Constance Marie’s Blog: To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate?

07/07/2010 at 09:00 AM ET

Celebrity blogger Constance Marie has been with us for two months now! We hope you’re enjoying her posts as much as we are — if you’ve missed any of her past blogs, check them out here.

This week, the actress — who lives in California with her fiancé, yoga instructor Kent Katich, and their 17-month-old daughter, Luna Marie — tackles the tough topic of vaccinating. She shares her and Kent’s decision-making process, and invites you to share your own experiences.


Courtesy Constance Marie

Hey my peoples! Thank you SO SO much for your comments on last week’s blog — I loved to read them all! I really appreciated your support while Luna Marie was sick. I also liked reading how you all got through your little one’s sickness. It was nice to know I wasn’t alone with all that snot! Of course, right when Luna Marie felt all better, Mama ended up getting the cold. Oh boy! That was fun … not!

Anywho — on with the blog. My topic this week: To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is the question…?

Okay, I know this can be an overwhelming subject. It is for me. First let me say, I am not anti-vaccine but I am not pro-vaccine either. I think I sit somewhere in the middle. I do not judge anyone for making the decisions they feel are best for their child. I know that is what EVERY parent tries to do!

Here is how it went for me:

The struggle all started when — as you know — I had a bit of an issue getting pregnant. I did all that research on the toxins in the environment and I really started looking at the ingredients in everything. I became a little obsessed!

Cut to now I was pregnant and I had to make all these decisions when my daughter was about to be born. My doctor asked me if I wanted Luna Marie to receive the standard vaccinations upon birth. Uh, WHAT?!

First, I didn’t even know that they did that, ya know? Fresh outta the hot, steamy uterus, they give babies shots? Yes, I learned. One is for hepatitis B and they also put antibiotics in the baby’s eyes. Who knew? Of course, me — the pain in the butt patient — asked, “Why? Why? Why?!”

The answer I got was that the antibiotics were in case I had a sexually transmitted infection called chlamydia, and thus Luna Marie would contract it when passing through the birth canal. I thought “Huh?” Now, I already knew I had to have a cesarean because they thought Luna Marie was 10 lbs. and was four days overdue, so how could she possibly get that since she wasn’t coming out my hoo-ha? And the hepatitis B shot was in case I had unprotected sex with lots of partners or used intravenous drugs while pregnant.

My brain went, “WHAT? Wait, WHAT?!” If you know anything about me as a pregnant woman, sex was the last, last, SUPER LAST thing that I wanted to have with ANYBODY, at ANYTIME, ANYWHERE! So how could I contract or have or give her hepatitis B?

I knew I didn’t have any of that stuff. Why would I let them give the antibiotics and vaccine to Luna Marie?

So after much contemplating, stressing and debate, Kent and I decided we didn’t want her to have those inoculations. I learned I could write a birth plan on a sheet of paper and give it to the hospital and they would honor it. I was nervous but Kent and I felt in our hearts and minds we were doing the right thing.

It was really hard too! Ya know? To question what “the norm” was. So that began my journey. And of course, more research and more questions followed!


Courtesy Constance Marie

I looked into the possible link between vaccines and autism. I looked into the benefit of herd immunity — because most of us have been vaccinated, many of the ailments we vaccinate for have been eradicated. I looked into the fact that when groups are not vaccinated, outbreaks can increase minimally — and they do. Pockets of resurgence have been reported.

I looked into the fact that in the 1980s, the vaccination schedule was a total of about 12 versus now, when it can be up to 31 or more. WOW! That was mind-blowing. So many toxins! And lastly I printed out all the ingredients of each shot.

I concluded that there are risks and benefits for BOTH vaccinating and not vaccinating. The conflicting research was staggering. At times it is seriously overwhelming.

My conclusion at the end of all this was that when it came time for Luna Marie’s three month vaccinations, we would wait just a little bit longer. Luna Marie was still being breastfed which helped her immune system a lot. We thought at six months, we would vaccinate. Then, at her six month pediatrician’s visit, I was still nursing. Kent and I decided to wait a little longer. Each time, we really thought we would vaccinate her at the next visit …. and on it went.

Then I stopped breastfeeding Luna Marie at 11 months — not my choice! My boobies would just not cooperate anymore, no matter what I did. (And I did a lot!) Now she is 17 months and she is a happy, healthy, vibrant baby who is not in a high risk category; meaning she is not in day care, does not travel internationally or domestically on planes and has no older siblings to bring home germs.

So our final conclusion is: we are trying to wait until she’s two years old and then we will give her the first vaccination. I believe her immune and nervous system will be stronger then and thus better able to process the ingredients/toxins of the vaccinations.

As you can see, I was not even sure how to navigate this issue. I am still in process I guess. Every decision was made slowly as we went through this. Now, if Luna Marie were to have to travel, get on a plane, go to day care, etc. I think I would vaccinate her ASAP, but on a much slower vaccination schedule. Spread the vaccinations out more over a longer period of time.

I am supportive of asking questions about the safety of anything we give to our children. Questions never hurt anybody. And as you have come to know me, you know that I am also pro-research. I really wish there were more studies done on these vaccines, especially if there are possible side effects. In an ideal world, I also wish there were NO risks at all.

So there! That’s my process, and what Kent and I have decided to do so far. Of course we believe it is the best we can do for our lil’ Luna Marie.

I support each of us in the decisions we make, because I know we are all doing the best we can to love and protect our little babies. I welcome any feedback or information that you all can offer, because I really do believe that it takes a village to raise a child. Sharing information is a major way that parents can help each other! I thank you in advance.

Oh! And I hope you had an amazing, fun, joyous, blissful, relaxing — WAIT! Okay, how about a peaceful five minutes and maybe, maybe a quickly chugged cocktail during the Fourth of July weekend! :)


Courtesy Constance Marie

– Constance Marie

Update July 12: Wow! Your comments and responses have been overwhelming! I so, so appreciate the feedback and I would feel that I did a disservice if I left out a few things, so here are my additions and clarifications.

To clarify — delaying vaccinations does NOT mean never vaccinating.

1) Yes! All the decisions we have made for Luna Marie have been with information from reputable doctors, with their consent and backed up with reliable research! Ah yes, that is the rub — there is so much conflicting research! “Why? Why? Why?” is my question. That is the part that makes all of us crazy, right?

Here are a few of our research doctors:

Their sites may be helpful for some of you to check out if you’re interested.

2) We did give Luna Marie a vitamin K shot upon birth. No bruisey babies for us.

3) I feel badly for Jenny McCarthy! I don’t know her, nor have I ever read her autism book or participated in her Generation Rescue but geez! How brave a soul must she be? To work so hard to give a voice to all the vaccine injured children and parents dealing with autism and having to deal with all the criticism. Oh boy!

4) Lastly, if I gave the impression that we were only concerned about autism in my blog, I am truly sorry. We are concerned about allergies, asthma, ADHD and of course autism — but lastly, the big C, cancer, which some of the ingredients are known to cause, formaldehyde and aluminum among them.

To all the vaccine camps chiming in: To the “pro-vaxers” I would like to thank you for your — let’s just say passionate — responses. (I always try to be diplomatic!) ;)

To all the “anti-vaxers” I thank you for your alternative points of view and for the information! Every little bit helps. More is more, I always say!

Finally to the “middle of the road” vaxers like me — A special THANK YOU for voicing your opinions! It is truly a difficult stance to take. We do the research, look at the ingredients, talk to different doctors and take into account the entire health of the child and society as a whole. The middle ground is a slippery slope. Again, thank you for your thoughtfulness and for helping me feel not so alone!

I must say, diverse viewpoints and information, as well as the right to express them are very important to us as a nation. So for voicing yours, I THANK YOU ALL!!

:)

- C

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Sophie on

Great Blog, thanks for sharing. Im also a delayed vaxer, my boys are 2 & 3.5 and neither have any vaxes yet. You should also consider having her get a blood test known as Titers to test and see if she has built up a natural immunity to anything before giving her a vax she doesnt need. Good luck!

Gigi on

Do you plan to do all the vaccinations when she is 2 or go with fewer injections?

Jo on

Our son is almost 18 months old. We, too, did lots of research on vaccinations. Recognizing he was and is at low risk for contracting almost all the diseases for which babies are vaccinated (he is not in day care, does not travel and has continued to breastfeed), we decided to have him receive fewer vaccines and for them to be given on a much slower schedule than is typically done.

JM on

interesting blog. i also try, like you to respect other parents’ decision when it comes to their own kids, especially on stuff that really doesn’t harm anyone (like how they dress their kids, or cut their hair, or whether they carry them or let them walk etc.). and i really think it’s good you’re looking into this stuff of your own accord.

i am not as familiar with the system in the US as i don’t live there. but for me when it comes to the question “to vaccinate or not to vaccinate” it’s almost like saying “to wear a seatbelt or to not wear a seatbelt”. i just think that now that we are lucky enough to have such overwhelming evidence for the benefits of vaccines and the people who tried to spread fear without any evidence (especially regarding the link to autism) have been entirely discredited, it is really important that all kids are vaccinated. because it is something that A) affects their health and B) can affect others – ie babies that are too young to have been vaccinated or people who haven’t been vaccinated at all, and thus has an effect on the population as a whole.

as i said it is really good you are reading up about this issue and trying to inform yourself. could i suggest an utterly brilliant book on such issues that has a whole chapter dedicated to vaccines, called “Bad Science” by Ben Goldacre. it is a truly eye-opening book and covers many similar issues that you may encounter regarding your child’s health (but not only your child’s health). it can help answer questions on issues such as homeopathy for example and the danger of giving it to your kids rather than real medicine. and because it is based on sound scientific reasoning and evidence and the scientific method of arriving at conclusions you can be reassured that what you read in the book is entirely reliable and true.

anyway, like i said i understand your reservations and there are some specific vaccines that sound like you need to be more cautious about what age they are administered (as i said, it sounds as if things are a little different in the US) but in general i hope that your little one will eventually be vaccinated, because the risk is not worth it. just as it is not worth risking any journey without a seatbelt.

Sadie on

Wow I have to give your credit for not vaccinating. I did with my toddlers because I believe that was best and trusted our Mayo Clinic pediatricians.

I did have some anxiety as to whether there was a link to Autism and the vaccines that were given to children when they turned one. I was assured that there have been studies that say there was no link to Autism and that Autistic children usually are a “bit different” (no offense to anyone) right from the start.

I still say its your choice and as a parent you decide whats best for your child.

Grace on

Constance – you’ve already hit the nail on the head…meaning, every well intentioned parent does what they believe to be best for their child with the information they have before them. I, like you, fell somewhere in the middle. Unfortunately, my baby had to start daycare at 9 weeks old and after mulling it over decided that for my child, the risk to not give her the shots was not an option. I commend you for bucking the trend though, not just for deviating just to be “radical” but because it means you’re an awesome mommy who cares.

I’m sure this is just the begining for us in terms of “to do (blank) or not to do (blank). Oh joy :o)

Keep up the good work!

Laura on

The definition of herd immunity in this blog is incorrect. Herd immunity occurs when unvaccinated individuals are protected BECAUSE large portion of a population is vaccinated. The percentage of the population needed for herd immunity is different for each disease/condition.

Numerous studies demonstrate that autism is NOT linked to vaccination. The ONE study that claimed there was a link was denounced by its authors and the scientific community.

Many vaccines are available in combination vaccines, which reduces the number of shots children receive. The number of vaccines available and recommended for children has increased because science has found ways to protect children against needless disease. This is a GOOD thing.

I noticed that this author did not mention investigating vaccine-preventable diseases. Many parents today are not familiar with the diseases vaccines protect against. These diseases are not fun! The risks of vaccinations are small compared with the health risks associated with the diseases they’re intended to prevent.

Much of the concern about toxins in vaccines is overblown. Ingredients are misrepresented. For example, Vaccine manufacturers have removed many of the ingredients of concern, despite a lack of evidence that they cause harm. Please visit this link for more information: http://www.immunize.org/concerns/vaccine_components.pdf

Delayed vaccination is DANGEROUS for your children and for others. We vaccinate not only to protect ourselves but also to protect the very young, very old, and very sick around us who are at higher risk for contracting vaccine preventable diseases. Choosing not to vaccinate a healthy child demonstrates a lack of investment in the “village.” If it takes a village to raise a child, then the village (i.e., the community) should do everything it can to protect itself. This means vaccination.

Anna on

I am shocked to read that they give babies antibiotics at birth in the US. Antibiotics should be avoided unless they are really needed because you can built immunity for them and than when you really need them you have a real problem.

I have only once in my life taken antibiotics. They are not meant for colds or flu etc.

Regarding vaccinations, I do believe in them but delaying them and not doing all seems like a good idea.

Melisa on

I have vaccinated all of my kids. I am not judging anyone at all for not. I do believe though that there are certain viruses that have been erradicated that are starting to creep back in (i.e smallpox, polio) because a lot of people have decided not to vaccinate their kids for certain things. I have a problem with 31 vax in 2 years. When I was a kid, or even when my teenager was a kid we never had this many shots to get. I am in the military and I am bound to ensure the kids get all of them. None of my children have suffered for it though, despite my misgivngs. I think that an expanded schedule would benefit more instead of cramming everything in the first 2 years. It is what it is, though. In the end I am going to do whatever I have to do to ensure my kids don’t get those illnesses…

Allie-Rose on

Vaccination is a tough issue. I’m not a mom but here’s my little take on it.

I am neither pro, nor anti-vaccination either. I just don’t believe in over-vaccinating, and 31 sounds like a huge lot to me.
While my parents made sure, as a kid, that my sister and I got all our shots on time, my doc now tells me some of them were not even necessary. And my sister got some issues with having an extra shot for Hep B in her teens (she’s now 31).

My personal opinion is to get the “basic” ones (I don’t know which ones in the US but we have one here in France that’s a “3-in-1″ for measles, mumps and rubella, and it’s compulsory for all kids before they start school) and tetanus. For the rest, see as you go.

Samantha on

I truly believe you are doing the right thing. Reading Jenny McCarthy’s book I learned a lot about vaccines and I would spread it out. I’m not against it, I just wouldnt pump it into my baby’s little system until they were older and able to handle it. I would also breastfeed as long as I could, Jenny McCarthy did not and I think that was a contributing factor towards her son’s illness. I’m not blaming her, I realize not everyone can breastfeed, but I do think it was a factor.

D on

I have 5 kids, now ages 18 to 8 years old. We had all 5 of our children vaccinated. MMR, Whooping Cough, etc. We decided that we’d rather have them vaccinated against these illness, than to get them. I don’t know what the routine vaccinations are today, because we no longer have to do them. There are a few that are needed for school, but again, to us, I would rather have my child protected against some of these illnesses, which can be life threatening, rather than them getting seriously ill. With my second son, I was diagnosed with Group B Strep first. I was given antibiotics before delivery, so that he would not contract this during delivery. All of my kids were given the antibiotic eye drops after delivery, and I’m honestly not sure if it had anything to do with STD’s. That’s news to me. To each his own, I guess. I would rather be safe than sorry. I also do know that there has been research done with regards to Autism and vaccinations. I don’t think that anyone has been able to firmly determine that vaccinations cause Autism.

Sydney on

I was vaccinated to the usual schedule but my brother was not given the combined MMR at the usual age of 5-6. Mainly because we live in an area that is a hotspot for autism and we suspected he may already have been at the lower end of the spectrum.

As you said Constance, every parent will weigh the risks of the two options and choose what they think is best. No one can ask any more.

mom of two on

People should ABSOLUTELY vaccinate their children. Not only does it keep your children safe from very terrible, life threatening diseases, it keeps other peoples’ children safe as well. Today, children are at low risk of contracting these diseases because of immunizations and their effectiveness. They have helped to nearly eradicate diseases that used to claim the lives of many, many children. People think that some of these diseases aren’t around anymore but that is simply not true and because there are people out there that aren’t immunizing their children, these diseases come back from the brink. Just this year, there was a very serious outbreak of pertussis(whooping cough) in my community because of one family that didn’t immunize. Just that one kid managed to spread it to over 50 in that school alone. At the time, my youngest was only 3 weeks old and much too young for his first immunizations. This is a life threatening condition for infants so I was very concerned. Everything turned out fine but it was very stressful and all because of one selfish parent that thought their kid didn’t need it and was ‘low risk’.

Elisa on

I am a mom of 4 (9 months to 7) and delayed vaccinations for the first three but now that I have two children in school and activities we have chosen to vaccinate on a little faster schedule and based upon the local risk of disease. My nine month old is still delayed compared to the CDC schedule and is breastfeeding (I have been lucky to nurse all my babies until at least 12 month), but I am no longer as concerned about the negatives of vaccines (at least for our family). The news about the whopping cough epidemic in Cali worry me, even though we are on the East Coast.

I have been able to have 4 natural births, 2 born at home and I chose to keep ultrasounds to a minimum and did not have any for my last birth due to risks associated with u/s and autism. We have been VERY lucky and have 4 healthy, smart, active, happy children!

Best wishes on your parenting journey.

Sarah on

My Husband and I are feeling the same. We had a home birth with our baby so I could have more control over what happened at birth, my midwife was awesome and totally was on the same page as me as far as not doing anything to the baby when born. I refused the Vit K shot as well as the eye goop. My midwife said since there was no bruising during the birth he would be fine to skip the Vitamin K.

Then the toughie.. vaccinations. We knew we didn’t want them done but our Doctor is pushing so hard. We delayed at the last 3 visits and she is insisting that they be done at the next but our little guy is only 5 months old and I just don’t feel right doing it. He is healthy and breastfed and like your little one.. at a low risk. We stay home a lot and he isn’t exposed to other children much. He has had only 2 colds in his life and is totally healthy otherwise.

I love our Doctor but the pressure she puts on us is stressing me out and I am seriously considering canceling all further appointments with her. I feel it’s the parents right to choose and I don’t trust the ingredients in the vaccines. My Husband says he feels like it’s too much a gamble. One baby might react while another might not. We decided we couldn’t handle taking a risk on something so dangerous.

We aren’t completely against vaccines but we feel as an infant they don’t have the immune system built to handle everything injected into them and we plan to delay until he is much older and/or not vaccinate at all.

Ps.. I love your blog!

PB on

We vaxed but at a slower pace. My son is 2 now and he has all the recommended ones except for chicken pox and mmr. I will do chick pox probably in the next several months. MMR will wait til 3. We loosely followed the Dr. Sears schedule where it is 2 shots every month instead of 4 every other month in the beginning. It worked for us – we felt much more comfortable that he was not getting too much at one time but that he was also getting vaccinated – which is important. It is tough navigating the waters and you are right – we just try to make the best choices for our children.

JM on

laura, may i say a your post is very informative, concise and to the point. i’d say i agree with pretty much everything you wrote and fully support the notion that ALL children should be vaccinated. like i said in a previous post, every parent has a right to inform themselves, but if they are looking at truly scientific evidence they will come to the natural conclusion that vaccinating your child is best.

and i am sorry to say that the school of thought that Jenny McCarthy follows has long since been discredited. i know it’s understandable for people to want to search for a solution but there is no evidence to suggest that her son (or anyone else for that matter) is autistic because of vaccines.

Sara Jane on

Good to see everyone is looking out for the best intrests in thier children. I truely believe what @Laura has said. The side effects and risks of a vaccine are low compared to actually contacting the disease that the vaccine is intented to ward off. Many diseases cause life altering side effects that could have been avoided. It seemed like common sense to get my 19 month old vaccinated. I also feel like living in a big city, your daughter may come in counter with as many toxins walking down the street then recieving a vaccine. Toxins are everywhere, and unfortunatly we cannot avoid them all. Thanks for listening!! Love the blogs by the way:)

Sydney on

I’d also like to add that I’m 22, and travelling to Africa this summer so am getting 9 vaccinations over the next 6 weeks. I’m definitely not anti-vaccination, it was a no-brainer for me when the diseases there are things like malaria, yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis a and b, rabies and meningitis. I will do whatever it takes to protect myself from this.

However I am 22, fit, strong and healthy, and I respect other people’s decisions to delay vaccinating their children until they feel ready to do it.

Sarah on

I really appreciated reading this. All of my children were vaccinated on schedule and had many, many issues along with them. I was a young mother, having my 1st a 21, and trusted my Dr’s with this information. I have since grown up. I’ve learned that most Dr’s do their best in all situations when recommending vac’s. However, all Dr’s are only human and to trust them implicitly is a fallacy. My oldest borders on the Autism Spectrum. Looking back he was born with pneumonia and in the NICU for 9 days but they gave my weekend, sickly baby all of the traditional drugs they gave to well babies. I’ve done enough post-research to make myself sick feeling I should have done more. It’s something I’ll have to deal with for the rest of my life and his. However, he will go on and do well with lots of therapy, training and tons of love.

Thank you for bringing this issue to the forefront of people’s minds. I wish I had been instructed or thought to research before my children had gone through the regime. If there are any bambinos in my future…our decisions will be very hard and long though out.

Gi on

Mom of two, aren’t children in school required to be vaccinated? Maybe I’m wrong, but our schools here require them. Just curious. So sorry for your baby.

katie on

question for momof2 (or anyone who knows…) – if the whooping cough spread to over 50 students (in one school/community) who were presumably vaccinated from one who was not what is the value of the vaccine anyway? Statistically, 50 students in one school is a HUGE number, so it makes me question the effectiveness of that particular vaccine (which i know the makeups vary) regardless.

That said, I’m due with a new baby in December and plan to do the full late pregnancy STD panel to have ready for my midwife/doc (hospital birth, midwife assisted) when I refuse the antibiotic eyedrops for my child. The Vitamin K shot will be refused (if there are risk factors, I’ll be requesting the oral dose of vit k), and postponing Hep B. Other vaccines we will do on an extended/delayed schedule. For us, it’s not that the child is getting painful shots (to the person who mentioned the number of combined shots now available), its the sheer volume of chemicals (natural or not, they’re still chemicals) been injected into my child. Honestly, I’d rather have my child have more uncombined shots on a delayed schedule to allow them to recover immunity from each (as well as identify what a cause of a reaction is) than fewer shots with more chemicals.

Steph P. on

Love your blogs!!! My husband and I are also the same way with vaccinations. We are not against them, however, feel that the amount they need the first 2 years of life is crazy! Their immune system is still developing. We did get our twins their vaccinations, however, we spaced them out and chose not to give them certain ones. Our Pediatrician is very understanding with our decisions.

Jenn on

Not judging anyone, your baby your choice. But just think if everyone did not vaccinate or did delay vaccinations, all these diseases we are tying to protect ourselves and our loved ones from will all come back. Does your daughter go to the store? Does she live in a bubble? because regardless of weather or not she has siblings or is in daycare she can still pick up just as many germs.

Beka on

I had concerns about getting my Daughter vaccinated but after asking questions I am glad that I did vaccinate her. I am not about to say what is best for you and your baby, I would say just keep open communication and an open mind with your child’s Doctor and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

katie on

sorry i know the topic is vaccination (and in australia the “routine” vax given at birth is hep b (mainly for exposure in the early months as its routine to test for hep b antibodies etc and vitamin k)

but i am sorry you had a cesearean because of your babies size and for being over you EDD by 4 days. normal birth is up to 42 weeks, at 40+4 if she hadn’t arrived by then means she wasn’t ready to come out. and 10 pound is not a “huge” baby. i hope next time you don’t get swayed by the “well meaning” ob..

Sage on

I agree with Laura 100%

Erin on

The year-to-year stats on the increase of pertussis cases in California is staggering. They’ve been going up exponentially, and five infants (all under 3 months of age) have died of it this year alone. A few months ago PBS had an outstanding examination of the vaccination debate. I think it was “Frontline”, check their website to look into it. It rattles you to the core. Vaccinations aren’t just about your kid. Your unvaccinated kid could help spread say, pertussis, to a child who hasn’t had that vaccine yet, because it’s administered after a certain age. I’m just astounded by the debate here. You can find a doctor, scientist, etc. who claim the earth is flat, or there’s not global warming (whatever it’s effects may or may not be) or any number of odd things. Do you due diligence. Read. Don’t trust Wiki, or Jenny McCarthy or nuts on YouTube showing their kid was fine on Tuesday, Autistic on Wednesday. Life is slightly more complex than that. It’s nice to think your decisions are limited only to your family. Unfortunately, choices I make, my neighbor makes, the couple on the airplane make, the mom in the grocery store makes all have health consequences for many.

Cassandra on

My mom had this problem with my youngest brother. He was born almost two months premature and had trouble regulating his temp, so she opted on giving him the vaccines because he was at a higher risk to get sick with three older siblings that flew a lot, our parents lived on opposite sides of the state’s at the time. Myself and my brother, closest in age to me, got vaccine’s for the scarier virus’ but she exposed us to chicken pox, and the ‘less dangerous’ virus’, we got it at the same time when we were young since neither of us were high risk.

I’m really worried about my own future kids to be exposed to to virus’ but my brother and myself don’t get sick all that often. My two youngest brothers do get sick a lot and they had more vaccine’s then me, so its very confusing for me. But you made a lot of valid points about making each decision for yourself and your baby’s health. My biggest concern about all this, is that with all the vaccine’s my child would become immune to the medicines that would help them with a more serious virus.

Maybe by the time I have kids, we’ll have more information and I can make a better decision, but for now, I’m still just as split as you are. :P

J on

Don’t be stupid people.

JM on

Normally, I enjoy reading these articles and the posts in response and have never posted one myself. I truly believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but as a board-certified pediatrician and a mother of two, I feel compelled to address this post and the reponses to it.
I’d like to start off by cautioning people against believing anything they read online. “Research,” when done appropriately and based on valid articles, and evidence based medicine, is an invaluable tool. That being said, as a parent, examine the sources that you’re using to make critical decisions for your children and for the community as a whole. Be informed, but from appropriate and accurate sources, not emedicine and wikepiedia…
Second of all, vaccines have NOT been associated with autism. What vaccines HAVE been associated with is eradicating horrible diseases which most of us have been fortunate enough not to encounter in modern-day. Herd immunity is immunity gained by unvaccinated children because the majority of children around them HAVE been vaccinated. The less children that are vaccinated, the more herd immunity will dwindle, and we will again start to see vaccine-preventable diseases in our communities.
I wish I had the time to address more of the many blatantly misinformed opinions stated in response to this blog. In an age where it is so easy to access credible information and sources, it is so disheartening as a pediatrician and a parent, to see the misinformation that is circulating in our communities, which influences and sways our decisions in inappropriate ways.

Jo Jo on

My oldest son is 13. Him being my first baby I did everything I was told to do by the doctors…we have a lifelong battle now. Our son had adverse reactions to the vaccines. And for 2 years we traveled to Florida for oxygen therapy to help him and met a 12 month old little boy there that within 24 hours of his 3 month vaccinations, he had hundreds of seizures every single day for the next 9 months (and I’m sure longer but we didn’t stay in contact). A senator in Indiana tells the story of his grandson who was perfectly normal and at 5 years old, the mom got him vaccinated so he could attend kindergarten. He went autistic within 24 hours….non verbal, catatonic just like that! I have had 2 more sons since and we have opted to not vaccinate them and they are extremely healthy, full of energy boys! If they were to come down with any ailment that they would have been vaccinated for…it is easily treatable immediately. Good for you for your research! You will never know if you saved her life or not but better to err on the side of caution. Congrats! :o)

Asha on

Wow, she did her research!! I did a little bit of research, talked to my pediatrician BEFORE my son was born and asked advice from my father. My father is a strict vegetarian, studies topics like these, everything in his life is natural, he doesn’t believe in chemicals, etc. His advice was to go ahead and get any necessary shots at the time they requested. He believes that it was safer to have them, than to not. My grandfather had polio (he’s passed) and I think that was one of the reasons my father feels strongly about it.

Lauren on

I read an article in the Washington Post about a mom who had found the perfect day care for her 3-year-old that he was unable to attend. Why? There was a child at the day care whose parents had proudly decided to unvaccinate him. And the author’s 3-year-old boy, whose immune system was destroyed by chemotherapy treatments for leukemia and unable to handle vaccinations, could have been killed by being in the presence of this child. This, in a nutshell, is why we should care about vaccinations. It is all well and good to do what is best for you. But at the end of the day, we are part of one world where one person’s actions affect the lives of countless others. And in this case, those actions can mean life or death to those around them. I’m sure that unvaccinated boy’s mother was doing what she believed in her heart to be right. But that author’s little boy, who has already been through so much, should not be deprived of attending a school that would benefit him because a basic medical necessity has not been provided one of his peers.

I think research is key to understanding vaccinations, and I toally agree that the amount given is overkill. I even support vaccinating on a delayed scedule, as long as it’s within reason. But above all else, we must remember that the decision of whether to vaccinate is an extraordinarily luxurious one to have. People all over the world would sell their homes to get these vaccinations that would save their loved ones. The only reason we are so blase now is because the diseases vaccinations largely helped eliminate have been all but eradicated in the Western world, and the thought that they are slowly coming back due to lack of vaccinations is beyond disturbing, because it illustrates an example of potential pandemics that could be completely caused by man.

Humans have never dealt well with the unknown, and that, I think, is why vaccinations have gotten the scarlett letter. It is much easier and more convenient to say that vaccinations cause autism than to admit that there is no definitive cause-even if it means believing a doctor whose “research,” which was published for personal profit, has been completely discredited by every other reputable medical source and has been stripped of his ability to practice medicine in the UK. Or a former Playboy model and MTV host who clearly has zero medical background at all. Do you research-it is not created equal.

Alison on

Such an interesting topic. I really enjoy reading your blog Constance. Thank you for being so candid and sharing your experiences with all of us!

I am an avid supporter of vaccinating. I can’t imagine how I would feel if my child contracted a disease that I could have vaccinated against. Or if my child infected another child that was too young to be vaccinated against such as measles or pertussis. Even if you are not in a “high risk” environment, doesn’t your child go to the park? Doesn’t she go shopping with you? She could have a brief contact with another child that could be devastating for either of them. Those types of situations may not happen every day, but they do happen. For that reason I feel much safer with my child protected against these diseases. I pray that your baby girl stays happy and healthy!

Nancy.S on

Thank you so much for writing this in the way you did – I have read so many blogs about vaccinations and they are ALL bias. Either the blogger says you are KILLING your baby if you don’t vaccinate, or that vaccines will KILL your baby – it is so offensive to either side – so I am very happy to read a well thought out and researched blog about vaccines, it’s about time.

Personally, we don’t vaccinate, that decision was made after almost a year of research – and not the “type vaccines into Google” research – we read all the books, talked to several doctors and read real studies and statistics – and our decision was a very thought out one that we are very happy about.

Barb on

Huh…I never thought about the possibility of delayed vaccinations for my son. Wouldn’t have worked for me (day care plus close family who travel internationally) but I will be sure to pass this info along if anyone asks me.
FYI – my chiropractor did not have his son vaccinated and he (the DR, not the son) traveled on a mission trip to South America and ended up bringing back a virus that caused serious illness in his son. Mostly OK now but if he had been vaccinated he would not have gotten sick. Just because the child isn’t traveling doesn’t mean he/she cannot contract one of those illnesses.

Lorelai on

I am pro vaccines, I think they are important and they are well meant. I did my own reserach and found out vaccines do not lead to autism like it is believed, and I, like you respect every parents’ decision about a hot topic like this. There is no right or wrong about vaccines, just do whatever you feel is right and works for you and your family’s lifestyle. Our pediatrician splits vaccines, which means my babies get them but very spread out in time…not like the standard 2-3 shots in one visit. I specifically looked for a Pedi who would be compliant with my feelings about vax, and I am happy we found one. Finally, I live in South America, in a tropical /3rd world country (I hate that label)…and we still have many tropical illnesses around, like malaria, yellow fever and such, so our particular way of living pushes me more to be pro vaccine. PS: my baby boy was 10lbs and I had a vaginal drug free delivery…if I would have known how that was gonna be, I def would have chosen a C-section! Luna is beautiful! xoxo

KP on

While I respect a parent’s right to raise thier child anyway they want, I feel choosing not to get them vaccinated affects more than just the child. If everyone decided not to vaccinate their child, the “old-fashioned” diseases such as ruebella, scarlet fever, and whooping cough would come back with a vengence and devastate the population. The children in this country and other Western countries are probably the healthiest generation of people the world has ever known – thanks to access to clean water, an understanding of germ theory in the medical community and of course vaccinations against a myriad of deadly diseases. There are currently millions of people worldwide without access to proper medicine or vaccations – where diseases barely known to Americans, such as malaria, run rampant. We should be grateful we live in a country where access to vaccations are a norm, not a miracle.

I implore all parents to vaccinate their children. Don’t be mislead by psuedoscience and fear mongering. Do not trust everything you read on the internet. PLEASE do not listen to Jenny McCarthy. Please listen to your doctors, who have 200 years of proven science on their sides.

Michele on

Please vaccinate your child..please. Deadly diseases are making a comeback because of people not vaccinating their kids – and vaccinations only work for the overall population if everyone gets them. I saw a great quote from a doctor who said that we as parents have an entire generation between us and these deadly diseases, so none of us have seen firsthand the horror of children dying around us from them. My parents’ generation DID see these diseases, and as a result were adamant about vaccinations. My dad’s brother died as a toddler from whooping cough, my grandmother was helpless to save him. My mother had rheumatic fever as a child and almost died – thank God antibiotics came along and instantly cured her – she took them the rest of her life to stave it off. I’m sure you’ve read that FIVE babies have died recently in California of whooping cough due to the decrease in vaccinations – that is terrifying. Please do it – it protects your child AND everyone else’s…

Cheryl on

Gi, schools in the U.S. have vaccine waivers that parents may obtain if they choose not to vaccinate their children based on religious or philosophical beliefs, or due to medical reasons.

Hilary on

I am a labor and delivery nurse and I just wanted to clarify that the two medications newborns receive at birth are Erythromycin- an antibiotic ointment that is inserted in the eyes. This protects the eyes from infection that may have been acquired during the birth process. Most likely there will be no infection but the consequence of not having that protection is having a raging infection in a newborn’s eyes that may cause blindness. The second is a shot of Vitamin K. Newborns have a decreased ability to clot and the Vitamin K ensures that any sort of bleeding does not occur. Most likely no bleeding will occur however certain babies are deficient and develop VKDB, which is uncontrollable bleeding in a newborn infant- far worse than any side effects that a shot of Vitamin K would cause. The reason these medications are given is to avoid serious illness at such a sensitive stage. I agree that if you can control for certain variables these medications are not necessary for everyone but the reason they’ve become standardized is because it’s better to be safe than sorry. For example many women do not know that they have chlamydia at the time of birth because they don’t know that their partners are unfaithful and bringing STD’s into the relationship. I know this sounds crazy but as a nurse I have seen this happen much more than anyone would expect. Better to protect your baby just in case… Babies do not receive any immunization against Hepatitis B at birth.

