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What were your deciding factors?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
With all the information out there, good arguments on both sides I think, what were your deciding factors in choosing to selectively or delay vaccinations? Have you been completely comfortable with your decision or do you have regrets?

(I'm asking these questions because although I currently do not vax, I re-visit the subject occasionally because I'm not always comfortable with that decision. I come back to research some more, and am currently really on the fence about starting to selectively vax.) TIA for your responses!
post #2 of 14
The scales are tipped towards the vaccine for me when the risks of the disease outweigh the risks of the vaccine. But this simple sentence incorporates so many things.

Take Rotavirus, one we have decided not to do. The risks of rotavirus are significant and can be so even for a breastfed baby. My older two had this on an international trip and it was a disaster. However, on the risk side of the vaccine has been my feelings that:

-it is newer and I am not sure on the testing results and ongoing tests
-it may cause rota like side effects
-you can only get it very young and there are other vaccines I want to do in those time frames

My feelings have been bolstered by the recent news that Rotarix may be associated with an increase in intersussecption:


It will now carry a warning on its label until further testing is completed.

So, if I went ahead with rota, I would definitely do Rotateq but now I am content to wait and see what the results of a few more tests they are doing on Rotateq before we even consider moving forward with it.

My decisions went the other way when it came to MMR, Hib, DTaP, Heb B, and IPV. When travel was factored in along with the risks of the diseases and our personal family situation (such as having a Heb B + fam member we stay with in the summer), we decided that these are good vaccines to do. We are now also leaning towards PCV 13.
post #3 of 14
the deciding factors for me came down to disease exposure and how worried i was about the disease.

i delayed with my ds and most recently got him is final DTaP, IPV, and Hep B. the only regret i have regarding his schedule is that i started him on the chicken pox vax. we lived in the bay area when he was little and he was exposed to all sorts of folks all.the.time.

my dd has been vax free up until a few weeks ago. she is 2-1/2. we moved from a very rural area to a larger town with much more exposure to people i don't know. i do kind of regret waiting so long to get her started but not terribly so. at this age, she watched herself getting the shot, did not cry at all, and was much more capable of understanding that it might hurt.

i think that i feel a bit relieved that i've finally started her because tetanus and diphtheria are large concerns for me.

eta- i think i reevaluated my position when i decided that BOTH sides often relied on scare tactics to make a profit. i don't like feeling like i'm being fed information so someone can sell their book.

even with this change though, i still evaluate my own child's personal risk for the disease, as well as the reactivity of the vaxes. i do not do more than one vax at a time, and i will discontinue a vax if my child reacts to it more than i am comfortable. in all honesty, i started thinking about how much i take things like clean water, sewer systems, being able to order things from the internet, and a robust food supply for granted. if those things were taken away, i would still want my children to have some protection for diseases that would be much more prevalent in those conditions.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for your replies. I agree with the scare tactic on both sides of the issue. I get scared either way and that's why I haven't done anything because I'd rather wait until I'm absolutely sure. Still sitting on the fence with some vaccines. Wish I could feel sure one way or the other.

Would like to hear more responses.
post #5 of 14
For me it came down to this: if I vax then I am 100% putting something into my child's body that COULD do them harm, if I don't vax then there is a CHANCE they could catch something that COULD do them harm.

I understand that this is a very simplistic look on an issue that has many factors. At one point I got worried about one disease in particular. I took my three oldest kids (the fourth wasn't born) and got them a single dose of the vaccine. After, it was administered I was informed they would need 2 more doses. I wasn't aware of this (shame on me), but it didn't sit well with me and I didn't give them anymore. The children were 15 months, 33 months and 5. I just recently realized that the child who was 33 months had her first asthma attack a few weeks after the shot. She still struggles with respiratory issues. I wish I had stuck to my no vax plan, but I'm glad I began setting the best boundaries for my family before my DD got any more shots.
post #6 of 14

