms…One of my children is vaccinated. Two are not. My son, my middle child, had a reaction to the DPT. Which was given at the same time as the MMR.

    And I watched my son who had been meeting every developmental mile stone, begin to lag behind. He is now 15, and verbal, but he will NEVER be the same, or the same as other kids. We talk about how it feels to be so different from his peers.

    When I had my youngest years later, I chose not to risk it. I know, there is no hard data on this. I know lots of people tell me it’s just a fluke. But no one. No doctor, has ever been able to tell me what caused the sudden change in my healthy baby boy.

    I will say though. I would NEVER judge parents who choose to vaccinate. And if their child developed an autism spectrum disorder I would not blame them. They where doing the best they could. And I hope for (but don’t usually get) the same kind of respect from parents who DO vaccinate their children.

  • Anonymous

    Gardasil is the hot topic for parents of teenage girls now. Most of my friends have vaccinated their daughter’s (as have I). But there are still some that think it promotes sexual activity. They are the ones that expect their daughter to wait until they are married. But, hey, what if their husband doesn’t wait until he is married or god forbid they are raped.

  • http://www.nrward82.blogspot.com/ Nikki

    Right on Sista! I am 6 months pregnant with my first child and my husband and I have already made the decision to have our infant vaccinated. I work in a lab that develops vaccines, so I know how important it is to prevent outbreaks like that Measles case. The idea of hear immunity does not work if everyone forgoes vaccinating their child!

    Thanks for opening this topic up for discussion on your blog. I think more mothers need to be properly educated by someone other than the crazed media.

  • sybann

    The industrial complex that is our healthcare system cannot be trusted to properly monitor themselves or the drugs they want us to put in our bodies. We MUST be as informed as possible and stop looking to doctors like they’re mini gods. Read every thing you can get your hands on and find a doctor that doesn’t pat you on the head and say “you let me worry about that little lady.”

    Trust no one. Arm yourself with information. There is no such thing as too much of it. Vaccinate carefully. If you refuse to vaccinate your children keep them the hell away from mine.

  • Christina

    I vaccinated my three kids according to the recommended schedule and am so very thankful that nothing went wrong. Now that I know people who have children who are vaccine injured and after learning more about vaccines I will be much more cautious the next time around. For the commentators who say it is reckless to not vaccinate I say it is just as reckless to vaccinate blindly without doing your research. I hope that all of the future parents who are reading this take the time to delve more deeply.

    Oh and since Gardasil has been mentioned more than once I have to address it. As a feminist I was thrilled when I first heard about this vaccine. Finally, the pharmaceutical companies were addressing womens health as much as they were mens desire for a hard on! That was before I read that girls were DYING from the vaccine.

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=68454

    Oh and what’s interesting about it on a social note. When Gardasil was first available to girls the big concern was that it would lead to promiscuity. Now that Merck is trying to push it on boys, guess what the big concern is? The safety of it! Nice.

  • Shannon

    For everyone who keeps saying that to not vaccinate your child is to put other vaccinated children at risk, I have to ask, what the purpose of a vaccine is if it is not to PROTECT YOU FROM NON-VACCINATED PEOPLE? This is illogical. Either vaccines don’t work, or you have nothing to worry about if you’re vaccinated. Clearly, the people who are not immunized carry the risk. It seems more logical to me that the children who are not vaccinated would risk infection via the vaccinated children who HAVE BEEN INJECTED WITH THE DISEASE.

    Also, perhaps by continuing to inject our kids with these diseases and keeping them around for the sake of making vaccinations, we are contributing to the longevity of diseases that should have been long erradicated by the “miracle” of modern technology and science.

    Just a thought.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps already said, so forgive if this is the case.

    In response to “Kay” (#143 in the comments) who said: “…he deserves to be able to interact with others his age, no matter how limited his abilities may be. And I refuse to take that small joy away from him because of the risk it might pose to him, or others.”

