Today I am beginning a series of entries about vaccines. I believe that vaccines are good in general, but that there are dangers associated with them, and that it is a poor parent who does not take some time to research them and make choices for their child, rather than just blindly accepting the "recommended schedule" pushed by most pediatricians. Many vaccines are not safe for some children (such as those with milk or egg allergies), or are not safe at certain times/ages. Some vaccines are not safe for any children (such as the recent rotateq--which has killed more babies than the last rotovirus vaccine which was pulled from the market because it was killing babies...). Some vaccines are not even effective (such as the varicella vaccine, which even the manufacturer discribes as being effective for a maximum of 10 years--in other words, as soon as the child is old enough that chicken pox would actually be a severe disease, their vaccination wears off...) Futhermore, many new vaccinations are being released to the market without sufficient testing (the HPV vaccination is causing paralysis, Rotateq is causing death...how did we not test for these things prior to injecting the unsuspecting public?!)
I wish to make one thing very clear right from the beginning--vaccination is NOT the same as immunization. When one is immunized, one is immune from the effects of a disease--this can happen by getting the disease and building up sufficient antibodies, OR (thoretically) by vaccination--by being injected with some form of the disease which is supposed to trigger that same buildup of antibodies. Therefore, I am very careful about which term I use--vaccination and immunization are two very different things, and one is not always connected to the other.
Now, as I said, I do believe in vaccinating. BUT, I do not believe in getting all available vaccinations, nor do I believe in getting as many doses or as early as the schedules recommend. I have been researching this at length, and my research comes from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the Pink Book (the CDC's official vax information book), and the package inserts that come with the vaccines themselves. I am not making this up. I am not being suckered in by emotional inflamatory arguments. I am basing my choices on hard science. Facts. If you are bothered by that, or if you have neglected to do the research for your own family, shame on you.
The sites from which I have gleaned my information:
Center for Disease Control
CDC's Pink Book
Utah Public Schools Requirements for Vaccination
Utah Health Department's Recommendations for Vaccination (Also includes listings of the MTC's recommendations for missionaries)
Health Sentinel (this site has graphs of infection rates, and shows their changes over time, including the affect of the introduction of various vaccines.)
Package Inserts (This is actually a series of articles which summarize the contents of the package inserts. Each article includes a link to the original insert, but those are hard to slog through. I know this author personally, and hold her above reproach in her research. All the research I have done backs up everything I have found in her articles.)