Cheryl on

@Sadie – not all children/adults on the autism spectrum are a “bit different..right from the start”. There are those who develop normally and meet all developmental & social milestones, but then regress.

It is estimated that at least 20% of those diagnosed with autism developed normally and then experienced a regression with a loss of skills.

This is why parents are encouraged to have their children evaluated for autism if/when their child exhibits “any loss of any language or social skill at any age.” (ASA site)

sarah on

This is a touchy subject and one that parents should discuss carefully with their doctors about!!! I feel that Constance has made a few untrue assumptions in her blog. The Hepatitis B vaccine that babies are given at birth isn’t all about the mother having hepatitis B, but rather, what if something happened to the baby after birth and it required a blood transfusion, a risk for contamination. This vaccine protects babies from contracting a disease that if caught in infancy has an alomst 100% chance of causing fulminant hepatitis and liver failure. There is more than a small risk of illnesses coming back if people dont vaccinate. California just announced that Pertussis is now epidemic in that state. A deadly disease to a baby, which is passed via respiratory droplets ( a cough, a sneeze). Even if you think a baby isn’t in high risk environments are you saying you never take Luna to the grocery store? How about Rubella, lets say Luna contracted that at age 2, to her it would be a unpleasant fever and rash, but if she came into contact with a pregnant woman who caught it,the Rubella would induce severe birth defects and even death in her fetus. Vaccines are about more than the individual baby, they’re about protecting society as a whole. Parents have a responsibility to vaccinate unless there is a medical contraindication.

Sydney on

I’ve just checked out the UK schedule for vaccinations (if any one is interested this is the link http://www.nhs.uk/Planners/vaccinations/Pages/Vaccinationchecklist.aspx ) It got me thinking, all of these are free for every single child under the National Health Service and I wonder in the US, how much do all these vaccinations cost on average, and whether this may be a consideration whether to vaccinate or not for some families.

Cheryl on

@ Hilary, the hospital where I gave birth (USA) routinely vaccinates infants against Hepatitis B before they are discharged to go home. Healthy infants are discharged within 48 hours, so they’ve received the first of the HepB series at that time. Parents who do not wish to have their infant vaccinated for HepB at their first post-birth exam in the hospital must clearly indicate to hospital staff that vaccination should not take place.

Cathi on

While I applaud good research and thorough thinking, it is a dangerous thought to think that your child is ‘safe’ simply because of breastmilk and no travel on planes. Does your child come in contact with other children? If so, you need to begin vaccinations to protect both your child and the ones she is exposed to as well. It’s too late when they catch whooping cough or measles to ‘start’ taking precautions. If you know you’re going to do them in the future anyways, why wait?

Krileigh on

The risk of your child dying from a multitude of TOTALLY PREVENTABLE diseases is ASTRONOMICALLY higher than the almost non-existent risk of your child falling ill because of a vaccine.

Vaccines are a marvel of science, and we are LUCKY to have access to them. Parents in poor countries all over the world watch their children die of simple diseases we can so easily avoid, and yet parents insist on listening to uninformed fear-mongering.

The autism link has been proven wrong. Vaccine rates have dropped, but the autism rates have not. There is no link.

Please vaccinate.

Toptop on

I believe that parents who choose not to vaccinate are using the children of parents that do. Sure your child will likely never get one of these diseases if everyone else vaccinates. What happens if everyone stops vaccinating? Diseases that have been erradicated make a comeback.

I have no issues with modifying schedules for a little later, splitting vaccines etc but when you choose not to vaccinate at all you are using me.

Erika on

I can understand where people are coming from in not vaccinating because of the chemicals in vaccines but the fear of autism is rediculous. It has been proven several times that vaccines do not cause autism. I have met people with autistic children that were vaccinated that chose not to vaccinate their 2nd child and then their 2nd child was autistic too. This will not happen in every case, but autism does seem to be somewhat genetic and can occur twice in one family.

I think that people NEED something to blame. It’s human nature. People don’t want to think that their perfect little baby is autistic because of genetics or they were born that way- they need an excuse. But in reality I have known several autistic kids and many of them had ‘odd’ behaviors from the start. Jenny McCarthy’s book, though written fairly recently is not totally accurate because of the study that has been retracted. It is also biased because her son has autism that she believes was caused by vaccines.

I can understand how certain vaccines may be unneccessary. Chicken pox, for example, rarely causes complications. I had the chicken pox vaccine when I was like 4- right before the vaccine came out, so I never had the vaccine. Neither of my siblings did either and eventually got the disease. And if a baby is home most of the time, not in daycare or traveling to other countries, I can see why delaying would be okay. I can understand it too- although it may not cause lasting damage a ton of vaccines at once can’t be easy on a baby. But I believe in delaying slightly, or spacing them out if anything rather than just not vaccinating at all. Herd immunity is necessary- but not for healthy children whose parents just don’t want to vaccinate them- for babies who are too young to recieve certain vaccines or people who are so sick that just the vaccine can harm their immune system. I think vaccines are good for society and protect all of us who get them.

Anyway, this is just my thoughts. I don’t have children yet but I do plan on having them eventually. And this really has nothing to do with Constance Marie since I don’t see anything wrong with delaying vaccines. At 16-17 months, she isn’t really around too many people who she could be getting the disease from. It’s once they get to schoolage that it is concerning.

Gi on

Thanks Cheryl, I had no idea.

mel on

We bounced back and forth with the vaccine thing when we had our two sets of twins. In the end, we decided to delay as long as we could and only give the ones that have been around forever. To me, there is nothing wrong with a child going through chicken pox, why vaccinate for that if they are otherwise healthy.

All four kids were breast fed and have only ever had the normal childhood ailments. Our one daughter has issues with ear infections, which i suffered from all my life.

I understand WHY vaccines are developed but with all the new ones that are being pushed on parents (and given in schools), has anyone looked into the long-term effects of them? Is there going to health concerns with vaccines such as the HPV or the Chicken pox vaccine ten or twenty years from now?

I’m glad that you posted this blog today. I hope it gives all parents something to think about.

MJ on

Well said Laura. Not vaccinating your child not only puts her at risk but others as well. And herd immunity only works if most people are vaccinated, except parents are too scared because of lies that are out there on the internet, so the “herd” is not as big as people think. There is way more risk to not vaccinate than there is to vaccinate. Please if you have any questions, talk to your child’s pediatrician or look into reputable websites like http://www.cdc.gov and http://www.vaccinateyourbaby.gov. As a pediatrician, I’ve seen some of the preventable diseases we vaccinate against, and some are not as uncommon as some parents believe. Science advancements allow us to protect our children against more deadly diseases than ever before. And we vaccinate so early because that is when children are most susceptible. Please vaccinate. Oh and Constance, there has been research for 50+ years on many of the vaccines we give today. The only time its safe to not vaccinate is when a disease has been eradicated.

babyrama on

For all of those who insist that everyone must be vaccinated to protect the community at large, YOU need to do more research! The same diseases that have been eradicated or greatly diminished in the US have also been eradicated and diminished in Europe and England where children are not as over-vaccinated as in the US. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration, among them cleaner water and better food and sanitation today than a 100 or even 50 years ago when these diseases were more prevalent. Breastfeeding is another important factor. Also, whether or not many of these vaccines are actually effective is HIGHLY in question. You will find, for example, that in recent cases of outbreaks of measles, as many as 50-70 percent of those who contract the illness were vaccinated!! You shouldn’t assume that “science” today is perfect and that information about vaccines given out is correct and complete–think of all the mistakes and misconceptions in medicine that occurred 50 years ago and realize that most like in another 50 years, we will realize all the mistaken beliefs about medicine that hold sway today.

Also agree with previous poster that a ten pound baby and 4 days overdue is not a prescription for a C-section!

Mariska on

In Holland we get vacinations against 10 diseases before our second birthday: A combination of Diphtheria, Whooping Cough, Tetanus, Polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (at 2,3,4 and 11 months); a combination of mumps, measles, rubella (14 months, 9 years); Meningococcus C (14 months); pneumococcus (at 2,3,4 and 11 months). We only get a vacin against Hep B within 48 hours after birth if the mother is infected with Hep B. If that is the case we also get immunoglobulins.

I’ve gotten all my vacinations, and I will make sure my childeren will receive al their vacinations on the recommended times. I never felt ill after I got a vacination and went directly back to school afterwards. However if I lived in the US I probably woudn’t give my childeren all the recommended vacins, I think 31 is over the top.

Ginger on

I have two autistic sons who showed changes in behavior after receiving a batch of vaccinations between the ages of one and two. When I had my third son, I decided to put off vaccinations until he was two and then space out the vaccinations. Now he’s a normal six year old who is up-to-date on his vaccinations but received far fewer since he started later. If I have other children, I will do the same. I know some people feel I’m reading too much into the vaccinations trigger a genetic predisposition to autism thing but I’m glad I took the chance with my last son. While my older boys are beautiful and charming kids, I know their lives would be easier if they didn’t have autism so I believe for me the choice is clear for my future children.

Erika on

Gi- I believe it depends on the individual district. Private schools can make their own rules.

Most public schools in my area have 3 ways to get out of vaccines- religious, philisophical and of course medical (some kids have weak immune systems and can’t recieve them or can have allergies to something in certain vaccines).

However, I’m happy to say my local school districts only allows the medical excuse (which they need to). If you don’t want to vaccinate because you don’t like vaccines, they can go to private school. I personally think this is great. It doesn’t allow people to cheat the system and get out of what other people do. It doesn’t matter when they get the vaccine as long as they have all of the required ones. My district is one of the best in the area and rarely has outbreaks of anything. Many local districts had an outbreak of pertussis- not mine!

As I said in my other post, I don’t have children but I am glad that when I do (if I still live in the area that is) they will not be exposed to these diseases if they were to have a medical condition where they can’t recieve the vaccine. I’m glad that they are protecting the medically fragile rather than giving into people who want to cause them controversy.

vaal on

I hope you know it really can be dangerous not to vaccinate your child. Maybe you should talk to some doctors about their ideas about the topic. All the vaccinations they give kids who are younger than 2 years are for kids that age, they can take it! what kind of “toxins” do you expect to be in a vaccine? It’s easier for the immune system to deal with an attenuated virus than with the real one. same goes for bacteria. I hope you really know what you’re doing not getting your daughter vaccinated.

caryn on

I really like the thought process, however for the vaccinations now compared to 1982 are overwhelming, it seems there is one for everything…..I had all my , daughters vaccinated for the major common vaccines that have been out for many years, however my oldest is 10 and they want to give her gardisil which is for genital warts??? huh???? a ten yr old risk to get gential wart????and its been out what a few yrs, and they havent been able to asseses the long term affects, but its becoming more of a demand than a request for schools, daycares, etc….its ridiculous….thanks for sharing

Lala on

wow a lot of different opinions out their! i can understand the delayed vaccinations but i can not understand not getting your child vaccinated at all! i think people get all in a frenzy about autism when it has nothing absolutely nothing to do with vaccinations. i think everyone forgets you were vaccinated, your parents and even your grandparents! the reasons your children are at low risk for diseases is because so many other people have decided to vaccinate their children. your child will not be home forever, they will be out in the real world and they will be exposed. so many shots are combos so the 31 is really like 3 shots a visit and spread out in two years. my son got whooping cough before he was suppose to get the shot, he also got chicken pox too but i exposed it to him to get it out the way young so he wouldn’t have to deal with it when he was older. that is the only shot he is missing and we get asked about it every time we go to the dr when it is shot time. my son starts school this year and i have already made the decisions to ask who is not vaccinated in his class, not that i need names but i do not feel it is not right for unvaccinated children to be in school with my son or anyone for that matter. i know every one has their own opinion and does what is right for their children but i feel eventually you will have to vaccinate your child! even before college they have to get vaccinated against meningitis and other diseases. i feel for me the risk of not being vaccinated is not worth the loss of my child or any ones child! it only takes one child who is not vaccinated to spread measles, whooping cough and so forth! good take on things constance! good luck with your baby and the many more hard decisions you will have to make.

Desiree on

My daughter was vaccinated at the normal rate. I will be honest, I didn’t even think to make a big deal out of it and just did what the doctor said. Thankfully, we have had nothing but blessings in regard to her health. However, my daughter was in daycare and I was unable to breastfeed so, maybe that was the right way to do it.

I may have done things a little different if I knew then what I know now but I am simply blessed to have a happy, healthy little girl. Well, not so little anymore as she just turned 10!!! My how time flies.

Good for you in doing so much research and asking questions. No one knows your daughter better than you! :-)

Ginger on

I don’t believe autism is caused by vaccinations, BUT I think the shots can trigger autistic traits in people with a predisposition for the condition. I believe it’s a little like cancer where people can have all the triggers (smoking, poor diet, etc) and still never get cancer, but some people can live a very healthy lifestyle and get it. I think the only way to really test for an autism and vaccination link is to find people with the predisposition for autism (which isn’t possible now because they don’t know the gene that causes autism) then track the vaccination to non-vaccination records of those people and see the outcomes.

During the recent flu scare, I was told to get my six year old both the regular flu shot and the swine flu shot and that the shots together were perfectly safe. Well he ran a fever off and on and was very sickly for two months after receiving the shots. Isn’t it possible that some people are just more likely to be adversely affected by vaccinations that others? I don’t know why pro-vaccination types must discount any possibility that vaccinations given to certain people can be harmful?

Claudia on

I’m 7 months pregnant with my first child and reading your blog really helped me on my decsion on vaccinations. I had no idea they stared that right out of the womb !!
Thank you Constance I love reading your blogs. Keep up the good work chica !!!

rn2mommy on

I am a Registered nurse and a mom of two. My nurse side is very pro-vaccine; they have saved millions and millions of lives. But, my mommy side worries about too many vaccinations and their side effects. I can’t turn my head to the huge population of moms out there who belief their children have been adversely affected by vaccines, especially the MMR. So, when my oldest was due for her MMR, I decided to delay it. She got the vaccination when I felt comfortable with the circumstances surrounding the shot.

heather on

Great post ! You make excellent points, and I wish more people looked at all sides of the issue like this when discussin it.
We went a fairly similar route; though because of our particular situation, we did get a flu vaccine (not swine) for the baby after a really horrible bout of pneumonia that more or less cam on over night—- I was just too scared to end up repeating that experience and willing to do anything to avoid that kind of illness again.
Anyhow, same boat…I think vaccines def. have their value, but in a typical situation a newborn baby does not need either hep b or vit. k (another story) at birth. However, when you are dealing with a big system (like healthcare or public school) you take generalized measures that don’t consider specific circumstances.
My oldest was born when I was very young, and while I researched all of these topics as well as I could, I also felt obligated to listen more to what the older people in my family and the pediatricians recommeneded- essentially, I felt guilty for being young I guess, and I allowed other people’s opinions to trump my own wisdom.
By the time the second child rolled around, I was living overseas, which prevented some vaccine flexibility, but I did feel more in control, and we opted for a delayed schedule and vit. d drops at birth.
Number three was blessed with a home birth. No one poked her or stuck her or sucked anything out of her face just because that is procedure. (though if she had needed it they would have). She is a fairly high strung toddler, but she was an incredibly peaceful infant, and I think that gentle intro. to the world helped with that.
It’s scary to be in a position where we have to trust someone else that what we are putting into our babies is safe, but there are times when that leap of faaith is our best choice- as you point out. Thank you so much for sharing…I hope more people start to see the dimensions of this topic, in the way that you point them out.

Brenda on

My daughter Amanda, 29 weeks premature received all the reinforcements that the law requires more than nine doses of Synagis to prevent RSV give him. Never had no reaction, never had to give Tylenol or anything like that. Two weeks ago my daughter was four years and as is my habit went to her pediatrician immediately put him reinforcements of four years and Neumovac (the vaccine to prevent pneumonia following your pulmonologist) my poor little girl she was too bad it took me three days in the hospital. He gave her fever, body aches, vomiting, stopped eating until they are dehydrated. Fortunately it was not a shock but I worried a lot

Gi on

Erika, that makes far more sense. I knew my nephews were required and they are at public. Thanks for clarifying.

Nina on

Hi Constance, as with your other blogs I have quite a bit to say about vaccinations. As a child, no one wants to get the dreaded shots. But now as a grown up mommy, you start to understand the other side of this decision. As you said, all a parent wants is to do what is best for their child. That being said, I truly feel that vaccinations are the best way to protect your child from life threatening diseases. As a pediatrician, you see every single side of this issue and I have to say after taking innumerable classes about immunizations, dealing with hundreds of patients, and with consulting parents on this important decision I truly feel that vaccination is the best preventive measure for children, and I will gladly tell you why. Most people to choose to not vaccinate their children, follow the “herd theory”. If the other children are vaccinated then my child will not get the disease. This may be true, but as this number of people who choose not to vaccinate grows in size the chances that this disease will crop up again do too. Diseases that have previously been wiped out because of vaccinations are coming back into existence. So please please do not depend on this theory not to get any child vaccinated. Also, there have been numerous studies disproving the theory that there is a link between childhood vaccinations and autism. I understand that this is a complicated topic with innumerable pro-con arguments, but bottom line the best way to protect your child from a disease is to get the vaccine. I would also like to mention that although a child may not be in daycare or travel, it is still very possible for that child to contract a disease because we as parents are constantly coming into contact with people, who could have traveled, and subsequently coming in contact with our children. Parents, I beg of you, please do not delay on vaccinating your children. I have seen far too many patients who were struck with diseases that could have been prevented via vaccination. Here is a link with the list of vaccines for children ages 0 – 6 years and the ages that they typically receive them at:
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/downloads/child/2010/10_0-6yrs-schedule-pr.pdf

hayley on

the one thing that I find most frustrating is when people say ‘oh the chance of catching it is sooo small what’s the point’ the reason it’s so low it’s because of vaccination ….if we didn’t there soon would be a spread of everything we have managed to almost irradiate over the years.

I am so sorry but it is highly irresponsible in my opinion to NOT vaccinate your child. Not only do you put your child at risk but every single child that has not had the chance to have their vaccinate yet. How would you feel if you didn’t give your baby the MMR your kids caught measles but was ok but a younger child not old enough to get the shot caught it from your children and died….which is not out of the question.

this is a hot topic we will never ever see eye to eye but asks yourselves this as mothers….say there was an outbreak of something and you where told the only way to protect your child was to let them have the vaccinate you didn’t let them have, with un vaccinated children dyeing all around you would you then let them have the vaccinate?? I respect your opinion but I think they are wrong and dangerous to the health of all children and it makes so sad to say that,

I also do not think there is any link to autism as every single bit of medical evidence has be discredited wholeheartedly, in fact I read the main dr who made the connection has falsified documents and simply made it all up.
It’s something to think about.

April Klazema on

I have an 18 month old, and we have followed the CDC recommendations, and nothing has happened to my child. He was also breast fed, and not in any high risk category. Unfortunately being in a low risk category does not mean that your child will not “catch” one of these illnesses. Even if you do not take your child to daycare, I presume that you do take them out in public, where they can catch an illness just as quickly. Its not my business what other parents choose to do, because as parents we think we know best for our child. However, at the end of the day, this is the same argument that I have with smokers. You can smoke in your own home and your own car, but what gives you the right to go into a public place and endanger my health because of a personal decision you make to endanger your own? Likewise, parents who choose not to vaccinate their children put my child at risk, and that is not their place, and they have no right to do so. If you choose not to vaccinate your child, then your child needs to abstain from public places in my opinion, ESPECIALLY if they might be sick. I am glad I live in a state where children without immunizations are not allowed to attend school. This is my opinion, and this is what I think is best for MY child.

Those that do not vaccinate are somewhat selfish in my opinion, because they are basically relying upon the fact that others have vaccinated their children and therefore their children do not need to be vaccinated because everyone in their circle with the vaccinations means that they will generally not be exposed to something.

By the way, could the poster who said that ultrasounds are linked to autism please shoot me a link so that I can see that? It’s the first I have heard of it.

madylane on

Please vaccinate. It puts other children at risk and diseases DO still exist. It was only through vaccinating that they became less prevalent. If you choose to not vaccinate please find a day-care, school that caters to non-vaccinated children.
If you have issues with some vaccines, see your physician about giving what was given about 20-30 years ago. The prevalence of autism was much lower and children were still well vaccinated against disease.

Elisa on

After studying immunology I can safely say that vaccines are important… the only place where this controversy semms to exist is in United States… if you’re afraid of the American vaccines then use somewhere else’s vaccines… but they are important… why put the child in risk to have a serious diseases like meningites or diphtheria if you can vaccine against it?? the Sabin vaccine is really safe against polio and has almost no side effects…

I do not work for any company it’s just that I know all the bad things that can happen to unvaccinated children and I wouldn’t want any children to go through it…

KP on

I admittedly have not read a lot of research on the subject but I am really curious about all these “side-effects” of vaccinations that several people have pointed out. I hope people realize that there is always a slight chance a person might develop a disease they were vaccinated against – its a very small risk to take to ensure safety of the general population. I would much rather risk having an allergic reaction to a shot than risk a polio epidemic.
It really seems that some people blame every single heath problem children might have on the vaccinations they received when they were young – a dangerous paradox in my opinion. As much as people want to deny it, sometimes children get sick – sometimes because of environment, sometimes because of genetics, sometimes for no apparent reason. Blaming vaccinations does not help anyone. It actually scares me how many people are questioning whether or not to vaccinate their children – to me it is not a gray issue: Get your children vaccinated. For their sake and everyone else’s. Almost every medical professional you will encounter will say the same thing; you should probably be wary of those who don’t.

LJK on

I’m so glad to hear a ‘celebrity’ go against the grain and not vaccinate. Thank you for thinking of the rest of us who also skip or delay vaccines. There’s so much more we don’t even know about them and my kids aren’t going to be anyone’s collateral damage! Your baby is gorgeous BTW!

kirsty on

MY daughter has had all her vaccines and never had any reactions to any of them. I believe autism comes from having something wrong with your genetics, you will see families with a lot of autistic kids and some families that have had no problems for generations. Jenny McCarthy is not an expert, please read real facts!

Amanda on

You know the mother at our church who decided that shots were bad didn’t like facing off in court with us after her decision almost killed my newborn son. MMR is given for reason and if you travel at all you are putting everyone you come in contact with at risk. My son lived and is fine but 6 months at Texas Children’s broke us.

Kaleigh on

I have a beautiful little boy who was diagnosed with autism at 19 months, BEFORE he was ever vaccinated. Whereas my 5 year old was given all of the routine vaccinations and he does NOT have autism. I for one do not think that there is a correlation between the two.

It is ultimately the parents choice, and I would never argue with a parent’s choice for their own child. But I have to agree that if evey parent chose not to vaccinate, we would be battling with polio, smallpox, rubella, typhoid, the list goes on… things much much much scarier than autism.

i just belive the benefits of vaccinating FAR outweigh the risks.

Patrice on

Perhaps all of these so called “protevtive” parents won’t be happy until Measles, Mumps Rubella, and Small Pox all make a comeback and America starts to look like 19th century Europe. If you don’t want to vaccinate, then fine, it’s your children. But when all people’s health is put at risk because of it, that’s when I have a probelem. When you don’t vaccinate you put everyone at risk.

Cheryl on

@Erika, people who don’t accept medical intervention (vaccines included) due to their religious beliefs are not “cheating the system” to get out of what others do.

Rather, one could make the argument that it’s discriminatory not to admit a child who cannot take vaccines due to their religious beliefs, as federal laws guarantee every citizen has the right to a public education; and federal laws guarantee citizens the freedom to practice their religion.

These are the religious groups, that I can recall, that do not take vaccines: Christian Science, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Amish, Seventh Day Adventist (some sects), Mennonite (some sects). Christadelphian (some sects, Swedeborgian (many sects), Church of Illumination, LifeSpirit organization, Church of Scientology, Rastafarians, Zoroastrianism, Jainism (some sects), Hindu (some sects), Wicca (many sects)

Certains sects of Islam and Judaism do not vaccinate because some vaccines contain alcohol and pig byproducts.

In addition, the Roman Catholic Church also opposes any and all vaccines made with aborted fetal tissues. (Many vaccines are no longer made with the cell lines of aborted tissue on which they were originally grown, but the chicken pox vaccine does still contain the cell line)

Ally on

mom of two: I couldn’t agree more. This is so much more than just a “my baby” issue. I can’t comprehend how anyone is so afraid of UNPROVEN links to Autism (which just recently have very much been OFICIALLY DISPROVEN) that they are willing to put the lives of all children at risk to the unvaccinated diseases. Such a shame.

jessicad on

Like Katie I also wonder how those 50 kids who were vaccinated ended up catching a disease they were supposed to be protected against. That doesn’t make sense and I’m really not trying to be rude. I don’t think you should call parents who were probably looking out for their children “selfish” either, this conversation doesn’t have to get nasty, even though it always does. We’re all trying to do the best we can as parents, no need for name calling is what I’m saying:)

I have my daughter on a delayed schedule also. She will be 3 in October and starts school in 5 weeks, so I didn’t see the need to do them all at once since she has been at home with me or with close friends who kept her when I finished school. Like Constance I breastfed for a long time and felt that kept her safe. The first time she ever got sick was 2 weeks after I stopped nursing of course!

I agree that we should all support each other and what works best for one family may not work for another. There is so much information out there that I honestly don’t know what to believe, so I went with a slower schedule because it put my mind at ease.

Karen on

Wow, you sound just like me & my friends talking!! With our first son (who is 6) we did everything on schedule. Thank God he is A-OK. With our 2nd son, we did a semi-delayed schedule. He is 3 now, and up to date w/ his shots, but we did not give him every one on the schedule, nor at the earliest times. 31 shots is WAY too many for those little bodies. I do believe vaccines help…if we didn’t have them, we’d see the diseases come back, but I do believe in waiting.

Ashley on

I know this is such a touchy issue for everyone. We were actually “let go” from our pediatrician because we chose to not vaccinate our second child, a preemie, on the CDC schedule. At 19 months old, she is only 19 pounds, and has just received some of the shots she should have gotten at 4 months. I just think it seems odd that friends with kids the same age who are 28 pounds and my tiny 19 pounder should have the same amount of vaccine in their body just because they are the same age. We do believe in vaccination, though more slowly as I have talked to the mother of two children who got vaccinations (two of triplets) and immediately had autistic tendencies, which continue today. My new doctor has had children who have had terrible outcomes from the MMR, and doesn’t recommend getting it until the child is around 3 years old. I’m sure someone has mentioned it, but anyone curious about the delayed vaccination program should look up Dr. Sears book and schedule about vaccinating.

Electra on

I have a hard time fathoming why this is even a question. Theres minimal evidence opposing vaccinations and millions of lives SAVED supporting vaccinations. Using the rest of the population for herd protection can only work for so long until too many people have taken that route. It only takes one unvaccinated person returning to the US from an undeveloped nation to bring back an illness we thought was eradicated.

Natalie on

Hi Constance! I actually did let them give her the vaccines and I was breastfeeding her until she was 11 months but she has traveled domestically and internationally. She does go to school now and it’s a super hard decision but I question everything the doctor gives her and I make the decision at the end of the day. Actually her peds doctor is a little scared of me cause I’m so aggressive! It only takes one mistake, so I do try my best to protect her as much as I can! Thank you for sharing as always!

Caroline Smith on

I have to say I respect this opinion but think it is irresponsible for a blog about children (even those of celebities) to post such a lengthy discussion of such a crucial medical topic composed by a celebrity without a response or follow up by a medical professional. The anti-vaccine movement is threatening to create a public health epidemic and it behooves you to only allow people trained in the issues to speak to advise your readers. I do find it interesting to hear what different parents think but, given the platform of people.com, I find this an irresponsibly posted item.

Carrrie M on

I have a 3 year old son, and a 9 week old daughter. I chose to decline the Hep B vaccination as well. The reason for turning down the vaccination, was my friends horrible experience. This is extremely rare and i dont want to scare people, but I want others to be informed either way. You can read about little Ian’s allergic reaction to the Hep B shot on her blog, http://www.iansvoice.org

Take Care,

Carrie

TJ on

Really, in this day and age you choose not to vaccinate?! How do you think these awful diseases were eliminated? The more people that don’t vaccinate the more these disease show up in pockets around the world…I’d rather protect my child then take the chance on some random disease not showing up in my community…and I don’t think breastfeeding is going to protect your child against small pox or measles…

MrsD on

I come from the pro-vaccination camp, and as someone who has not yet been blessed with kids (despite our best efforts) admit my perspective is somewhat different. I am a nurse and work in a small rural medical centre after having worked in paediatric neurology/neurosurgery. It’s part of my job to inform parents about vaccination both pro’s and con’s, as well as administer the vaccines if parents have decided to go ahead (not fun I might add). I am often asked what my personal opinion is. Having worked in my former job, with children seriously ill from some of the diseases we vaccinate against, my response is “I will be fully vaccinating my children”.

I am a huge advocate of informed choice but get very frustrated with the amount of information available that is not verified or even scientific but is being passed off as fact. The internet is a wonderful tool but something of a double edged sword, anyone can claim to be an expert. And the anti-immunisation groups have used this to their advantage. Because they are an unregulated group (unlike medical professionals) they can present biased, fear invoking information without repercussions. As health professional we are ethically bound to deliver factual, unbiased information to parents and we are in no way allowed to scare people into vaccinating. Otherwise I would be showing parents just what some of these illnesses can do to their children.

My only wish is that when making this huge decision parents do 3 things
1)Have a look at what these diseases can do, and ensure the information you are considering is verified and factual.
2)Consider how you are going to explain to your grown child the reasons you did or did not vaccinate.(I had to deal with a very angry 20yr old who was going to have to pay an extra several hundred dollars for her travel vaccines as she was unvaccinated and was now too old for government funded vaccination).
3)Remember that EVERY medical intervention carries risk but so does a lack of intervention.

Ultimately do I agree with parents choice to not vaccinate? No. Do I respect their decision to do what they feel is best for their child? Most definatly.

Mary on

I can understand wanting to delay vaccinations, for the same reason that I buy organic produce and non-processed food. However I have learned from personal experience the benefit of vaccinating early. I caught pertussis as an infant when I was less than 6 months of age. I would have been categorized as low risk since I was breastfeeding, didn’t travel, and wasn’t in daycare. Yet I was exposed to it somehow. Fortunately I had already begun my vaccination schedule, and despite nearly scaring my mother to death, I had a fairly mild case. Pertussis is notoriously deadly in infants. If my mother had chosen to delay my vaccinations, would I even be alive today? This is why I have chosen to vaccinate my children according the recommended schedule.

csmith on

Cheryl – please do not spread misinformation about vaccines. They are NOT made from aborted fetuses. Please see this link: http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/anti_vaxxers_and_anti_choicers_a_match_made_in_heaven/
A key quote: “The “evidence” that vaccines are made from aborted fetuses comes from a story about how vaccines are not made from aborted fetuses, from Life News’ own site, no less.”
The general distrust of science and the medical community here is kind of disheartening. Why would anyone gamble with disease? I encourage all readers and commenters to go back and read the comments from paediatricians and other health professionals. I will be vaccinating my future children, and I hope that noone here will suffer from or see anyone suffering from diseases that should have been kept at bay years ago.

Andrea on

I also did a lot of research and decided to vaccinate. I would rather have my child get a vaccine than get the awful illnesses I researched. Also, as I am not medically trained, even though I did a lot of research, I discussed the vaccination schedule with our GP and naturopath and felt comfortable with our medical system’s prescribed schedule for vaccinations. I did ask why more shots were not combined as my son had 4 needles at age 1. I was told by the nurse that the vaccines were from separate drug companies and therefore they would not combine them (ie money). I do not know if this claim is true. Many of the vaccines that my first son had have been combined now and my second son has had to have less.

I appreciate parents wanting to have some control regarding medical decisions ffecting their children; however, vaccinating is not always a decision about what’s best for your child but what’s best for the children who are around your child who are too young to have been protected by a vaccine.

“Mom of Two” commented about one family spreading whooping cough. We had the same situation in our community. A single family decided not to vaccinate their 7 children and they spread the disease amongst themselves and others in school and became a threat to younger children who were around them who had not yet been vaccinated due to their age. If I met these parents, I would have had difficulty containing my anger. As you state, outbreaks are generally contained; however, this particular family caused a lot of stress to those around them and caused our health unit to issue warnings to the community. So while I am pro-choice on most things, I believe in vaccinating children.

Erika on

Cheryl- I understand what you are saying and in fact, I am Roman Catholic. I didn’t mean it to be against certain groups, though I apologize if it was offensive. However, I know certain people who have no specific religious beliefs against vaccinating but use religion as an excuse to get out of it. Some schools don’t have the ‘philisophical’ excuse and in that case families use religious. I know a specific family with no religious beliefs at all who used ‘religious exemption’ in their school district because philisophical wasn’t offered. THAT is cheating the system. I do feel bad for families who can not vaccinate for religious beliefs but I think my district is protecting the welfare of the students overall by doing what they do. I hope I cleared this up, sorry if I offended anyone.

Sera on

I cannot possible understand why parents would not chose to vaccinate their children. I thought that it was just a fad and that once a child got seriously ill it would end. But sadly it hasn’t, children are dying of dieses that could have been prevented with vaccines. Many celebrities like Jenny McCarthny have talked about vaccines causing autism. But their have been studies done by several government agencies in both America and in Great Britain and the results of the studies came back showing the there is no correlation between vaccinations and autism. So as parent a concerned parent who are you going to believe doctors or a playboy bunny?