    Don’t you believe that’s a little selfish in light of the fact that, if ill with an infectious disease due to non-vaccination, MY child (or anothers) may become sick, disabled or die? Please don’t misunderstand, I’m very empathic to your son’s health/disability but not when placing your child’s “joy” above the HEALTH of others.

    I think the bigger picture & question is, “Where is the line in the sand: does one child’s health supercede the well-being of the “community?”

  • Anonymous

    I just made the decision to go ahead and vaccinate my now three month old baby. And it was not a decision I made lightly. I researched, and I read and I discussed. I consulted Doctor friend’s and a naturopath. And I do NOT regret my decision. The risks associated with vaccinations do exist, and these risks are closely monitored and are very tiny in comparison to the huge risks if my child does get the measles, pertussus, or other illness.

    What disapointed me was the very knee-jerk reaction I recieved from the naturopath who I consulted on the subject. “There’s mercury in vaccines” she told me. Not true (in Canada the ingredient she’s referencing is a preservative derived from a mercury solution that is no longer used in vaccines, not sure about the States). “Vaccines cause autism.” And, “if you want information about what vaccines can do to children, talk to a parent whose child was damaged by a vaccine.” Very fair and balanced…

    I do not regret my decision to vaccinate.

  • Anonymous

    RE:

    973. Joanna said:
    If your child is vaccinated, then theoretically, shouldn’t your child be protected against the disease for which he or she vaccinated? So why blame the parents of an unvaccinated child who has measles or chicken pox?

    Are you joking? Vaccinations are not 100% effective, and some children physically cannot receive them. Less and less people receiving vaccines will clearly lead to the disease being spread around more easily, therefore, even children who were vaccinated will be more vulnerable.

    and RE:980. Laura said:
    Every fully vaccinated kid I know has had some or all of these problems. How is that healthy?

    Duh. The vax are not for ear infections or colds. They are for specific diseases.

  • http://www.whale.to/v/phillips.html Dave

    Here is an amazing link that I think the Author and others should refer too. It should answer a lot of questions, but the most valuable part of the link is the fact that is actually has all of the sources referenced at the bottom. That is something you won’t find in a news article.

    http://www.whale.to/v/phillips.html

  • Wendy Martin

    I clap my hands to you. Exactly!! My mother-in-law lost a sister to polio. These diseases are real and deadly. That’s why vaccine’s were made. I asked my very experienced, awesome pediatrician about autism and vaccines (I have a half-brother who is autistic). She said there is no conclusive evidence, that the study was put together by a group of lawyers who had special interest in showing an association between vaccinations and autism.
    Great post!

  • Kristin

    As someone who does not yet have children, I often feel like I should keep my mouth shut regarding this discussion. However, I wanted to thank you for bringing this topic up for discussion.

    While in grad school, I was a TSS for an autistic child. His parents strongly believed that vaccinations were the direct cause of their child’s disability. After seeing how their lives were irreversibly changed by this turn of events, I can understand the fear that goes into making a decision on whether or not to vaccinate your child.

    From the research I have done, the scientific evidence against vaccination is not yet strong enough to convince me that vaccination cons outweigh the pros. Of course, I have the luxury of waiting to see what the research will tell me in the next few years.

    As of right now, I look at it this way: Schizophrenia usually appears in the early 20′s, when a young adult is working their way through a transitional period in their life (starting college, working a full-time job). Science does not yet know the cause/trigger of schizophrenia. I have never heard someone argue that college is causing schizophrenia. It’s only a correlation.

    Now maybe in a few years science will have determined that a vaccine ingredient or the extremely demanding vaccine schedule is, in fact, causing autism and will have to eat my words. Until that time, I will stand by vaccination- although a modified schedule does seem promising.

  • Sherri, A new Reader (And LOVING it.)

