We don’t vaccinate. I don’t write about it much here. Partly because people from Jackson’s school read this blog and I don’t want them to freak out (although they probably already know as they’re also my Facebook friends). Partly because I hate the vaccine debate and don’t want to bring it here (any insulting comments will be deleted). But mostly because it is a topic that I can write about for days. Pages and pages. Lots.
But this week is apparently International Immunization Week. So I decided to come out of the proverbial closet and write, very briefly, about why we don’t vaccinate.
We do not vaccinate because we believe that the risks from the vaccines outweigh the risks from the diseases they supposedly prevent.
I know what you’re probably thinking: But, vaccines don’t cause autism, you know.
Actually, they can. They have. The US “vaccine court” ruled that vaccines caused autism in a girl named Hannah Poling. An Italian court ruled that vaccines caused a young boy’s autism. More recently, the vaccine court awarded damages to two autistic children. These are just the children whose parents knew about the vaccine court and had the wherewithal to fight. How many children do these four represent?
However, autism is not my main concern. As the vaccine schedule has become more crowded, we have seen increasing cases of auto immune disorders, behavioral disorders, asthma, and the like. We are trading acute disease for chronic diseases such as these. The first thing everyone who vaccinates always says is something about autism. But we don’t know the extent of the damage that vaccines might do because safety testing is woefully inadequate.
I did not come to this choice lightly. I did a lot of research, and I continue to do so. I believe in the phrase, “Educate before you vaccinate.” To that end, I always recommend that parents read the vaccine package inserts long before their children are supposed to get their vaccines. These are not the one-page pieces of propaganda you get from your pediatrician. These are the actual sheets that come with the vaccines. The vaccine package inserts are analogous to the information that the pharmacist includes with your drugs. They include all of the vaccine ingredients, and a lot of important information, such as efficacy testing and side effects. Vaccines include many common allergens, so you really must read the inserts to make sure your child isn’t allergic to them, or, in the case of infants, that you don’t have a family history of allergies.
I also highly recommend the book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children’s Vaccinations, by Dr. Stephanie Cave. It’s actually a well-balanced book that is not anti-vaccine.
If you have the time, the CDC Pink Books are also a worthwhile read. In general, reading information from the CDC about vaccinations is like reading information about cigarettes from the tobacco companies. However, the Pink Books give overall descriptions of the diseases, their histories, their common side effects, their treatments, and more. If you read the CDC Pink Book about chicken pox and then read what the CDC web site has to say about chicken pox, and you’ll wonder if they’re the same disease.
I thought about whether or not to disable comments. Right now, I’m not. If you have a genuine question, please ask, and I’ll try to answer. If you simply want to disagree respectfully, that’s fine too. If you want to insult me or my family, your comment will be deleted. Righteous indignation will also be deleted.