Deciding factors

I never gave more than 2 from the start and then after a reaction that lead to my baby being kept over night for two nights in the hospital I quit all together. The first two I gave were DTAP and HIB. The second time was the same with adding a prevnar. My baby had a fever that lasted three days, low grade but still a fever. The third set I gave 4 and knew in my gut it was a mistake. They said most kids don't get a reaction off the first set. After the hospital and whole ordeal I asked my ped which was more of a risk, catching a vaccine preventable disease or having a serious reaction from a shot. The ped said it as the same and both were rare. He said we will not know the effects of the current vaccine schedule for 20 years. It is up to the parent and not the ped to make the best choice . He said he would understand either way. I decided I could not live with myself if I gave a shot that changed my child and would go with the disease risk. I am so at peace with this choice. The hospital could never tell me 100% that my daughter did not have a vaccine reaction. My ped said she was a medical mystery. I even had her titers checked at 10 months and she was 100% for tetanus and whooping cough. Why do they think all kids need so many ? Many get immunity after a couple of sets. I say go with your gut. If you feel comfortable spacing do it. If you don't know what to do don't do anything. Read as much as you can. I bought all of the books. I like Dr. Sears's book and the Don't vaccinate Before you Educate book. I think it is just a very hard choice. You have this perfect little loving baby trusting you with their life. You can't stick them unless you feel and know it is the best choice. They trust and love you so much. My first baby had delayed shots until 10 moths and she had an equivelent of 6 months of shots with only one polio and not roto shots. None after her bad set. My second baby has not had any besides the Hep B in the hospital because they did not ask me before they gave it. My next baby will not have any. If my first baby did not have a bad reaction I probably would have spaced and not quit all together. I don't think vaccines are bad. They save lives. I don't think there should be a one size fits all approach. The drug companies and FDA don't know or care about my children. God gave then to me and it is imperetive that I make careful health choices for them. Nobody knows your child or loves them like you can. I think a mother knows deep down when she should space or not give them. Listen to your cautious inner voice.
post #7 of 14
I'm choosing to delay and space out my child's vax because young children's immune systems do not have the same immune response as an older child/ adult. This is why an adult needs one tetanus shot to provide ten years of immunity, but the infant series is four shots. So by delaying, I can actually lessen the total number of shots needed. I only do one shot at a time because I feel the sheer volume of the shots, when compared to blood volume, is hard on the kidneys, and I don't want to stress my child's body unnecessarily.
post #8 of 14
I delay the Hep B shot until the 2 month visit and then get it with the other shots. Other than that, we vax on schedule. I read till my eyes about fell out, and I feel the risks of the vaccinations are minimal and not enough reason to avoid. As for why I delay that initial shot, I don't really have a solid reason. I just don't like giving a vax to a newborn By 2 months I feel like I have a much clearer picture of their health than 2 days after birth.

Now dd2 had seizures at birth due to a stroke, and we did delay all her vaxes until she was off her seizure medicine and had been seizure free for a few months (so she was around 9 months when she started getting them).
post #9 of 14
I like to delay because it seems like some vaxes just aren't as effective early on. The ones that we'll for sure get on schedule are Dtap and Hib. MMR we'll probably delay until closer to 18 mos. I'm still undecided on varicella. HepB and polio can wait until after a year, IMO. I believe in the efficacy and safety of most vaccines, I just don't want to give shots that aren't even very helpful yet. Even more importantly, my DH and I are up to date on our vaccinations and I feel that offers another layer of protection in many cases.
post #10 of 14
Well, as an immgrant and the daughter of a phd research scientist, my decisions were based on knowledge of the risks of each disease, coupled with knowledge of the importance of supporting natural immune function and development. My laundry list? Rotovirus was a joke to me (a joke that was later recalled...), as we are in an industrialized country with great medical support. Kids here don't die of diarrhea. I just made sure to wash my hands after poop. Hep B at birth or before school (unless is in family of course) is another joke. My son will not be sharing needles, having sex, or working with blood for a while. Mmr I am waiting until school age as I feel his risk is minimal at this point. Both my parents and their peers had measles, mumps, and rubella, and they are still here. prevnar is too new for me,responsible for the superstrain resistant to antibiotcs, and pneumococcal bacteria needs a weaker immune system to become invasive. I don't feel a breastfed kid is at risk. None of us had Prevnar and here we are...The two that matter to
me are dtap and hib. Hib is very often invasive, regardless of health status of the host. And meningitis rates are high with it. On the who infant mortality pie chart, it is responsible for a whopping 80%. tetanus is crazy serious too. My uncle had it as a child and it was horrible. The people who say pertussis is just another childhood bug probably haven't had it or had milder versions. I had it when I was 3 and I still remember funking I was going to die. Not being able to breathe is horrible and terrifying, and I feel all kids are exposed to whooping cough at some point.
So that's where I am. I feel pretty good about it, but it hasn't been easy getting here. I think having my scientist mom say nay to the Heps and Prevnar with me helped tons. I am also very dedicated to extnded bfing, so if I wasn't doing that, I would have likely made other decisions.

Hope that helps and just remember that ultimately, it's about your family's comfort level. We cannot control everything. We don't own our children, we are just their temporary guardians and all we can do is our best.
post #11 of 14
post #12 of 14
Originally Posted by carriebft View Post
I think my choice of word was poor. Of course it's not a joke. I just meant that to us the risk was anecdotal. If we had a large family and someone had hep, that would be different. That's why I said unless it is in the family. It is spread by contact with bodily fluids and cannot be passed throgh casual contact. My son is in a setting where he only has close contact with myself and my dh. That, of course, influenced my decision.

As for Rotavirus, kids die of the diarrhea and dehydration, not the virus itself. I feel with proper medical attention it is, at most, a painful experience. Kids die from the common flu complications more often, but I do 't get the flu shot either.
post #13 of 14
On second thought, I didn't think you meant that the disease/experiences were a joke, just the way the "doom and gloom" is written (kinda like the implication that everyone will die of rota but we have advantages here that others do not have). that's why I edited; I can understand that completely.
post #14 of 14
Originally Posted by carriebft View Post
On second thought, I didn't think you meant that the disease/experiences were a joke, just the way the "doom and gloom" is written (kinda like the implication that everyone will die of rota but we have advantages here that others do not have). that's why I edited; I can understand that completely.
Yup. goes to show that circumstances are so different from family to family. Everyone's experiences are different, as are their risks. Your siggy says it all. We do the best we can with what we know, attempt to not let fear control us, and enjoy motherhood.
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