    So, I saw u on Oprah, And I’m so glad I did. Your humor is a lot like mine, and so is your brutal Honesty. I read this and immediately agreed. When I was pregnant (Married to an abusive controlling dimwitted piece of Sh*t) I was informing him of the immunization schedule along with known side-effects, and he said, ” NO WAY, We aren’t putting that stuff in my kid!” I looked at him like he was insane.

    I know that it is a choice to be made by the parents of a child, and that’s fine and good, but honestly, they need to let people know, like stamp it on the front door, on all the invites to the parties and stuff, because we are all unwittingly exposing ourselves to someone who has chosen the risk of getting some awful dangerous thing that we dont want. I know I am unrealistic in my statement, but I think there should be some kind of full disclosure involved for the sake of the community. If my child is allergic to the measles vaccine, and someone chooses not to vaccinate then goes to switzarland, I wanna know, so That I can keep the two from one another for a couple weeks or something. Not out of judgement, but out of respect for how dangerous that virus is.

    I know this is probably the longwst comment ever, but you should probably expect more; I really liked the experience of trekking through your thoughts and plan to visit more; it’s nice to know when someone else GETS IT.

    Great Job on Oprah.
    sherri

  • Anonymous

    159. Christian
    “How about the fact that not one child died from the measles outbreak? Or anyone in the U.S., for that matter.”
    Well, I typed “measles deaths” into Google, and the first thing that popped up was the WHO:
    # Measles is a leading cause of death among young children even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available to prevent the disease.
    # In 2007, there were 197 000 measles deaths globally – nearly 540 deaths every day or 22 deaths every hour.
    # More than 95% of measles deaths occur in low-income countries with weak health infrastructure.
    No, we have not had recent measles deaths in the U.S. BECAUSE WE TEND TO IMMUNIZE.

    My in-laws drove me batty with my kids re: MMR – sending link after link to the debunked pseudo-studies. I kept the rigorous schedule, even with my kid who spent 3 months in the NICU and had g-tube. I update my own DTaP every ten years.

    I guess it will take a pandemic to remind people about why we have the immunizations. We all got them. We are all healthy. I know there are risks – but the minute risk of a reaction is better than the risk of the infection.

    I understand people who CAN’T immunize. I don’t understand those who WON’T.

  • Becky

    I. Cannot. Agree. With. You. More. Like Asha said, there is no scientific evidence. I have yet to be persuaded NOT to vaccinate. I have discussed this with our doctor in depth and I feel that the risks of contracting (and maybe SPREADING) these diseases FAR outweigh the potential risks.

    That said, there are reasons to do a delayed schedule – these vaccinations are for healthy children. If your child is sick I can understand delaying. But never NOT doing them.

  • Anonymous

    This topic is as polarizing as religion. People can be very close minded just because it’s the common belief system held by society/medical society. This, however, does not mean it’s the best belief system for our health. Comment by Fiona Taylor is a balanced anti-vaccination comment. I have not vaccinated my children and don’t intend on doing so. Vaccinations elicit an immune response, true, but not the same immunity you gain from actually getting the disease. Because the immunity isn’t *natural*, now we’re seeing an increase in auto-immune diseases. Basically, we shouldn’t be messing with how you gain natural immunity. Chicken pox is a good example…most (now there always exceptions, I realize) kids get through it and then have immunity for life. Now that very few of us are being exposed year after year to chicken pox (and thus getting a “boost”), shingles cases are sky-rocketing because we’re all losing our immunity to the zoster virus. Anyway, it’s a complex subject. There’s lots of money at stake (vaccine manufacturers). There are no easy answers, but I would highly recommend spending time researching the anti-vaccine side. (btw, I was pro-vaccine until I had my first child and did extensive research on the “other side”).

  • Lisa

    That is SUCH bullshit, Heather, that children who are ten months old will possibly die from Measles (or the other childhood diseases your mentioned). Maybe if they are in a war torn country, without decent nutrition.

    Utter bullshit in a Western Country where children are well nourished. You, my dear, have bought the hype and the scare mongering.