Krysten on

great blog topic! my mother has been a special education for 15 years. she was there before this whole vaccine thing blew up and she’ll be there long after. what she and her fellow teachers have found through out the years is that delaying the vaccines is the best way to assure any fears you have. most impairments(including autism) are diagnosed between 18-24 months. some children even show signs before that. look at the ones you are sure your child can live without.however, before they attend ANY kind of school it is safer to get the basic ones such as polio and tetanus.most of us over the age of 10 will or have survived the chicken pox.whooping cough is treatable and easy to catch, but can be very dangerous to children under 2, but preventing that is easy.my mother and the other teachers know how scary the MMR one is. it has gotten an increasingly bad rap these past few years.their theory is that you as a parent need to be pro-active and discuss with your doctor what’s in it! i had the MMR and so did ALL my friends. the instances of autism and other impairments were significantly lower 20 years ago. why?the make-up has changed. DISCUSS! ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS! if your doctor has an issue with questions, find one that doesn’t.any special ed teacher will tell you that you need to be pro-active in your child’s health.what you can do is discuss with people in the special education community because you’ll find most parents do not blame a vaccine, but took action in treating their child’s impairment. most of them will tell you that speaking with you doctor about a delaying schedule is the best way.yes, some doctors will get very snippy with you, but you’re the parents and if they don’t like it, find a new doctor. a lot of doctors are getting used to the idea. while they may not like it, they are conforming.

personally, i try to be open minded and give everyone a chance to speak, but in my heart i cannot support no vaccines at all. the medical repercussions are going to come back in spades.that frightens me greatly. i don’t think a newborn needs to leave the hospital having had 5 shots. i survived for 3 months without a single shot. i know doctors try and scare new moms, do not let them cause at the end of the day, they need permission to give your baby a shot.i also don’t believe you can give anyone (adult or baby) multiple shots at once.i studied abroad and refused to get all my shots at once.i asked to spread them out over 6 months and they did.in fact, i even got to take one of the vaccines via an oral medication.

at the end of the day, you are her mom. you know exactly what’s best for her and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Mary on

Reading through everyone’s comments, I noticed that several people have mentioned those 50 cases of whooping cough in California and how could it happen if those children were vaccinated. Vaccinations are not a 100% guarantee that a child won’t ever catch the disease. However the cases are far less severe and less likely to be deadly as they would be with an unvaccinated child.

Also, to all those parents who think that exposing their children to chicken pox is better than getting the vaccination are not thinking about the consequences down the road. Sure the actual case of chicken pox might be mild, the virus remains dormant in your body and can come out later in the form of shingles. Shingles is an extremely painful condition. It is more common in older adults but my sister suffered from shingles at age 11. Seeing her in such agony was enough to convince me that I would never want my children to suffer from something which is now mostly preventable (the vaccine didn’t exist back when we were kids). The suffering didn’t end when the pain went away either because she was badly scarred. She spent all of her teenage years always wearing shirts over bathingsuits because she didn’t want anyone to see her back. Now as an adult she couldn’t care less but it was a traumatizing experience for her that lasted many years.

Electra on

Carrie M, those pictures are truly truly heartbreaking!!

Kristy on

I will never understand how a parent can come to the conclusion that by not vaccinating their child, they are doing “what’s best for them”. If you want to do what’s best for your child why in the world would you take the chance of letting them get any of these serious illnesses that could be fatal? Wouldn’t you do everything in your power to protect your child from that? The research is overwhelming in regards to the pros of vaccinating, come on people, wake up!

Filly on

We all want the best for our children and the best life you can offer them is one with vaccinations.

Vaccinations are not theoretical in any way, shape or form. They work to keep your child from serious illnesses. Children around the world who still get these miserable bugs- measles, polio, meningitis, tetanus and so on- may survive (many don’t) but their bodies bear the scars of disease for life.

My parents, who grew up without vaccinations- and had friends who died from measles and got polio- did not think twice about vaccinating their 5 children (but one: due to eczema,I never got the now defunct small pox shot).

It may be a small risk not to vaccinate now, but it is a definite risk. Herd immunity can only work if the majority get the proper vaccinations.
No one wants their child to be the one who gets sick.

Anna on

Cheryl: I disagree with the list of religious groups you state that are against vaccinations. Seventh Day Adventist for one, as a religious group (calling them a sect is in itself a misconception), are not against vaccinations. Just like you find people who are against vaccinations in the general public, you will also find them within religious groups.

I totally agree with Laura, Kaleigh and the rest of those who are pro-vaccinations! The benefits of vaccinating your child far outweigh the risks. Like several of you mentioned, the link between autism and vaccination is based on a research study that has long been discredited as bogus. People should stop listenting to non-expert celebrities like Jenny who put out false claims about the nature of autism.

JM on

i am very comforted to see the vast majority of parents here doing the (ONLY) right thing and vaccinating their kids! like i said, with all the evidence we have nowadays, not vaccinating your kids is a bit like not wearing a seatbelt – irresponsible and dangerous. only with vaccines it’s not just your own children’s lives you are putting at risk.

oh, and the most ridiculous reason i have heard so far: “religious reasons” – i mean come on. be superstitious if you want but don’t try and overrule science, that is ignorant and selfish and playing with your children’s lives based on nothing but an unfounded belief.

Angela on

I have learned a few things with each kid.. my oldest had a terrible reaction to the MMR at 12 months, so I chose not to have the next children vaxed at that time. The ped gave me grief about it, but my choice has nothing to do with Jenny McCarthy or anybody else.. but my desire to avoid a repeat of my child getting measles from a shot and the high fevers and everything else that went along with it. I delayed shots with my now 2 year old.. she is slowly getting them and will eventually get them all (minus chicken pox). My 8 month old is also slowly being vaccinated.

When my 8 month old was born she got the standard eye ointment and her eyes immediately puffed up and started oozing and eventually scabbed over. She basically got a chemical burn from it and we learned she is allergic to the gentamicin ointment they used! I think for any future children I would forgo that treatment.

Erika on

it’s almost like saying “to wear a seatbelt or to not wear a seatbelt”

I think thats a great analogy! It totally makes sense and I agree!

Alex on

I’ve read through as many comments as time would allow tonight, thought not all of them, so I apologise if this has already been covered.

Let’s get something straight, for those of you begging others to vaccinate their children, some people make the decision not to get certain jabs not because of the autism link, but because there are many, many other ways that a child can be vaccine damaged. Autism is not the only thing in people’s minds when making the choice. It is extremely silly to assume this is the only potential “side effect” in consideration when deciding where you stand on the vaccine issue.

It is a an absolute fact that some children are irreperably harmed by a vaccine that should protect them. Is this the norm? No. Is this “non-existant” (as I read one person phrase it)? Definitely not. I would like to see that said to a parent raising a vaccine damaged child.

Bottom line here? For the majority of children, vaccines are going to be perfectly fine and benefit them throughout their formative years and beyond. But there are many children who are, for various reasons, simply not as lucky and they are left with a permanent disability or other effect because of something which was supposed to protect them. Sad, but very true.

I do not know where I stand on the issue myself. I do not have a child of the age where this is a consideration yet. When it comes to deciding upon whether to vaccinate my child or not, I will make an informed decision, based on proper medical research, and I won’t stop at a single doctor’s opinion, and I certainly will not respond to the begging of forum users. I will do what is best for my child and my child’s future, as is my absolute right and duty.

mommytoane on

Honestly, we chose to be picky with vaccinations. Due to the fact that I have several family members that due to allergies can NOT vaccinate, I chose not to mess with their health on some vaccinations. So we went ahead with the MMR. But when it came to the Chicken Pox vac, flu shot, and the new women’s vaccination….we skipped those. IMO, Chicken Pox generally isn’t life threatening, and is a common childhood illness. Flu….not proven to work, and with a healthy child in general, I felt as tho it was taking away from someone who could need it. A child who is ill or, an elderly person, who NEEDS the extra protection. But the MMR…we went through with. BUT Keep in mind…just because you vaccinate does not mean that they ARE getting the protection. I’ve had the MMR for myself as scheduled and after my daughter was born….but still have no immunity to Rubella.
To me. Its a personal choice. There’s no actual 100% definate proof vaccinations cause autism. Heck, Autism has been around since BEFORE vaccinations….difference is now we put a name on it and don’t just generally slap those who are different into institutions and forget about them. In the past, when a child was born different..it was just an auto instutuion for them. NOW we actually put a name on things, and treat it. Instead of just pushing it aside and forgetting.
So…vaccinate if you want. If you don’t want, don’t vaccinate! YOU chose whats right for YOUR family….and don’t let the voices of others speak for you.

Amanda on

As I post this I am listening to my brother in the other room coughing, coughing, and more coughing. He was diagnosed with pertussis and has been coughing like this since January.

I was previously pro-vaccine and this has only strengthened my convictions.

ANJ

Bekki on

Have any of you ever seen a child with pertussis? (Whooping cough). I have seen it first hand in a 4 month old who got it because the rest of her family was not vaccinated! This infant had to have a tube put down her airway and connected to a respirator for DAYS! The child survived but not after a lengthy, scary, and expensive hospital stay. Why would any parent want to risk that for their child?

Plus all the unvaccinated people out there are putting my children at higher risk for becoming infected. My kids are vaccinated but unvaccinated children run the risk of infecting others. My children most likely will not get as ill as an unvaccinated child, but the risk is still there.

There has been no link to connect autism with vaccinations other than Jenny McCarthy saying it is so. Maybe the reason autism seems more prevalent now is that medical professionals are more apt to know what to look in diagnosing autism.

Christine on

What I don’t understand is why parents of vaccinated children are so afraid of unvaccinated children. If their children are supposedly “immunized”, then why are they so worried about what illnesses unvaccinated children may or may not have and could potentially spread?

JMO on

I think it’s fine to space out vaccines but I’m a believer in making sure that kids are vaccinated. This is always a heated debate on CBB and has been in the past about to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. Every person will have a difference of opinions and you have to do what is right for you and your baby. But I remember reading a few stories about parents who refused to give their kids the MMR shot and their kids ended up dying of the measles as children and now they regret it. Some shots are just not worth the risk of not vaccinating.
They keep saying there is no link between vaccines and autism and I guess until one day they have hard evidence on that I won’t be one to believe it. So my kids will have shots but they won’t be getting more then 2 in one sitting if possible.
Your baby is beautiful!!

jessicad on

50 cases is far less severe?? Sounds like the vaccine didn’t work AT ALL! I can understand if a few kids got it, but 50? Come on now, that doesn’t make any sense. If your kids are vaccinated you should have nothing to worry about if other kids aren’t. I completely agree with it being irresponsible for parents to let their kids around children too young to be vaccinated, but breastfeeding and keeping them out of extremely crowded places until they are old enough should help.

Jessica P on

As a health care provider this blog makes me sad. You’re spreading misinformation about vaccinations. There is a reason all of this was done, ya know? *shakes head* When I have children I am going to do what’s BEST for them and vaccinate. About the herd immunity, what if everyone relies on herd immunity? Then it’s not really herd immunity anymore is it? Many of these viruses are not eradicated and still hang around waiting for idiots like you to give them a chance to spread. 10 years from now we’ll probably see a large increase in various vaccine-preventable illnesses thanks to this kind of mentality. It’s not like our society spends enough money on health care or anything. . .

Vanessa on

We need to take care of not only our children but other children and the wider community. Vaccinate!

steve on

Anyone who claims that vaccines are capable of erradicating disease please show me the blind placebo studies. also the issue of vaccination goes well beyond autism. How about the thimerisol (mercury), aluminum, infected animal tissues, the formaldahyde, not to mention the lab altered disease. Study after study published in medical journals show that these vaccinations only sensitize the patient to the disease, meaning they are more susceptable to it. Also they can cause seizures, epilepsy, screaming, fever, and a handful of other immediate reactions. not to mention long term problems like allergies, learning disabilities, and diabetes. I fear the cure more than the disease.

laura on

My daughter was diagnosed with a vaccine preventable disease that she got before she was old enough to be vaccinated, before she was old enough to start day care, while I was still breastfeeding. She could have died. I thank God every day that her dr diagnosed and treated her and that she responded as well as she did. Breast milk is great but it IS NOT MEDICATION. This article is depressingly misinformed.

I am disappointed that People magazine didn’t inject editor’s notes correcting the terrible misinformation this so-called celebrity is dispensing. People.com, I beg of you to have a spokesperson for the AAP come and give actual information to parents and STOP letting random women off the street spew their ignorance on such an important topic. Reading stuff like this makes me lose faith in mankind. If this isn’t dealt with appropriately, I will stop reading this blog, cancel my subscription to People and boycott all things related to People.

jessicad on

I don’t see where she or anyone else says breast milk is medication.

Steph on

My son is turning 17 years old later this month, and I have never gotten him the Hepatitis shots that were recommended beginning at birth. I waited on the rest until he started day care at 15 months, and went gradually with them.

Jenny on

TO JESSICA:
As a health care provider then you should know that its the parents decision. It saddens me how you are just another idiot backing up the pharmaceutical company on their experiments on today’s children…..And don’t tell me that they’re not experiments because some ppl/children can tolerate vaccines and some cant. some DO DIE and some don’t OR Some become damaged. But as a health care provider and or even a doctor this kinda information wont be disclosed by you or any other doctor that dosent want to lose their license

Most of the diseases/Viruses are treatable. All my grandmas kids had the measles and are still alive and kickin!

Everyone reacts different to vaccines. I don’t need a doctor or even the media telling me what I SHOULD do for my children when it comes to their health, that’s for me to educate myself and decide on!
Im not going to let some pharmaceutical company make my children lab rats to gain profit on what might nor might not happen !!! BS!!! No doctor can tell you what or what wont happen after your child is vaccinated!! They dont know every child’s different.
Im sorry that there are seriously sooooooo many ppl out there that are brain washed by the media and doctors. And little do ppl know but some of their child’s doctors that push vaccinating their children, DON’T VAX themselves either but they are not allowed to disclose that kinda information weather they really like you as a patient or not, because its based apoun their own personal beliefs.

LOL and to those who think that the unvaxed children are putting their vaccinated children at higher risk for contracting a deadly virus/disease……ummm if they’re vaxed for something then why worry? If its what your child isnt vaxed for that your afraid of them getting, keep them in a bubble then cause it dosent matter if the kids vaxed or not they can still contract anything and everything.

kirsty on

Cheryl please dont inclue the church of scientology as a religious group, religion has nothing to do with this group they are a cult.

Robin on

I personally had HIB, which children are vaccinated against. It’s a form of flu. In my kids it presented as an ear infection and slight cold (since they had been vaccinated). I was so relieved and I thanked God that they had indeed been vaccinated. It was AWFUL, and I do mean awful, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I really can’t imagine a child having it.

In addition, whopping cough is making a HUGE comeback. I am careful with the vaccines and like to split them up when possible, but I just couldn’t live with myself if my child died from something that could so easily have been prevented. Does the fact that others choose not to vaccinate their children have anything to do with me? Not really. But I just can’t stand the thought of them suffering with something like whooping cough. Google it and watch how they cough. It’s just pitiful :( Our ped. confirmed that it is indeed on the rise again!

Your daughter is precious :)

Liwen on

I would vaccinate, but I would do it one vaccine at a time instead of bundling it. I did that with my daughter and I wished I had done it with my son.

dea on

So it is not true there is no right or wrong here. It is defnitely wrong to NOT immunuze your children. You call it vaccinate as in giving the vacine but what you are really doing is immunizing against the disease — that is giving their immune system the tools to fight that disease. And to JoJo, no these diseases are not all easilty treatable. Whooping coough can kill. Menegitis can kill within 24 hrs before you even know that’s what the child has. Even good old chicken pox kills a number of children each year. How would it be if any one of these were your children. Some of these are serious serious diseases that we don’t think about much anymore because we were all immunized and didn’t get them! It is good to question things and do research, it is even fine to take everything in your life into consideration and think about altering the schedule somewhat and delaying giving all of them, but no one lives in a bubble. Vaccines DO NOT cause autism and that this is still being said on here is mind boggling. Nobody should be quoting Jenny McArthy — is she some sort of expert who studied this stuff for many years — I don’t think so. I honestly can’t believe the number of people on here playing with their and other’s children’s lives because they see crap on the internet and believe it.

Megan on

The problem with delaying vaccinations is that many of the disease we vaccinate against are most deadly in young infants. If you are going to vaccinate, it makes most sense to give the vaccines are early as possible (the CDC schedule is the earliest schedule most pediatriacians will use) to minimize the time the infant is unprotected.

The few weeks when a newborn is too young to receive their vaccinations are among the most dangerous of their lives. Many doctors recommend that parents, siblings and anyone who will be in contact with the baby receive booster vaccines to ensure they remain protected. Whooping cough can be very mild, resembling a cold in adults and may go completely undetected. Adults with whooping cough often go hours and hours between coughing fits.

VACCINATE. Vaccinate EARLY. The science supports vaccinations. I highly recommend Autism’s False Prophets by Paul Offit, MD. He explains the history of the anti-vaccination movement and explains the science behind both sides of the argument.

Helene on

Kirsty, Scientology is NOT a cult

Jennifer on

I just wanted to say “Good job” on the vaccine debate. The first thing is great to point out that all parents, no matter what they decide to do are acting in the child best interest. I have 3 kids, my first we never gave any shots. When my second child was 3 weeks old, my oldest started with a cough, 2 weeks later we found out she had whooping cough. It was the mercy of the Lord that spared my new born son from that terrible 4 months of hell we all went through. So with our next two kids after reading up and finding out that whooping cough is making a BIG come back, we have given the the DTP, on our own time, and 2 months, 6 months and again at 12 months. I would urge all parents to be very aware of WC, we have no idea where she got it, I was/am a stay-at-home Mom, with a new baby, we really did not go anywhere. No family members had it either. Anyway great job encouraging parents to make up there own minds about shots, because no matter what anyone decides to do, its your child, the Dr. won’t be dealing with whatever might happen either way, you the parents will.

Jennifer on

12 months. I would urge allI just wanted to say “Good job” on the vaccine debate. The first thing is great to point out that all parents, no matter what they decide to do are acting in the child best interest. I have 3 kids, my first we never gave any shots. When my second child was 3 weeks old, my oldest started with a cough, 2 weeks later we found out she had whooping cough. It was the mercy of the Lord that spared my new born son from that terrible 4 months of hell we all went through. So with our next two kids after reading up and finding out that whooping cough is making a BIG come back, we have given the the DTP, on our own time, and 2 months, 6 months and again at parents to be very aware of WC, we have no idea where she got it, I was/am a stay-at-home Mom, with a new baby, we really did not go anywhere. No family members had it either. Anyway great job encouraging parents to make up there own minds about shots, because no matter what anyone decides to do, its your child, the Dr. won’t be dealing with whatever might happen either way, you the parents will.

Trisha on

I chose to vaccinate my now 16 month old daughter. She has had no side affects from her shots, expect maybe a little fever or being fussy! I work in the dental field and I know I come in contact with patients that have some diseases that could harm my little one so it was a no brainer for me. I did not realize how many parents out there were NOT vaccinating their children. I am in no way judging and we all have a right to parent our children. That being said I hope that their decisions don’t affect my baby. I’m sure years from now we will have studies showing one way or the other so I guess we will just have to let people live and see where it takes us.

I’ve read all the comments and the only thing that really gets me is the whole breast feeding thing and how a child will be less likely to get sick. I agree with that to a point. I nursed my daughter for 8 months, she weaned herself, and she only started getting ear infections after she turned one. She was never sick before that but I dont know if that had to do with nursing. And another thing I will say I did not like nursing. It hurt and it seemed all I did was nurse or pump! I know that it was good for her and what not, but I mainly nursed because it was cheaper than formula. That may make me a bad mommy for saying that out loud but its true. Back to the point I was trying to make now :) Before we had formula mothers only nursed their children for centuries and their children still got sick and died from these diseases. Nursing is a great immunity booster but it in no way can prevent all of these diseases, can it? It may stave them off for a bit perhaps. I don’t know :) Just had to put my two cents out there!

Jo Jo on

I love all these comments “you are risking my child when you don’t vaccinate”. Come talk to me when you vaccinate your child and they have an adverse reaction and are never the same again for the rest of their lives. Come talk to me when you are consoling a mother who cries herself to sleep at night because of the decision she made that affected her child’s quality of life. Come talk to me when you have to hold your child still while they’re having seizures as a result of the vaccination they were just given. This has been MY life for 13 years…it is not pretty and it is because of MY decision that my son will never grow up to be independent. I may as well have brought him out in the middle of the road and said, “wait here sweetie while mommy watches this semi truck run you over.” All you judgmental naysayers, I have an idea, let’s trade spots and we’ll let YOUR healthy child have what MY child got from his vaccination and we’ll let MY child be “normal” for once. Do I sound angry? Damn straight! It’s not fair to my son! They haven’t conclusively linked autism to vaccinations? Oh really? Then tell me why there is a federal fund that pays out to families entitled the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program that recently awarded a family of an autistic child. Is that just for kicks?? There may not be an “official” link between autism and vaccinations but it doesn’t get any more official than the mom & dad who witnessed it with their own eyes…that is the proof in the pudding. I’ve read on here multiple times that we “need someone to blame”. Well I would like to personally thank you for miraculously reading my mind, thoughts and insight into this topic…wow, that is amazing! I need someone to blame huh? I don’t need anyone to blame. Now, I warn others. It happened, I deal with it and will deal with it til the day I die. My love for my child is beyond anything and lucky for him I am his biggest crusader on his behalf. Oh and by the way, do some research on many of the disease outbursts in recent years such a measles. Ummm, they have all been vaccine restitant! People who had been previously vaccinated were getting it anyways (kinda like the flu). Wow…who would have seen that coming?? ME!!!

MBB on

I’d like to see some links posted that you used to print out the ingredients and such for all the vaccines- I’ve looked for that with no success. Can you add those to your blog post please?

sc-er r.n. on

i am always amazed at how people will kling to beliefs or focus on a single statistic to validate their decisions.
One needs to look at the risk/odds of reaction to a vaccine and/or adjuvant and weigh that with the risk/odds of illness, disability or death from any of the illnesses that the vaccinations are geared at.
If the risk of the latter is greater why would one be so reluctant to vaccinate?
As a nurse with years of experience i think that all people who chose not to vaccinate their children b/c of superstition vs. science need to spend some time seeing children ill, disabled or dying of these illnesses to really validate and clarify their stance.
As the world gets smaller many of the ‘eradicated’ diseases are remerging, and some are more resistant to treatment than in the past.
I challenge any parent to see a child suffocating from whooping cough, disabled by measles or dying from meningitis to truly think that the ‘toxins’ in the vaccines that prevent these diseases pose more risk than the actual disease itself.
They should also be offered the chance to comfort and support those grief- stricken families who struggle to understand that their decision not to vaccinate had resulted in tragic consequences they really didn’t believe could happen to them -or to others they have infected.
arguably vaccination does not abdicate the need to provide other components of good health such as adequate nutrition, sleep, injury prevention measures, and exercise and education.
it is part of many things we can do for children to help them thrive – individually and communally.
now, what we really need is a vaccine against malaria and HIV!! We already have our first vaccine against cancer in the HPV vaccine! Now there’s a disease (Cancer) really worth finding more vaccines for!
i’ve said my peace.
and wash your hands for goodness sakes!!

Sarah on

I was feeling really good about the thoughtfulness of this blog post and was going post a nice thank you comment. But, now I’m sick over all these posts coming from fear and lack of information. You can’t just believe what you hear on the news. For example, when Dr. Wakefield was questioned for his work on the link between autism and vaccines, my local news said “The link between autism and vaccines is false.” Actually, people didn’t like that he used his son’s friends as part of the study. But, they didn’t actually prove that his research is invalid.

The concern here is the combination of toxins. Many children are genetically prone to becoming autistic or to having allergies, asthma, or ADHD. (That makes up about half our kids.) Then, the combination of toxins in our food, air, etc. as well as getting several vaccines at once is a huge attack on the immune system for this half of our kids. This build-up then often manifests itself as as one of the 4-As (listed above).

As parents, you are not getting trusted information from doctors. You are getting information from pharmaceutical companies who want to make money. The reason they insist on kids getting 30 or more shots by the age of two is that studies show a large group of parents don’t take their children to the doctor after age 2. Then, the pharmaceutical companies don’t get their money.

The answer? SPREAD OUT THE VACCINES! Don’t get more than one at a time. If you have concerns about your child and their reactions, maybe don’t get a chicken pox vaccine or others that aren’t as important. Most importantly, ask for a mercury-free flu vaccine or don’t get it at all. The amount of mercury in the flu-vaccine is safe for a 600 pound person and they want us to give it to a tiny baby? Mercury makes you crazy. You know the term mad hatter? That came from hatmakers going crazy from working with mercury.

Those of you who have healthy children, get off your high horse until you’ve been informed by multiple, varied sources. There IS PROOF that MANY kids have been injured by vaccines. This is not rare just because your five kids are healthy. Also, remember the 4-As. They are not rare! How many children do you know with allergies, asthma, ADHD, or autism? This has risen significantly as our ways of poisoning children has risen.

Please read the following:

The Vaccine Book- Robert Sears, M.D.
Healing the New Childhood Epidemics- Kenneth Bock, M.D.
Healing our Autistic Children- Julie Buckley, M.D.
Healing and Preventing Autism- Jerry Kartzinel, M.D. and GASP! Jenny McCarthy (So if you were a Play Boy Bunny you can’t make any responsible choices as a parent or work with a good doctor? Again, get off your high horse. None of us are perfect parents or perfect people and those of you putting down Jenny for no valid reason need to get over yourselves.)

Anyway, sorry to be so angry, but I am sick of the misinformation that is hurting our children. People are taking advantage of us for money. Please be open-minded and do lots of research.

Jason on

I won’t write a lengthy comment, but I will say that Dr. Tenpenny is a great resource for review. (you can google her name) I am 30, and never received a single shot. My mother was adamant about me not getting any. I got mumps just like the other 29 vaccinated kids in my class and quickly noticed how there may be more to the story.
Many states are offering easier and easier ways to enroll in daycare and public schools without any shots. (Texas have 5 different ways, the easiest, a short request on the state website and $0.00 they send you a form that allows you to be enrolled)((Its almost a secret society, not giving your child shots is still on its way out of the dark, even with celebrity support starting to rise))
Studies have show that the largest % of people opting out of vaccinations have college level education. Many doctors don’t vaccinate their own children.
Finally, do read the ingredients to the shots, you will find more questions than answers from the same people. (why does the FDA say that the amount of mercury that is safe to ingest is “X”, but they also say that “X” times 500% more than that amount in a baby vaccination is OK?, sure they started taking it out, but why? I thought it was ok?)

BOTTOM LINE: DONT LET ANYONE TELL YOU WHAT IS BEST FOR YOUR CHILD, YOUR DO YOUR OWN EXTENSIVE RESEARCH.

Amanda on

I’m pro-vaccine but not pro-AP schedule ;) Vaccines have so many benefits and I do agree that we over vaccinate, that doesn’t negate the benefits of the vaccines for serious ailments. I delay, we didn’t get any of the vaccines at birth (apart from vit K, it we had had a girl and she had no bruising we would have skipped it but we had a bruised up boy ;) ) but he has received the rest, one shot at a time. We skipped rotovirus and will skip varicella. MMR will be delayed until 2 or 3 and we’ll never do more than one shot at a time.
I think herd immunity is not to be counted on anymore with so many parents choosing to not vaccinate and international travel being so common, especially in big cities. I’m in a tiny town in WI (pop. 3,000) and my second daughter was exposed to measles a few years ago. I only knew because the mom informed me later, if you bring your child anywhere in public there are a variety of things they could be exposed to unknowingly.

Mandi on

I don’t think people read the entire post before responding. She wrote her post based on a decision she was comfortable with. I didn’t read anything in there stating that you shouldn’t vaccinate your children. Her daughter really is in a low risk situation, no daycare, traveling etc. Should the situation change, she would vaccinate. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. My daughter is fully vaccinated with the exception of the MMR. I wasn’t comfortable giving a 3 in 1 combo shot at her age. IF she were to catch anything, the doctor said it wouldn’t be life threatening & I planned to give her the shot when she started school. I don’t worry about an unvaccinated child getting my daughter sick. You can take precautions, but you can’t keep your child in a bubble forever. For all of you parents complaining, have you compared your vaccination records to your child’s? How many more vaccinations do your children have compared to you? Would you go down the list & ensure your vaccinated for everything your child is? If not, you could be putting others at risk to. People need to relax, take a deep breath & not be so quick to jump to conclusions.

Sarah on

My husband asked me to add that the Amish community does not vaccinate and they also have almost no autism among their people.

finn's mum on

I’m from Canada and am in no way proficient in how the health care system in the US operates. I was just wondering (perhaps ignorantly)… in the context of the HMO system and private insurance… if a parent elects not to vaccinate their child and the child becomes ill with an illness that a vaccine is available for, do or could the insurance companies deny coverage for the costs of the care related to that illness? conversely, if the parent elects to vaccinate and the child develops illness or complications related to the vacc’n how do the insurance companies handle this?
Must admit i find the HMO system rather scary from the perspective up here.
thx

hillary on

I am proud of you for doing your RESEARCH and not just sitting and listening to the scare tactics the doctors throw at you! It’s amazing how many people just do what the doctor says and don’t take the time to research on their own. My daughter is 19 months, unvaxed and doing fantastic. I was planning at 1 year, then 2 year, now at this point I won’t allow any until I am more comfortable with them. I ask ALL mothers to just take the time to do their OWN research (dr. tenpenny on facebook has AMAZING stats straight from the CDC) and don’t let the media or doctors scare you

M on

A lot of opinions already, so here’s mine. Although I can understand how a lot of people think: my poor little baby, does he/she need all these shots? I think the answer is yes. It’s mentioned here before: a lot of ‘old’ deseases are creeping there way back into society because people think a little too much of there babies as ‘they don’t need it’. How much research you do on the subject: I don’t think it matters. Even if you’re highly educated. It’s not just the risk for your baby, but also the health of other people surrounding your baby.
When someone else is carrying some sort of desease (which you mostly can never tell, not everybody is sick), you will be sure your baby won’t get it because he/she is protected.
But I must say, I do not live in the USA. It might be different here. THe shot-schedule might be the same for vaccins, but we do not have vaccins for babies coming out of the uterus…strange story that!
In my opinion people SHOULD vaccinate to prevent world desasters from ancient history from happening, even if it sounds rediculous. It’s invented for a reason, that program.

So, that’s pretty much my opinion.

Mary W on

This topic is very polarizing and everyone wants their opinion known. I do wish that people who are so certain of their position that autism and vaccines are in no way correlated would provide better evidence than a half dozen studies that were “inconclusive” or “no correlation found”. That does NOT PROVE that there is no correlation. It only proves that none were found in that particular study. Also, consider who is funding the studies you are reading (or getting half-truths from via the Associated Press).

@ Laura- the “one study showing a link” was actually a study by Dr. Wakefield, and he never stated that there was a link between the two things. What he did find was that children with autism seem to have similar gastrointestinal problems, and he found LIVE MEASLES living inside the intestines of some of the children. That is how vaccines came into the study. Get your information straight before you begin asserting what is or is not true, please.

@ TopTop- what a ridiculous statement, on so many levels. “Parents who don’t vaccinate their kids are using me”. Let’s examine your flawed logic. If vaccines work, and your child is vaccinated… what are you worried about? How are you being “used”? You are using my air.

Mary W on

Erika said: “However, I know certain people who have no specific religious beliefs against vaccinating but use religion as an excuse to get out of it. Some schools don’t have the ‘philisophical’ excuse and in that case families use religious. I know a specific family with no religious beliefs at all who used ‘religious exemption’ in their school district because philisophical wasn’t offered. THAT is cheating the system. ”

No, Erika, THAT is a system that needs reformed. If a parent is forced to vaccinate their child against their better judgement in order for their child to partake in the education (that they help pay for as taxpayers, by the way) well THAT is screwed up.

JM on

kirsty scientology is as much a religion as the catholic church (or any other official religion). they’re all the same mumbo jumbo anyway, it’s just some are new so they’re called cults. some are old so they’re called religions….

and i am deeply deeply sorry for those parents whose children have autism. i feel for you, i really do. but there just is no link. if you look at the science it will explain it for you, but unfortunately anecdotes are not and never have been evidence…. i’m sorry.

kirstie on

Here in England babies are not given eyes drops or a hep B vaccination or chicken pox. There was a big scare about a doctor who said The Measles, Mumps and Rubella was unsafe nobody got their children vaccinated and Mumps and Measles were everywhere many babies children and adults were very ill and some died. It is personal choice but I just think you take your baby for their injections such in this country they inject against menigutis I would rather do that than she get it and be very ill and even die. The NHS pay for them here but you can choose not to have them.

Hope on

Wow, seems to me that after all you did to get pregnant you would not want to take ANY chances with your child’s health now. I think it is irresponsible and selfish of you to not give her every chance to be protected against the many life threatening diseases there are vaccinations for.

Alex on

Helene – don’t tell Kirsty Scientology isn’t a cult, as in her country (as in mine) it is probably a cult. It’s definitely not regarded as a religion by many people and by many countries as a whole.

susan on

I HAVE NEVER HEARD ANYTHING SO STUPID!!! The vaccines available today are not what they were 30 years ago – you dont have to be concerned about animal tissues and stuff like that. PLEASE do some REAL research, google doesnt count!!! Read an Immunology book or something. DONT HURT YOUR CHILD THAT WAY!!! She wont thank you if she gets whooping cough or anything like that and has to suffer for month on end.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GUYS DONT LISTEN TO THIS BLOG.

Sandy on

I actually can’t believe this is such a huge debate. I live in Canada and don’t know if it’s any different, but we don’t get asked if this is something we want to do, it’s just done. I would rather my child have autism over polio any day.

new mama on

no vax’s here- yech! those things are scary. My infant only has breast milk so far ( he is 3 months) no way I would put all those diseases and toxins into his little baby body. no way.
and the autism thing- there is no doubt any more, people- the vaccines do cause them

Rudy on

Hello – this is a great discussion. I have vaccinated my children thus far – a 3-year-old boy and a 4 month old daughter, but I feel a little nervous every time. The truth is that life is uncertain and that we don’t have any certainties about the vaccines or what is causing things like autism in some children.

I have done the research as much as possible as well and I would put forth this tidbit for thought. There are many doctors now looking into the possibility that a lack of or very low levels of Vitamin D in breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women can be contributing to autism and schitzophrenia. The reasearch clearly shows higher levels of these two diseases the further away from the equator a person is located.

IF you want to help your children – start asking your doctor about Vitamin D supplements. It is proven that we need far more of it then we previously thought and it is also a key way to prevent cancer.

Helene on

Alex,
I have no clue what you are talking about or where Kirsty lives. The conversation of religion was being discussed and I am standing my ground that Scientology is not a cult. I don’t care what other people think, but I am voicing my opinion. I was raised to never insult someones beliefs, I wish you were as well.

Cheryl on

People who say “I’d rather my child have autism than xyz” really have no idea how devastating autism can be, especially for those who are on low-functioning end of the spectrum.

