Vaccinations

A few days ago, Dooce posted her Momversation video contribution and a follow-up post on the subject of childhood vaccinations. In Heather’s post, she stated that she doesn’t understand parents who choose not to vaccinate their children. As of today, there are more than 1150 comments on that post (yours truly contributed 2), and the debate seems to be getting more and more heated as the days go by. The majority of Heather’s audience is pro-vaccine, followed closely by the selective/delayed vaccination group. I think the non-vaxers total about a dozen, but we’re putting up a good (and well-informed!) fight.

Parenting is such a hard job, and it’s not one to be taken lightly. In the case of vaccinations, it’s our job, as parents, to research–to look at the vaccine ingredients and to seek out information about each and what it means to be injecting those chemicals into our children’s bodies. We need to examine studies that are both peer-reviewed and unbiased (read: studies NOT conducted by pharmaceutical companies). We need to realize that doctors, as a whole, do *not* always act in the best interest of our children. The almighty buck is, well, almighty, and it drives people like no other material does.

Above all else, we need to not be afraid. Thanks to the great strides that have been made in the areas of personal hygiene and public sanitation, and because we now have information on each disease regarding how they are spread and how to treat them, these VPDs (vaccine preventable diseases) are, by in large, harmless. Measles? Treat with Vitamin A. Don’t use anti-pyretics to bring down the fever-let it do it’s job at fighting the infection. Petrussis? Treat with Sodium Ascorbate. Chicken Pox? Rest. Oatmeal baths. Calamine lotion. Chicken/vegetable soup.

Quickly, I want to restate the two points I made on Dooce’s blog post. The first has to do with Pertussis. I would say that 90% of Dooce’s comments that referenced Pertussis bitched about the unvaccinated population spreading the disease to the unable-to-be-vaccinated (infants and the immuno-compromised) and vaccinated populations. The fact is that the Pertussis vaccine DOES NOT prevent transmission. Hell, it’s not even 100% effective at protecting those who receive it from contracting the disease. Anyway, back to my point: Even if you are vaccinated against Pertussis, you can and still do, carry and transmit the disease. It is just as likely, if you come down with Pertussis, that you caught if from a vaccinated person as it is that you caught if from a unvaccinated person.

The second point I’d like to make is that the vast majority of non-vaxing parents do not choose to NOT vaccinate their children because of Autism. To quote what I said in the comments section of Dooce’s post: “Non-vaxers aren’t only (or necessarily at all) concerned with autism. Some issues we are concerned about are-the ingredients in vaccines, the perceived benefits vs. the risk of adverse reactions, the one-size-fits-all dosing of vaccines, and the lack of safety testing, to name just a few.” Here I’d like to add that in addition to the issues I listed on Heather’s blog, non-vaxing parents are also concerned with the rise in asthma, allergies, neurological disorders, diabetes, eczema, and a host of other dis-eases that we’ve seen (and that has been documented) in today’s children since mass vaccination was introduced to the public.

Whatever you decide to do in regards to vaccinations, I urge you to do so after having researched–thoroughly. Aviva Jill Romm’s book Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent’s Guide is a fantastic (unbiased) resource to get you started. It’s well written, fairly easy to read and navigate (in other words, I was able to understand the points she made), and is steeped in fact.

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8 thoughts on “Vaccinations

  1. So, you know I obviously don’t have a lot of investment in “mommy talk”, since I am not a mother nor plan to be soon. But I must say THANKS to you for your well thought out, well-reasoned post. I understood each of your points, and was especially intrigued by the non-Autism related arguments to your stance. Thanks for making me think, and for helping me to understand your viewpoints. Good job!

  2. Laura says:

    You make excellent points and you can count me as one of the non-vaccinating commentors on Dooce’s site. My comment was #980.

    I was a little leery about coming out from under my rock on my own blog, We Don’t Buy It, but did a few months ago. I’ve posted about vaccines a few times, as a counter to all of the misinformation that is promulgated by the vaccine manufacturers and their comrades, the CDC and the AAP.

    Lots of concerned parents have bought the marketing and are looking at the parents of non vaccinated kids as some sort of great unwashed disease ridden public menace. We’re not, of course, but feelings run high.

    Thanks for a thoughtful post.

  3. Jillian Frank says:

    Laura! I remember your post. I hopped over to your blog, but then got sidetracked by my son and didn’t get to poke around as much as I had wanted to. I’m really glad you made your way over here. Your post on Dooce’s site was the first non-vaxing one that got me fired up!

    Coming out as a non-vaxer is SCARY (much scarier than the diseases themselves, I think). I’ve found, within my own family even, that a lot of people are unable to get past the main-stream thought when it comes to vaccinations. I used to be a lot more vocal about not vaxing, but recently have quieted down a bit (though I suppose I just announced it to all the internets, huh?)… I don’t need the hassle that comes with people being privy to our health care choices.

    Thanks again for stopping by and commenting. I’m working on a follow-up to this post. It should be published no later than tomorrow morning; hopefully by tonight. I hope you’ll check back and let me know what you think.

    Cheers!
    Jillian

  4. Vera says:

    Agree that coming out as a non vaxer (we’re actually slow pokes) is scary. people immediately think your kid has the plague and that their vax’d kid is at risk ~sigh~

    Keep fighting the good fight!

  5. […] reading my last post on vaccinations, some of you may be considering (or reconsidering) the safeness and effectiveness of vaccines. […]

  6. […] since it has been all hot-buttony over here with all my talk about vaccinations (read this and this), I point you to one of our previous cross-over blog exchanges on the topic of […]

  7. jen says:

    Although I’ve not yet joined the group “parents” I’ve always had this bent myself, this was great to read- glad to know when I’m walking the parenting walk I’ll have some good resources here!

  8. Jillian Frank says:

    Jen-I’m so glad to hear that you’re (in the very least) open to and interested in doing research on the subject.

    Cheers!

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