    When children go through these NORMAL childhood diseases, they experience developmental leaps after recovery AND they *have immunity for LIFE*. That immunity for life? DOES NOT EXIST WITH ANY ‘VACCINE’ or ‘IMMUNIZATION’. I speak from experience, NOT opinion. Read on sweetheart.

    I rarely comment, but this post is just utter misinformed bullshit, steeped in your own misinformed fears.

    My son developed seizures JUST after infant vaccines (and we stopped vaccinating as a result). Those seizures eventually stopped but not for THREE YEARS (of sheer hell). By that time I had subjected my daughter to 5 years of vaccinations.

    My daughter, within weeks of receiving the MMR (3rd booster!) just around the time her little brother was born, rapidly developed severe dyslexia. She went from a bright, coordinated, naturally inquisitive child to one who couldn’t sit still for 1 sec, and lost any measure of concentration she’d had before, and totally fucked up recall (her short term and long term memory have been fucked ever since).

    So, I did my homework. Then I harkened back to a conversation when my daughter was first born, one where my gentle grandmother asked me to really critically think whether or not I wanted to vaccinate my newborn. One of her little sisters DIED within 48 hours of a vaccine at 18 mos. I wish I had listened. But I caved in to the propaganda by the paediatrician.

    The pressure is tremendous for new mothers.

    VACCINES DO NOT PREVENT diseases – they merely SUPPRESS and when those children are exposed to the [childhood] disease – one of two things happens:
    1) they develop seemingly unrelated symptoms (a morphed type of expression of said disease)
    2) they develop the disease in full force anyway. (rarer)

    The later is what happened to my daughter, and myself when exposed to Rubella. My daughter had had the MMR and two boosters – and I had had MMR every five years of my life (kidney history – low immunity – I bought the bullshit). Where was the so called protection then?

    I gave birth to my son in March 1997. The day I gave birth, they gave me an MMR booster. 14 weeks later, we all travelled to Greece for a month’s holiday, where we were exposed to Rubella (German Measles) enroute. Me, my daughter and my son all three came down with it (it lasted three weeks in total and was not any worse than a bad cold with a mild fever!). My son was only 14 weeks old. He had the LEAST severe symptoms. We merely had to wear hats, sunglasses and avoid high-sun exposure.

    Remember – if your body develops a fever? It means your immune system is doing it’s job. Stop and let that simple truth sink in for a moment.

    So please – before you start spouting off about vaccines, get some training that isn’t biased and steeped in the fucking Pharma industry. And based on their biased [so called] studies.

    Oh – and things haven’t significantly changed in the last five years Heather. That statement you made? Is about YOU – it just shows you don’t know jack about this topic, beyond the propaganda bullshit you’ve been fed (along with the rest of us) and are too afraid to challenge. The true research is available on the web for more than the last five years – by reputable people who worked in this industry (nurses, doctors, etc.).

    Your statement about losing control? Totally back to front. You give up control when you subject yourself to some doctor’s opinion, which he’s been spoonfed in college – and has not bothered to challenge. Fortunately, there are doctors out there, albeit few – who do challenge the crap they’ve been fed.

    We who have vaccine damaged children have to contend with those effects for the rest of our lives. We also have to contend with utter rage when we read such misinformed bullshit like this. And we have to contend with forgiving ourselves for subjecting our children to the poison that was put in their little bodies, with lasting effects for their rest of their lives. At least my children lived and are functional. Some don’t and some never recover.

  • nad

    Don’t forget that there have been a lot of legitimate research recently discounting any link to autism.. and found that some of those studies stating there was a link had falsified information. The benefits far outweigh the risks. Most people in the US have never seen the effects of polio, etc, etc.

  • Jennifer McGuire

    Thank you for writing this. Failure to immunize is one of my hot-button topics. You have a lot of courage to open up this discussion — not that I’m surprised!