My MIL had polio – which she got from a tainted polio vaccine via the Cutter Laboratory Incident – and even though she was left partially paralyzed, she went to college, built a career, dated, got married, and raised 3 children.

My nephew with autism will do none of those things. He is 9 years old, non-verbal, incontinent (people with autism are the hardest group to teach toileting due to sensory issues and due to how their brains process information), and his receptive language skills are also very compromised (he is not able to process/understand what people say to him). Developmentally, he is in the 12 month range and is likely to stay there his whole life, regardless of what other early interventions his parents pursue.

His parents work very hard – and spend a lot of money, because in their state, nothing pertaining to autism is covered by health insurance – to give him the best life he can have, and are already worried about what will happen to him after they’re dead.

Melody on

For most of the “vaccine preventable” diseases, the rates of occurance and death were steadily declining BEFORE the creation and wide-spread use of the vaccines. The fact that our country is CLEAN, with sewer systems, with trash collections systems, and most people regularly wash their hands after using the bathroom is the first line of defense against these diseases, not all of which are life-threatening. I see many of the vaccines as created to make the working life of the parent less interrupted and more productive…if you can give a kid a shot so they aren’t sick for a week with chicken pox, then the parents don’t have to miss work, the company doesn’t have to have their money-making abilities sag for that week, and the government won’t be out the little bit of tax dollars they would make. A bit of a conspiracy theory, I know, but all of these things need to be taken into consideration.

Every parent HAS to stand up for their child, do their research and make the best decision for thier child and family. I’m not going to sacrifice my child’s health for the “village” and I’m not going to be bullied a doctor who I PAY to provide a service to me and my child into making them money off of the vaccination when I don’t believe it is best for my child.

Good job, Constance, for looking at this objectively and from the point of view of your child.

By the way, all 5 of my kids are partially vaxed.

Diana on

It’s comforting to know I’m not alone on this topic!!!! This can be a touchy subject, even amongst good friends. My husband and I went through the exact same thought process as our 13 month old son is low risk and am STILL breast feeding him! After extensive research and full cooperation from our pediatrician(very important!), we will begin vaccine schedule at two years also. It would be great to have a future blog discussion on what vaccines to start with at that point, as there is no REAL catch up schedule for two years?! Enjoying your blogs. All the best.

Cricket on

Let’s hope little Luna Marie never goes to the grocery store and sits in a shopping cart, never goes on a play date, and never has a sudden fever in the middle of the night that requires a trip to the ER. Choosing not to vaccinate your child just because they don’t go to daycare or travel on an airplane is nuts. You can’t sequester a child completely. Even if the child never leaves the house, the parent does. What are you going to do install a decontamination shower in your front foyer? Germs are carried on the skin, clothing, and hair. Unless you strip down and shower before entering your house, you are going to transfer germs into your child environment. Not to mention there is an epidemic of pertusis (whooping cough) in California now due to parents failing to get their children immunized for it. Polio was thought to be ‘eradicated’ also, but there have been cases of it popping up, allbeit, sporadically. The risk to children receiving immunizations are extremely low compared to the risk of not vaccinating. The whole autism issue is not an issue since the preservative thimerosal was removed. Vaccinations are safe and parents are irresponsible if they choose to not vaccinate.

April on

My husband and I chose a delayed vaccination schedule for our girls, now 3 and 6.

It seems like many people are not reading the blog and just reacting. Constance never said she isn’t vaxing, just that she is doing it on a delayed schedule. Nothing wrong with that.

lisa on

Good luck there,Constance! Here’s a fact for you. Vacs don’t work immediatly so what happens if you need to travel & bring your child with you? Gma sick in Florida? Someone dies in NY? And you take your child into a hot zone of something,say,whooping caugh. And she’s not protected. Or how about this for your “herd” theory. You live in so. Calif.? Last time I was there it was something like 80% mexician & 10% asian. Do you think all of them are legal AND had all their shots? Yes, I think that way too many shots are given but they are given for a reason. One reason is the nasty diseases can & do kill infants every year. Oh, one last thing Constance, whooping caugh is going around calif right now. Check with the cdc. Does your baby have the shots to protect her? If not, you better isolate everyone cause one way that babies get whooping cough is from their parents. Good luck on that vac issue. I hope it works out for you & little luna

Booyah on

While I think it’s great that parents are researching things, I don’t agree with not give children vaccines at all. I think it’s great to look at your family history and whatnot and delay. Very rarely is there a reaction, but unfortunately we can’t always predict that. I mean honestly, children can die/get sick from all sorts of things… they die from SIDS, so should we never let them sleep? Just a random example. As far as autism, I’m sorry but you can’t think that vaccines cause it alone. There are many other factors and genetics to consider. There is even an ongoing study where they are looking at pitocin use during birth and autism.

It’s too bad that she didn’t do any research on evidence-based childbirth, ironically. I’m sure if she did as much in that arena she may have not agreed to a scheduled section for suspected macrosomia.

Tara on

Good for you! I like how you presented it, in a pro-research, “pro-choice” way. I chose to vaccinate my daughter on schedule, after doing a LOT of research about both sides and ultimately following my instincts based on our situation. If day care hadn’t been an issue for us, I probably would’ve delayed, as well.

People have so many opinions on both sides of the issue–if you do choose to vaccinate, those who don’t think you’re ignorant. If you choose not to vaccinate, those who do think you’re a hippie. Unfortunately, this divide isn’t going away any time soon. I just wish we could all learn to respect each other as parents–at least on this matter.

Kate on

There is no logical reason to vaccinate an infant against Hep B unless the mother is positive. This debate isn’t about pro vs anti vaccinate. It’s about being informed of the risks and benefits of each one.

Lisa on

There is so much misinformation in this blog post I don’t even know where to start. I think it is irresponsible of people.com to even post this. The “link” between vaccines and autism has been discredited up, down, backwards, and forwards.

What is REAL is that there is currently an outbreak of whooping cough (pertussis) on the West Coast because of people not vaccinating. Newborn babies (who are too young to have been vaccinated) are dying from it, because they contract it from people who have it.

ollie on

I struggled with the decision to vaccinate or not, while I was pregnant. After hours upon hours of research, my husband and I felt that the vaccination route was the way to go with our child. It’s almost frightening to hear the number of people saying they are avoiding them.

Annabelle on

It makes me so angry that a parent is so selfish to not protect their child by “delaying vaccinations.” Just because a child isn’t high risk doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t need the proper precautions taken to ensure his or her safety and well being. There’s a huge epidemic in California right now with whooping cough, something that is deadly for children, but I suppose since the child isn’t high risk it doesn’t matter. The child won’t get it, right?

It makes me really sad that parents are choosing this route because they think vaccinations cause autism. That fact has NEVER been proven and people are putting their childrens safety in danger because they don’t want a less than perfect baby.

Also breast milk does not make up for the lack of vaccinations! I’d like to see it proven that breastfeeding will prevent polio, small pox, and whooping cough! Show me an actual statistic and I might consider not vaccinating; until then I’ll put the safety and wellbeing of my child ahead of these nasty rumors.

Eyeswideshut on

I wish this article had some sort of extra reporting as to exactly *what* vaccinations are recommended. Perhaps further blog entries should discuss this with experts from both sides talking about no, delayed and pro vaccinations.

At any rate I checked what is recommended here in AUstralia where I live.

http://www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/provider/patients/acir/schedule.jsp

Birth
Hepatitis B

2 months
Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Hib
Hepatitis B
Pneumococcal (refer to note 1)
Rotavirus (refer to note 5)

4 months
Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Hib
Hepatitis B
Pneumococcal (refer to note 1)
Rotavirus (refer to note 5)

6 months
Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Hib (refer to note 2)
Hepatitis B (or at 12 months)
Pneumococcal (refer to note 1)
Rotavirus (refer to note 6)

12 months
Measles
Mumps
Rubella
Hib
Hepatitis B (or at 6 months)
Meningococcal C (refer to note 3)

18 months
Varicella (refer to note 4)

4 years
Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Measles
Mumps
Rubella

Note:

1. Pneumococcal vaccine is funded under the NIP for children born from 1 January 2005.
2. Four doses of Hib vaccine are due at 2, 4, 6 and 12 months of age when ‘PRP-T Hib’ containing vaccine is used.
3. Meningococcal C vaccine is funded under the NIP for children born from 1 January 2002.
4. Varicella vaccine is funded under the NIP for children born from 1 May 2004.
5. Rotavirus vaccine is funded under the NIP for children born from 1 May 2007.
6. Three doses of Rotavirus vaccine are due at 2, 4 and 6 months of age when RotaTeq vaccine is used.

So what is it in the US, UK and other countries?

Lyoness on

Please vaccinate your children. There is a current outbreak of whooping cough going around and it’s deadly!! There’s this idea that herd immunity works but it’s starting to wane because many people are forgoing vaccinations. Also as adults we need to get boosters of vaccines as well.

What I don’t understand are parents that refuse (not talking about Constance) to vaccinate their kids, then get angry because the kids aren’t allowed in daycare/school or they’re dropped by the pediatrician. Parents says it’s the doctor’s duty to care for the child but they don’t understand that the doctor also has a duty to other patients in their waiting rooms as well as their own children.

Also the vaccine/autism link has been discredited. The researcher who promoted this link falsified data and paid study participants to get the outcome he wanted. He’s been rebuked by The Lancet and other major scientific publications.

Cheryl on

Eyeswideshut, this is the CDC vaccination schedule for the U.S., which is also recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.cdc.gov

Birth
Hep B: Hepatitis B vaccine (HBV); recommended to give the first dose at birth, but may be given at any age for those not previously immunized.

1-2 months
Hep B: Second dose should be administered 1 to 2 months after the first dose.

2 months
DTaP: Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine
Hib: Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine
IPV: Inactivated poliovirus vaccine
PCV: Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
Rota: Rotavirus vaccine

4 months
DTaP
Hib
IPV
PCV
Rota

6 months
DTaP
Hib
PCV
Rota

6 months and annually.
Seasonal influenza.
H1N1 (Swine) Influenza.

6-18 months
Hep B
IPV

12-15 months
Hib
MMR
PCV
Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine

12-23 months
Hep A: Hepatitis A vaccine; given as two shots at least 6 months apart

15-18 months
DTaP

4-6 years
DTaP
MMR
IPV
Varicella

11-12 years
HPV (girls and boys)
Tdap
MCV

College entrants
MCV

Julie on

I totally respect each parent’s right to make medical decisions about their kids health. I just wish that unvaccinated kids were somehow identifiable by sight. That would allow me to keep my 10 month old away from these children. My 2 year old is now totally vaccinated so I am no longer worried about him playing with unvaccinated children. I do however worry that my sweet 10 month old will be exposed to unvaccinated older children before he is old enough to go through the whole vaccination schedule. It seems unfair to me that my child could get sick because other parents choose to not vaccinate their children. I know that my stance is not a popular one but I dont’ want my baby anywhere near unvaccinated children. I don’t want unvaccinated at my park, my church, my library, or anywhere that they may have contact with babies under the age of 2. Sorry if that sounds harsh but it is my only job in life to protect my babies.

Mary on

I think it is great that you have the choice to do what you think is right for your child. I appreciate a parents right to choose, but I don’t think your choice should be at the expense of my child’s health. If parents choose to delay vaccines or not administer them at all then these children should not be allowed in school and day care with children whose parents have choosen to follow vaccination schedules. I have taken a risk in vaccinating knowing that the chance of them getting sick from the vaccine is much less then the risk of them dying from the disease iteself. But that doesn’t mean that I should have to choose to put them at greater risk by being around your unvaccinated, unprotected children 8 hours a day 5 days week. If you have the right to risk our child’s health by not vaccinating then i should have the right to not risk my child’s health by putting them together in schools/day cares.

Christine on

i have chosen not to vaccinate for now, although it is something i weigh and worry about constantly. there are many factors that go into my feeling, and i do think it is a tough choice. like constance, i am not completely anti-vax, although i did grow up in an antivax household, and have myself not been fulling immunized. despite not being inoculated to CDC standards, when i had my titers check during pregnancy i had full immunity to all diseases they checked for (measles/mumps/chicken pox, etc.)

my two girls recently contracted whooping cough, and i learned that the vaccine for whooping cough is probably the least effective vaccine out there. (this directly from the mouth of the public health nurse i spoke with following their sickness. she told me most of the cases the public health department sees are from children who have been partially or fully inoculated.) my daughters are not in daycare, and as soon as they were sick, we stopped going out and socializing (when they were first symptomatic, not when they were diagnosed. i do have common sense, and don’t take my sick baby out in public.) thankfully, both my children are fine, and had no major complications from this very scary disease.

i think the fact that our vaccine schedule has changed so much over the course of a few years, and the fact that vaccines are being pushed that really feel unnecessary make it tough to feel 100% behind the CDC schedule. i don’t like that all vaccine studies are sponsored by the pharmaceutical companies. i don’t like feeling like injecting my kids with a bunch of chemicals and toxins is a way for a few people to make a lot of money. i think the very profit driven US medical system really muddies the water on this issue.

if we were to travel internationally, and when my kids are school aged, i will be looking at this issue again. as parents we should be using our brains and critically thinking about what is best for our children, not just doing what we are told without a second thought.

and lastly, most states allow school aged children to enroll in public school without being immunized, if the parents sign a religious or medical exemption form. my 6 siblings and i went all through 12 years of school (and college) without any hassle due to our non-vaxxed status.

Sunni on

So much misinformation! Of course children should be vaccinated. They are NOT safe because they are in a low risk environment, they are just at a statistically lower risk. What are you going to say when your child contracts as serious disease? “Wow, that was against the odds!”

Alex on

Helene – perhaps you would like to re-read what I wrote. I was not insulting anybody, I was simply pointing out that in many countries Scientology is regarded as a cult. I was raised to apologise when I make mistakes like the one you just did. I wonder if you were?

Regina Rager on

WOW!!! Four kids in 16 years, 20 years of sex with only my husband and no drug use by either of us (not even smoking) and NO ONE ever told me what those hep. b shots and drops in the baby’s eyes were for.We would never have had either done. I have to admit, I’m kinda angry. I do believe in vaccinations although I know the risks, we decided to have our children vaccinated. But I think we should have had the right to decide. My last pregnancy was a surprize and at 39 it had been 5 years since my last child. There were many tests the doctors wanted me to have. My husband took the papers home, reserched and decided only to have an ultrasound since there was no risk to the baby. We should have been given the same info. for the baby’s first vaccinations.

Jennifer Mitchell on

Dear Constance,

Bravo!! Research, Research, Research!!! Ask questions when dealing with tough issues for you and your baby!!! One “scientific study” will tout what they are saying as being “absolutely true and backed up by sound un-biased case studies” and another “scientific study” will say the same thing and they will have come to two totally different conclusions! BOTTOM LINE: Do what you think is best for YOUR CHILD!!!! You are HER MOMMY and her ONLY DEFENSE in this “big bad” (and wonderful) world right now!! You hang tough! Keep doing your research! There will be MANY more tough decisions along the way! And I feel that if you go with “your gut” your gut will have your back so to speak! I am enjoying your blog! This wonderful journey called “motherhood” is incredible! And I really appreciate your honesty and that you are willing to cover some “controversial” issues, even when you know that your point of view may not always be the most popular one!

Krileigh on

Apparently science is never going to be enough for some people; they’ll only understand the value of vaccinations after a child they know dies from an easily preventable disease.

I feel sorry for children who will suffer because their parents are so utterly misinformed.

Leslie on

I am “old” school when it comes to vaccinations for babies.I lost a friend several years ago to the Measles at the age of 30.She had a five year old daughter at the time.Her mother felt so guilty as she lay comatose in the ICU because she never got around to getting that final shot.She contracted it while working in a doctors office.So there is more to consider than what exposure your infant will have,it’s about the exposure to diseases she could have as an adult and might even pass on to her little ones if she chooses not to vaccinate her children.Please reconsider your decision.You never know what your child is exposed to even at the grocery store or playground.Many people entering our country from around the world bring all sorts of diseases here.Hope this helps,I think about my friend often and if she had only had that one little shot she would still be here!

Nicole on

I am a healthcare provider and totally agree with Laura a few comments down. Delayed vaccination is dangerous. As much as we like to think we can shelter our children from all bad things, we cant. I have seen kiddos who die from pneumonia because they were not vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control have the schedule for vaccinations for a reason. There is actually good research on vaccination and the side effects, otherwise it would never be approved for use in the public. Just be careful where you get your “research” information from. Do not just internet search, where you get a lot of poorly conducted inaccurate research. This is why we have doctors and healthcare professionals-who’s job it is to weed through research and provide your child with the best possible care. Many doctors are refusing to care for families who choose not to vaccinate because of the liability issues it presents. Lastly, in the 80s yes there were less vaccines…but also AIDS was basically a death sentence too…moral of the story is science progresses us in medicine for a reason.

Helene on

I am not going to apologize bc I have said nothing wrong. What to me and thousands of others is a religion, may be a “cult” to others. The word cult is not a positive word in my vocabulary so to accept it would be wrong. In the US, people are constantly calling Scientology a cult . Call me ignorant, but the initial comment by Kirsty should not have been made when religions were being discussed. Also if you read the original post, we were discussing guidelines in the US based on religion, so no other country came into play.

I am going to stop discussing this with you bc I don’t have anything more to add on the topic. Kirsty made the original comment, not you.

MiB on

One point that I was missing in this discussion is that vaccination does not guarantee that you will not contract a certain disease, it just diminishes the risk that you will contract it and lessens the symptoms if you do. Some vaccines give a better protection than others. The pertussis vaccine is one of those who lovers the risk of contractions and lessen the symptoms but doesn’t give a total coverage, hence the outbreak affecting even vaccinated chldren. Other vaccinations do good in some circumstances but can be a burden in other, i.e. I have been vaccinated against TB since I had a family member who suffered from it when I was born. While the TB vaccination protected me from contracting the virus it is not a 100 % effective, which means that there is still a slight risk that I might contract TB one day, in which case the vaccine would make it difficult to screen me for the disease, which could mean that it could go undetected for a long time in the unlikely event that I would contract it. So what I am trying to say is that even though I am a believer in necessary vaccinations (I have never had a flu shot in my life) it scares me to se what kind of faith people (even those in the medical profession) put in vaccines. You might be lucky to develop a good immunity, but most of us only develop a sufficient immunity, which works because it lovers the likeliehood of an epidemic.

As for the nursing, yes, it does help. A fully nursing infant has the mothers antibodies, so it is protected from diseases that the mother is immune against. This has been known for many years but only works if the infant is fully nursed (i.e. no solids, no other drinks than mothers milk) and for some reason seems to work better if the milk comes in it’s “original packaging” (as per a virologist family friend who has studied immunity against viruses in Eastern Africa for over 20 years).

MegMaddyMom on

I chose to wait to inoculate. I have x3 babies. My eldest is 6 and never gets sick! I also nursed until they were 2 years. That helped keep them healthy too. My holistic doctor gave me all the support i needed. He connecting me w/ a pediatrician that does not force immunizations. There is a lot of proven research out there that links immunizations to many autoimmune disorders, such as MS! I would only immunize if my babies were traveling internationally. Not worried about them catching anything from school, as I home school =-) No mom should feel ashamed in choosing not to immunize. No one talks about it, but there are plenty of us out there!

Also food for thought: What do you think you are signing when you give your babies immunizations at the pedi office…. You are signing your rights away to hold the physician liable/the manufacturing company-pharmaceutical company liable if there is a reaction to the immunization!

Here are some great books:
“Immunizations: The terrible Risks Your Children Face That Your Doctor Won’t Reveal.” by Robert Mendelson, MD.
“How To Raise A Healthy Child in Spite Of Your Doctor.” by Robert Mendelson, M.D.
“A Shot In The Dark” by Barbara L. Fisher and Harris Coulter.
“Vaccinations: 100 years of Orthodox Research Shows that Vaccinations are a Medical Assault on the Immune System.” by Viera Scheibner, PhD.

sarah on

as a mom of school aged children i cannot believe you would risk not getting their shots. the world is not a clean place and you never know what is going around in a school. both of my kids got all of their shots on time and had no problems. the other issue is that if a child is not up to date on their shots they will not not be allowed in public school. and that is a very good policy designed to keep everyone safe. i have worked as a teacher and am a frequent volunteer in an elementary school. because of that i have always gotten whatever shots i needed to stay current and avoid as many of the illnesses as possible. the benefits far outweigh the risks. another thing i found was it is so much easier to get them all over with all in 1 doctor visit. that was you do not prolong the needle trauma/drama.

LP on

Constance Marie,
I bet you did not expect to receive this many passionate responses to this week’s blog. But this is a VERY passionate subject to ALL moms!

I have to FULLY agree with Laura’s comments above!

Parents please vaccinate your children , for their health as well as the health of those around them!

MyKidsMom on

Good for you! I wish more parents were like you and would research vaccines. Parents spend months and months researching the best day care, preschool….. but many parents have no clue what ingredients are in the vaccines they are injecting into their children.
I was like you, I was going to hold off and wait and give my first baby his vaccines when he turned two. Two years came around, and I still decided that not vaccinating was the best choice for us. My son is almost 4, still unvaccinated, been on several plane trips, play groups, day camp, and even preschool. He’s rarely ever been sick outside of the common cold.
Since you are all about researching vaccines, I’d like to encourage you to further research and check out http://www.drtenpenny.com She has a wealth of information on vaccinations and the various diseases. She also has a wonderful facebook page as well, if you have a facebook account. Her facebook page is Dr. Sheri Tenpenny on Vaccines. I encourage you to look it up. Lots of wonderful information on there as well….and no, I do not work for her, know her personally, or get kick backs for suggesting her. :-)

Blessings to you and your family

nosoupforyou on

Smart parents vaccinate their chidren period. Parents are not medical professionals.

They put everyone at rish when they make poor decisions.

Decisions should not be based on public hysteria, poor science nor Hollywood.

Becca on

I think that autism is caused by a few different things but vaccinations is def. one of them. not all babies body’s and immune systems are good and you take all the crap that is in those shots and it can cause autism. I have a five year old with autism and believe me I would take any of the other TREATABLE diseases over life altering autism anyday. If you had a child with autism, believe me you would be taking a closer look at vaccinations too.

tracie on

WOW Constance you have really got everyone going. I think this is such an important subject raising kids. I dont trust big phrama, but I also dont want my DD to have any preventable dieases or to suffer seizures like her daddy has his whole life after a vaccination, or have psoriasis over 70% of her body like me after a 2nd small pox vaccination. There has not been a double bind study on the effects of all these vaccination. the only study on Autisum was done just on MMR vac not all 31 together. I do think the enviromental promblems compound these reactions in kids. I cant understand why we as indivuals are so ready to condem one another for our choices without doing more reseach. The rotovirus inventor-was on the board that says which vacs our kids get. can you say confict of interest? did it stop him? no! did he make millions? yes! Im not ignorant, I’ve read medical studies and can decipher the information correctly. I want scientific truth and integrity. I want to trust and have faith in the healthcare system and my doctors, but right now thats not happening.

Na'eema on

I think it’s great when parents start to actually think about what our physicians recommend that we should put into our bodies rather than just do what they say with full trust. I am probably considered extreme when it comes to stuff like this, but I no longer vaccinate my children at all. My youngest, who is 11 months, has not received any vaccinations and he will not receive any. I am a devout muslim and in our faith, it is a practice that women breastfeed children for two years. Being a convert to Islam and having grown up in the everyday western culture, the idea of breastfeeding for 2 years was hard for me to fathom! Upon more research, I realized that our predecessors did this, and did not have vaccinations, and breastfeeding for two years, essentially, WAS the immunizations! My husband and I believe there is a natural remedy to anything. Now, not to say we are completely against medicine…if we felt it was the only way we would go mainstream. But holistic living works best for us. It doesn’t make sense to infect our bodies with toxins in order to protect ourselves. Also I believe that my 5 year old daughter’s asthma stems from the vaccines she was given as a baby.

millefleur on

Rock on fellow crunchy mama! I really appreciate you for being so open about this. You’re going to get into a lot of arguments over it but I agree with you and support you and it looks like many others do too! :)

OCMommy on

I think it’s sad how many of you pro-vaccine people on here are truly uneducated on the subject of vaccines and disease

Vaccines did not eradicate disease. The diseases that we vaccinate for today were on a downward spiral several years before the vaccine was even created. If you did your research on the history of vaccines and disease, you would know this. The reason most these diseases were already on a decline was due to better sanitation practices, the invention of running water, and better nutrition. The Polio vaccine was taken off the market THREE times because it was causing children to get Polio, and other serious side effects. I went to a very small school, a total of 250 kids. Three of the kids had contracted Polio from the Polio vaccines. The Polio vaccine continued to be injected into children for NINE years after they realized their was a problem with the vaccine. NINE years. That is a LONG time of knowing there is a problem and ignoring it.

MOST parents who do not vaccinate their children, are actually not concerned about Autism. That is where you Pro vaxer’s are very ignorant. I refuse to inject Formaldehyde, which is known to cause CANCER, into my child. I refuse to inject my child with borax, which is the main ingredient in RAT POISON. I refuse to inject my child with aborted fetal tissue, cow, monkey and chicken tissue, and I certainly refuse to inject my child with spermicide, mercury, and aluminum. All of the above are ingredients of the vaccines you are injecting into your child’s blood stream. ALL of these chemicals are known to cause harm in SMALL doses. They are known is cause cancer, asthma, allergies, and neurological disorders. Childhood caner, allergies, asthma, and neurological disorders such as Autism, ADD, ADHA, is on the rise. WHY? Certainly couldn’t be all the chemicals we inject into our children could it?

My friends son got his chicken pox vaccine, and 6 months later had shingles, which the doctor said was caused from the vaccine. Another friends son actually contracted measles from the MMR vaccine, and passed along the measles to his 8 week old sister. I was fully vaccinate as a child, had all my boosters and guess what, I had whooping cough when I was 10 years old. Gosh, guess my 3 vaccines and 2 boosters for whooping cough didn’t work so well. In the last 20 years the ONE time I had the flu was the year I was dumb enough to get the flu vaccine.

I suggest all you pro-vaxers do your research outside of what your doctor, and the CDC tells you, and any other source who gains financially from vaccines. Vaccines are a billion dollar market. Of course they are going to tell you you are going to die if you don’t get vaccinated.

Na'eema on

@ OCMom…I agree with you! I also got the flu the one time I got the flu shot, and I was pregnant at the time! How crazy is that? And I also contracted chicken pox and measles when I was a child after supposedly being immunized. The vaccines given are just toxic and nasty and I think the general public just puts their trust in the health care system, but if the vaccinations were presented to people for what they really are (the raw contents) people would start questioning in it more for sure. I will never immunize my children again. My husband and I might be considered to be conspiracy theorists, paranoid, etc., but I believe it is all a way to keep people sick. I have other ideas too but this is not the forum for it. I have this one link to an article about a vaccine that had been shut down by the FDA:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/17/major-vaccine-suspended-due-to-contamination-with-pig-virus.aspx

N on

First of all, Constance, thank you for sharing this decision because it’s one that many more parents are dealing with today and there is so much debate around it, obviously. I think the best we can do is research and learn all we can and make our best informed decision. I absolutely do not think that doctors are anywhere close to knowing what’s best for my child and I refuse to blindly do what they say.

Sarah and Jojo, thank you for your posts. You saved me from saying those same things. Also, until there is a final, agreed upon cause found for Autism, who are all of you to say that it is definitely not caused by this or that? I certainly don’t purport to know the answer but I also don’t see why thousands of parents would waste their time “just looking for something to blame.” They know all the millions of ways they could be spending that time to help their affected child. They just want the truth also, mainly in studies that have never been done comparing non-vaccinated populations with vaccinated ones.

I also have not heard David Kirby’s book Evidence of Harm mentioned and it is another good one about the debate. The book is not closed and only time will tell.

And, I’m sorry, but what ingredients do some of you think are in those vaccines?! Take a look.

MarijaP on

I really believe in vaccines. Macedonia ( where I live) has less developed health system than USA but when it comes to vaccines no one has a comment about that. I think that it’s provided by the law that children should have vaccines on the schedule that is made by health system. And when it comes to delay it could only be it child has a fly or receives antibiotics but the delay lasts only a couple of weeks no longer. My brother who is diabetic was safe of mumps epidemic just because he got his vaccines on time. Other case in my family in my nephew ( 15 months) he is allergic to eggs so he can’t have vaccine against pox (here must be in other country where he’ll be going in a few days) and because he hasn’t received the vaccine he don’t go to day-care, play-dates…We are afraid he might have pox with a lot of complications and for us that is more scary than vaccine by itself…

Anyway Luna Marie is such a beautiful girl

Anna on

Cheryl wrote “My nephew with autism will do none of those things. He is 9 years old, non-verbal, incontinent (people with autism are the hardest group to teach toileting due to sensory issues and due to how their brains process information), and his receptive language skills are also very compromised (he is not able to process/understand what people say to him). Developmentally, he is in the 12 month range and is likely to stay there his whole life, regardless of what other early interventions his parents pursue.”

Autism is a spectrum disorder – meaning that there are various degrees of it. What your nephew is going through is sad, but by no means a norm for all children who are diagnosed with autism.

Jennie on

I was interested in this as well and did lots of research. I agree with spreading them out. Great advice through research. Lots of options other than the advised schedule. We opted out of the flu and chicken pox vaccine. We also waited till the age of 2 for the MMR. (recommended around 16-18 months) Never do more than 3 injections in one visit. Thimerisol free and so on. If u do your research you learn a ton and then some that most people don’t talk about.

SKN on

The decision to or not to vaccinate is as individual as each and every child. I have my son on a delayed schedule (he is 17 months now) for some of the shots and my rule was- if it was on the schedule in the 70’s (something I got), that is what my baby was getting. Doctors can be pushy and awful. We went in for his 15 month shots and one of the pediatricians in the office (not our normal guy) shoved a book in my hand about how I could be killing my kid. (Needless to say we won’t be seeing her again.)

I made one exception to my Rule- Hep A.

The only reason I did Hep A is that he is in daycare. Why get Hep A? It is usually transmitted by ingesting food or drink that is contaminated with fecal matter. Facing the facts- babies touch things they shouldn’t, and poop can be one of them. Better safe than sorry on that one. I didn’t vaccinate against Hep B- why? Well, Hep B is transmitted by sexual contact or by transfusion or by ingestion of contaminated blood or other bodily fluids. If my baby is having sexual contact before he is teenager (although I would prefer in my mommy universe he be over 30 and married), then I have a much more SERIOUS issue. My regular pediatrician agreed with me- he didn’t need it. I was Hep B negative and I had the series before college, the baby will get the series eventually, but as a teen, not newborn. I also avoided the chicken pox and some of the other newer ones (Although I can’t remember which ones at the moment). I did make sure that all the vaccines were Thermisol free. That is the mercury preservative that was used and was once thought to result in “Autistic Behavior” because mercury poisoning symptoms can look similar to Autism. I did find out that in most pediatric practices, that the preservative is rarely used in vaccines now.

In the end as a parent to another parent, there should be no judgment. Yes, vaccines are there to save lives, however it is ultimately up to the parents to live with the effects if a vaccine isn’t given, or the side effects it may have if it is. Do you own research, make your own conclusions- that is the best advice one parent to another you can give.

Bekki on

To the previous poster who commented that the Amish don’t vaccinate and don’t have autism. That isn’t true. The Amish don’t seek out medical help usually for situations like that. They just accept the condition as “God’s will.” There are Amish people with autism, it just isn’t widely publicized. (I live in the middle of a huge Amish community and work for the local hospital).

I am not saying that it is “God’s will” for a child to be autistic; that is just the way the Amish view it.

I think a child with autism should receive all the medical care and whatever other professional services (occupational, physical, speech) therapy that they need to be able to function at the highest level possible.

It is true that a lot of Amish don’t vaccinate, but the Amish also have outbreaks of pertussis, measles, and other preventable diseases. Several children in our area have come very close to death after contracting a disease that is easily preventable.

Rana on

OCMommy said “I think it’s great when parents start to actually think about what our physicians recommend that we should put into our bodies rather than just do what they say with full trust.”

If you want your car fixed, do you start Googling what all the components do or just take it to a mechanic? If your dog starts choking on a toy, do you start Googling canine CPR or just take him to a vet? Sometimes it’s better to leave things that require skilled, technical knowledge to the experts, and medicine is one of them. It’s not “great” for parents to rebel against that when it jeopardizes all of our health.

Also, the vaccine schedule has been rigorously, vigorously tested as it is – that is, all shots in combination with each other and at each age. Therefore if you decide to mess around with the schedule you’re playing with fire, because the delayed schedule you ultimately come up with has probably not been tested as rigorously as the standard one, therefore there’s a lot more left up to chance.

OCMommy said “I refuse to inject Formaldehyde, which is known to cause CANCER, into my child.”

Your body produces formeldehyde naturally as a byproduct of metabolism. It’s easily broken down by the body. No vaccine in the childhood schedule contains mercury (although it used to contain ethylmercury, which is much less toxic than environmental methylmercury).

G.Miller on

I totally agree that parents should have total say so over their childrens health care and what medicines or products are used on or put into their children.However,having said that,You WILL have a problem when it comes to school time because alot of states,maybe all I havent checked,have a strict rule that your child MUST be up to date on their shots.I dont know what you will do when that time comes because when I was in school they didnt take no for an answer,if you didnt have all your shots you were supended untill you did get them.It seems you have a few years to worry about that though,btw what a cutie!I would check into it if I were you though so you will know your options and course of action when the time comes.Good luck to you and other mothers who dont believe in vaccines or the timing of them.

Liz on

Wow, I bet Constance didn’t think she’d get such an outpouring of ignorant and self-righteous comments.
Sarah and OCMommy–I enjoyed your posts. You’re both right on target.

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t take everything my doctor says as law. I’ve been around long enough to do my own research before making any decision regarding my health or the health of my children.
One of my own MD’s, left his practice to become a naturopathic physician, after he found out how horrible vaccines and antibiotics were for people. His new practice is unbelievably successful, and he always says he’s trying to undo all the bad that he caused when he was an MD.
I was vaccinated, but my mother always says that she would never do it again. I was ALWAYS sick. My best friend is one of 10 children (ages 15-35). None of them has ever been vaccinated, and I’m not even sure any of them have ever been on antibiotics or taken a pain killer after surgery. They are some of the healthiest people I have ever met, and this is all because they take a natural approach to things.

I cannot believe how many people on here are condemning somebody for being concerned about their child and not doing everything some doctor tells them to do.

