June 5, 2008

Which Vaccination Kool-Aid To Drink?

Is infant vaccination a tough decision for you? Strident arguments about pandemics, irresponsible hippies, governmental conflicts of interest, auto-immune disorders, and autism got you down? Everyone sound like they're just peddling a party line of some kind, and you don't know which vacctivist to trust?

Well, you could read Sari Weston's loong article in Brain, Child about the topic. Or if you prefer your children's medical decisionmaking information in bullet point format, here you go:

  • relax, but ask. thimerosal's pretty much gone from children's vaccines in the US.
  • if you're worried about untested-with-children exposure to, say, aluminum, stagger the vaccines instead of doing them all at once.
  • infant diseases like pertussis and meningitis actually occur and can be serious, so think about infant vaccinations, at least.
  • buy Dr. Robert Sears' book, The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child, finally, an unbiased resource for parents to weigh the pros and cons and make their own well-informed decision.

    Wait, isn't that last one like using your third wish to ask for three more wishes?

    And by the way, "Your search - vacctivist - did not match any documents." I totally take credit for that one.

    The Needle and the Studies Done [brainchildmag]

  • 11 Comments

    DT, Here I thought you were going to jump on the vaccine-evil wagon, but instead you posted one of the most reasonable pieces, and definitely shortest, I've read on a topic that seems to invite complicated and sometimes tortured logic.

    My son drinks formula, so is doomed in life anyway.. does it matter whether I vaccinate or not?

    We're giving our kids double vaccinations and sending them to Quor'Toth for summer camp.

    [i had to look that up. -ed.]

    Hmmm...this really surprised me.

    In my country, it works differently. With the conditions here in our country, it's best to take advantage of some of the free vaccines that is provided by the government. A lot of babies here are getting sick, because they're unprotected. The more you are poor (here) sadly, your child is more prone to diseases out there.

    I have allowed my child to get vaccinated, step by step and I was encouraged by my family and relatives (who are mostly doctors) to do so, and of course with constant research. My son is doing great and there's no delay in his development.

    I remember House mentioned in the show that the child is only protected for 6 months from his mother's breastmilk, after that, it's the mother's choice whether she'd give her child vaccines or not.

    It's a matter of choice. You decide. I agree with Greg's advice to read Dr. Sears' book. And if you have a friend who is a doctor, I think it's also better to ask.

    This is good topic and well written.

    I recently posted about this topic as well believing that not getting them may be more harmful to the child than not. I'll agree that the decision is tough.

    Every state requires some sort of exemption be presented in should you decide to not get a vaccine. Considering the possibility of extended time lost should an outbreak occur, the difficulty in determining exactly when a child has been exposed and the alternative for not getting them - pre-vaccine quarantines, all make the possible risk somewhat more clear cut decision.

    Here is what I wrote: http://pre-school-parenting.blogspot.com/2008/06/pre-school-and-daycare-vaccines.html

    A fairly balanced article, but I struggle with the way that they gloss past the concept of herd immunity, implying that the herd is only relevant if you are a doctor and that individuals are only driven by the desire to protect their own. Do we not take risks for the greater good these days? One factor in my decision is definitely the effect on society as a whole, and I think that is a factor that should be considered along with all the others.

    [interesting catch. she also glossed over the whole "lie to get an exemption" thing, which seems by far the common practice of non-vaccinators. weren't there recent reports of measles outbreaks in crunchier CA preschools where there were a lot of non-vac. kids? I think I wrote about that once... -ed.]

    I just took care of a 2 yr-old with Meningococcemia (not up to date with his vaccines), almost died in the ER. He was fine Monday, slight fever and "a little spot" on his belly... full out septicemia by early morning Tuesday. Amazing. That, and the fact that I'm seeing pertussis again.

    [that was one of the brain, child article's most persuasive points: we've lived in a vaccinated world so long, no one knows firsthand what some of these infant illnesses are actually like. So they don't have any info to weigh against the possible risks from the vaccine. -ed.]

    There's still no substitute for running around in a farmyard and eating microorganism-laden dirt. Unless it's eating elderly pork.

    Ed, every state's vaccine exemption qualifications are different. Here in CA it is legally sufficient to be philosophically opposed.

    I feel better about sending my kids to a school with poor children everyday. The parents aren't going to be "philosophically opposed", they are too busy worrying about other things. I'm not worried about an outbreak of anything but lice (which there is every year), despite the fact that a large portion of the student body disappears to Mexico after the picking season is over. Someone should have a stern talk to the parents at these posh schools.

    um, it seems like you all drank the same kool-aid.

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