  • pharmgirl

    At this point, It’s just adding harmony to the chorus to post. However, as a person who trains other health professionals on vaccinations, you did a fabulous job of stating your position and the reasons behind it.

    Let me know if you ever want to join the field of Public Health.

  • Kyle

    If you visit an old graveyard in New England, where people are left to lie (where I am, in Italy, they get dug up after a couple of generations to free up the plots and the bones go into the ossuary) you will find many family plots with child after child after child, most of whom died in infancy. Families in the developed world don’t loose kids like that now, thanks to vaccination. They still do in the Third World, where vaccination lags.

    Kyle

  • http://www.prayingforparker.com Tammy and Parker

    I had a Pedi that almost lost his newborn child because a friend of an older child, who wasn’t vaccinated, passed on a life threatening disease

    My first 5 children I vaccinated without even giving it a second thought. I have lived in countries like Turkey where disease is rampant within the poor and lower middle class. I have witnessed on a daily basis mothers, along with their children digging through garbage for their food that day.

    I felt fortunate to be able to vaccinate my kids and prevent them from the kinds of the disease the Turkish mothers were unable to protect their children from.

    Then came Parker. Extra chromosome. Lung issues. Heart issues. A simple virus that almost killed him.

    And I wondered about vaccinations maybe causing damage.

    But then my Pedi pointed out that there was no way that Parker could even survive the flu, much less RSV, or Whopping Cough.

    And so we vaccinated. I haven’t done a bunch all in one shot, I’ve spread them out and delayed a few.

    It has absolutely been the best choice for Parker.

    Although I will admit that sometimes I feel a bit frustrated that I vaccinate my kids so that others don’t have to vaccinate theirs.

  • Jennifer

    I’m sure a lot of the comments have been strong, to say the least. (I haven’t read any)

    I agree with you–your stand is the same as mine. I believe modern vaccinations are a miracle of medicine, I believe they should be administered to all children (who can tolerate them) and I believe it is dangerously naive to pretend that you are protected if “everyone else’s child” gets them. A look back at history, and witnessing the horror these illnesses can bring should make you terrified of the alternative.

  • http://jedsmommy.blogspot.com Becca

    740 said: Now that very few of us are being exposed year after year to chicken pox (and thus getting a “boost”), shingles cases are sky-rocketing because we’re all losing our immunity to the zoster virus.

    As I understand it, from having had shingles and researched it well, it’s not late exposure and loss of immunity, it’s a re-emergence of the original virus in the body still, that went dormant after having had chicken pox as a child.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Heather, for a well-written post. I feel for people who can’t vaccinate their kids because of health issues. And I think doing vaccines on your own schedule works best for some people. But basically, I think getting vaccinated is a civic duty.

  • http://chainsofyesterday.com Kay

    Me again (Kay @143) – I just want to thank the few that made the distinction between those parents who CHOOSE not to vaccinate and those of us that CANNOT vaccinate. (Like @165, @174, @175, @185, etc)
    While I’m not convinced that vaccines play NO role in autism, I’m not one that believes they cause autism. I wonder if, down the road, we may find that certain children have a genetic (or other) predisposition to autism. And maybe the vaccines (or a component of the vaccine) is what triggers the onset. It doesn’t mean the MMR caused the autism, just that it happens to be what brought it to the surface.
    I also wanted to mention that my disabled son DOES get the flu shot every year. After 2 straight years of winding up in the PICU with influenza and on the edge of needing a ventilator, we decided that particular vaccine was worth the risk of increased seizures, since we already know how prone he is to influenza.
    I just get highly defensive when I’m automatically grouped in with what many consider “conspiracy theorists”… when in reality, I have legitimate, medical reasons for not vaccinating. My son’s pediatrician disagreed, because she wasn’t there when he reacted to his first few sets. So, we changed doctors to one who was more understanding.

