We Don’t Vaccinate

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.

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22 thoughts on “We Don’t Vaccinate

  1. I agree with you but I opted to get some vaccines (mumps measles polio) but really did not want the others (chicken pox flu) but I could not because the schools demand all be gotten. For instance I could not get the polio and then ask for a religious exemption. I do still refuse the flu shot.

    • The thing is, the school doesn’t know your kids have had any vaccines unless you tell them.

      I do think that the way religious exemptions work now is wrong. People should be able to refuse some vaccines based on religious reasons, while still getting others. For example, the chicken pox, MMR, and Hep A vaccines all contain human diploid cells, which is just a nice way of saying aborted fetal tissue. A lot of religious people have a problem with those vaccines for that reason. Yet, the school system would have you believe it’s all or nothing. It’s very unfortunate.

      • Vaccines don’t contain “aborted fetal tissue.”

        Here is the truth:

        >>Some vaccines culture the attenuated virus in human diploid cell lines that were derived from aborted fetuses. There are currently two such human cell lines in use: the WI-38 line (Winstar Institute 38), with human diploid lung fibroblasts developed in 1964, and MRC-5 first cultured in 1970. So each cell line is over 40 years old. Further, the cells themselves are not part of the vaccine. Viruses are cultured in these cell lines.<<

        (Source: Science-Based Medicine.org)

      • If you cook potatoes in with a roast, most vegetarians still aren’t going to eat them. Some of the flu vaccines are cultured in chicken eggs, so people who are allergic to eggs are advised not to get the flu vaccine. More to the point, if you look up the ingredients of, say, the chicken pox vaccine, human diploid cells are in there. Those are cells from an aborted fetus. Some vaccines do contain cells from aborted fetuses.

  2. I applaud you for writing you mind. We vaccinate, so I’ve been curious about those who don’t. I hope you don’t see this comment as being offensive, I’m just curious.

    When I was in kindergarten, some of my neighbors had chicken pox (this was before the vaccine came out). My mom purposely sent me to go play with them so I could get it. I then gave it to my brother before he entered school. It was the end of the school year so my school would be minimally disrupted. I’ve heard of parents “sharing” a sucker and mailing it to somebody they met through a website for the same reason. Is that something you’re contemplating, or are you just planning to let things happen?

    I’m also curious as to if you have been vaccinated or if the non-vaccine thing is something you have chosen for your family? How do your parents feel about your decision if they did vaccinate you when you were growing up?

    • This is exactly the type of comment I was hoping to get.

      I had the chicken pox as a child. My mom brought me over to my friend’s house so their kids would get the chicken pox. I would do that, too, with Jackson and Cassie. I don’t like the mailing a sucker thing because that’s just too risky for me. How do we know we’re getting chicken pox and not something else?

      I was vaccinated as a child and had my boosters before I went to college because I was told I had to do so. I haven’t been vaccinated since I was 17, and neither has Max. My mother-in-law does not agree with our decision, but she’s not the type to harp on it. My mom has passed away, but when we first said we weren’t vaccinating, was skeptical. I had a great conversation with her in which she realized that vaccines now are very different than they were when I was a kid, and she actually was kind of proud that I had the ability to go out and research and come to a decision. My dad is sort of a hippie type who doesn’t care for doctors, so he’s good with our decision too.

    • I’m not totally anti-vaccination. I’m anti-vaccination as it’s done now. It’s a one-size-fits-all approach right now. Safety testing is inadequate. Ingredients are toxic. I think some vaccines have a place in some people’s health, but I do not like how they are done at this time.

      • Pretty much everything. 🙂
        Seriously, though… first, we need a real, scientific study of the safety and efficacy of vaccines. We need to get the heavy metals, carcinogens, and animal products out of vaccines. We need to realize that each person is an individual and that some individuals should not receive certain vaccines. We need to concentrate on honest to God life-threatening diseases as opposed to every disease possible.
        Does that make sense?

  3. I couldn’t believe mercury was an ingredient of vaccines until recently. Many believe vaccines caused autism because of it. I’m not sure I agree (I noticed a difference in my child long before she had her vaccines), but I definately don’t want my kids to be injected with it.

    The chicken pox debate is on going. The vaccine wasn’t available for my older kids and I, too, made sure they were exposed. The problem with full exposure is shingles later in life. What’s your thought?

    Also, the vaccine to prevent the virus’ that seems to lead to cervical cancer sounds like a good idea to me. Sure, there are over 100 virus’ that cause the warts but only 7 are linked to the cancer. The vaccine doesn’t work for all of them but does help prevent most.

    • Most thimerosal (mercury) has been removed from most vaccines, but not all. The DT shot, for example, still contains mercury. However, just as worrisome is aluminum. Babies get several hundred times the FDA’s recommended dose of aluminum in their vaccines.

      The chicken pox vaccine is a live virus vaccine. That is, it contains the chicken pox virus. Anyone who gets the chicken pox virus can get shingles. Therefore, anyone who gets the chicken pox vaccine can get shingles. There is some indication that children are getting shingles more often now that the chicken pox vaccine is available. Further, the chicken pox vaccine is incredibly ineffective, and just pushes getting chicken pox to a person’s later years, which is when the virus is more dangerous.

      Gardasil does NOT prevent cervical cancer. Even the vaccine’s ads don’t claim that it does. Gardasil *might* prevent 2 or 3 of the strains that sometimes lead to cancer in certain people. We won’t know for at least 20 years if this is true. Unfortunately, the vaccine is very dangerous. Several dozen young women have died from it. If you already have HPV, the vaccine can, essentially, make it worse. I should do a whole post on the awfulness of Gardasil.

      • Now the HPV vaccine is one I’m not having my daughter get. There are 16 strains of HPV (the last I heard) that can cause cancer and the vaccine only targets a few of those. Plus, you can still get HPV and have it go away without it ever becoming cancer. And what about the boys? And if we knock out these strains, will the others get stonger? Routine screening can find cancer early as well. So does that make me not completely pro-vaccine?

      • I think it makes you smart. You know there are problems with the vaccine. You seem to know something about the disease it supposedly prevents. You have an understanding of serotype replacement. I wish everyone would learn about the diseases and the vaccines and make their choices accordingly.

  4. Not sure if you froze the thread up there or if it’s a glitch in the board, so I am replying to you here.

    Since there are no fetal bits in the vaccine, I don’t think your potatoes/roast analogy works. I would buy, however, an analogy in which a staunch animal rights advocate eschews all medications/vaccines/surgeries/etc since all of these were at one point tested on animals.

    Personally, I believe autism is caused by a mix of genetic and environmental factors, but as someone who has worked with people with autism, the genetic link is difficult to ignore. Just saw this today:

    http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/04/25/newborns-placenta-may-predict-autism-risk-study-suggests

    • I didn’t freeze the thread. I think WordPress limits the replies for some reason. Maybe it’s something I can set.

      I don’t think we can say that there aren’t any fetal cells in vaccines. There’s no meat in the potatoes, even though the potatoes were cooked in the same pan as the roast. Human diploid cells are listed as an ingredient in the vaccines.

      Autism may very well have a genetic component. In the Poling case, the vaccine court ruled that the MMR triggered autism in Hannah Poling because she had an underlying mitochondrial disorder.

  5. I’m not going to argue with you about vaccines except to say that I work in a medical centre and, due to less people vaccinating their children for whooping cough, then we have seen far more cases than before. Also, I believe that I contracted whooping cough though of course in an adult it is not dangerous. However, I made sure to stay home and keep away from children, especially since I don’t know which children are vaccinated these days.

    I do agree that making safer vaccinations is always a good thing and support any improvement in that.

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