I don’t tell anyone that they’re horrible for vaccinating their child, so don’t try to tell me I’m a bad parent for doing my research and deciding NOT to vaccinate mine.

Na'eema on

@ Rana, actually it was me who said that I think it’s great when parents actually look into what it is in the vaccines rather than just trust their physicians off the bat. You then said:

“If you want your car fixed, do you start Googling what all the components do or just take it to a mechanic? If your dog starts choking on a toy, do you start Googling canine CPR or just take him to a vet? Sometimes it’s better to leave things that require skilled, technical knowledge to the experts, and medicine is one of them. It’s not “great” for parents to rebel against that when it jeopardizes all of our health.”

How do you compare these things to human beings?? Also…your examples cannot be compared, you give these examples to say why should one start looking into the problem on their own BEFORE taking them for diagnostic care. I did not say that. I think that if there are symptoms that a parent feels warrants a doctor visit, go to the doctor! But that doesn’t mean a parent needs to necessarily agree to everything the doctor says as a way of treatment. Plus, holistic healing/naturopathy are valid alternative medicine fields! My 5 year old daughter has asthma, and has since before she was 1 year old. Her former pediatrician wanted me to put her on advaire as a preventative treatment. I refused. Why dose her daily with steroids? Since turning to more natural methods, she has not needed the advaire and I also do not let her use the albuterol inhaler either. There is a product called doTerra breathe out there. It is a natural oil concoction that works on respiratory problems. So, this is what I am promoting, for parents to look around, be informed, understand that vaccinations are poison! If a parent still chooses to vaccinate after learning what it is their children are being pumped with, that’s up to that parent and I have no right to judge. But don’t just sit back and think the doctors necessarily have your child’s best interest in mind…the parent has the best interest so we should make the decisions as to how to take care of our children, not the doctors, no matter how trained and educated they are.

Emily on

@Rana, You stated that “the vaccine schedule has been rigorously, vigorously tested as it is – that is, all shots in combination with each other and at each age.”

Please show me a credible research study that does what you claimed… I have searched and have come up empty handed. have you seen this research, or do you just assume that it exists? Please share with the rest of us.

shatch on

as several people have mentioned, vaccinations have NOT been proven to be linked to autism. there is no evidence at all to support this theory. perhaps autism is more prevalent now not because of vaccinations but because of the way in which it is diagnosed. we are lucky to live in a society where scientific advancements can protect our kids from deadly diseases. best of luck to all.

Rana on

@Na’eema, I believe my analogy stands. Parents may have the best interests of their child at heart but they don’t have the knowledge to necessarily understand what research is telling them. After all, taking pharmacology, virology, immunology, and epidemiology is not a prerequesite for becoming a parent, but it is for becoming a doctor.
Reading medical journals and googling words you don’t understand is not the same as doing “research”.

Part of living in a community with the level of advanced technology we do today is trusting people who have knowledge we do not. One person cannot possibly acquire enough knowledge to be competent in every single field: mechanics, engineering, medicine, carpentry, etc, etc. That’s why people take years to specialize in those fields. I wouldn’t trust an engineer to carry out surgery any more than I’d trust a surgeon to build my house.

Rana on

@Emily, it’s part of the standardized testing that occurs before any new medicine can be certified by the FDA. Vaccines are required to not only be tested in isolation but against all the existing vaccines on the schedule to prove they don’t interfere with the safety of the schedule as a whole.

Pediatrician in TN on

As a developmental pediatrician, who specializes in working with children who have autism, and I have evaluated the research that has demonstrated that there is truly no link between autism and vaccines. It is best for your child to maintain the vaccine schedule, to reduce the risk of contracting a communicable disease, many of which can have potentially devastating long-term consequences. I urge all parents to vaccinate their children as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, a very reputable organization. Also, on the website, there is excellent information for parents interested in this issue.

CK on

Wait as long as you want, don’t let anyone push you into a decision. I didn’t drink, smoke or eat badly when I was pregnant and my son still ended up with Autism. I am lucky, he is mildly autistic and he has recently transitioned from special ed to regular classes and he is doing awesome! Don’t trust anyone else, trust “your” instincts and do for “your” own family. Be safe and be well! To follow our story send me an email to add as friends on facebook. Thanks!

Emily on

@Rana,

I am well aware that vaccines have been approved by FDA standards. But I think we all know that MANY drugs that have been approved through “FDA” standards have been recalled… the FDA is by no means perfect and if that is where you and others put their faith I feel truly sad for you. Again, I invite you to share with us the resources that show these thorough studies you claim to know about.

joan on

I have three daughters who were all vacinated on schedule. My eldest was diagonosed with aspergers (an autism spectrum disorder) when she was a teenager. The vaccines she received had nothing to do with it. It just happens.

sbg on

you are not a pain in the butt patient when you ask questions, you are a pain in the butt patient when you are an idiot.

hep B is transmitted via any body fluid (i.e, if your baby gets coughed on… ) And, as a vaccine, I don’t think that the point is to give it *after* you may have transmitted it. Again, anybody can give your baby Hep B.

I could go on and on, but this is ridiculous. I am the mother of an autistic boy and I assure you, I’d rather have autism than any of these diseases that we vaccinate against. Any day!

Sarah on

Cheryl, thank you for your explanation in response to Sandy’s thoughtless comment.
Sandy, please do not ever make another comment like that until you have raised not just one autistic child, but many- as they are all so different. You have no idea what you’re talking about.
To everyone, yes, we need to respect the decisions that other parents make. At the same time, those of us who have experience with this issue often feel it is only right to share what we know so people can make more informed decisions. I wish so much that someone had given me all the information before my son was born. So, be respectful, don’t assume you are right and others are wrong. And, for goodness sakes, why are people talking about scientology? It does not pertain to this issue. Most of your comments are mean. And when it comes to religion and sprituality, let everyone believe what they want and mind your own business.

Sarah on

Hope,
Did you even read the blog? She didn’t say she will never vaccinate her daughter. Why are you calling her irresponsible and selfish when you didn’t even read what she said? And, why don’t you have any respect for parents trying to make the best decisions for their children, regardless of whether they ultimately end up right or wrong?

Sarah on

Kids are constantly being negatively affected by vaccines- sometimes in only a minor way and sometimes in tragic ways that affect their entire life. This is NOT RARE!!! This is not one of those “chances of getting stuck by lightning” situations. This is not just about autism. It’s about SO much more.

Sarah on

Rana,

No, I don’t just trust the mechanic. They are notorious for taking advantage of people by doing unnecessary work to make more money and so are pharmaceutical companies. Also, yes, there is STILL mercury (thimerosal) in the flu shot. If you are informed, you know that you can request a mercury-free flu shot in most cases.

Abby Toriz on

what a great blog- i am 7 months pregnant and am choosing the same road as you and waiting to get my daughter vaccinated, i would like to skip them altogether if i could but i think its mandatory for her to go to school-your daughter is GORGEOUS!!

JM on

joan and sbg, what wonderfully sensible comments. i am glad that you both accept the scientific facts even though it must be hard at times to raise a child with special needs.

it really does sadden me that it is still such a widespread practice to not vaccinate your child. so many people here are putting their kids and other kids in danger. and as someone else pointed out sometimes, isn’t it best to trust someone who has studied something, understood it, and has all the information like…. a doctor…

and the point that someone else made about the amish community was a good one. it is not that they don’t have autism, it is just that it (sadly) goes undiagnosed and untreated.

svp on

Nothing to add to the debate, just wanted to say how adorable the pictures are. Love the pink hat and love the corn!

Michelle on

We vaccinated on schedule and as it turns out our son ended up with Autism. He is now going through Chelation Therapy the the Autistic traits are going away. Our doctor is Dr. Buttar and he is wonderful. He basically says that children with Autism can’t process vaccinations like other kids. He thinks that vaccinations of SOME sort are okay once they are much older and we agree. We will not vaccinate any future children and had I known what I know now I would not have vaccinated my son. Luckily we are getting the chelation treatment our son needs and it is working like a charm. Getting the mercury and other toxins out=happy healthy NORMAL little boy!

Kat on

Oh my God!! Vaccincate your children!!

Helene on

Sarah,
Scientology shouldn’t have been a topic until it was attacked for no reason what so ever. It was being discussed as a reason schools allow children to not be vaccinated, of course many other religions were also mentioned, but this was the only one in the spotlight.

LP on

I really applaud your research. My husband is a Chiropractor and we have two children and we chose not to vaccinate. We had an exemption form from our State Health Department in order to enroll our children in school. When children were in 6th and 4th grades, we received a letter from our school district saying that if they did not get vaccinated then they would be removed from school. I made a ton of phone calls and we still wound up having to get them. However, as much as we fought and hated seeing them get the shots, the ONLY blessing that has come from this, is they were on a very abbreviated vaccination schedule. I love how you talked about “herding”. Our children didn’t go to daycare, however, they have always gone to public school and never contracted any chicken pox and the “normal” childhood illnesses. However, one of our children now has severe seasonal allergies since receiving the shots. Hmmmm…. makes one wonder! May your family always be blessed!

Sabreen on

I’m too young to have kids, but am a family and child studies major and a big vaccine supporter, I believe the pros are much more significant and crucial than the cons, but I do agree with you that many parents do not do enough research and their children are shot up with 50 shots that they really don’t need. I do think that hepatitis B shot is important because there are other ways she can obtain the disease in the future, even when not sexually active. I saw some comments that linked mental illness with vaccination, and there is no sufficient proof of this and believe that that should not be a reason why children are not being vaccinated. Although, I’ve never had children so who am I to give my 2 cents, and I believe that each parent should make their own decisions. Just don’t forget that as much as you try to protect your daughter from disease (God forbid), you never know what is around you, so no more delaying those vaccinations after 2 :)

Amanda on

As a first time mom 7 years ago, I vaccinated religiously. On time, every time. But 2 1/2 years ago with my second, I was more skeptical. We didn’t do any vacs in the hospital, and didn’t do any until a bout a year and didn’t give the MMR until she was 2. We are still playing catch up as of now.
They just recalled a bunch of Tylenol products and some Infants’ tylenol 2 years ago, if they can’t even make Tylenol safe, how can we be sure that the vacs are safe?

MIna on

Thank you for this article. I am five months pregnant and I heard so many things about vaccinations. I think I am going to prolong the vaccination process for as long as I can to give the baby the best life possible. I know if God is keeping the baby health while in utero and he hasnt contracted anything I am sure all will be well later once he is born. Thanks again.

Farrah on

First of all I would like to say that I love your blog, and you have a beautiful family. I have 3 children who have all been vaccinated and haven’t had any problems. I had my first child when I was 19. There was never a question for me on whether or not to vaccinate. My baby sister caught Whooping Cough (aka Pertussis) at 2 months. She caught it from my middle sister who was 15 months at the time. On Sunny (the middle sister) it was just a cold because she had enough immunizations to protect her. My baby siter was hospitalized twice, and she almost died. My oldest is only 4 years younger than my baby sister. It was all still pretty fresh in my memory, and always will be. My baby sister is healthy now, but that is a deadly disease. I think it is every parent’s choice on whether or not to immunize. What is right for some may not be right for others. I don’t think any one should be critisized for their decision on vaccinating their own childern. In my family it was the right choice. The memories of my sister, and the threat of the same thing happening to one of my own were too great. That being said I would still never fault another mother for not vaccinating their on child.

Electra on

Actually in Germany Scientology is considered a cult under the law. i’m not saying it is in my opinion but in some places its a cult. Just Sayin’

KG on

Thanks to Constance on her blog and everybody else with your informative comments. While I have chose to have my daughter vaccinated, I have chose to eliminate the “extras” like H1N1 and the Chicken Pox vaccine. I am definitely going to keep everybody’s information in the back of my mind for the future. Thank you so much!

Nancy on

My parents brought us to the USA and were happy to get us vaccinated because they had seen so many babies die of disease that could be stopped with a vaccine. I know we came from a 3rd world country, but remember a lot of 3rd world people are in our country and they are not vaccinated and are exposing our little ones to diseases that were wiped out before the influx of us and them. There is an outbreak of whooping cough right now and many babies are suffering and some dieing because they are not protected with the vaccine. Good luck. God Bless.

Nicole on

Anecdotes do not = evidence. Vaccines save lives, and it’s our responsibility as parents and citizens to vaccinate our children. Jennie McCarthy is not a doctor.

Lily's Mom on

My husband happens to make vaccines and we faced the same questions when we found out we were pregnant with our daughter Lily. The ONLY ingredient in vaccines that can be linked to autism is the mercury in the preservatives of the vaccines. Here’s a little known fact: all manufacturers of vaccines make PRESERVATIVE-FREE versions of their vaccines. They may be slightly more expensive for your doctor to obtain (given their short shelf-life) and they may pass that extra expense on to you, but they ARE available and they ARE worth it. We found a pediatrician in our area that only gives preservative-free vaccines and I feel secure in the knowledge that our daughter is protected from serious disease and illness AND safe from the effects of autism caused by mercury. You may think “It’ll never happen to my child, those diseases are long gone!” but they’re not. There was a very recent outbreak of polio and whooping cough is back on the map and impossible to control. Smallpox breaks out at regular intervals. Our job as parents is to protect our children. To protect yours, VACCINATE!!!

jourdan clough on

Im a mom of four. My first daughter though showed a few signs of autism had a very bad reaction to her mmr. She had a 104 fever vomited and broke out in flat red spots two days later than stopped speaking completely, I do think vaccines made her symptoms worse I opted to skip the than 15 month shots with the other two children and strech out vaccines- they have ADHD, so when my last was born we did a gluten casein free diet and no vaccine- he does not have criteria to be placed on the spectrum, it was a tough decision and doctors also try to influence me to vaccinate, but he goes to a small pre-school and he is the only on not vaccinated- good luck with all your choices

Amyk on

vaccines=scary!!

A suuuuuper good book…. “Vaccine Safety Manual” by Neil Z. Miller

Alex on

Sarah – Scientology only became an issue because a forum user took exception to it being described as a cult (which is how it is officially regarded in many countries). I am from the UK, it is legally recognised as a cult here, and that is therefore what I call it etc. But that’s the end of it anyway! Best wishes.

Velvita on

To all of the parents who choose very selfishly not to vaccinate their kids,, i say i hope you can live clearly with your decision for the rest of your life and never witness your child cling to life from suffering meningitis and never know your child as it was after that- only because you were stupid not to vaccinate him, this should not even be a debate or an option, and i am glad that most daycares and schools require immunization record before a child can be accepted,, and btw the most germs u will get is your organic supermarket store, its your pediatricians office, its your hospital,, the places you feel safe in cause you did not travel to visit,,
so yes i am Pro-vaccines, because i have witness a child loose her life to meningitis even though she was cared for at home and never set foot in daycare

Lisa on

OMG the drama! First, the MMR never had mercury in it – the MMR is a live virus vaccine, just like the chicken pox vaccine, with no preservatives. As it is a live virus vaccine, it can and does shed and is very capable of infecting people who come in contact with anyone who has recently received the vaccine (oral polio vaccine, anyone?).

Second, the polio and whooping cough vaccines do not prevent transmission or infection in any way, shape, or form. All they do is lessen the severity of symptoms in the person that has received the vaccine if they happen to contract the disease. So all the people who are exclaiming “ZOMG get vaccinated to protect the children!” really have no idea what they’re talking about. You could fully vaccinate the world for polio and whooping cough and they would STILL make their courses around the population just like they do now.

Third, vaccines have never been proven safe, they’ve just been proven not to be dangerous. Two completely different things. The trials they go through compare the new vaccine side by side to a vaccine that is already on the market. There has never been a vaccine trial comparing the vaccine to an inert placebo like saline.

Na'eema on

@ Velvita…how is it “clearly very selfishly” that we do not vaccinate? What purpose does it serve a parent individually to not vaccinate their child? As parents we are the ones who love our children the most. So evidently we have reason to believe we are doing what is best for our children. Because others choose to poison their children with viruses, and all kinds of filth and toxins, I do not think I have the right to criticize them or you. None of us are in a position to condemn anyone else on their choices.

Alex on

Na’eema – I am pro-vaccines, but I’m inclined to see your point. Some of the pro-vaccine people on here have been borderline abusive to those who choose (for, on the whole, sensible reasons) not to vaccinate their babies/children. I find this disgusting, it’s not pleasant to read and I would regard it as bullying now. I wish those people could be as nice and respectful as the majority of those who are anti-vaccine or following a delayed/reduced schedule. This is ALWAYS a heated debate because of the subject matter, but it always seems to be the pro-vaccine contributors who bully. I don’t know what they think they will achieve from it either, as no one with a brain will make the decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate based on the opinion of another comment on here, no matter how forcefully it is delivered. And like I said, I’m pro-vaccine myself, but I’m also not inclined to force and bully my views onto others. Not everyone is the same I guess.

Amyk on

Why do people think that un-vaccinated children spew disease’s?? Children who are vaccinated carry live viruses in them….

Jodi on

Fantastic, thank you for your honesty and for sharing your decision process. Im also a delayed vaxer, my girls are 1 & 3.5 and are on a very delayed schedule. Keep blogging!! You have a great voice!

Helene on

Oh, and I should mention the conversation about Sceintology was about the federal guidelines at US based schools.

Mentioning what other countries believe about each of the religions that were mentioned was and is not necessary.

Des on

Great blog post. I think it is so important that everyone do their research.

I also started off with the intention of “holding off until 2.” Now after 9 years of ongoing research, have decided vaccines are not for us. My 8 and 4 year olds have never received a vaccine.

Des on

Wanted to add, my children go to public school as well. Every state except for West Virginia and Mississippi have exemptions. We got a waiver form at my child’s school district office. (I’m in California.)

Alex on

Oh gosh Helene, you’re taking this way too personally. I’ll comment to try to set you straight. I wanted you to realise (in case you didn’t already) that the comment regarding Scientology as a cult may well have been because in Kirsty’s country, it IS a cult. Her comment very likely was not meant with malice and as I knew that it is a cult in some places, I thought I would let you know that, instead of waiting for Kirsty to comment. How you got that I was insulting someone’s beliefs from that, I do not know, but I certainly was not doing that in any way. I am sorry that you took it personally, it certainly wasn’t intended that way, it was an informative comment, not a personal one. I hope that you now understand this and we can all move on from something that should never have gone this far in the first place. Good day to you.

Cindy on

Great blog! I agree with you 100%! Our 3 year old is not vaccinated and she is nothing, but, perfect and healthy! So, why mess that up?! ;) I have another baby on the way and it will not be vaccinated either. Our intent was to wait till our first daughter was 2 because her immune system would be stronger and better able to handle vaccines than at birth or two months. But when she turned 2, we just didn’t see a reason to start them. Most of them, I feel, are not necessary in the slightest. Then there’s some that I wish I could separate so she could have just the one individual one that I would want. But we can’t. At least not now. So, we are choosing to wait and possibly won’t vaccinate ever. But we shall see.

We really weren’t that worried about Autism, but more so of the other potential medical conditions that could (possibly) be triggered by vaccines. Such as….ADD, Asthma, Diabetes, and tons more. We don’t know if vaccines trigger these problems to develop in kids. We have no idea! That’s what worries us the most.

Good luck and I think you’ve made a fabulous decision! You go mama!!

Lori Matuscak on

I totally get where you are coming from Constance. I got my daughter (who is now 21 months) all of her vaccines on time and when they were due. The MAIN reason that I got hers all done was because I work at a hospital as a Respiratory Therapist. If you don’t know what that is, I deal with people who are on breathing machines, and administer them breathing treatments. I carry alot of nasty germs home to her, I am sure, so I was terrified that I would bring something home to her that she got from me. She does’t go to daycare and is not a high risk either as far as getting sick. I am from the old-school raising where my mom got me vaccinated with every vacine that was out there.
I agree with you that there are alot of vaccines that are out there, and it would be awesome if they could spread them out. Some doctors offices will, and some look at you like you are a big retard. I also on the other hand agree with the lady who posted that she would much rather her child be autistic that to have polio. How common is polio? I just like you want to make the best choices for my daughter that keep her safe and healthy. Thank you for all the posts that you have put up. You are an awesome mom and an awesome actress.

Adrienne Owen on

If vaccines DO NOT cause autism and auto-immune disorders, why has the rate of autism increased EXPONENTIALLY? And don’t try to say that there are better diagnostic tools. If there are better diagnostics, then where are all the 30, 40 and 50 year olds with autism. The answer is: they don’t exist. A girl recently was awarded money by the VAERS fund set up for vaccine injured children because they say the vaccinations caused her auto immune disorder. There was a story in the NY Times just last week where it was said that they are now admitting that vaccines cause seizures in infants and children. Gee, do you think that a child suffering hundreds of seizures in a day or just a grand mal or two a week can get brain damage from that? I’d have to emphatically say YES. Diseases were on the DECLINE before vaccines were introduced, go look up the charts. They are there and unless you are blind, you can see that a natural immunity was already presenting itself in many cases.
Thank goodness I have found an open-minded doctor at Kaiser in San Diego who won’t force me to vaccinate my son. My son is HEALTHY as can be. Has never even suffered a cold since he was born, no ear infections, only toothache from teething. My brother who has five children, has one child who has suffered vaccine damage and is now basically mentally behind bordering on retardation. She was vaccinated immensely. He has one daughter who hasn’t ever been vaccinated and she is by far the healthiest of the lot of them. No ear infections, no colds, no flus, even when they present themselves in the other kids and she is around a ton of kids daily.
Vaccines have poison in them. If you don’t consider poison being animal genes, dead fetuses, Aluminum Hydroxide, Aluminum Phosphate, Ammonium Sulfate, Amphotericin B, Animal tissues: pig blood, horse blood, rabbit brain, dog kidney, monkey kidney, chick embryo, chicken egg, duck egg, Calf (bovine) Serum, Betapropiolactone, Fetal Bovine Serum, Formaldehyde, Formalin, Gelatin, Glycerol, Human Diploid Cells (originating from human aborted fetal tissue), Hydrolized Gelatin, Mercury Thermosol (still used in flu shots), Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), Neomycin, Neomycin Sulfate, Phenol Red Indicator, Phenoxyethanol (antifreeze), Potassium Diphosphate, Potassium Monophosphate, Polymyxin B, Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 80, Porcine (pig) Pancreatic Hydrolysate of Casein, Residual MRC5 Proteins, Sodium Borate, Sorbitol, Sucrose, Tri(n)butylphosphate, VERO cells, a continuous line of monkey kidney cells and washed sheep red blood. Go ahead and inject all that junk into your kid if you want to, but my baby’s blood will not be pulsing with it, and I believe will be better off for it.

corinne on

Constance, my husband is a physician and we were hypervigilant about making an INFORMED decision about the welfare of our child. We do vaccinate, but I think it is tremendously important that your research be conducted through reputable medical journals, not by googling uncredible sources, or relying on what others in Hollywood are doing or saying. Please, please, please, do your research.

Pediatrician on

I have seen children die from chicken pox, pneumococcus, HIB.
I have seen children with permanent severe brain or bodily injury from measles, HIB, pneumococcus, chicken pox.
Hepatitis B can cause life long disease and death.
Polio has not been eradicated in the world and is a plane trip away.
Mumps and measles outbreaks are still common in the US.
Tetanus is ubiquitous.
Children can become blind from gonococcal or chlamydial eye infection acquired at birth from Moms with ruptured membranes who undergo C sections or from vaginal delivery, when Moms themselves may be unaware they carry the infection or acquired it since their last negative test.
Pertussis is spread mostly by otherwise healthy adults whose immunity to pertussis has waned and who themselves experience an annoying cough which for infants can be a deadly cough.
I have seen infants near death form dehydration from rotavirus, or suffering miserably from days of diarrhea and vomiting.
I have seen infants near death with pertussis, who cough painfully for weeks.
I have never once, in 15 years of practice, seen a child die from or be severely injured by a vaccine.

The largest “toxin” a child is exposed to are the microbiological organisms that live in, around, and among us. Not trace amounts of aluminum in a vaccine.

Herd immunity is a social gift we give each other by vaccinating ourselves and our children.
The unvaccinated child is at risk and puts everyone they are around at risk. Vaccination increases our ability to be healthy social creatures. Being unvaccinated restricts our safe interaction with others.

As well intentioned as the parent is who decides not to vaccinate their children, there is not a more risky, dangerous gamble you will make, even if they do not attend day care, than to withhold, delay, or stagger them. There is a theoretical risk your child could have a life threatening contact allergy to the straps on their car seat. There is an exceedingly higher chance your child will be seriously injured or killed while riding in a car without a car seat.

HIB,pneumococcus, Hepatitis A and B, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis,varicella, HPV, meningococcus, rotavirus are PROVEN to cause death and serious injury. ZERO debate on that. ZERO.

Death or serious injury from vaccines are exceptionally exceptionally rare events, and attributable usually to very rare , severe allergic reactions that every pediatric office should be able to immediately treat and correct with the administration of epinepherine. Never once has such an event occurred in my 15 years of practice.
Death or serious injury from certain vaccine ingredients in the amounts given with vaccines are THEORETICAL risks with no solid evidence to support even the theory.

MMR has been proven to NOT cause autism.

The AAP and medical professionals are there to protect, not harm. Vaccines are among the safest, most thoroughly studied, monitored, and EFFECTIVE therapies we offer people. When even small amounts of serious harm are suggested, vaccines are withdrawn.

Every day you delay your child from one vaccination is a day they are unprotected or less protected from known, prevalent, deadly and seriously harmful toxins known as microbes.
I encourage everyone to follow the standard vaccination schedule, don’t delay, don’t stagger, don’t split. Would you wait until your child was two to put them in a car seat if you just drove on back roads? Would you fasten them in with just one belt and leave the others unbuckled for a few months?

Again-I’ve seen perfectly healthy, perfectly loved children of all ages, from perfectly well read parents, die from PREVENTABLE disease.
As well intentioned as vaccine withholding/delaying parents may be, the bacteria and the viruses don’t care how thoughtful you’ve been about your decision. Bacteria and viruses are everywhere, and can be carried quietly or innocently by cautious, loving parents and family and friends in noses,throats, clothing, skin. Bacteria and viruses know no mercy and have no compassion and persist where unprotected or immature immune systems allow them, even in breast fed, nutritionally rich, non day care attending children.

Disclaimer: I own ZERO stock in pharmaceutical or vaccine manufacturers. My daily goal is to put myself out of business of disease treatment and instead practice disease prevention. Authors of a la carte “vaccine books” have a financial interest in promoting their books. I have and will continue to stop administering vaccines if there is evidence of significant risk of serious injury to children.To date, I have witnessed zero cases of serious injury or death to any of my patients from vaccines. I will never forget the children I have seen die or suffer from vaccine preventable disease, nor the agony of their parents and families.

Helene on

I get it and am done discussing it.

I am in disbelief at something I just read in one persons post. I am not going to mention the specific thing but I will say people, think before you type. What words you may find in your every day vocabulary as nothing and humorous, can be incredibly offensive to someone.

Oliver on

To clarify – “herd immunity” only works if the “herd” is actually vaccinated. As long as more and more people decide to avoid or delay vaccinations, that herd effect wanes. And it can wane quickly and dramatically. Outbreaks can be far more than “minimal”. Would you consider it “minimal” if your child died, or if, by contracting a preventable infection and passing it on to another child who is more vulnerable (say, a young infant or someone whose immune system is compromised), led to the death of another child? As an example – in Tajikistan there is currently an outbreak of Polio. This occurred after the country’s vaccination rate fell below the critical 90% – all the way to 87%! Polio kills. When it doesn’t kill, it can siginifcantly affect someone for the rest of their lives. Don’t think that we are immune to the same happening here (pardon the pun). In fact, the same has already happened with measles in multiple countries, and mumps and pertussis in others (yes, including in North America). The vast majority of diseases that children are vaccinated against these days are those that were regularly responsible for the deaths of many children (and adults) prior to vaccination programs. We don’t fear these diseases in the same way now because we just don’t regularly see them any more and therefore forget how absolutely devastating they can be. Measles can KILL. Mumps can KILL. Bacterial meningitis and sepsis can KILL. Pertussis can KILL. Diphtheria can KILL. Influenza can KILL. They can all cause short- and/or long-lasting disability. They are all highly contagious. Just go to a country where vaccination is not the norm – sadly, children in those countries are still dying every day from diseases that we are lucky enough to be able to easily prevent here (and should be working towards preventing there). As for the autism debate – that has, once and for all, been put to rest. Autism is NOT caused by vaccinations. The study that led to all the concerns several years ago has been completely discredited and retracted, and the author reprimanded, but unfortunately the lay public still suffer from an unreasonable fear due to the propaganda that surrounded the whole controversy. It was a neat and tidy thing to blame, considering the signs of autism often start appearing around the same age certain vaccines are given (even in those with autism who haven’t receievd the vaccines). In fact, as more and more research into autism is done, we now know that the earliest signs actually start showing up long before the age the vaccine that got the bad rap is ever administered.

All that being said, I do agree that vaccination is a personal decison and that any decision involving the health and well-being of your child is a very important and difficult one. However, I agree with Corinne above – make sure your research is thorough AND done through CREDIBLE sources. The stakes are just too high to make these deicions based on popular opinion, misinformation and the “hollywood buzz”. Please, please, please do your research – and do it right! Please help protect your children, AND mine!

jj on

As a parent of a newborn I now have to worry about measle outbreaks in my area because my child is too young to be vaccinated and people like you are either delaying vaccinations or not getting them entirely! Shame on you! And shame on people magazine for publishing this. This is very irresponsible.

Bhunney on

Constance, I thought you had better sense than to think your child is not exposed to deadly diseases. IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW MUCH OF A VEGETARIAN YOU ARE, OR HOW GREEN ALL THE PRODUCTS IN YOUR HOUSE ARE YOUR DAUCHTER CAN STILL GET A HORRIBLE DISEASE FOR NOT BEING VACCINATED. The only way you can protect her is to either VACCNATE her or keep her in the house forever. I know you celebrities love to follow trends cause this ECO FRIENDLY stuff is a fad. But you are taking it too far to quote Jenny MCcarthy another uninformed celebrity like she is a medical doctor. Vaccinations dont cause Autism but STUDIES DO SHOW WOMEN THAT WHO HAVE THEIR KIDS AFTER 35 ARE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE KIDS WITH AUTISM. So dont balme it on vaccines. ALL YOU CELEBRITY FOLLOWERS GROW A BRAIN. I know you take your daughter to the park, play dates, stores and you and your husband both leave the house to work so no telling what germs you to bring back. YOU ARE PUTTING OTHER PPL CHILDREN AT RISK BY BEING SO FOOLISH BECAUSE YOU BREASTFEED. breast milk is good but it does not protect against everything. CONSTANCE you should not go spewing wrong inforamtion because you have a blog on people.com. Please read more articles because if you ever put your daughter inschool she is 10x more likely to be sick constantly. VACCINES ARE LIFE SAVING AND PEOPLE NEED TO STOP FOLLOWING THESE FADS. PLEASE VACCINATE YOUR CHILD DONT LISTEN TO UNINFORMED CELEBRITIES.

Jean on

Breastfeeding my son at the age of 2 years old and still. NO TOXIC shots! They put monkey cells in those shots and fetal tissue in the shots. How can any rational person inject their child with this junk. My son is healthy, breastfed and w/o shots!

Thanks for the great article!

Mandi on

@Alex, I completely agree with you. I have seen this discussion on many different forums & it’s always the pro-vaxers that turn the conversation from comparing notes to bullying. It’s not my business what someone does with their own children.
On another note. My daughter is fully vaccinated with the exception of the MMR. I went along with it because I worked in a high risk situation. When you’re surrounded by a bunch of teenagers who have been exposed to God knows what, I didn’t want to run the risk of my daughter catching anything. Lots of stuff ran rampant around the facility I worked in. Bringing home MRSA was my biggest fear. I worried about the effects that the shots would have on her little body, but thankfully she never had any kind of reactions.

lo on

Melody says: ” For most of the “vaccine preventable” diseases, the rates of occurance and death were steadily declining BEFORE the creation and wide-spread use of the vaccines.”

For God’s sake where do you take your fatcs from? why do you think the vaccines where creates for??? they where in a lot of cases a result of an outbrake of some deadly desease that was killing people and there was an urgent demand for inmunization.

Read a little bit of history, what about european history to start.

Please American why are you so vast ingorants? why don you read? take a university course, read the newspaper, educate yourself; take a look at the rest of the word who uses preventable vaccination without question, why we do not have the outburst of Autism, like you do?

There is not proven studies about the correlation between the two but still somehow there is this seudo science telling society (america ) thet there are.

You are ridiculosly ignorants, Do not just internet search, where you get a lot of poorly conducted inaccurate research. This is why we have doctors and healthcare professionals-who’s job it is to weed through research

Lauren on

Loved this post! I had not done the research with my first; she got her shots up to a year…sigh. Once I did look into it, I was horrified by the ingredients and side effects. I no longer vaccinate my children.
It’s a personal choice, and no parent who is researching the issue should be bullied! I encourage everyone to do their reading, from BOTH sides. :)

sbg on

rates of autism have not increased exponentially — there has recently been a survey study showing that the rate of Autism in older people in our population (pre-vax boom, >30 years old) is ~1 %, similar to what we see now. This number accounted for both people having been diagnosed as kids or who could be retrospectively diagnosed or newly diagnosed (but did not include individuals in homes, so might be an underestimate).

As rates of autism have increased, rates of diagnosis of other disorders has shrunk (mental retardation, for instance). This points to better diagnostic tools.

>40% of those toddlers diagnosed with autism lose or have their diagnosis reduced by age 5 — there is a natural progression towards developing typical behaviors that results on our not *seeing* autism as easily in adults as in children.

I am the mother of an boy with autism. I see many other kids who are part of this 1% — some have such subtle autistic behaviors but still get the diagnosis and it is clear to me that they’d be missed 30 years ago. Do not fear autism!

Rachel Fisher on

Although, I understand your want to do what is best for your child, I still cannot understand your choice not to arm your child with all the best defenses available. Are you not going to give her a flu shot?? What if she contracts something? And don’t say it doesn’t happen because it does. Could you live with yourself knowing you could have prevented your child from getting sick and possible worse? That is not a risk I was willing to take…Hope everything work out for you and your beautiful daughter…

Thinker on

Constance, don’t listen to the rants from the pro-vaccine sheeple, their arguments are based on myths and legends that have been passed from one idiot to another and note that not one of them posted any links to any facts or scientific studies supporting their arguments.

For all you vaccines nuts, if you and your children are vaccinated against certain diseases then you are immune from getting those diseases from those that are unvaccinated, so why are you vaccinated people so concerned about being around unvaccinated people?