    I also wanted to add that I DO depend on you… and others, to vaccinate your children, or to at least make it known that you don’t, so that I can keep my medically fragile child safe. He’s fought a long, hard battle to make it to his 10th birthday, and a good part of that is due to the fact that the parents of the kids in his mainstream class knew of him through their children, the “friends” that looked out for him and push his wheelchair. His class had a higher absence rate than any other… because those moms knew that my son was vulnerable, so they kept their sick children home, where they should be.

    My apologies for ranting a bit above. It’s a hot button for me, and I just wanted to express my appreciation for those that do take the health of others into consideration.

    Kay

  • http://www.thedomesticgoddess.wordpress.com The Domestic Goddess

    Please, for the love of all that is good and holy, vaccinate your kids! I had an UNVACCINATED infant who ended up in the hospital and was almost killed because he was exposed to something that can be easily prevented from a vaccination. I know this is something that remain very controversial. Especially since the first words out of everyone’s mouths when I tell them my kids are both autistic are, “Are they vaccinated?” And my answer is, “YES! Because I didn’t want them to die from some horrible disease!”

    Look, my life isn’t easy. But it’s mine. My kids are happy and loved. They don’t have leukemia. They have autism. I really don’t’ think our life is bad. Why does everyone think my life is so horrible?

    Don’t get me started on my friends who don’t vaccinate and have autistic children. Why is it no one ever talks about that?

  • Anonymous

    “I would use every legal means to see that the parents were punished for it”

    Are you kidding me? Why wait? Sue the co-worker that gave you the flu. I’d like to see that one!

  • Jenn

    Wow! I didn’t even know that there was an option or that it’s been said to be a possible cause of Autism. I’m 29 and have a 10 year old son and so this is all extremely surprising to me.

    I also just mentioned your post to four of my co-workers, two of whom have children also and they didn’t know either. I researched it a little online just now and I’ve gotta tell you, I’m feeling scared. Wow. I totally agree with everything you’ve had to say.

    Thank you for enlightening me and others on such a huge thing. I know, ignorance is bliss, right? I admit that sometimes I like it that way…

  • http://blog-fe.blogspot.com/ Fe

    I have not immunised my children…. and have strong opinions about live virus vaccinations which precluded me from doing so. They are now 10 and 12 and have had measles, chicken pox and even whooping cough after being exposed to immunised children who became ill. I took the responsibility of my choices seriously and quarantined them for their entire illnesses.

    I do, however, not judge anyone who chooses to immunise their own. I agree that it is a first world luxury to choose. And I’m grateful for that luxury.

    What I wanted to say to you, however, was that I appreciate how wonderfully worded your post was. I read no judgement and if more people were willing to have open discussions about controversial topics WITHOUT flaming, the world would be a better place!

  • http://www.prayingforparker.com Tammy and Parker

    I also wanted to add that in the area of Utah that we live in Whopping Cough is making a comeback.

  • Miss Peas

    Word, word, word, Heather.

    If we had to see the ravages of Polio every day, I highly doubt anyone wouldn’t rush to get their children vaccinated.

    The fact that we can even HAVE this conversation is a testament to how well vaccines work.

    It absolutely bananas that people like Jenny McCarthy are allowed a platform to spew some of the most misinformed, alarmist information out there.
    Why is anyone even listening to her? She’s not a medical professional! And yet she’s all over television basically stating she’d rather have our children die from horrible preventable diseases than develop autism.

    Are people serious?
    They’d honestly risk their child’s life for quack science?

    This anti-vaccination lunacy has gone on long enough.

  • DM

    AMEN. To me, choosing not to vaccinate your child (and counting on everyone else to do it) seems so incredibly selfish, like YOUR child matters, but not anyone else’s. I put these people in the same category as people who buy SUVs because they are “safer.” They are only “safer” because they crush people who buy smaller cars. What makes you so important?!

  • Sally

    It seems to me that if one thinks the vaccines work and you want to get them for your children, then get them and they’ll be protected.

