My Vaccination Research

This post is intended as a jumping off point for understanding my perspective on vaccination, and also for linking directly to each of my other posts on vaccination (it will be updated when I write additional posts).

I need to start off with a little rant about (mis)use of the word 'immunization' when people mean 'vaccination.' It makes me crazy. We are bombarded with the misuse of these terms (even from people like the CDC, who should know better), and I think it contributes to why so many people think that vaccinations are so wonderful and important.
Immunization makes a LOT of sense! If you could do something and subsequently have lifelong immunity to a disease, I'd say go for it! Huzzah for getting chicken pox when I was 10!!! Catching measles or mumps has the same effect--you become immune for life. Immunity, or immunization via contracting the disease, makes lots of sense to me.
However, vaccination--which is supposed to give immunity--does not always work. Actually it fails a lot. So vaccinations are not immunizations. Let me say that again. Vaccinations are NOT immunizations. They are intended to be, but they aren't.
With that said, I am not entirely anti-vaccination. I'm entirely against some vaccinations, but not all of them. We do vaccinate our children (and ourselves) with some vaccines and on a delayed/spread-out schedule. My husband favors more vaccines than I do (although he doesn't support them all either), so we have sought compromise in our selection and scheduling of vaccinations. I have chosen to not post much of my personal conclusions about what we do and when because I think it is vital for parents to do their own research, prayer, and pondering, and reach their own conclusions. I have written these posts with the hope that it helps you start the process. ☺

I have spent literally hours researching vaccinations and the diseases they are meant to prevent. Here is a convenient list of links to my findings. (yes, I know some of them are not links yet--that's because I haven't written the post yet!)

My introduction to my vaccine series--my sources and my reasons for writing it all up here. For each vaccination I address, I look at the following:
  1. School requirements (these vary between states, but links to find them for your state are in the intro post)
  2. MTC recommendations for LDS missionaries (since I anticipate my kids serving missions, I think this is an important consideration)
  3. What the actual disease is like--risk groups, symptoms, and consequences of getting it
  4. The vaccine--benefits (efficacy rates) and risks (side-effects)
The shots themselves: Benefits, Risks, Alternatives
Some experts weigh in
  • Dr Andrew Weil (from a magazine interview)
  • Dr Stephanie Cave (from her book "What your Doctor may NOT tell you about Children's Vaccinations")
  • quotes from a whole bunch of educated people (most of them doctors)
Some additional thoughts


cc said...

Good stuff. It's great to have more sources for parents to see all the information in one place.

Have you read the user-friendly vaccination schedule by Dr. Donald Miller? I think it's another great way to explain the difference in immunity from vaccines, versus immunity from acquiring the disease. We may be doing ourselves as a community more harm than good by ignoring the fact that many childhood illnesses are a rite-of-passage for our immune systems and may explain a lot of the failures we see in our collective health down the road.

Also, it's important to help parents be aware of "herd immunity" and how their doctor views what they are doing by not vaccinating as dangerous to public health. True in theory, but not totally conclusive. They will make you believe that by opting out you are putting others at risk, which is not directly true. But it's used as a guilt and scare tactic.

Have you heard of the research that is attempting to effectively deliver vaccines in probiotics? Much safer and the delivery method may actually give our bodies the right type of immunity - allowing us to obtain safer strains and passive immunity without side effects of vaccines or the potential dangers of illness. Here's hoping.

Ginger Harvey said...

I am VERY interested in your break down of the other vaccines (Pneumococcal, Meningococcal, Rotavirus, HPV/"Cervical Cancer ("Guardasil"), and Flu). I really appreciate how thorough you have been!! After my oldest got so very sick after his 6 month shots, we started looking into vaccines and if they were worth the risks or not. Your research is impeccable though!

Jenni said...

I'm glad you appreciate what I've collected here Ginger. :)
I have not written yet on the other vaccines because they're newer and while they are 'recommended' they are not 'required' yet so they just were not my top priority to research.
The short answer is that I don't do any of the non-required ones (I don't even do all of the required ones LOL!)
--The Rotavirus vaccine kills babies. The old one did and they pulled it, but even more babies have died from the new one and they still haven't pulled it. I wouldn't touch it for anything.
--Guardasil causes paralysis or sometimes death. I would teach chastity and/or safe sexual practices and avoid the shot.
--Flu shots are quite literally 'a shot in the dark' as they have to guess at which strains will rear up in a given year in order to put them in the vax. The H1N1 vax (which was included in the main flu vax this year) is linked to increased rates of miscarriage. It is also a live vaccine, and may actually *cause* the flu. We never get flu shots.
--Pneumoccal and meningococcal I have not researched yet, but I lean toward fewer shots rather than more, and I survived without them so make of that what you will. ;)

Katrina said...

Yes, I feel the same way about Guardasil. Just from what I learned as a medical transcriptionist about that vaccine made me very leery of it.

~GINGER~ said...

Would you mind if I quoted your page on an upcoming blog post? You've got SUCH great information, much of which hasn't changed since you posted it. And you have an eloquence that I'd like to quote.

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