By your own admission, you can’t get the disease you are vaccinated against, so please quit your whining about people that choose to not get shot full of toxic vaccines for themselves and their children. If you can’t get sick, it is none of your damn business if I or my children get sick but if you insist on having that authority over me, then let’s make this a fair fight and let me have authority over your smoking, your drinking, your domestic violence, your fast food diet, your lack of exercise, etc. for you and your children.

Also, why are some of you pro-vaccine nuts cautioning against too many vaccines being administered to children before a certain age? if vaccines are so safe and effective, then logically, the more vaccines the better and the earlier the vaccines are given the better. But of course, that is not what you are advocating so it is obvious that even you recognize that vaccines are not as safe as claimed.

Vaccines have not been shown to be effective and in fact sanitation and hygienic practices are credited with lower disease rates
http://www.relfe.com/vaccine.html
http://www.gaia-health.com/articles101/000123-Vaccination-Facts-Tables.shtml

Still no proof of HPV vaccine effectiveness
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS014067361060270X/fulltext

Flu vaccines ineffective
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100216203146.htm

Laura on

The load on the immune system at birth – when the baby goes from a sterile environment into the world teeming with bacteria and viruses is vastly greater than a few vaccines. As a nurse who has seen babies severely ill from whooping cough, the flu, and the measles, I truely believe vaccinations are the healthiest thing we can do – and by far the easiest way to protect them from potentially deadly and damaging diseases. I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old and have never regretted getting them all their vaccinations based on the highly researched CDC recommended schedule. Research vaccine history – and you will see that vaccines have helped more people than they have harmed. Vaccines save lives. Did you know that annualy 36,000 people in the US die of the flu? Children under 5 and the elderly are most at risk to die from the flu. Please do your research by looking ar valid sources – medical and biology textbooks, the CDC, Medical and nursing journals.

Michelle on

While in the waiting room at one of my prenatal appointments, an expectant father was reading the recommended vaccine schedule and made a comment about how it seemed to him that it was like preparing to drop off our children in the middle of a third world country. I too was shocked at the amount of vaccine our children are given, however I think what he failed to realize is that people from third world countries are coming here and are increasing the risk of transmitting some of the diseases that we are trying to control. I have two children ages 2 and 5, and have had them vaccinated. It is a tough decision to make (like a lot of other parental decisions!), and all we can do is what we think is best for our children.

Mandi on

Thinker, not all of us who vaccinate are crazy nuts. It’s a risk that everyone takes. You take a risk by not vaccinating that your children could catch something that is easily preventable. I take a risk that my daughter could have an adverse reaction to the vaccinations that she receives. As I posted earlier, the main reason I vaccinated my daughter was because of my work place. When you’re in a small area with hundreds of teenagers & you don’t know their medical history, or they’ve just come over from a 3rd world country, I choose not to take a risk. We’ve had outbreaks of MRSA, TB, Scarlett Fever, H1N1 & God knows what else. I do sit somewhere in the middle & think that the amount of vaccinations given now are excessive compared to what I was given as a child. Which is why I don’t vaccinate for the flu. Some things the body should be able to fight off naturally. But I would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to other things. It’s not my business what you do with your children & I believe in a parents right to choose what they want to do with their kids. I don’t insult your decision to not vaccinate your children, don’t insult my decision to vaccinate mine.

Oliver on

To all those who have questions and are looking for a reliable and evidence-based vaccination information resource, here is one designed specifically for parents that addresses all of the most common questions, concerns, and more. It is based on the Canadian vaccination schedule, but the content is applicable anywhere the vaccines are used. And no, it doesn’t try to get the point across by “bullying”, but by presenting all of the facts and taking into consideration both sides of the vaccine debate. Please go to reliable medical sources (this or others) for your information and not the lay media. Not all “science” news media outlets are actually reporting information based on “good” science. The bottom line is that vaccines save lives. Daily.

http://www.cps.ca/english/publications/bookstore/yourchildsbestshot.htm

Sarah on

Lo, I’m not sure what country you are from, but the U.S. has a 1 in 110 rate of autism. England and Ireland had about 1 in 58, last time I checked. Please don’t generalize all Americans. Almost all of my research does not come from the internet. And, if you want us to take a college class and be more sophisticated, why don’t you take a look at your grammar, spelling, and attention to detail and take care of yourself before putting others down.
Alex, your point is a good one- that we should be comparing notes instead of bullying. Thanks!

sbg on

@ thinker… my fear is that when you take your child with measles to the pediatrician he’ll infect my newborn before he is old enough for his vaccination. Also, in a small percentage of individuals, the vaccinations do not work (due to problems with vaccine preparation, administration or individual differences). If most people get vaccinations, these individuals will not suffer. Furthermore, we are also protecting those with compromised immune systems who either cannot get vaccinated or have other susceptibilities by creating herd immunity

Here is a good blog post (I know not a real article) but a good source for science-based medicine links to real scientific studies that support the value of vaccination and show that the benefits far outweigh the risks.

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?cat=36

page through posts for many articles discussed by rational minds.

Sara

Cathy on

If Luna Marie can catch a cold she can catch whooping cough, measles or one of the other diseases we vaccinate against. You didn’t seem to like her having a cold very much. How would you like whooping cough? How would you feel if you were responsible for someone else’s baby contracting whooping cough?

Don’t just look at dodgy research. Look at the consequences.

Barbara` on

Hi. I have done a lot of research on vaccinations. The most extreme stories I have read were babies dying after being vaccinated. I know that many parents believe that their kids are fine after they have been vaccinated, until it happens to them. There are so many children with asthma, ADD/ADHD, diabetes, cancer, and Autism. Not until your child dies or has autism do you wonder just maybe there is a connection. My son is one of the children who “got” autism. It was the toughest times of our lives. He is 16 now and doing fine. (With a lot of help of course)My daughter “got” asthma. What is the point of injecting our children with DPT or MMR or etc, which is suppose to protect them, if the stuff they use to preserve the shots can kill or hurt children? I don’t get it. God surely wouldn’t approve.

Melissa on

Living in a dense city and/or multicultural environment, or socializing with family or friends who DO travel are important factors to consider when evaluating the pros and cons of vaccinations. Being in daycare and travel are not the only risks to children as far being exposed to diseases. The density and demographics of the city where you live are also factors, as is your own schedule and exposure to people through your work or social life. Do you go to public playgrounds? Will you take your child to music or art classes or music concerts or other activities where children or people will gather? I work at a large, well-known high tech firm based in Silicon Valley. Several years ago I and others in our office building were exposed to tuberculosis and had to be tested. One of the engineers in the building had gone to visit relatives overseas for a holiday, had unknowingly contracted TB and had worked in the building for 3-4 months before being diagnosed and treated. Anyone who worked in the building during that period was exposed to TB. Here’s a blog written by a father of two in Los Angeles who contracted chicken pox as an adult because he was not vaccinated as a child. It provides another perspective. Everyone has a right to make decisions about the management of the health of their own children, but we live in a society where decisions affect not only your own family but the people around you and that should be taken into account. http://creativetypes.blogspot.com/2010/07/should-parents-vaccinate-yes.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Creativetypes+%28Creative-Type+Dad%29

Melissa on

Whether you travel or put your child in daycare are not the only risk factors to consider when you think about exposure as one variable in your decision to vaccinate your child. Do you live in a city with a sizable population? Do you take or plan to take your child to music or art classes or any sort of public event (a children’s concert)? Does anyone in your family or circle of friends like to travel? Do you frequent public or private playgrounds or pools where more than just your family goes?
I work for a large high tech firm based in silicon valley. One of the my colleagues in the building visited relatives overseas in Asia for a holiday, contracted tuberculosis, and returned to work for four months before getting diagnosed and treated. Anyone who worked in the office building during that four month period was exposed to TB (including employees with spouses who stay home full time, do not put their children in daycare and do not travel overseas). I believe you have to consider not only your child’s health, but the risks to those around you if you don’t vaccinate your child.

Allison on

Wow, I’m really disappointed in Constance’s decision and reasoning. Your child isn’t in daycare or on a plane, so she’s safe? The vaccines were developed to eradicate dangerous diseases, and all these people doing ‘online research’ come to these crazy conclusions that they are safe. Constance, I’m sure your parents vaccinated you as a baby, and you won’t offer the same protection against deadly diseases? just, wow.

Kelli on

I hope that for your daughter’s sake you are not in California where there is an active outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough). If you had at least vaccinated her,she would have had 4 doses of tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis and would have immunity.

Continue to keep your child sheltered as it’s been found that since the adult’s immunity is decreased since adults haven’t received a pertussis shot since THEY were 5 year old, that adults are catching pertussis and giving it to their children. All I can suggest and this is what the California and other state’s Department of Health are suggesting is that ADULTS get vaccinated for pertussis (there is a new vaccine Tdap which adults and children over 14 years old will get) that protects them against pertussis.

It’s your decision not to vaccinate your child and that is fine, however with outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases occuring- she is ultimately at risk in her own community since you didn’t vaccinate her.

Jennifer on

We delayed vaccinations for a long time too. My son is now three and a half, and breastfed until he was three. We didn’t start vaccinating until he three year old visit. Even now, we have a few we still need to do to be all caught up. But I did no more than two vaccinations per visit, and in the case of a live virus (MMR), only one. You are correct that the vaccination schedule has tripled in the last twenty years, and to me, that just spells greed. I used to be in the pharmaceutical industry, and there is a lot of greed there. My son is healthy, but I still wonder if vaccinating at all is the right thing to do.

I am pregnant again and intend on delaying them with this baby too. I think you are right- if you breastfeed, that does protect your baby to a certain extent. And like you, umm… I barely wanted to have sex with my husband while pregnant, much less another man!!! What is up with that? Thank you for posting this!

Pediatrician on

The American Academy of Pediatrics
The National Network for Immunization Information

These are two, evidence based, highly reputable, professional organizations dedicated to children’s health and well being. I encourage physicians, patients, families, and caretakers to explore each site for vaccine facts and vaccine myths.

http://www.aap.org/immunization/families/faq.html
http://www.immunizationinfo.org/issues/general/vaccine-misinformation

I

Ruth on

I vaccinated both of my children (15 and 10), but back then fewer vaccinations were required. Neither of my boys had any problems. I admire you for actually taking the time to do the research on vaccines. Unfortunately a lot of parents now a days just go with what ever is the it topic of the moment, instead of trying to find out information for themselves. I understand when you say that your daughter is in a low risk category, and you mention herd immunizations. But to play devil’s advocate, if people stop immunizing their children or go on a slower schedule because they are depending on other parents to immunize their kids is a little hypocritical. If that trend would continue, eventually our children’s children will not have the same protection. People mentioned about disease eradication, but what is a vaccine if not a dead strain of the virus. Also where you live has a lot to do with what you need to protect your children from. If you live in an area with a high immigrant population, where they may not have the same level of health care available to them, they may be carriers for diseases that we vaccinate for. I think that as parents we should push for safer vaccines to be created, instead of not vaccinating our kids at all. This subject touches a little close to my heart. I remember my grandmother telling me stories of how she buried 6 children. They all died from diseases that we now vaccinate for. My advise though is that ever parent do the research themselves and make the best decisions for their children.

HMA on

Hey,

I love your blog! I’m 3 months pregnant.
I just wnated to say that My parents had kids in the 80s and choose not to vaccinate us, while my aunt had kids in the 90s and choose to vaccinate. My siblings and I and cousins were in the low risk catagory and yet my cousins were sick more aften and worse then my siblings and I they have had more health problems and the days following the vaccinates they had temp. of over 103. I hardly ever get sick I’ve ever had the flu. I also have seen the same with my husband who was vaccinated he got the swine flu in Oct. I living in the same house sisn’t get it. I’m not saying that its the vaccinates but I’m not vaccinating my babies.

kat on

props to everyone who has spoken out in the comments about how unbelievably irresponsible this blog post is. what an absolute parasite. the nebulous usage of the word “toxins” is abhorrent and truly reveals this blogger’s ignorance. the “research” she claims to have done (and lists!) is hilarious. without enough knowledge (and, sadly, intelligence) personal “research” often leads mothers to buy into antivax hysteria. it is sad that she has effectively put a celebrity face on a disgraceful decision.

if she’s so concerned about toxins, she should move out of California. the toxic load of flame retardants in the systems of all California residents is higher than any other state in this country. dear god, this woman would buy into the hoax to ban dihydrogen monoxide (it can kill!) what a disaster.

kat on

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/11/us/11bcwhooping.html

what a culture of forgetting we live in. absurd fears about “toxins” and hysteria over shoddy research abounds, and it wouldn’t if parents had lived through the epidemics of these diseases. herd immunity is what keeps these issues at bay. what this blogger is actually saying is that she’s taking advantage of–and depending on–all of the parents that vaccinate to protect her child.

what an incredibly selfish decision.

Kimberly on

I went from kindergarten through 12th grade and never missed a day of school. I never had any vaccinations. Same for my sister. Oh, yeah, and my dad was a chiropractor.

UMMIL on

THANKS SO MUCH FOR THIS ARTICLE AND THE PERSON THAT LEFT A COMMENT. I WILL BE FINDING OUT MORE ABOUTTHE TITERS TEST. MY 8 MONTH OLD SON HASN’T BEEN VACCINATED AT ALL AND MY TWO DAUGHTERS (6 AND 3) HAVE RECEIVED PARTIAL VACCINATIONS.THANKS.

Emily on

Sarah on

Constance, I’ve been reading your other blog posts, in addition to this one. Why do people keep saying that going green is a fad. Please don’t tell me that being healthy and caring about the environment is going to go out of style.

Let’s make sure we stick together and don’t continue to allow the people selling us crap to make tons of money. I want better food and products for people like my family and me who don’t have a ton of money to spend on the good stuff.

Thank you again for your thoughts and let’s make sure this doesn’t become a fad.

Sara on

This was great! My Dr. doesn’t support vaccinations and advised me against the hep B at birth etc. I however did give my son the HIB as it had the least side effects and when I asked her if there was one vaccine she would give she said that one. I appreciate the blog and advise my Dr when we r flying internationally. As long as I am breastfeeding she said he’s good – thanks for bringing this issue up.

Sara on

In regards to jb on the for vaccine comment. I think it is well to note that they will only vaccinate children who are healthy. If vaccines were so great this wouldn’t be the case. And in regards to the population – the non-vaccinated should be the ones in fear not the other way around. What amazes me about this whole thing is vaccinations do not mean immunity – therefore boosters are needed cause NO-ONE knows when it wears off. That’s why adults get chicken pox when they should have just gotten it as a kid sans the vaccine and have lifelong immunity. If my child contracts a disease then yours who is vaccinated should be just fine but you know what? they won’t because vaccines aren;t fool proof. I’m not from this country either but live here in the US and am SHOCKED at how many vaccines they give but in light of that am NOT shocked by how many illnesses and autism and everything else is here even with all the vaccines.

Sara on

mom of two – if your whole community except that one family had the vaccine against whooping cough they would be immune right? So how did that family give it to all of you who were vaccinated? That’s not possible. If it is possible then the vaccine didn’t work and was a waste of time. Totally illogical to get the vaccine to protect you then say you and a whole lot of others were not protected – you should be able to walk in a den of pertussis and not be affected if you were vaccinated.

Erin M on

here here, kat! The death toll from accidents involving dihydrogen monoxide is substantially higher than the death toll from “toxins” in vaccinations. The ignorance of people who refuse to vaccinate baffles me as well. I hope and pray that their children are never harmed by their selfish decision.

I have to say, if people refuse to accept the information from the pharmaceutical companies, the FDA, and the CDC, from where exactly are they getting their information?

Rachel on

As parent’s we all do the best for our children. My husband and I decided not to vaccinate our 3 and 5 year old children. We are not worried about Autism which many people believe is a main reason why we don’t when they first find out. I am not afraid for my children to get Measles, Chicken Pox, Mumps ect. These were NORMAL childhood diseases less then 50 years ago. Did children have complications from them? Yes they did. The ones who did though had weak immune systems/other health problems, poor diets (which could or could not be from enough food. You can be malnourished even if you eat enough) or didn’t have access or money for a dr. We make sure our children eat balanced meals to keep them strong and healthy so that when/if they get these diseases they can fight back. We make sure they have good hygiene, washing their hands before they eat/help us cook, after using the restroom, ect.

Just because your child does not have an immediate reaction doesn’t mean that they aren’t affected. Vaccines have been linked to chronic arthritis, symptoms similar to multiple sclerosis, intestinal problems and auto-immune diseases. These problems can happen later in life even in adulthood.

I wasn’t vaccinated as a child and neither were my siblings and most of my extended family. We had many many of the diseases people are afraid of(measles, whooping cough, chicken pox ect). Many of them really weren’t that big of a deal. We were sick for a week and then we were fine.

Last how many of you are updated on your vaccines? Unless you are in the medical field, work in a nursing home or school or travel abroad the reality is most adults do not get inoculated regularly. What does that mean for you? Those diseases that you were protected against as a child are now a threat to you. If you had the the disease as a child most of the time you have a small, small chance of getting the disease. Your immune system is a wonderful thing, let it work for you.

I think its sad that the main reason my pediatrician gave me to get my child vaccinated was it would make me have to take off of work. In fact it was written in bold in the paperwork I had to sign.

Rachel on

Oh and I also wanted to agree to the comment that if you vaccinate your child then you must believe in them. If that’s the case you should have nothing to worry about right? I mean the vaccine would work right? Your child wouldn’t get it so no problems there.

I personally like to look at independent studies for everything not just vaccines. Can you really believe studies for products when they are paid for by the same people who line their pockets with the profits? Sad to say there are people who will do/say anything if they profit from it, even if it hurts others.

Rachel on

Julie- I understand where you are coming from but if that’s the case you should also keep your child away from kids who have recently had live vaccines. He can catch diseases that way also. That’s how I got whooping cough. A friend was vaccinated a few days before a play date and I got it from her. Its not just unvaccinated kids that spread these diseases.

Kate on

The PBS show Frontline recently did an excellent show on this topic called The Vaccine War and you can watch it for free at their website.

http://video.pbs.org/video/1479321646/

This show changed my mind about vaccines (from con to pro) and I encourage everyone who is on the fence and seeking more information to watch it.

Taryn on

Go to http://www.thinktwice.com . I was always battling with the issue of getting my children vaccinated or not. Just the fear of not knowing how my children would react to the shots, really scared me! Prior to having children, I was a Medical Assistant. I gave shots to newborns and up, I never thought twice about it. My husband was completely against it and I at first I wanted the vaccinations for my daughter because of the fear that if I can protect her from the diseases, then why not. However, i had decided to wait until she got older. My daughter is now 4 and our son is 11 months and I Do Not have them vaccinated. This Site changed my whole thinking!!! All mom’s should check out this site!!!

Ash on

“For all you vaccines nuts, if you and your children are vaccinated against certain diseases then you are immune from getting those diseases from those that are unvaccinated, so why are you vaccinated people so concerned about being around unvaccinated people?”

Because there are innocent children out there who are not immunized (either because they’re too young to receive them or have existing health conditions that prevent them from being able to get vaccines such as kids who have undergone chemotherapy treatment). Those innocent children are relying on the people around them to be vaccinated in order to be protected. As fewer and fewer people get their vaccinations, herd immunity wanes. I know everyone wants what’s best for their children, but you have to think of the common good too. In this case, it’s not just about your child but about the health of all children!

As a side note (in reference to the poster above who took a set of parents to court), I wonder if non-vaxing parents take that into consideration? I predict that lawsuits against non-vaxing parents will increase as outbreaks of illnesses like whooping cough increase. You can bet that if my future newborn contracted an illness from a child who wasn’t vaccinated (and was of proper age to be vaccinated), I would sue their parents in a heartbeat.

Ash on

Also, it’s foolish to underestimate how dangerous even common illnesses like the flu can be. My husband and I celebrated our anniversary at Disney World last year where we ended up catching the swine flu. For some reason my husband exhibited very few symptoms, but I got every symptom in the book and then some. In addition to the usual fever, vomiting, etc., I also had stabbing leg pains that made it difficult to walk. Ultimately I had to go to the emergency room because it got to the point that I literally couldn’t even breathe. Thank god for the asthma inhalers and other medications they gave me because I don’t know if I would have survived without them! (Honest to God). It’s a fact that if I had left it untreated, I would have continued to get worse instead of better (certainly one can’t live if they can’t breathe… lol).

So that statistic you always hear about the thousands of people flu kills every year is true. I think because we’re privileged to live in America, many people have become complacent. We’ve forgotten about the horrors these diseases can cause. I’ve learned my lesson and will most likely get the flu vaccine this year because I never want to experience that again! Not only was it costly, but it was painful and traumatic. I can’t remember the last time I got that sick. I’m pretty sure that vaccines still do more good than harm.

Ash on

Furthermore, I find it mind boggling how so many people are 100% certain that their child’s autism is linked to vaccines. Have any of you ever taken a scientific methodology course? There are any number of things that could cause autism. It could be pitocin, epidurals, pollution in the environment… absolutely anything! I find that possibility more scary than vaccinations.

Carolyn M. on

I am neither pro vaccine or anti vaccine, like many of you, I believe as a parent you do what you feel is best for your child. I believe that part of our problem in our immune systems being weak has nothing to do with vaccines its because of our eating habits, the chemicals we use from day to day (perfumes, household cleaners, personal hygeine products such as soaps, ect)lack of exercise, etc. Our foods have so many artificial ingredients and chemicals(pesticides, genetically modified foods,HFCS, aspartame…)that have harmful affects on our bodies that its no wonder our immune systems aren’t up to speed. Read the chemicals in your shampoos, soaps, cleaners, they are toxic unless your using all natural plant derived products. If we all ate healthy, all natural foods and/or organic with no added ingredients, take away fast food, and got exercise we’d all be healthier giving our bodies a way to fight off some of these illnesses that we don’t need vaccines for. Breastmilk is not a cure for anything but breastmilk does provide the antibodies that a baby needs to build up his/her immunity. Vitamin D is a much more effective way of preventing the flu then the actual flu vaccine http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article7061778.ece
I got the flu vaccine twice and both times within 24 hours I was hospitalized for cold sweats, vomitting, and a rash. I got extremely ill both times I took the shot so I stopped. Its been 8 years since I’ve gotten the vaccine and I haven’t gotten the flu yet. I changed my eating habbits, cut out fast food, exercise, and get out in the sunlight(vitamin D) when I can. I think that we shouldn’t be critizing people for not vaccinating or critizing people who do vaccinate. Its a personal choice and sometimes its based on experience. You should research on your own and I agree with a post I read on here, not just googling but reading books, speak with health professionals or whatever you need to do before you make a decision or pass judgement on someone. Everyone reacts differently to things. Just because your child may not have had an adverse reaction doesn’t mean the next door neighbors child will not. I hate the generalization of vaccines, sometimes an adverse reaction from a vaccine is more life threatening than the disease itself for some people. It all depends on the person. I know someone who never vaccinated their 3 kids, all of which are now adults and perfectly healthy no problems at all. They went to public school, played sports, even went to daycare and yes they got the chicken pox and yes they got sick occasionally it happens but nothing life threatening. I hate when we attack each other for difference of opinion. If you don’t agree with Constance or anyone on here, thats your choice but don’t say that people who don’t vaccinate are neglectful, don’t care about their children, or anything else that is completely untrue. I have a 2 year old and we have chosen not to vaccinate her yet. Its our personal choice based on research and myself, along with family members, who have had adverse reactions to a vaccine. We are not neglectful nor are we any of the negative things people want to say because they don’t agree with us. We eat healthy, use all natural products and try to be as healthy as we possibly can in this world we live in. RESPECT is the word. We’re all different and that’s what makes the world go around.

Ash on

“Vitamin D is a much more effective way of preventing the flu then the actual flu vaccine”

First of all, I take SEVERAL (not just one) vitamin D3 supplements every day and still got the flu so I’m not buying that one at all. I know vitamin D has many health benefits which is why I take it but if it really was adequate at preventing the flu, there wouldn’t be so many healthy people out there like myself contracting it (as I said above, I can’t remember the last time I got that sick. it came out of nowhere).

Second of all, it takes the flu vaccine 2 weeks to fully go into effect. Many people have already acquired the virus in their system by the time they get the vaccine so when they start feeling the symptoms, they erroneously believe it was caused by the shot. Correlation does not equal causation.

Yes, parents should do what they think is best for their children; HOWEVER, it becomes a serious problem and a public health hazard when parents’ decisions affect the entire population. One of my nephews dealt with some side effects from the meningitis vaccine so, trust me, I understand how frightening it can be (I myself am slightly skeptical of how many are given to kids these days). BUT, I also see the value and importance of vaccines and no matter which way you try to swing it, they help more than hurt (the consequences of meningitis are FAR FAR more scary and if you don’t believe me, read up on it). If a child has pre-existing health conditions that would be exacerbated by receiving a vaccine, then it makes sense for them to skip it. But for the vast majority of children and the majority of the world, vaccines should be mandatory. A healthy lifestyle alone will not prevent you from contracting or possibly dying from a serious illness. If that were true, then there’s no reason why I should have suffered so greatly from the swine flu.

Carolyn M. on

wow some of these comments are extremely harsh against people who don’t vaccinate. If your child is vaccinated and is around an unvaccinated child, what is the problem? If your child DOES get something from the unvaxed child, since your child is vaccinated, doesn’t that mean it will only be a mild case of whatever it is he/she contracted? Lets not be ugly on here, everyones entitled to their opinion, lets not attack each other. Its amazing how opinions can bring out such anger. If you vaccinated your child why are you worrying? The child is protected right? It amazes me how angry people who DID vaccinate their child are with people who didn’t. I actually asked my doctor if she was getting vaccinated she didn’t want to answer then she said no. I asked my childs pediatrician about how she vaccinated her children she was reluctant to answer at first as well but then said she waited and didn’t give some of the vaccines that weren’t necessary but I have to thank my doctors for their honesty because their job is actually on the line for being honest. They obviously know that vaccines aren’t as safe as they claim them to be and now drug companies aren’t liable for what happens so they have no accountability for whats being injected into millions of people.

here is a great book that if your concerned about whether or not to vaccinate you should read it

Ash on

“If your child is vaccinated and is around an unvaccinated child, what is the problem? If your child DOES get something from the unvaxed child, since your child is vaccinated, doesn’t that mean it will only be a mild case of whatever it is he/she contracted?”

Sadly, you’re forgetting that there are many children out there like newborns that haven’t been vaccinated yet so they’re relying on herd immunity (other people around them being vaccinated so they’re protected from those diseases until they’re old enough to get the shots). The fewer kids that are vaccinated, the less effective herd immunity is, and I fear the downward spiral is going to continue. I’m not sure why that’s so hard to understand. But alas, if a parent doesn’t want to vaccinate their kid, then that’s their prerogative. But don’t be surprised if your unvaccinated kid infects a newborn baby with a deadly illness, and their parents sue the pants off of you… lol.

Ash on

Also, the author of that book is a chiropractor? Hmm, hardly someone I would call an expert in microbiology and pathology lol.

sarah on

well let us say I am amazed people still think that it is okay not to vaccinate their kids.I breast fed my child who is ten now for two years and got her vaccinated and she is the healthiest of my three kids.I would htink then you you guys do not plan to go anyway in public with your kids or any birthday parties and such my youngest was at the doctors office for a check up and got chicken pox. no matter where you go if your in the public your kids are at risk. because germs are everywhere. I believe stongly in vaccinations my two oldests daughters are already vaccinated for hpv and hepatittis shots all of them . The schools give it to them to help them . I am a pro vaccination and hope people do the same because you are putting your children at risk. Or do not plan to ever let your child play at a playground or go to school becuase germs are in the air also thank you for reading.

shaaksma on

I just wanted to say I love reading your blog! I don’t have any kids yet, but your little bundle is so adorable! I just want to kiss those precious chubby cheeks!! Keep doing what you are doing, and I am learning a lot from you:)

Heather on

My two youngest kids are not vaccinated. My son only got his first year shots (no MMR). My daughter got her first year shots and the MMR, but when her doctor gave me a hard time about her getting the chicken pox vaccination, I switched Drs. So all my kids are not vaccinated anymore. My two youngest have had 2 or 3 cold their whole lives and that is it (4 yr and 2 yr)

Rachel on

You can’t sue a person for giving your child a disease. If your child has a cold and passes it to an infant and it turns into something worse, like pneumonia or bronchitis, would you sue that person? No! The same goes for any other illness. Its up to each person to take care of their own child. If your child gets sick there is the responsibility to bring the child in for medical care when that happens. Kids get deathly sick when parents wait it out or don’t realize the seriousness and then its to late. There has to be some responsibility there too. I for one bring my children out within a few days of coming home but I also make sure that people don’t touch them. You have to be careful of babies no matter what sicknesses are going around whether its a cold or measles.

christina on

As a parent and healthcare professional, I normally enjoy reading the blogs posted in this site; but this post alarmed and upset me. I am shocked to see how many people agree with the opinions of celebrities, as if they were the opinion leaders in medicine and child rearing. I know they too are entitled to an opinion. But, as celebrities, people look up to them and follow their advice. They should be conscious of that and avoid spreading fear to parents out there. They have no medical training. There are many “studies” on the internet that are poorly designed and that have false conclusions. It is shocking that there is no solid statistical evidence proving a link between autism and vaccines or any concrete benefits to the delay in vaccines. — yet if Constance Marie says so, it must be true-because she did “research”

what of it? on

This is not a matter of “to each his own.” Individuals have a responsiblity, not only to their own children, but to the countless other children who are being put at risk by the decision not to vaccinate. I will take the risk of getting my child vaccinated over the risk of seeing a neighbour’s child (or my own for that matter), too young or vulnerable to be vaccinated, crippled by polio or gasping for their last breath by whooping cough. Non-vaccination is both selfish and reckless.

Larla on

Actually, there has been no studies disproving a link between autism and vaccines, simply because there has never been a study comparing vaccinated versus unvaccinated children. The studies people are referring to are with regards to the MMR only — children who’d had the MMR vaccine versus those who haven’t, but were otherwise completely vaccinated.

There have been no – zero – studies on the long-term safety of vaccines. There have been no – zero – studies comparing unvaccinated versus vaccinated children in the contemporary western world with regards to health, autoimmune disorders, etc.

I for one applaud your decision. It is much better to wait until a child’s body is large enough, and the blood-brain barrier fully developed, to endure a toxic assault like antigens, adjuvants, foreign mammal tissue and known carcinogens being injected into the bloodstream.

People who are on here harping about herd immunity, the “proven” autism link, “overwhelming” evidence, etc. need to do further research. You are simply parroting info that is released as public propaganda without verifying it for yourself. Start with “SV 40″. The government even has a vaccine compensation fund for those injured or killed by vaccines; in exchange for a payout, your personal story is sealed away by pharmaceutical companies. Or “serotype replacement” and the HIB vaccine. Or “antibiotic resistance” and Prevnar. These vaccines are the reason these superbugs are being created, endangering everyone.

We haven’t vaccinated our daughters yet, and I am not afraid of VPDs. On a risk-benefit analysis, I personally find vaccination to be far riskier than the diseases they supposedly (and often don’t) prevent.

Good luck CM!

Un named on

I have five children, I nursed all five and when my first boy was five years old we were educated about vaccines and decided to NOT continue with this course of action. My doctor thought I was ‘odd’ to say the least.
My boys were: 5,3,1 at the time and received the ‘normal’ vaccines up to those ages. (these boys were also, C-Sections)
My next two children were born at home, no meds and no hospital intervention, and NO vaccines.

The emotional development in my firstborn vs my last is a heart ache for me.
If I had to do it over, I would NOT EVER add toxins into a delicate little body. My ex husband has Asbergers because of vaccines.

I know of natural/ food supplements/ and homeopathic remedies to help rid the body of past immunizations, so I know there are ways to combat the problems. Yet, I feel sad for those who have children with Autistic/ Asperger Symptoms. Love and Hugs in their youth, massages, and clean living will help their development. Prayer for Gods Healing and Grace is always my foundation.

what of it? on

My cousin’s best friend died at age 14 from an asthma attack because her mom though love, hugs, massages, and clean living would do the trick.

yvette on

i love this blog..i’ve been so judged by not vaccinating my child but i feel the same way..i was raised on homeopathy and trying to keep that in raising my own son but i still struggle with the decision every time i visit the dr. ive decided i can have it both ways…as you are, i too am putting off vaccines as long as possible and spreading them out when we start allowing the vaccines to enter his system. im so glad you explained the first shots, because i was appalled by that as well and when i told the hospital they made a big deal out of it and had to go through my medical history to make sure i didnt have those diseases and viruses…couldnt believe it! keep up the blog! love the advice and experiences :)

nonniejo on

In our day (50 years ago) it was kind of automatic that you had the vaccines for your children thus we did not really have to make a decision. I hate to see kids get the diseases like whooping cough, measles, mumps, polio because I hate to see anyone suffer. It seems that today there is much more autism, etc. out there. I don’t know why but I certainly am glad that the decisions were almost never ours. Its like you are dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t.

Jesse on

Sounds like you made a personal choice after much debate and research – and I’m glad you shared it! Vaccinations are such a huge issue today, links to autism, no links to autism…. It’s important to understand WHY we choose to vaccinate or choose not to, or choose to delay it.
Thanks again for sharing your momma days with us!

Elisabeth on

“There have been no – zero – studies comparing unvaccinated versus vaccinated children in the contemporary western world with regards to health, autoimmune disorders, etc.”

That’s because it would be unethical to purposely leave a group of children unprotected from preventable diseases. Say the study involved 200,000 children, half of which were purposely denied vaccines, what would happen if one of the unprotected children contracted a serious disease or even died? The study makers would be held accountable for that child’s death, justly so. That’s why this study has never taken place.

The only possibly study of the type you’re suggesting is therefore a naturalistic one; comparing groups already left unvaccinated by their parents by those from the general population. Of course that’s imperfect because parents who don’t vaccinate tend to have other characteristics in common that will confound the outcome.

In any case, the reason the study you’re asking for hasn’t been performed is that it would be unethical, not because there’s a big conspiracy to prevent people from finding out the truth. If this were all “public propaganda” it would be the biggest conspiracy of all time, involving every major medical body in the United States, UK, Canada, and every other Western nation, in addition to hundreds of thousands of medical scientists trained to detect rare events in epidimiological studies sensitive to over one in 500,000. Those pharmaceutical companies must have pretty deep pockets to fund such an operation! Vaccinations aren’t even real money makers for them, in any case; prescription medication is where the vast majority of their profit comes from.