    It then makes sense that if I don’t want to vaccinate my children, it’s them that I’m taking the risk with, not your children. Doesn’t that make sense? Your kids got vaccinated, so they’re protected.

    I simply chose to take a different risk with my kids. The risk of getting sick with an unpleasant but usually not fatal disease, over the risk of autism and many other things.

    But if you and your kids are vaccinated and you believe those vaccines protect you, then you are fine and I’m not putting you at risk.

    Feel free to tell me if you disagree, I don’t charge much for disagreeing :-)

  • http://www.kareneolson.com Karen Olson

    The study linking autism with vaccines has been determined a fraud:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article5683643.ece

    And while I do think it’s irresponsible not to vaccinate children against polio or measles, chicken pox is not life threatening — everyone my age had the chicken pox and I’m convinced the vaccine just means kids don’t have to be out of school for a week, disrupting the day care schedule. And I’m uneasy about the new vaccine for girls to prevent cervical cancer and genital warts. The doctor’s been pushing it for my daughter for three years. Way too young. She’s 12 now. What’s wrong with advocating annual pap smears instead of a vaccine?

  • chiquita

    I understand the desire for parents of autistic children to have a cause, a reason, for what has happened to them. But as was mentioned above, the science doesn’t hold water. There are plenty of exposures to stuff (technical term) totally unrelated to vaccines. Also, the breastfed babies don’t need vaccinations doesn’t hold up unless you are going to keep them isolated (which isn’t good for a growing baby.) I did a slightly modified schedule and feel fine about it.

  • heather

    Well said, Heather!

    When I took my son in for his first round of shots, my pediatrician asked if I had any questions about vaccinations. I could tell that she was braced to talk me into getting them, and she almost slumped in relief when I finally said “the only reason other parents can refuse to vaccinate their children is because parents like me DO.”

    And I’d like to know why my school district can ban peanuts campus-wide, but still lets children who haven’t been vaccinated attend the school. One policy protects a small number of kids with a specific, deadly illness. The other allows a few kids to expose *all* their classmates to a variety of deadly illnesses. Seems to me our priorities have gotten screwed up somewhere along the line.

  • Anon

    *MY THEORY*

    I do affirm and believe autism is triggered (not caused) by vaccines, and the reason it’s denied is so pharma doesn’t have to pay up. These sensitive kids whose parents DON’T vaccinate would ALSO be triggered by catching the disease. Sorry, it’s lose/lose but parents make a reasoned decision and vaccinate if this was all out in the open and understood.

  • Erika

    I want to clarify my comment, above–if your child has a compromised immunologic system, or has had a bad reaction to a vaccine, by all means, spread out the schedule. That’s what herd immunity is for. But if you don’t have a reason to think your child might be one of those exceptions, please, stay w/ the recommendations.

    In answer to those who wonder why those of us w/ vaccinated kids feel threatened if our children are around unvaccinated kids–no vaccine is 100% effective. If my child turns out to be one of the ones whose system doesn’t “take” the measles vax, and she’s exposed to an unvaccinated kid, the herd gets that much weaker.

  • http://www.txrunnergirl.blogspot.com aggiegrad96

    That was very well written. I am with you – while I understand why some parents choose to not vaccinate, I choose to vaccinate for some of the same reasons you mentioned. I’m a member of a great mom’s discussion board called idob.org and this topic comes up for debate over and over again. Before joining that board, I had no idea that people ever chose not to immunize – it was quite an eye opening thing for me.

  • bonnie

    I love Chuck.

  • KG

    I work in the pediatrics department of a large university – and recently it was discovered that the doctor (Dr. Andrew Wakefield) who started the vaccination scare manipulated data in his findings so that he could market an alternate “safer” vaccine that parents would be more likely to use…(i.e. he was scaring everyone for his own profit. Everyone claims to have done their homework in this area, but now the wave of ignorance on this topic has taken hold that very few people are listening to the fact that the information that was originally give was FALSE.

    http://briandeer.com/mmr/st-wakefield-vaccine.htm

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article5683671.ece

    I suggest everyone continue doing their homework in this issue…especially since children are are more at risk to contracting deadly diseases because of it.

