Vaccines. This is in no way telling you whether you should vaccinate your kids or not. This is also not intending to share tons of research. It is also not medical advice. This is simply my viewpoint and interesting things I have found. It is also to point out things that I think all parents should research themselves. It is also to ensure my family and friends that I have really thought out my decisions regarding all the vaccines. If you want to read a blog that goes into a lot of the research, try out Modern Alternative Mama. Another great, thought provoking post is Six Reasons to Say NO to Vaccinations by The Healthy Home Economist.
My viewpoint is coming as a naturally minded mom as well as a foster mom. In most cases, whether my kids are mine biologically or temporarily through the state, I can make the decisions affecting their daily lives. But when it comes to medical decisions, with my foster kids I have to do whatever is medically recommended. In many cases, THEY don’t even have a say (like with my former foster daughter who had to get the depo provera birth control shot…).
So, to people who want medical choice, especially with vaccinations, taken away from parents I say “No Way!”.
Freedom of choice is a wonderful thing. It gets brought up in the argument for many things (many in my mind are horrible), and yet many of these same people want to take away the choice of whether or not to vaccinate children. If you don’t want to vaccinate, then “you’re a wacko, you’re neglecting your children, you’re harming everyone else”, etc. Some people want to force vaccination with no variation on every child, with the threat of taking away your children for neglect. As someone who’s taken care of actual neglected children, this is completely ridiculous.
The choice of whether or not to vaccinate, and on which vaccines to give and at what ages, should be totally up to the parents. You should be able to delay if desired. If circumstances or the world around you changes, you can get them when they’re needed. I’m all for the development of new vaccines too. My oldest son has been in a flu vaccine study to test effectiveness of different timing and doses. I’ve been in investigational studies for smallpox and different flu vaccines. But that doesn’t mean I want my infant introduced to the toxins that make the vaccines work, or my kids to get a flu vaccine every year.
It all comes down to the risks you’re willing to take.
Yes, many of these illnesses are and were horrible. But simply because we live in a developed country reduces most of the risks that were involved decades ago and around the world today. We have clean water, good hygiene, great nutritional availability. But we also live in concentrated populations, our kids are often in daycares and school, there is worldwide travel.
Many illnesses have low level symptoms to where you may not even realize you are sick, average symptoms where you stay home and take some painkillers or eat soup, and high level symptoms where you need medical attention. In some rare cases, permanent injury or death can happen. But if you read the warning labels on the vaccines, so do the vaccines themselves.
And then you have to think about the risks you can pass on to others. Responsible people will stay home when they realize that they’re sick, but you can pass on an illness before you feel sick. And there are people out there that don’t care if they or their kids are sick, they’ll still go to work or send their kids to school. But especially with live vaccines, you can “shed” it and spread the illness, especially to those who are at risk like infants and the elderly.
This all goes into the difficulties of being a parent. You have to decide what is best for you and your family. You have to decide what risks you are willing to take in all areas of life. For me, since I stay at home with my kids, breastfeed, and feed everyone a mostly natural and nutritionally full diet, I am willing to take the risk of not vaccinating. If I were working, my kids were in daycare, or our eating were not as healthy, I would definitely consider many of the vaccines out there.
And I hate when people blame the non-vaccinators for the spread of diseases. In the case of the current “outbreak” of Pertussis, or whooping cough, 93% of those with documented cases are vaccinated against it. It is a mutating disease, so the strains change. Also, you have to get regular boosters to retain immunity. And people will blame those who don’t get vaccinated for getting the disease, passing it, and allowing mutation, but don’t forget that we live in a global community with regular world travel. But don’t get me wrong, Pertussis is scary. Those at highest risk are under one year old, and 97% of the deaths are in children under 3 months old. But they can’t even get vaccinated until almost 2 months old, and the highest protection you can give them is nursing. Since I’m doing that and he’s not in daycare, that’s a risk I’m willing to take as that vaccine has high (to me) incidences of side effects.
And in cases of blood-borne illnesses such as Hepatitis B, why are we giving this to all infants at birth? I understand in instances where the mother has it, but this should really be done at an older age. From what I’ve read and believe, it’s because those at risk aren’t responsible enough to get it, so the government is vaccinating everyone to irradiate it.
Polio is a widely pushed, scary disease that I always thought I would vaccinate against. In most cases of Polio (I’ve heard as high as 95%, but there is no scientific proof), the disease is completely asymptomatic, which means you won’t even realize you have it. But who wants to go back to that horrific time of our grandparents and great grandparents? Any time before 1954, any cases of temporary or permanent paralysis was regarded as Polio. Polio seemed to spike in the summer, not in the winter like most illnesses. So most cases of “Polio” may actually be poisoning related to a toxin like the lead arsenate or DDT that was used in that era as pesticides, which we now know are highly toxic to humans. We’ve been told that Polio was irradiated in the late 1970s, but today we still have:
It is my belief that we still have what was considered Polio, but we just now more accurately diagnose what the symptoms are.
Then there is Rotavirus, which is basically diarrhea. It’s a live virus, oral vaccine. It basically is giving your kids a mild case of Rotavirus, and since it’s live, they can pass it on to others. We live in a developed country, I’m not worried enough about a case of diarrhea to give them a mild case. Plus, 28% of reported side effects in 2011 had a bad reaction rate (VAERS), which is unacceptable to me.
I could go on about all the others, but that is your job as a parent. Research the medical advice that is recommended. Learn the risks of all the options. Decide what is acceptable for you and your family. Discuss it with your spouse, with other people you trust. Go to “impartial” websites such as the CDC, WHO, etc. Learn what the diseases actually entail.
An interesting side note is that a disease is considered “rare” if it affects less than 1 in 2000 people. Currently, the “outbreaks” of so-called vaccine-preventable diseases affect far less than this, yet we are told they are basically epidemics by the media! Very sad.
The last thing I want to add is that we have an amazing God who made all kinds of cures and treatments before sin was even in the world. Yes, medical advances are amazing and save lives, but I believe many of these should be reserved for extreme cases. There is so much knowledge that was passed down through the generations in using plants as medicines and for healing that has been lost in our modern era. I am just starting to learn some of this, and it is an exciting journey.