Allison on

Constance, when you printed out the ingredients in all the shots, did you also print out all the ingredients in everything else your daughter comes in contact with: food, lotions, diapers, laundry detergent, plates, spoons, bottle nipples, clothing, cleansers, carpeting, bedding, the shellac used on her furniture, paint on her walls, all the stuff you ate while pregnant, etc.

I don’t get the obsession of studying the vaccines to this degree, yet other things are given to a child without a thought. Look at 99% of the toys..plastic. They put that toy in their mouth, did you study all the components of that toy? It becomes absurd at some point.

I would think people would trust the CDC and the Pediatric Association that makes proper recommendations for children.

You want herd immunity to protect your daughter, yet you won’t offer her the same immunity that the herd has? Shame on you, Constance.

If she was to get measles or mumps, how bad would you feel knowing it is preventable.

Allie on

Constance, when you printed out the ingredients in all the shots, did you also print out all the ingredients in everything else your daughter comes in contact with: food, lotions, diapers, laundry detergent, plates, spoons, bottle nipples, clothing, cleansers, carpeting, bedding, the shellac used on her furniture, paint on her walls, all the stuff you ate while pregnant, etc.

I don’t get the obsession of studying the vaccines to this degree, yet other things are given to a child without a thought. Look at 99% of the toys..plastic. They put that toy in their mouth, did you study all the components of that toy? It becomes absurd at some point.

I would think people would trust the CDC and the Pediatric Association that makes proper recommendations for children.

You want herd immunity to protect your daughter, yet you won’t offer her the same immunity that the herd has? Shame on you, Constance.

If she was to get measles or mumps, how bad would you feel knowing it is preventable.

HBlanco on

Constanza…thank you thank you for your fun blogs. I’ll love how this web-site and your blog makes motherhood a trendy thing to do!

I think you did what every great mom must…follow your instincts. For the same reasons you gave I put my son on the 1977 schedule and started them at 4 months. I was comfortable with those and agree they have their benefits…but then the pharma-profit machine got rolling.

Here’s what I would be asking myself forever if I hadn’t done what I was comfortable with…how would I know my son’s true body condition if I gave him a (non-communicable) vax at birth!? Every time after my nephew would get his shots (on the current schedule) his ezcema would flare up. His mom doubts the connection because she doesn’t want to see the negatives of having given the shots but it was very obvious. But she could never know…he’s been vaxed since birth.

The Hep B can discredit mother’s everywhere who say “something happened to my kid” — now people will never know their child’s natural state. I also saw an ad a few years ago for the chicken pox vaccine that said because “a week off of work is too much for most families”…I’m not kidding!

For those out there who don’t question this stuff…as an adult, I developed thyroid damage 1 month after a Hep A & B shot before traveling to India. I personally experienced vaccine damage and it makes me sad that we are not analyzing the obesity & and mental state of our children more closely and how direct injections into the blood stream could be a real factor. These things are intended to alter the body. Show me the El Salvadoran/Caucasian child like mine they “tested” these combinations on? What mother would hand their kid over? How can this all be proven safe? There is just too many holes to poke in the “safety argument”. These are man-made substances produced in mind-boggling numbers. Errors happen.

Also, I don’t know if many of you are aware but now seniors have to have the Singles vax because Chicken Pox has been removed from the population. I even developed Singles as a 30 year old because of this (this is no longer an elderly person’s disease). It was horrible and to think one vax has created the need for another is crazy.

My ultimate baseline is car accidents. Though we hear the prevalence of diseases when they start popping up when it’s up to 5 incidents, how many deaths by car accidents are we frequently quoted? Hardly any! We’d never get out on the road because it’s probably more dangerous for your baby to ride on an L.A. freeway than be free of some of these new vaccines.

Anyway, that’s my rant…keep them coming Constanza. You are a wonderful mom!

Jill on

Many kids get vaccines and do not have autism. So to say that a child gets autism from vaccines is crazy. If they offer it take it because it is more harm to not prevent your kids from getting sick. Everyone can get sick from everywhere. So even though you are still breastfeeding and not flying, it doesnt mean your child will not catch chicken pox from a sick kid at the grocery store. Think about that.

rich on

yummy chemicals!

What is in a Vaccine?
Phenol (carbolic acid): A deadly poison; a common disinfectant and dye.
Formaldehyde: A known cancer-causing agent commonly used to embalm corpses.
Thimerosal (a mercury derivative) A toxic heavy metal that is not easily eliminated from the body; used as a preservative in vaccines. Can result in brain injury and autoimmune disease. In one study, Thimerosal was shown to be 4 to 6 times more toxic for human cells than for the staphylococci germs.
Alum A preservative.
Aluminum phosphate Toxic.
Aluminum & oil adjuvants Cancer-producing in laboratory mice; also associated with Alzheimer’s disease and seizures. Research findings strongly suggest that aluminum is neurotoxic. The main side effects of oil adjuvants have been hypersensitivity reactions, cysts and adjuvant arthritis.
Acetone A solvent used in fingernail polish remover.
Glycerin A tri-atomic alcohol extracted from natural fats which are putrefied and decomposed. Some toxic effects of glycerin are kidney, liver, lung damage, diuresis, pronounced local tissue damage, gastrointestinal damage and death.
Ethylene glycol Antifreeze.
Neomycin & Streptomycin Antibiotics; have caused allergic reactions.

unamed on

Its amazing to see how the pro vaccine people attack people who choose not to vaccinate and think that unvaccinated children breed deadly diseases and will kill off newborn babies or what have you. Listen, we should all be adults on here commenting, we can do it in a respectable way. You rarely see people who don’t vaccinate attacking people who do, for the most part you see them trying to inform and educate or get people to research on their own. No one is going to sue another parent for their child getting sick, if that be the case the court system would be overflowing with lawsuits. Even being vaccinated you can still carry the disease and infect someone else. Vaccinated people get sick all the time and can spread infections, diseases just like unvaccinated people can. Maybe a vaccinated person doesn’t get symptoms, that doesn’t mean the virus is not attached to them and they spread it. This is life, we get sick, its a part of life, if something fatal happens its very unfortunate but it happens. No vaccines are not 100%, so if I’m vaccinated I should never get a fatal case of the disease I was vaccinated against? wrong! I’m sure it has happened and does happen. I read one post about vaccines being like a seatbelt, I’ve seen people who wear seatbelts still die in car accidents. If you wanna use that analogy then the same applies to vaccinations. People who get vaccinated can still contract a disease and die. Constance is doing a great job at sharing her opinions and bringing awareness to vaccines. I saw another post about “dumb people following celebrities”. I think as a celebrity when you have people looking at you is a great way to get a message across, she not only shares her opinions and reasons but she shares where she got some of her info and encourages us to research, that seems fair to me. She is talking about real issues, not a clothing line or a new perfume that is irrelevent to life. She is in no way, shape or form telling people not to vaccinate or that she will never vaccinate. It does seem that pro-vaccine people bully people who choose not to. Last time I checked we were still a free country so if someone chooses not to vaccinate, its their choice and none of your business especially if your vaccinated and “protected” and people who do not vaccinate are not disease breeding machines who will infect you upon laying eyes on you as some of you are making them out to be. Lastly, I saw posts about how people who don’t vaccinate would feel if their child contracted a vaccine preventable disease. My question is how would you feel if your child had a horrible adverse reaction to a vaccine and was laying in the hospital having seizures when they were in perfect health before being vaccinated? Bottomline is life is unpredictable, anything can happen, your not wrong for vaccinating and your not wrong for not vaccinating, its your choice and you choose to do what you feel in your heart is best. Research as much as you can and be informed, and pray about your decision.

Sarah on

Thanks so much for your post. I am a 35/6 year old mom of 4 – 3 girls and my youngest is a boy who is 9 months old. I had my first girl done when I was supposed to – first mom, didn’t really know much about the risks but when I had my next two, their dad has bipolar disorder and I didn’t like alot of things I had heard/read by that time about all the possible side effects and wanted them to just be what they were going to naturally be – I didn’t want to have to worry whether or not any mental problems were related to vaccines or not so I didn’t but with my baby boy, he was born with Chronic Kidney Disease so he only has one kidney and it’s badly damaged to the point of only working about 30% of what it should be so I didn’t feel like I could take any risks with him plus I felt it would be frowned upon by his whole staff of doctors if I didn’t get them done but I still haven’t given him the ones for hepB b/c he’s not going to be having sex with anyone or blood to blood contact – I hope anyway! It’s great to hear a really smart, informed mom share real stuff w/the “rest of us”. :) Thanks again and I love your acting, btw. Your character is great and you are amazing at being her. Wish you all the best. Congratulations on that gorgeous baby girl! :D

Roxanne on

CM,

I don’t have time to read all 300 responses, and I’m not sure if you will either, but here’s my 2 cents!

Good for you for questioning! I started too late, so my now 15yo is almost fully vaxed. My 8yo has had nothing and won’t unless he turns 18 and decides to do it himself.

Please be aware that if you begin vaxing at 2yo, you can skip some of the ones made for diseases that are most dangerous to infants. I have a feeling, however, that by 24 mos you will have made the decision to just go ahead and keep LM pure. :)

May I make a very respectful although off-topic suggestion that if you should ever be blessed with another pregnancy, you ask WHY? WHY? WHY? to any doctor who would recommend a csec for a baby (that may or may not be 10#, ultrasounds are not perfect!) without a trial of labor? You don’t know what your body is capable of if you don’t let it try. Also, a supplemental nursing system could have kept you bf’ing until the recommended 24 mos or longer. Eleven mos is great though and is a wonderful boost to the immune system. Your little girl will be just fine without being vaxed bc of that and bc of the healthy environment you have created for her at home!

Wonderful job, mama! :)

Lucia on

Constance, I agree to vaccinate is a personal decision. I, like you knew I would be having a C-Section for pretty much the same reasons and you (and yes, the kid was 10lbs 2oz!) so I made a conscious decision to refuse those shots at birth. I felt the circumcision process, which is another hotly debated topic(to anesthesize or just torture the baby) was enough for the kid to go through. I did some of the scheduled vaccinations, but refused others based solely on the doctors/medical professions/governments reasons to do so verses my reasons that countered their reasoning. My son is a healthy, very sports-active 10-year old. When he gets to Jr. High it is mandatory that he have the Hep B series. I can understand requiring that for High School, no doubt, but I think JH is a little early for SOME kids who just are not promiscuous or curious enough at that age. All kids develope differently and mine should not be subjected to something I don’t agree with because the government says so. Is it a democracy or a dictatorship. I am seeing more dictatorship every day.

Liz and Doug on

Dr. Sears Vaccination Book was my bible. I fell in the middle as well and delayed vaccinations for my son. My son has been vaccinated against all things which could fatally harm him. However, he is not and will not be vaccinated against chick pox, measels, mumps and ruebella etc. I find these vaccines to be unnecessary .Every parent has to do what they believe is right for their child. My brother in law and his wife do not vaccinate at all and they have healthy, wonderful children. Im not afraid for my child to be around theirs and vice versa. Good for you Constance…Keep us updated!

SGU fan on

Please add Dr. Steven Novella to your research list. This article is on the non-existant benefit on delayed vaccination. http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=1976

Melissa on

Wonderful blog and I agree! I decided not to vaccinate and I dont feel guilty about it at all!

Since my daughter Emerald Christina was born, I have elected NOT to vaccinate and she has not had any earaches or infections nor has she been sick since birth. She has had one cold in which she caught from momma and it lasted one day!

Just to note, I have friends and relatives that vaccinate and their children always had colds and ear infections. In my research, I believe that an infant is given too many vaccines in the first year which ultimately breaks down their body’s natural defense against disease. Believe it or not GOOD HYGIENE, CLEANLINESS and EATING HEALTHY can alleviate an abundance if health issues (i.e. colds and viruses)

I had a friend who’s son had been given a vaccine only to come home that evening to find him having a seizure in his crib.

Ultimately, it is the parents decision whether to vaccinate or not. Utilizing GOOD judgement and doing your own research can ultimately save your little ones life. One doctor should not be a FIX ALL solution to a possible problem your child may be experiencing BUT a collection of research from MANY specialists worldwide can assist you in making the right decision for your child!

BECOME A WELL VERSED PARENT in HEALTH issues that concern your child and always get a second, third and fourth opinion, if necessary! If you do not protect your child “who will”!

KB on

Please note that not all research is equal. Studies need to be peer-reviewed and validated by replicated studies. Please note that the overwhelming conclusion of rigorous research is that autism is not linked to vaccines. Lastly, while most childhood illnesses end up being mild, for some children, they are anything but. Until you’ve watched a child die from whooping cough – literally coughing and wheezing so bad that they cannot breathe and die of asphyxiation – you just don’t understand.

Herd immunity is a myth – we do NOT have herd immunity to many of the things we inoculate against. Only small pox is thought to have been eradicated through universal immunization. Measles, mumps, polio, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, chicken pox – all are common and can result in terrible consequences. There is an epidemic of pertussis in CA as we speak. Non-vaccinated individuals can contract and spread the disease. Many children cannot be vaccinated, due to vaccine reaction, being immuno-compromised, being too young, etc., and rely on high vaccination rates for their own protection. Moreover, a certain percentage of immunizations are not fully effective (as with all things in medicine), and depend on the vaccinations of others to remain healthy. Lastly, please note that the timing of vaccinations is not arbitrary. For some, the issue is the best immuno-response windows. For others, it’s the potential lethality of the illness in children of a certain age. (For example, whooping cough is deadly in 20% of cases in children under 5, but is merely miserable in most older children – so if you delay vaccination, you’re missing the protection in the most vulnerable time.

I respect a parent’s right to vaccinate or not. But my professional judgement almost never supports it. And I make sure my patient’s parents know it. I support the right of a person to refuse treatment and medical advice. I am less comfortable with the refusal of treatment and advice for others not yet competent to make that decision on their own. For most, it will be a non issue. But for that small group, it’s heart-breakingly disastrous.

Just my opinion.

(Lastly – breastfeeding provides NO immuno-protection for the diseases we vaccinate against. While I’m a huge fan of breastfeeding and the immuno-protective qualities of it in the short-term and life-long, breastfeeding or not should not be a factor in deciding if and when to immunize.)

Audrey on

There are no reputable doctors who would tell a parent to forgo a vaccine.

And mercury was removed from major childhood vaccines in 1999. So what’s the excuse now?

FC on

Hell, I didn’t know what they actually gave babies minutes after the birth, but all of the shots mentioned…wow. The Special K one, okay, but the others? Damn.

I’d be weary too, considering why they’d give them any of those. I’d be choosy, too, especially if I knew for certain I wasn’t in danger of passing such diseases along to my child.

Aside from that, I adore the new photos—especially the one of you and Luna enjoying some grilled corn.

AJ on

I did the same research on vaccines when I had my first child in 2006. I had heard all these stories about how sick babies can get by giving them vaccines and then I came across the stories about how even more sick they can get if they don’t get vaccines. Many people believe that since majority of the people vaccinate then the likelyhood of our children getting one of the diseases we vaccinate against is rare. . .NOT TRUE.

Non-vaccinated individuals can contract and spread the disease and not being vaccinated can mean death to themselves or others. Some babies may contract a disease and are too young to receive a vaccine. Even if your child doesn’t go to a daycare they can contract these diseases at a park or playground. If you delay vaccination, you’re missing the protection in the most vulnerable time.

When my older child contracted RSV before he was three months old I saw first hand what certain diseases can do to a baby. I know there isn’t a vaccine for RSV but I was told this was very similar to what could happen if he were to have whopping cough. By the time we got to the doctor’s office his chest was already caving in and was desperatly trying to gasp for air. When I saw this I did whatever it was I could do to care for him. It was very scary at first because he needed a breathing treatment every 2 hours and I held him against me all night so I could be sure he was breathing. After two weeks he was better.

At that time our pediatrican recommended we start his vaccines early in order to avoid other diseases that he could potentially get because his immune system was weak. I didn’t hesitate. I had already witnesses the most scary two weeks of his life and I sure as heck didn’t want to go through that again with a disease that I could prevent. After all this, I saw it as if I could prevent him from having a disease and prevent him from being sick and uncomfortable, then by all means I was going to do it.

My son contracted RSV by someone bringing it to us. The person wasn’t sick themselves, they were a carrier of it. I was careful not to take him to stores/malls or places where there were a lot of people. . .potentially sick people. We were at home where I thought we were safe, but diseases come from all over.

We welcomed our second son in October 2009 and when it came time for the vaccines there was no hesitation.

I’m just saying that no matter where you go you put your child in a potential risk of getting some sort of disease because you don’t know what’s going around or what another child may have. Most parents don’t even know their child is sick until it is too late because the child may not even show signs of being sick yet. The technology today is available to prevent your child from being sick, why would you not do whatever you could to see to that?

Barbara` on

Well if they would clean up the vaccinations parents wouldn’t be so afraid to give them to their babies. Mercury is still in vaccines. They haven’t eliminated them only reduced them. Any amount of mercury is dangerous especially a baby born 5 pounds in weight. The flu shot contains mercury. And for you women who are RH- (0-) the rogham shot contains mercury in it. So before your baby gets out of the womb he/she contains mercury. Autism isn’t the only thing kids get. They can get cancer, hearing, vision lost, diabetes, asthma, ADD/ADHD, seizures, tourette’s syndrome, and oh yea death. And when someone says the benefits outweigh the risks that is bolony. What if it was your child that was part of the small percentage of death, after being vaccinated??? You don’t know what it’s like until it happens to you. Plus our heavenly Father wouldn’t approve of putting poisons into our bodies especially our babies.

http://www.alltencommandments.com/all/new/vaccinations.php

http://knowvaccines.com/vaccineingredients.htm

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/906037/why_is_phenol_a_toxic_and_possibly.html?cat=70

http://www.braytonlaw.com/practiceareas/rhogam.htm@aol.com

http://www.thinktwice.com/s_cancer.htm

Tiffany on

First of all I have to say I love your blog. You have great insight and seem to be a wonderful mother. This blog is the first I felt I really needed to respond to. I completely back you and any other parent who researches everything (I’m a researcher too) I think we should be informed when making decisions about our children. But in relation to vaccinating, I feel like in the US, we take for granted the fact that are children will be disease free (childhood diseases). That is only because of years of routinely vaccinating our children.

As a nurse I know there is herd immunity and for low risk children its possible to never receive a vaccination and be fine but there is still an issue. Every year more and more people decide to not vaccinate their children for various reasons on the assumption that through herd immunity their child fine. Most of the time that may be the case but research is showing new outbreaks of once eradicated diseases. Diseases such as polio and whooping cough. This is because of not vaccinating. Why put our children at risk for catching a disease that could cause more harm than the vaccination could? There is so much immigration and international travel now that diseases we though were no longer possible to contract in the U.S. are increasing in incidence.

I understand there are risks associated with vaccinations but the risk of allowing once eradicated diseases to return is even greater. As much as we want to protect our children we can’t protect them from eveything. Someone who is immune to a disease can still be a carrier and pass that on to non-immune children. Just taking non-vaccinated children to public places puts them at risk for contracting diseases that could be prevented by vaccinating.

I think rather than not vaccinating our children, we need to push the government to make drug companies remove toxic substances from vaccinations.

Barbara` on

Tiffany on

To one comment made above – for us pro-vaccinators – I’m not necessarily concerned about my child getting any of the diseases prevented by vaccinations because we decided to vaccinate. What I am concerned with are the children who don’t vaccinate. While many children who aren’t vaacinated don’t get the diseases, or do, and get mild forms no biggie. But what happens when it’s you child that gets polio so severe they are lose the use of limbs or are paralized? What happens when it is your child that contracts a preventable respiratory disease like whooping cough and dies from it? It’s too unbearble to really think about. I would never wish that on anyone. But there are consequences to every decision. I completely respect your decision to not vaccinate because of the harmful chemicals in vaccines, it was a major concenern for me (a provaccinator) too but in the end the percentage of risk from vaccines is too small for me to not vaccinate my children.

Another comment from above – if you truly researched the decreasing incidence of childhood diseases with an unbiased eye you would find that vaccinations are the reason for the decrease of those diseases. Even with our modern technology and clean living, if there were no vaccinations, children would continue to get those diseases that have been nearly eradicated through the use of vaccines. Think about it this way, for as clean as we all are people still get the cold, flu, and pneumonia each year. Why would that be any different for something like polio, whooping cough, or chicken pox?

Has anyone researched polio outbreaks in the 50’s, or know someone who was affected by polio? I do, and the stories and her deformity because of it are sad. People and communities were quarantined or placed in institutions to prevent the spread of the disease and that didn’t stop it. This person I know only has a mild deformity, and it is nothing I would ever want for my child. A disease like polio WOULD NOT be eradicated or diminished as it is today without a vaccine. Clean water and sanitary conditions don’t halt the spread of all diseases no matter how much we may want them to.

Pamela on

As someone who is certified to administer vaccinations, I have to say that I disagree with your logic. Herd immunity does not mean that the diseases have been eradicated. Those people around you who have immunity are not incapable of contracting the illness again. They are, however, able to mount a response to that foreign organism and prevent themselves from developing the full-blown disease. Just because these people do not become symptomatic, you cannot assume that they will not share any diseases with your child. As you know, a child’s immune system is immature and less able to fight off infections causing them to have much more severe symptoms.

As for your comment about Jenny McCarthy fighting for children who developed autism from vaccines, research has failed to prove any sort of link between the two. The one study that claimed to prove a link has been discredited and the authors have admitted that the study was severely flawed.

Every time that the vaccination rates have declined, there have been rises in the number of cases reported. The herd immunity that you are relying on also depends on those around you having developed immunity, either through have survived a previous infection or having been vaccinated. If everyone around you made the same decision, then there will be no herd immunity and we would see a rise is the number of cases and probably a rise in the number of deaths due to these entirely preventable illnesses.

l.c. on

I hate when people will argue as valiantly as possible to defend their choices by trying to persuade others around them to believe the same.

Her child has just as high of a chance of getting sick as yours, and just as likely to be a carrier of those same diseases, but in fact, probably less.

More parents who vaccinate their children actually tend to the overall health of their child less. And by tending to health, I mean, helping to build their immune systems.

If everyone just focuses on being healthy instead of avoiding being sick, it would probably work out a lot better. Being a little less trigger happy on the meds will probably help a lot of people out, FYI.

Eating right (ie, limiting refined sugars and processed foods- getting your vitamins from fruits & veggies rather than supplementing with vitamin tablets) and drinking lots of water will do an absurdly surprising bit of good.

Holly on

Totally agree, lc.

I do not vaccinate my daughter. I’m not worried about autism. I’m not using the herd immunity of others as a way to protect my daughter. In fact, now that she is 4 years old and I know how strong her system is, if she got a vax-preventable disease, I’d help her through the experience as best as possible, and rejoice in her lifelong immunity!

To the person that said that your chances of dying from a vax-preventable disease are “astronomically greater” than being damaged from a vaccine, I’d like to see that research! So far, I’m not seeing that. Even during the periods of time where these diseases weren’t vaxed against, they weren’t killing even a 10th of the people getting them!

My fears about vaccines are related to the things they HAVEN’T researched: the rise in autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, etc. I have all three of those in my family, and because vaccine directly impacts the immune system, I feel there is a certain correlation that no one is researching. And it’s not a chance I want to take with my child’s longterm health. Sure, she might be fine through her childhood and into her adult life, but our decisions for our children when they are young have consequences that we might not see until they are in their 40s. And I believe that her natural immune system, while supported as naturally as possible (with medical inovation when necessary) is fine all on its own!

Chelsy on

I am a teacher and I just wanted to point out that you can ask for immunizations to have no mercury in them. They believe that if there is a way that vaccines can cause autism it is because each individual person may have different sensitivity to mercury. If you ask for them without mercury you may avoid this problem. I’m not really sure why they are still giving them with mercury in them at all, but I guess I should research that. Just another piece of information for you. I’m not a mother yet so I don’t know what I would do in your position.

Doreen on

My son was born 6 weeks early. He did not receive his vaccines immediately. He was 8 weeks old before he received his first vaccine. I delayed his vaccines by 2 months. But I do believe that every child should have their vaccines. I did not want him to have the chickpox vaccine because it was new. His doctor agreed, but when he was going into kindergarden our state (Illinois) passed a billed that said if a child didn’t have their vaccines they would not be allowed to enter school. So I had no choice. For me the decision to vaccanate was also due to the fact that my son was born with Trisomey 8. But it was my choice.

Mel on

Touchy subject indeed.

I do not believe for one minute, that health officials, nor the Government would be foolish enough to allow vaccines if people were to “drop like flies” shortly after. There are more cancer diagnosis’s today than ever before. We are all so focused at trying to find a cure, but how about a cause?? Hello?! – It is worth considering that perhaps the injection of aluminium (for one)into our bodies over a long period of time could dammage such a complexe and sophisticated “machine” such as the human body. Sadly, there is enormous profit for everyone involved, and it’s worth considering that perhaps, I say perhaps, pharmaceutical companies do not always have our best interest at heart. i.e. the H1N1 flu, that was supposed to “destroy all humanity”… In almost EVERY case, there was a health condition factor that contributed to the deaths BEFORE the flu even hit.

emily on

Once that shot goes in, there is no taking it back. Remember, the CDC is a business like no other–meaning they are always out to make money. And, as far as the ‘studies’ go in US—one word: Skewed to say least (as most studies, in general, are). This makes it all the more confusing for parents and sends out the wrong message. I live abroad and have done/read my own extensive studies in other developed countries. Why are these children not getting alarming rates of autism like children in the US are? The short answer: They don’t get NEARLY the amount of vaccines our kids do. It is a tough predicament to say the least, but parents need to be EXTREMELY vigilant looking into this matter which takes time and the right resources. They are out there and for those who say most doctors are onboard with vaccines: MANY are not, but don’t speak up bec. of license issues, there own relationship to CDC, etc. Vaccines are wonderful medical advances, no doubt. But spreading or eliminating (where necessary) is an option and one parents should consider.

Chrissey on

THANK YOU! I vaccinated my now 12 year old and she had CHRONIC ear infections – almost needed tubes – did my research after that and decided no vaccines for my other two (now 6 and 4) – they have had the healthiest of childhoods – the 12 year old went to daycare and got everything coming and going – my 4 year old is currently in daycare and is my healthiest kid! When i decided to not vaccinate my healthy baby – i had to find a new pediatrician – i love the one i have now and they don’t give me grief about making the decision Not to put toxins in my child’s body.

If you do decide to vaccinate – I do suggest making them separate the vaccines – especially the MMR – make them give her one shot at a time at different times.

I have also found that most of the “outbreaks” that are reported are from children that have been vaccinated! something most docs won’t tell you.

information is power – thanks for sharing

DMartin on

This is such a personal issue, to me in some ways like the abortion debate, just no easy answers and passion on both sides of the issue. My 7 month old has had all the Vacs recommended by our doctors, and she came out just fine. She’s due more shots in 5 months. We didn’t hesitate at all to get her Vaced, but who are we to say what’s right for us is right for you?? We followed our beliefs, and other parents should follow theirs, and deal with consequences if they are wrong.
We can all agree that we want what is best for our children, and no one is perfect, but here’s to all of us having healthy babies!

Amanda on

My daughter is 3 years old and has not had a single vaccination. She gets sick but I’ve never seen a child bounce back so fast.Cocksackie-nephew 7 days of extreme pain but she had ONE day of the fussiness. She gets a cold that lasts 2 weeks for me and has 2 days of sniffles.Quite amazing. I do have some worry about autism, 1980 the rate was 1 in 10,000 were diagnosed, now 1 in 150? Sure some of the increase is from better detection but within this time recommended vaccines have increased from 8 to 31 and I firmly believe there is a strong link between those numbers. Will the truth ever be revealed? very unlikely. That isnt the greatest concern but the one pro vaxxers get stuck on. There are also alergies, asthma, cancer, adhd, autoimmune diseases increasing in huge numbers. It’s funny to hear about small pox making a come back since we do not vaccinate out children against that. A little baffling. Monkey kidney, chicken embryos, cultured aborted fetus, anti freeze, aluminium, borax, to name a small portion. Not going into MY childs body. I’ve found that the majority of Pro vaxxers do very little research and when responding to a blog they jump on the cdc or some other site quick and grab a link or info that they dont understand but want to seem informed. They blindly follow the advice of doctors without any knowledge of the possible dangers. Look at the rate of sids deaths. Japan ups their vaccine age to 2 and went from 17th in infant mortality to 1st (the lowest). As for school, any school that recieves a penny of government money must accept a waiver, whether medical, religious or philosophical.

Julie on

I know this response is delayed somewhat, but I just stumbled across your blog. In your “To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate” blog, you state that your baby girl is less at risk since she does not attend day care or travel internationally. While she may be less at risk for some of the childhood diseases that we vaccinate against, there are others out there that are right in YOUR backyard, literally. There is currently a Pertussis outbreak in California. I really encourage you to vaccinate your daughter sooner than later, at the very least again diseases that she may be exposed to. These include Pertuss, HIB disease and Varicella. These disease kill babies and kids, and they are at your local grocery store, your playground and your favorite restaurant. PLEASE consider at least some of these now. They aren’t worth the risk.

Amy on

I also am late to the discussion but wanted to share my experience and thoughts about vaccinations. My daughter is a happy, healthy, beautiful 11-year-old that received all of her vaccinations on the time schedule suggested. Basically, when we arrived for her check-up visits they were just administered without asking or discussion.

Having said all that, my daughter was born healthy and I attempted to breast feed. She received the early nutrients included in breast milk but my actual milk would not come in regardless of what my doctor, breastfeeding coach or I did. Well, my daughter was starving so I made the decision to put her on formula. She has been very healthy and has not been hampered with very many of the childhood ailments. She has only been on antibiotics twice her whole life, one of which was just this past year for Strep Throat.

Now, don’t think that I am providing all this information in support of vaccinations but I am not anti-vaccination either. I would have eventually vaccinated my daughter, its just that I would have chosen to do so on a delayed, extended schedule. I would have had the vaccinations broken down into single doses and administered over a longer period of time. The thought of all those chemicals being pumped into her system just uneases me and now understand why the doctor told me to ice the injection site and administer tylenol and/or motrin if she had an adverse reaction.

And I also know I will receive a lot of flack for this statement but even though I believe the ultimate goal of vaccinations is to help people throughout the world, it is every parents decision to make for themselves and their child. I understand that my decisions can impact others lives but I have to do what is best for my child at the time that I make the decision. I would hate that another child might get sick because of my child but that parent has the right to keep their child home and protected just as I have to take my child out in public. Delaying vaccintions, not administering them at all and especially deciding to provide them to your child is a personal decision and must be made based upon what is best for you and your child.

Des on

I dont understand all these staying at home comments. We travel, my kids go to public school, and part time daycare. We do not live in fear. They are unvaccinated. They are healthy. They are “ahead” at school. We get notice do to our exemption on file whenever there is an “outbreak” at their school. Last year there was a chicken pox “outbreak.” It consisted of four kids who WERE vaccinated against chicken pox. If you think vaccines are 100% reliable, you are mistaken.

Michelle on

I agree with Des…my daughter is unvaccinated, 3yrs old, has attended daycare since she was 6mo and is healthy! She had pneumonia when she was 1yr old and was treated for it, and has not had it since. She also hasn’t had to take any other antibiotics since then. The diseases that are supposedly so dngerous (like pneumonia)are able to be treated quickly and vaccines are not a guarantee that your child won’t get the disease anyway.

Mona Craigo on

I have 3 healthy daughters who are now in their 20s. I am also a grandmother. My daughters were vaccinated, as was my husband and I. I have read much on both sides of this debate, and truly think that there is much validity to both points of view. I believe parents should not take an ‘all or nothing’ approach to vaccines though. I am a believer in vaccinating children for the serious diseases… but not until they are a little older (ie: 2 or 3), with immunizations given separately over time (unless they are in a high-risk sitution). I think in time it will be shown that the problem is not so much with the vaccines themselves as it is with overwhelming an infants immature immune/neurologic system with too many chemical at a time when they those systems are rapidly maturing. I understand that the CDC and the drug companies (among others) have done much research to prove vaccines safe. I also feel a huge amount of compassion for the parents of children who are dealing with serious health issues they believe to be a result of immunizing (and there is evidence to support this as well). I am not in the healthcare industry.. just a Mom. The major diseases that were erradicated with vaccines are dangerous and if everyone takes a polarized approach to no vaccines at all, I believe those same diseases will come back. We have millions of folks coming to the USA annually – some legally, some not. We don’t have as much control of who our children are exposed to if they are in daycare or school. It is dangerous to ignore this reality.

shannon on

You should have your child or children vaccine at the time the doctor says to, because with so many people travel oversea now a days, you do not now what you kid could have contact with, when out to eat with mom or dad, at the store, on a walk with mom and dad or at the park. I am not a mom yet but if I was I would have my son or daughter get the vaccines to be safe. I did not push the flu shot or the H1N1 (Swine) Influenza (new shot), I think that one up to the parents. But they should get the other shot to keep them healthy.

I get this list that is below from http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/medical/immunization_chart.html#
Birth

* Hep B: Hepatitis B vaccine (HBV); recommended to give the first dose at birth, but may be given at any age for those not previously immunized.

1-2 months

* Hep B: Second dose should be administered 1 to 2 months after the first dose.

2 months

* DTaP: Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine
* Hib: Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine
* IPV: Inactivated poliovirus vaccine
* PCV: Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
* Rota: Rotavirus vaccine

4 months

* DTaP
* Hib
* IPV
* PCV
* Rota

6 months

* DTaP
* Hib
* PCV
* Rota

6 months and annually

* Seasonal influenza. Influenza vaccine is now recommended every year for children older than 6 months (instead of just the youngest, as before). Kids under 9 who get a flu vaccine for the first time will receive it in two separate doses a month apart.

Although young tots (from 6 months to 5 years old) are still considered the group of kids who need the flu vaccine the most, updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommend that all older kids and teens get it, too (as long as enough is available).

It’s also especially important for high-risk kids to be vaccinated. High-risk groups include, but aren’t limited to, kids with asthma, heart problems, sickle cell anemia, diabetes, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

It can take up to 1 or 2 weeks after the shot for the body to build up protection to the flu.
*

H1N1 (Swine) Influenza. All children 6 months and older should receive this vaccine in addition to the seasonal flu vaccine. Kids under 9 will receive the vaccine in two separate doses (a month apart), while older kids will receive just one dose. Following the 2009-2010 flu season, recommendations for this vaccine may change, so talk to your doctor about what’s recommended for your child.