  • Sharon

    I am the mother of an autistic child. I do believe the vaccines had their role to play in the condition I am currently reversing in my 2.5 yr old son. I do not however believe the vaccinations were the sole cause. The environment, vaccines, genetics, and diet are all key factors in what can lead to serious injury from immunization. My son has one more “round” of shots to go, and I fully intend on doing my part for the greater good. I intend on following a more appropriate schedule for the final shots, and I do intend on testing my son for the required titers to avoid any unnecessary assault to his immune system. Autism is an autoimmune disorder. More than likely a child is born with a compromised immune system or metabolic disorder. The immunization of these children escalates an existing issue. Therefore there should be more study dedicated to the testing in infants prior to being assaulted with a hepatitis shot 5 days after birth. The answer to this social dilemma lies in the hands of the government for funding, parent education, and the American Pediatric Association to recognize there is a problem and adopt new protocol. Avoidance is not the answer.

  • http://paperiepetals.blogspot.com Kim

    I’ll share my story…I was anxious about vaccines, I think most moms are but our first had all of them and did just fine – didn’t even have a fever or crankiness. However, our second had quite a bad recation with his four month shots (I think he had the same with his two month shots but because he was so little we just chalked up his screaming to being a newborn). After his four month shots he screamed, and I mean screamed, not just cried for hours, he refused to eat, and he slept for 12 hours staight, after which I had a hard time waking him up. To put it mildly, it was terrifying. After doing a bit of research we concluded that he had a somewhat typical recation to the pertussis vaccine. While this was very concerning, we weren’t sure what to do since I didn’t want to go without vaccinating. So…we chose to break them up. Our second received every vaccine one at a time and it was perfect! It meant more trips to the doctor’s office but he had zero reactions. This has lead me to believe (based on other articles that I have read as well as our experience) that it’s not the vaccines but the amount that they receive all at once. I think some kids just can’t handle so much at once.

    Our second, now five, just had his last DPT vaccine and his arm blew up like a balloon! (He’s never had a problem with the others) It could have been dangerous…our doctor’s initial recation was to take him to the ER but since he was not running a fever and did not seem to be in pain we just watched it for a few days and iced his arm. Doctor thinks some of the pertussis vaccine got under his skin vs. into the arm and caused the reaction. A week later and he’s fine.

    So…we’ve had some issues from vaccines but that would not lead me to pass on them. At the end of the day, vaccines are a good thing. I do, however, have strong feelings about giving a two month old seven vaccines at once. If we had a third, I would space out the shots again…I really do think that makes a huge difference for some children.

    Thanks for sharing both sides of the story here…good stuff!

  • Anonymous

    To Susan #111 and others considering not having their daughters receive the HPV vaccine: I’m in my mid-thirties and tested positive for HPV while pregnant. After my pregnancy it didn’t clear up and I’ve already had one procedure (a LEEP) to remove pre-cancerous lesions from my cervix by removing a small section of it. If my next test comes back positive, it’s quite possible more lesions will develop and I’ll need more drastic procedures, involving the removal of larger areas of my cervix. I am lucky in that I’ve got a lovely son already and so my fertility it less important to me than my life, and being around for my son’s.

    HPV is rampant and epidemic. Oh how I wish there was a vaccine for me fifteen years ago. Ask anyone who’s had a cervical cancer scare, or worse, cervical cancer, if they’d vaccinate their daughter. I can’t imagine you’d find one person who’d hesitate.

  • melissa

    “This American Life” on NPR did a flat-out BRILLIANT piece on this subject a few months ago. It was honest and difficult; hilighting the pros and cons of both sides of the discussion. I really encourage everyone to dig out the podcast.