6-18 months

* Hep B
* IPV

12-15 months

* Hib
* MMR: Measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles) vaccine
* PCV
* Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine

12-23 months

* Hep A: Hepatitis A vaccine; given as two shots at least 6 months apart

15-18 months

* DTaP

4-6 years

* DTaP
* MMR
* IPV
* Varicella

11-12 years

* HPV: Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, given as 3 shots over 6 months. It’s recommended for girls ages 11 or 12, and also recommended for girls ages 13 to 18 if they have not yet been vaccinated. The vaccine also may be given to boys ages 9 to 18.
* Tdap: Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis booster
* MCV: Meningitis vaccine; should also be given to 13- to 18-year-olds who have not yet been vaccinated. Children between the ages of 2 and 10 who have certain chronic illnesses will also need this vaccine, with a booster shot a few years later, depending on the age at which the first dose was given.

College entrants

* MCV: Meningitis vaccine; recommended for previously unvaccinated college entrants who will live in dormitories. One dose will suffice for healthy college students whose only risk factor is dormitory living.

And also as a special education major and Elementary minor, I have learn that daycare can turn people done if they child or children have not had they vaccines. (not show up under CSIlove81@gmail.com email address)

Tori on

Wow! Lots of interesting responses. We have our 6-month appointment tomorrow and I think I will continue to delay starting vaccinations.

I’m wondering if anyone knows about this…is it pointless/ineffective to get just one shot out of a series of recommended shots, or will it provide some immunity? For example, DTaP is supposed to be given at 2, 4, 6 and 15 months, then at 4-6 years. Will it do any good if we only do a couple shots instead of all of them?

Thanks,
Tori

Thinker on

For all you vaccine-heads that put your trust and the lives of yourselves and children in the hands of doctors, you did know that doctors are the third leading cause of death in America, right? You should be ashamed of yourselves for so recklessly putting your children at risk for death.

http://www.vaclib.org/legal/drdeath.htm
Doctors Are The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US, Causing 250,000 Deaths Every Year, a July 30, 2000 report by Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health

“It is true that a lot of Amish don’t vaccinate, but the Amish also have outbreaks of pertussis, measles, and other preventable diseases. Several children in our area have come very close to death after contracting a disease that is easily preventable – Bekki on July 8th, 2010″

You failed to mention the many children that have died or been maimed after being vaccinated or given toxic drugs.

“If you want your car fixed, do you start Googling what all the components do or just take it to a mechanic? If your dog starts choking on a toy, do you start Googling canine CPR or just take him to a vet? Sometimes it’s better to leave things that require skilled, technical knowledge to the experts, and medicine is one of them. It’s not “great” for parents to rebel against that when it jeopardizes all of our health. – Rana on July 8th, 2010″

Right on Rana, it is absolutely crazy for parents to not leave medical things to the “experts”:
http://www.vaclib.org/legal/drdeath.htm
Doctors Are The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US, Causing 250,000 Deaths Every Year, a July 30, 2000 report by Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.

Pfizer researcher Scott S Reuben, MD, who helped established its Bextra, Celebrex, and Lyrica as effective pain meds, sent to prison for research fraud.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=prescription-drug-deaths
April 6, 2010 Prescription Drug Deaths Increase Dramatically – A growing number of overdoses of legal opioids, sedatives and tranquilizers led to a 65 percent increase in hospitalizations over seven years

http://drugs.healthdiaries.com/
“A new study published in the Public Library of Science Journal claims that SSRI antidepressants Prozac, Effexor, Paxil, and Serzone are no more effective than placebos, except in the case of those who are “at the upper end of the very severely depressed category.”

“Also, the vaccine schedule has been rigorously, vigorously tested as it is – that is, all shots in combination with each other and at each age. Therefore if you decide to mess around with the schedule you’re playing with fire, because the delayed schedule you ultimately come up with has probably not been tested as rigorously as the standard one, therefore there’s a lot more left up to chance. – Rana on July 8th, 2010″

Rana, you mean this kind of “rigorous” testing?

from http://www.healingourchildren.net/vaccine_side_effects.htm
“Dr. Philip Incao’s testimony for the Ohio State House of Representatives:
Take a group of vaccinated children and compare them with a matched group of unvaccinated children. If the groups are well-matched and large enough and the length of time the children are observed following vaccination long enough, then such a study is deemed the ‘gold standard’ of vaccine research because its data is as accurate a reflection as medical research is capable of achieving of how vaccinations are actually affecting our nation’s children. Incredible as it sounds, such a common-sense controlled study comparing vaccinated to unvaccinated children has never been done in America for any vaccination.” Dr. Phillip Incao MD Dr. Incao’s webpage

“@Emily, it’s part of the standardized testing that occurs before any new medicine can be certified by the FDA – Rana on July 8th, 2010″

Rana, is this the FDA “standardized testing” you are referring to?

“Safety testing of many vaccines is limited and the data are unavailable for independent scrutiny, so that mass vaccination is equivalent to human experimentation and subject to the Nuremberg Code, which requires voluntary informed consent;” Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, http://www.aapsonline.org/testimony/vacresol.htm

Thinker on

“The vaccines she received had nothing to do with it. It just happens. – joan on July 9th, 2010″

You are so right Joan, stuff just happens to people, and its common knowledge that it happens for absolutely no reason! For example, are smoking cigarettes (has nothing to do with lung cancer), overeating (has nothing to do with obesity) and jumping out of an airplane without a parachute (has nothing to do with death upon impact with the ground).

People that get sick or die after getting vaccinated are just faking it, maybe to get out of a test at school or to get rich from a lawsuit against the vaccine makers. Oh right, I forgot, you can’t sue vaccine makers like you can sue most anyone else that injures you:

http://pandemicflu.gov/professional/federal/vaccineliability.html

http://www.legitgov.org/HHS_declares_health_emergencies.html

“There is an outbreak of whooping cough right now and many babies are suffering and some dieing because they are not protected with the vaccine. Good luck. God Bless. – Nancy on July 9th, 2010″

“Anecdotes do not = evidence. Vaccines save lives, and it’s our responsibility as parents and citizens to vaccinate our children. Jennie McCarthy is not a doctor. – Nicole on July 9th, 2010″

“Constance, my husband is a physician and we were hypervigilant about making an INFORMED decision about the welfare of our child. We do vaccinate, but I think it is tremendously important that your research be conducted through reputable medical journals, not by googling uncredible sources, or relying on what others in Hollywood are doing or saying. Please, please, please, do your research. – corinne on July 9th, 2010″

Nancy, Nicole and Corinne, are these medical sources reputable enough for you to overcome your brainwashing?

http://text.vaccineriskawareness.com/Diseases-In-The-Vaccinated
“Official data have shown that the large-scale vaccinations undertaken in the US have failed to obtain any significant improvement of the diseases against which they were supposed to provide protection.” – Dr Albert Sabin, developer of the Oral Polio vaccine (lecture to Italian doctors in Piacenza, Italy, December 7th 1985)

No Protection Is Demonstrable In Infants Following DPT
‘Calculations based on the mortality of whooping-cough before 1957 predict accurately the subsequent decline and the present low mortality… Incidence [is] unaffected either by small-scale vaccination beginning about 1948 or by nationwide vaccination beginning in 1957… No protection is demonstrable in infants.’ – (The Lancet, vol. 1, January 29, 1977, pp. 234-7).

DIPHTHERIA IN THE VACCINATED
Health Ministry Concerned About Why Inoculations Failed To Work
“Ukraine’s diphtheria inoculation campaign last year has failed to provide nation-wide protection. Last week, the Ukrainian Ministry of Health revealed that, in the first 5 months of this year, some 1350 cases of the disease had been reported, of whom 15 died. Although the total is 510 less than for the same 5 months in 1995, the Ministry is clearly concerned about why the inoculations failed to work, and has launched a special investigation. One explanation that has been put forward is that vaccines received from western programmes of humanitarian aid are “not very effective”. – (The Lancet, 15/6/96, Vol 347, p.1686).

Tetanus In An ‘Immunized’ Patient
Israeli researchers present the case of a 34-year-old construction worker who was hospitalized after having a reported epileptic fit and experiencing flu-like symptoms. The patient had a low-grade fever, but was alert and coherent. Any attempts to speak or get up on the second day resulted in attacks of risus sardonicus, opisthotonus, and trismus. The patient was diagnosed with tetanus and given 2000 U of human tetanus immunoglobulin. Further treatment was provided, and after 15 days, the patient had stopped taking diazepam and ventilatory support was withdrawn. The man had been fully immunized against tetanus, and had received booster shots five and two years before being hospitalized. – British Medical Journal Online (10/16/99) Vol. 319, No. 7216, P. 1049.

The Only Cases Of Polio Since 1979 Were Caused By The Vaccine
‘The last case of poliomyelitis in the United States due to indigenously acquired wild poliovirus occurred in 1979; however, as a consequence of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) use that began in 1961, an average of 9 cases of vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis (VAPP) were confirmed each year from 1961 through 1989. To reduce the VAPP burden, national vaccination policy changed in 1997 from reliance on OPV to options for a sequential schedule of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) followed by OPV. In 2000, an exclusive IPV schedule was adopted.’ – (JAMA. 2004;292:1696-1701).

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2007-10-05-polio-nigeria_N.htm?csp=34
Polio outbreak in Nigeria sparked by oral vaccine
“LONDON (AP) — A polio outbreak in Nigeria was caused by the vaccine designed to stop it, international health officials say, leaving at least 69 children paralyzed.

It is a frightening paradox in a part of the world that already distrusts western vaccines, making it even tougher to stamp out age-old diseases.
The outbreak was caused by the live polio virus that is used in vaccines given orally — the preferred method in developing countries because it is cheaper and doesn’t require medical training to dispense.”

Thinker on

“Death or serious injury from vaccines are exceptionally exceptionally rare events, and attributable usually to very rare , severe allergic reactions that every pediatric office should be able to immediately treat and correct with the administration of epinepherine. Never once has such an event occurred in my 15 years of practice.
Death or serious injury from certain vaccine ingredients in the amounts given with vaccines are THEORETICAL risks with no solid evidence to support even the theory.

The AAP and medical professionals are there to protect, not harm. Vaccines are among the safest, most thoroughly studied, monitored, and EFFECTIVE therapies we offer people. When even small amounts of serious harm are suggested, vaccines are withdrawn.

I have and will continue to stop administering vaccines if there is evidence of significant risk of serious injury to children.To date, I have witnessed zero cases of serious injury or death to any of my patients from vaccines. – Pediatrician on July 9th, 2010″

Pediatrician, maybe you haven’t vaccinated enough patients or maybe you haven’t tried to look at the evidence. By the way, you MUST stop administering vaccines to children as you promised…

http://www.cdc.gov/MMWR/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5201a1.htm#tab9
2,142, deaths and 3,177 permanent disabilities documented between 1991-2001 from vaccinations.

http://www.whale.to/vaccines/ploy1.html
It is widely acknowledged that most (90+%) adverse reactions DON’T get reported (not that anyone is trying to coverup the horrendous number of adverse reactions from vaccinations because that is just crazy talk and as everyone knows, there are NO conspiracies).

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/health/news/article_1550429.php/Australian-tots-falling-ill-after-flu-jabs
Apr 23, 2010, 10:59 GMT
Sydney – Australian doctors Friday were ordered to stop giving children under 5 seasonal flu vaccine after some were hospitalized with convulsions and dozens displayed adverse reactions to the jabs.

Thinker on

“As a parent of a newborn I now have to worry about measle outbreaks in my area because my child is too young to be vaccinated and people like you are either delaying vaccinations or not getting them entirely! Shame on you! And shame on people magazine for publishing this. This is very irresponsible. – jj on July 10th, 2010″

Right on jj!

How DARE people magazine allow anyone to be exposed to differing viewpoints and to be encouraged to think for themselves!

Why, the next thing you know, these subjects will begin to believe that:
1. the 9/11 attacks were faked (http://www.ae911truth.org , http://www.st911.org ),

2. FDR knew beforehand (and did nothing to stop since he needed a pretext to join the world war) the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
http://rationalrevolution.net/war/fdr_provoked_the_japanese_attack.htm
http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/pearl/www.geocities.com/Pentagon/6315/pearl.html ),

3. President Johnson knew and used the faked Gulf of Tonkin attack to expand the Vietnam war, and
http://www.prisonplanet.com/de-classified-vietnam-era-transcripts-show-senators-knew-gulf-of-tonkin-was-a-staged-false-flag-event.html

4. the BP oil “spill” in the Gulf of Mexico is actually a disaster of biblical proportions.

That is just so damn IRRESPONSIBLE AND DANGEROUS! Shame, shame on you people magazine, I hope you are happy when society collapses because of you!

“VACCINES ARE LIFE SAVING AND PEOPLE NEED TO STOP FOLLOWING THESE FADS. PLEASE VACCINATE YOUR CHILD DONT LISTEN TO UNINFORMED CELEBRITIES. – Bhunney on July 10th, 2010″

So your best advice is for Constance to listen to uninformed blog comments like yours?

Thinker on

“Melody says: ” For most of the “vaccine preventable” diseases, the rates of occurance and death were steadily declining BEFORE the creation and wide-spread use of the vaccines.”
For God’s sake where do you take your fatcs from? why do you think the vaccines where creates for??? they where in a lot of cases a result of an outbrake of some deadly desease that was killing people and there was an urgent demand for inmunization.
Read a little bit of history, what about european history to start.
Please American why are you so vast ingorants? why don you read? take a university course, read the newspaper, educate yourself; take a look at the rest of the word who uses preventable vaccination without question, why we do not have the outburst of Autism, like you do? – lo on July 10th, 2010″

For everyone’s sake Lo, you should really, really educate yourself before showing how vastly ignorant you are!

I don’t know where Melody got her facts from but here are a couple of sources that prove her statement is true:

http://www.gnhealth.com/vaccines.html
Scroll down a little bit to the section titled “Historic Data Shows Vaccines Not Key in Declines in Death from Disease”.

http://thinktwice.com/Polio.pdf
See figure 4 on fourth page (labeled as page 242)

http://www.gaia-health.com/articles101/000123-Vaccination-Facts-Tables.shtml

Thinker on

Thinker, not all of us who vaccinate are crazy nuts. It’s a risk that everyone takes. You take a risk by not vaccinating that your children could catch something that is easily preventable. I take a risk that my daughter could have an adverse reaction to the vaccinations that she receives. As I posted earlier, the main reason I vaccinated my daughter was because of my work place. When you’re in a small area with hundreds of teenagers & you don’t know their medical history, or they’ve just come over from a 3rd world country, I choose not to take a risk. We’ve had outbreaks of MRSA, TB, Scarlett Fever, H1N1 & God knows what else. I do sit somewhere in the middle & think that the amount of vaccinations given now are excessive compared to what I was given as a child. Which is why I don’t vaccinate for the flu. Some things the body should be able to fight off naturally. But I would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to other things. It’s not my business what you do with your children & I believe in a parents right to choose what they want to do with their kids. I don’t insult your decision to not vaccinate your children, don’t insult my decision to vaccinate mine. – Mandi on July 10th, 2010″

Mandi, is it not crazy to continue to vaccinate when it has been proven over and over that vaccines are ineffective and have dangerous side effects and often cause the very disease they are trying to immunize against as well as other diseases?

If you believe vaccines are so safe and effective,how can you possibly state that “the amount of vaccinations given now are excessive…”?

If vaccines are good enough for MRSA, TB, etc, then why is the flu vaccine suddenly not good enough for you? Are you concerned that the flu vaccine is dangerous? How can that be, vaccines are vaccines and they are all safe and effective, right? If not, then if the flu vaccine can be dangerous and ineffective, then it is only logical to think that other vaccines are dangerous and ineffective, especially when that is a proven fact.

TB Vaccines Could Spread Infection
TB vaccinations could actually spread the lung infection by clearing the way for tougher strains to flourish, a new study has claimed. 

Vaccinating against tuberculosis might simply remove a weak form of the infection, allowing a virulent strain to break out, researchers from the University of Bristol found. 

Large-scale genetic analysis of strains of TB mycobacteria have shown they are more varied than first thought and that vaccines may be effective against only some of the circulating strains. – Nursing In Practice, 10th October 2008.

“@ thinker… my fear is that when you take your child with measles to the pediatrician he’ll infect my newborn before he is old enough for his vaccination. Also, in a small percentage of individuals, the vaccinations do not work (due to problems with vaccine preparation, administration or individual differences). If most people get vaccinations, these individuals will not suffer. Furthermore, we are also protecting those with compromised immune systems who either cannot get vaccinated or have other susceptibilities by creating herd immunity
Here is a good blog post (I know not a real article) but a good source for science-based medicine links to real scientific studies that support the value of vaccination and show that the benefits far outweigh the risks.
http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?cat=36
page through posts for many articles discussed by rational minds.
Sara – sbg on July 10th, 2010″

Sara, if you choose to vaccinate your child your are putting him at higher risk of getting measles and autism from the vaccine than from my unvaccinated child.

Measles Attack Rate Was Much Higher In Vaccinated Than Unvaccinated Children
Cherry et al. (1972) described an epidemic in St Loius Cityand County during 1970 & 1971, during which 130 children were hospitalised and 6 died. The attack rate was much higher in vaccinated than unvaccinated children. – J Pediatr 1973 May;82(5):802-8

http://www.thinktwice.com/s_autism.htm
Many citations to clinical studies on Austism and the MMR (or Measles) Vaccine

I also don’t understand why you don’t vaccinate your child right out of the womb to protect him from my children. Vaccines work, they are safe, why wait, right? You also assume that just because my child is not vaccinated that they are automatically full of communicable diseases but in fact there are plenty of people all over the world that enjoy healthy, disease-free lives without vaccinations.

You also don’t mention the fact that people vaccinated with live virus vaccines will shed the virus for several weeks afterwards so they are putting your child at more risk than any unvaccinated but disease-free children.

Thinker on

“props to everyone who has spoken out in the comments about how unbelievably irresponsible this blog post is. what an absolute parasite. the nebulous usage of the word “toxins” is abhorrent and truly reveals this blogger’s ignorance. the “research” she claims to have done (and lists!) is hilarious. without enough knowledge (and, sadly, intelligence) personal “research” often leads mothers to buy into antivax hysteria. it is sad that she has effectively put a celebrity face on a disgraceful decision. – kat on July 11th, 2010″

“http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/11/us/11bcwhooping.html
what a culture of forgetting we live in. absurd fears about “toxins” and hysteria over shoddy research abounds…what an incredibly selfish decision.
– kat on July 11th, 2010″

Kat, you are exactly the kind of vaccine nut I referred to in my first post, incredibly arrogant, ignorant of the facts about the dangers and ineffectiveness of vaccines and have nothing to contribute to a debate but hateful vitriolic rantings against anyone that doesn’t go along with the vaccine brainwashing.

Please do everyone a favor and get your Prevnar vaccine ASAP!

The Journal of Infectious Diseases 2009;199:320–325.
Introduction of NEW TYPE of pneumonia following introduction of Prevnar vaccine

Put in plain English, a new type of pneumonia called 6C has occured and cases have been increasing since the introduction of Prevnar (PCV7).

“Constance, when you printed out the ingredients in all the shots, did you also print out all the ingredients in everything else your daughter comes in contact with: food, lotions, diapers, laundry detergent, plates, spoons, bottle nipples, clothing, cleansers, carpeting, bedding, the shellac used on her furniture, paint on her walls, all the stuff you ate while pregnant, etc.
I don’t get the obsession of studying the vaccines to this degree, yet other things are given to a child without a thought. Look at 99% of the toys..plastic. – Allison on July 12th, 2010″

Alison, maybe you’d have a valid argument if food, lotions, diapers, laundry detergent, etc were being injected directly into a person like vaccines are, otherwise, your argument makes no sense.

Pediatrician on

VAERS is a reporting system designed to help detect trends by reporting any event that SEEMS like it might be related temporally or causatively to a vaccine.
As the web page that THINKER referred us to says, which THINKER perhaps missed:

“IOM concluded that the majority of deaths reported to VAERS are temporally but not causally related to vaccination (20).”

And as that page correctly points out and as THINKER also identifies with the other new reference, when vaccines ARE found to be related to serious events in numbers outweighing the numbers occurring without the vaccine (e.g. from the disease itself or in background levels) CHANGES are MADE. (and yes, THINKER, that includes to MY practice. I did stop giving the early version of a vaccine when risk of intussusception that might have been related to a vaccine seemed to warrant it, even though I had no personal experience of observing such an event in my practice.)

THINKER is correct to point out that pediatricians like myself should not rely on their own experience without a recognized rare serious event that is known to be caused by a vaccine, because our numbers are not sufficient to detect rare but linked events. (My point, thinker, was that I HAVE seen MANY deaths and serious complications from vaccine preventable disease, which is what is expected from the data; Vaccine CAUSED death and severe disease is exceptionally rare, vaccine preventable disease is common.) And for the SAME reason, people who decide NOT to vaccinate because their child or their neighbors uncles friends daughter was diagnosed with MS 1 week after they got their Tdap—these people shouldn’t rely on individual temporal association either. Blaming the MMR given at 12 mo for causing autism because the symptoms of autism first became RECOGNIZABLE at about 12 mo, is like blaming the birthday cake, or the smoke from the candle on the birthday cake, or the milk they started drinking instead of formula; Were these exposures related in time to the recognition of a medical problem? Yes. As such, are these exposures worthy of considering a possible link? Sure. And after reviewing the objective data, is there evidence linking any of those exposures to autism i.e if you compare autism rates in kids exposed to MMR, birthday cake, milk, or candle smoke with autism rates in kids NOT exposed to those, is there a difference? The answer is NO. There is no evidence of causality.

Which is why, national organizations like the AAP, the CDC, who track or mkae policy decisions based on actual data for millions of recipients are SO important to making evidence based decisions that you ask us to make to PROTECT you and your family.

And the evidence is that your chances of experiencing virus and bacteria caused death and serious disease vastly exceeds your chances of experiencing death or serious disease from a vaccine.

The world seems flat from our direct experience looking at an ocean, but we need, at some point, to trust people who lack a conflict of interest, who are charged with telling us the big picture based on actual hard data. Death and serious illness from vaccine preventable disease IS the big picture.

You and your child might be lucky enough to go unvaccinated and not experience death or serious illness from vaccine preventable disease, just like I was lucky enough to survive my childhood not being in a car seat when these weren’t around. My only motive is to try to motivate people to make an informed decision about risk–and the wisdom of vaccination is the same as the wisdom of a car seat.

Pediatrician on

Having one dose of vaccine is better than none.
But having one dose of vaccine is almost always SIGNIFICANTLY less protective than getting all the recommended doses at the recommended times.

My analogy for partial vaccination practices is, again, car seats: If you’re going to put your child child in a car seat, start at the recommended time (their first car trip, not when they get older) and do it correctly (dont just buckle one of the the three buckles on that seat.)

People who get varivax (chicken pox vaccine) can still get chicken pox.
The difference is this:
People who are unvaccinated and get chicken pox are the rare patients who die from chicken pox because their immune system is so depressed from the infection that they are susceptible to deadly infection by group a strep bacteria.

People who ARE vaccinated but who subsequently still get chicken pox do NOT have the same degree of immune system suppression from the infection, and so are PROTECTED, by virtue of the vaccine, from group a strep becoming deadly during their illness.

Again people—there is a reason the AAP recommends chicken pox vaccine-reasons that involve life or death, and reasons which are not readily apparent through common sense or individual experience alone.

Get vaccinated. Fully and on time. Protect yourself and your family and your friends and neighbors and their families.

If you want to put your trust in someone or something, trust the organizations that your doctors trust –the AAP and the NNii and the CDC, to make the most informed, evidence based decision about when vaccines SHOULD and SHOULD NOT be given to protect you and your family.

Lisa on

I put my older son on a very delayed vaccination schedule with no MMR or chicken pox. If your child has a healthy immune system, I found that these illnesses did not pose a serious threat. With my second son, it just didn’t seem right to vaccinate at all – yes I did my research (I have a degree in biochemistry).I just felt that the risk of all these additives and multiple vaccines (and no, there never has been research done on combinations of vaccines given and side effects – each vaccine is only tested individual, which doesn’t make sense since they are giving kids multiple vaccines at a time)was higher than the chance of getting critically ill from some of these diseases. Everyone person has to go with their gut instinct on their children. I believe when we do, we become secure in our own choice and respect the choices other parents make and don’t belittle them for their choice.

Kim on

I think you’re doing what is right for your baby by going with your gut. My doctor and hospital vaccinated without informing me that I had a choice, and I wasn’t happy. My son is starting school this year and he will be going 3 shots short of the requirements. No offence to those who vaccinate (my son has had almost all of his) but will it really hurt for a child in America to get the chicken pox? Honestly? I had them, I’m still here. I think he’ll survive. There are many chemicals that they put in a vaccine, other than the virus. We choose what our children are given based on how life threatening the disease is to them. Is it worth risking the side affects (read the labels people, all of that info is available online) to keep them from a 6-7 day rash? Not in my mind. But, to each his own.

kk on

i recommend reading paul offit’s ‘autism’s false prophecy’. i know autism is only 1 concern of yours in the vast ocean of problems that face our children, but this also gives a history of vaccines from a pediatric infectious disease specialist. it’s 100% factual and i think it would help you understand why the vaccine schedule is made the way it is at certain ages.
most people that don’t vaccinate their children have not seen a child die of whooping cough or varicella (chicken pox) or a person affected with polio. i am a pediatrician and have seen all of these. i also believe if you can prevent your child from dying from a disease by giving him/her a simple shot, why not do so.
hope that helps

kk on

and i’d like to add one more comment…
people in 3rd world countries would give their life for vaccines and here we are given the option and don’t take it. if people continue to not vaccinate, there will be re-emergence of major disease (already are for measles, pertussis)

danielle on

I wasn’t sure if you knew this or not, but my midwife informed me that you can get oral vitamin k to give to newborn babies. The shot has perservatives in it and is also painful to the babies. Not a lot of pharmacies have this, so your peditrician would need to call into a children’s hospital pharmacy most likely. I live in San Diego, so I had to have Rady Childrren’s Hospital Pharmacy fill the perscription.

Also Dr. Mercola has some great info on vaccines!

Love your blog!!!!
Danielle

Pediatrician on

“I got chicken pox and I was fine.” says a poster above.

Yes-and I wasnt in a car seat as a child and I was fine–but hundreds of thousands of kids werent fine, and could have been spared serious illness and death had car seats been around when I was a kid.

If everyone who survived childhood (without serious injury) decided public health policy, millions of people would still be dying/suffering needlessly from vaccine preventable diseases like polio in the US today.

Kids die from infections associated with immunosuppression from their chicken pox.
Like the pediatrician above, I’ve seen it too. Many times.

Is your child LIKELY to die from chicken pox? No.
Is your child MORE likely to die from chicken pox than to be injured seriously or to die from a vaccine? Yes.
Does vaccination against chicken pox protect you from death and serious injury from chicken pox, even if you still get chicken pox after getting the vaccine? Yes.
Hence—the PUBLIC health policy to recommend vaccination.

Preservative phobia with one or several doses of vaccine is just that-a phobia-it sells books for authors of vaccine books, but the missed doses because of that book , I would argue, has and will likely to continue to kill or seriously injure lots of kids from vaccine preventable illness which occurred as a result of the omission or delay.

Early childhood is exactly when the immune system is MOST vulnerable, and hence the “wait until 2 or 3 or 4 or wait a few weeks/months to complete what was recommended by the cdc” approach is exactly the WRONG time to delay.

I absolutely DO NOT BLAME families who feel concerned about vaccines. I DO NOT BLAME Moms and Dads and relatives who find themselves feeling like THEY have to read blogs to know if their pediatrician is REALLY doing the right thing by recommending vaccines for their children.

Why wouldnt you? The media portrayal of vaccines is that there IS considerable debate about safety/effectivenss versus not vaccinating.

Newer vaccine aside (like H1N1 where efficacy data is still coming out on efficacy and safety, as with all new treatments), there ISNT significant debate in science about the efficacy and safety of vaccines. Vaccines in the 20th century are among the safest and most effective success stories for preventing human death and suffering EVER in the history of humankind.

But to listen to popular media, and PEOPLE magazine is included based on this blog, you’d THINK vaccines were among the MOST harmful things ever done to children.
Controversy SELLS MAGAZINES and NEWS programming, and in the case of vaccines, controversy ISNT based in scientific realities.

And so my plea to PEOPLE magazine–if you’re going to blog individual stories about vaccines-do your readers a favor and make the overwhlming majority of blogs about the kids who REALLY died/were injured seriously from vaccine preventable illness. i.e. make the number of bloggers about each topic proportionate to their relative risk. Worrying about theoretical risks from vaccines is a luxury that most children in the world do not have, and is a luxury past present and future children who died/are dying/or will die if theyre not protected, don’t have. Worrying about risk doesnt stop viruses or bacteria form following the laws of physics and killing and injuring your unvaccinated or undervaccinated child.

Flat earthers deserve equal blog time if you’re simply all about freedom of opinion.
Responsible media means, reality deserves MORE media time if youre talking about the health of people’s children. Like it or not, people turn to your for real health information, and you, as an international magazine,influence far more people than I, with 17 years experience and thousand of hours of study including an MD, could ever reach in a lifetime of individual practice. Hire a medical advisor. Pay them on the quality of their information and the allignment with current literature. Be responsible in the balance of your content.

IF Constance Marie’s blog is to serve a higher purpose, please let’s thank her and congratulate her for her efforts to make reality based decisions in a time when media portrays vaccines as a controversy, and please let feedback from health care professionals who are not being paid to offer medical advice to you who see the harm of misinformation played out every single day on their offices, be a wake up call to you, as a magazine, to consult a medical advisor with sufficient pediatric knowledge and experience to tell you–HEY-you really owe it to your readers to be the media outlet that HELPs families, repeatedly and with solid evidence, by reinforcing the reality that vaccines are among the best, safest, most effective ways you can protect your children.

And that’s the word on the front lines of health care, where theoretical risks of death and serious illness from vaccines remain pretty much theoretical, i.e. virtually never seen from such low prevalence, and where reality of death and serious injury from vaccine preventable disease ACTUALLY happens and hits hard, and where one pediatrician’s reality based decisions matter for thousands of patients. I perform vaccinations and give advice daily and professionally. I have to live with the consequences of my patients possibly suffering or being injured from whatever I recommend or don’t recommend.
And here’s my recommendation:

Unless told otherwise by your health care professional, Vaccinate. On time. And fully.

Heather on

My mother and doctor decided not to have me vaccinated thinking in my case it could be fatal. My older sister and brother both had reactions to the shots so the doctor stopped the rest of the shots. My mother did what was best for us. So I’m really bothered that some parents are saying that you must vaccinate your child or you are not a responsible parent. Should my mom have taken the risk that I may have died to protect others? I’m 32 years old and I rarely get sick. I do have have children yet and I’m really scared my child could have a fatal reaction. So I understand parents fear of vaccinations and people should understand those fears unstead of judging.

Misty on

I don’t know if you are still reading the comments on an older a blog, but I just found it and just needed to write.

Please don’t feel pressured by all the people who may react outraged.
My fiance won’t even let me tell his parents that our son isn’t vaccinated, because he thinks they will accuse me of wanting to kill their grandchild. Which is a rediculous situation. They blindly follow the advice of anyone in a lab coat, and I have read dozens of books, countless websites, have asked every doctor I’ve encountered, and most importantly followed my gut feeling which was just screaming ‘noooooooo’.
I only got ‘permission’ from my fiance to hold off for a little while, maybe a year. But we’re past that point and I keep talking to him.
He’s being guided by fear, and people who are waving their finger at me and accusing me of such things as wishing horrible illness upon the world.
When you educate yourself you definitely see the difficulty of agreeing to have your child vaccinated, but the fear lingers, so you decide to maybe just put it off.
But my ‘putting it off’ is sending me more strongly towards a ‘no’.
You can probably google this even, but I live in the Netherlands at the moment, and it turns out that the batch of vaccines my son would have gotten was recalled a little while ago, because it has been killing a lot more children than usual. ( I know, I ‘should’ be saying ‘more children have died after being vaccinated than usual’, but come on)
How scary is that in addition to everything that you already have to deal with when making these decisions?
I feel horrible for all those parents who have lost their little ones to vaccines, (or well, due to any reason actually), but it also makes you think ‘what if that was MY baby?’
I know this is the sentence that is followed by ‘but what about all the children who die of “enter contagious disease here”‘
But I just feel like we have much more power over how strong our child’s immune system is, than what could happen to their bodies if we decide to inject it with poisening toxins.

I know that anyone who vaccinates or does not vaccinate their children is trying to make those decisions that are in the best interest of their children, but I would urge anyone to really educate yourself, also outside of the doctor’s office!
My European Pediatritian told me that he would always vaccinate children, because that is what he does, but that even he thinks some vaccines are unnecessary, and that during his career he has had a few babies die within the day or week that he vaccinated them due to complications from the vaccination.

I know that I wouldn’t be on this earth anymore if that was my job.

I’m sure that in certain situations vaccines are beneficial, and I cannot say that my child will never ever be vaccinated, but I am all for waiting as long as possible, and putting specific effort into building an excellent immune system for your child, which yes, starts with breast feeding, or for those mothers who cannot, or want to supplement or continue after breastfeeding stops working, RAW goat’s milk.
Most moms already know about it of course, but to my big surprise there are still doctors who don’t advertise it as a nutritious option to help babies who cannot benefit from full breast feeding.
Just google it for full info, and make sure you find a organic raw variety for extra immune building magic. (don’t be scared by the ‘it’s not pasteurized’ argument, that only matters if the goat’s environment is dirty. If you get a good quality, fresh, organic, the raw milk far outweighs the pasteurized kind)

Thank you, Constance, for trying to carefully add a step towards education on this very important subject, and for generally being wonderful.

Charlotte Quevedo on

Wow I pretty much have a very similar story except that my daighter who is almost 3 is still nursing because in that respect she seems to think she is a baby. My son does have autism, and he was vaxed on the recommended schedule. So we were very bervous this time needless to say. But just recently my almost 3 year old received her first round of dtap and hib. Those two in particular are very dangerous and I regret waiting. But I took that chance until I felt like her body could deal with the shots easily. And it was no big deal. Both of my kids are fine and now I can sleep with both eyes closed.

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