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What factors impacted/will impact your vaccination decisions?

Poll Results: What were the major factors in the vaccine decisions you made/will make?

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 7% (21)
    nutritional source (i.e., breastfeeding or bottle feeding)
  • 7% (22)
    childcare plans (e.g., daycare, staying at home)
  • 7% (22)
    disease prevalence in your area (i.e., where you are raising your children, or traveling with them)
  • 7% (23)
    lethality of diseases being vaccinated against
  • 10% (31)
    officially recognized side effects of vaccines (i.e., effects listed on the product inserts, or accepted/recognized by most medical providers)
  • 7% (22)
    non-officially recognized side effects of vaccines (i.e., effects not listed on product inserts, and not widely accpeted/recognized by most medical providers)
  • 4% (14)
    known health issues specific to your child (e.g., immune disorders, allergies)
  • 4% (12)
    known health issues specific to another family member (e.g., immunocompromised parent/sibling)
  • 9% (29)
    vaccine ingredients/manufacturing process (e.g., thimerosol, human cells)
  • 2% (8)
    religious beliefs or teachings
  • 9% (28)
    effectiveness of vaccines
  • 6% (18)
    personal experience with a vaccine-preventable disease (e.g., having chicken pox yourself, having a family member crippled by polio)
  • 4% (14)
    personal experience with a vaccine reaction (yourself or someone close to you)
  • 9% (29)
    general philosophy/beliefs about medicine
  • 0% (2)
    obligatory other
295 Total Votes  
post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
I am curious about what has led people to their vaccine decisions, whether it's full, on-time vax, delayed vax, selective vax, or no vax, or different decisions for different children or at different times. I tried to think of as many reasons as I could, and explain them as clearly as I could.

I would love to have you post further comments - how a particular factor specifically played in to your vaccine decision.

As I understand it, this should be an okay question for this forum, as long as people stick to explaining their own research/conclusions, and stay away from attacking/persuading others.
post #2 of 40
Thread Starter 
Factors I'm thinking about so far:

-We are planning on breastfeeding and no daycare, which lowers the risk of several VPDs, making vaccines less of an overall priority. This is also our first baby, so we won't have older kids bringing illnesses home from school.
-We live in the US, and don't have any plans for international travel at this point, so a polio vaccine seems pointless. So does the diphtheria vaccine. But since you can't get pertussis separate from diphtheria, we may do it anyway. I was actually against this, until I realized that dh gets pretty frequent respiratory infections, which I then get, too, and our pertussis vaccinations have most likely long-since worn off. Since pertussis is not as severe in adults, we could certainly get it and not know it.
-I don't really want to vaccinate against diseases with a very low probability of being lethal/disabling. That tosses out MMR (though I may get any future daughters vaccinated when they are older) and chickenpox, among others. This also partially a personal-history thing. Apparently, I had a very miserable case of chickenpox, but I have zero memory of it. In my mind, it is just a part of childhood. Talking to my mom and grandma, both had most or all of the MMR diseases, and it just wasn't a big deal. Everyone got them. Hepatitis A also fits in this category for me, though not really any personal history there, just statistics.
-Timing of vaccinations is something I forgot to list in the poll, but is also a big factor for me. Our baby won't be getting a Hep B vaccine, for sure, because babies without a Hep B positive family member (mostly mother) are just not at risk for it. I will discuss it with my kids when they are older, and let them decide for themselves. I plan on having the same discussion with them about HPV vaccination.
-Something I accidentally deleted from the poll: Family history. We have a strong family history of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and I am concerned about overloading our baby's immune system with vaccines and increasing the risk of repeating that history.

I am out of time, but I may add some more thoughts later. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
post #3 of 40

Great thread idea!  We selectively vax, and a major factor for us not giving our military-salute complaince to the full schedule is the lack of independent, longitudinal, placebo-controlled research on some of the newer vaccines, as well as the vaccine-heavy schedule itself.  Some argue that placebo-controlled research would be unethical, (i.e. involving "denying" medical treatment to the voluntarily unvaccinated).  But if we take that claim at its face value, the public is still owed an explanation of the limits on vaccine-related research.  ("Limits to these findings include an inability to conduct placebo-controlled research because....")  Also, I made sure to mark the "lethality of diseases" options.  Polio is not the same thing as four (out of 100+) potentially cancer-causing strands of HPV, (easily detected through regular pap smears), and diptheria is not the same thing as chicken pox.  Anyway, thanks for your efforts toward keeping this thread debate-free.  I'm interested in hearing other people share!   

post #4 of 40

We started out getting every vaccine on schedule. It didn't occur to us to question the schedule, bcause our pediatrician was recommending it, and we liked and trusted this pediatrician (and we still do). We did ask about risks, and were told that risks were absolutely minimal, and that nearly all adverse reactions occurred in third-world countries with lack of proper sanitation and nutrition, in babies with obvious underlying issues, etc. (This is what our pediatrician had been taught in medical school, and this was the mantra of the large pediatric practice of which he was the junior member.)

 

It wasn't until our children had had several adverse reactions that we (and the pediatrician) figured out that the vaccines were what was causing the reactions.  (We do not live in a third-world country, and our children were deemed healthy by the pediatrician before vaccination.)

 

It took several reactions for us to figure it out, because the pediatrician thought that the first reaction was a fluke.  The second reaction was very different from the first reaction, so even then, he didn't make the connection--and neither did we, until later. Once we started researching the reactions our children were having, it became very clear, though.

 

We are lucky that our pediatrician does, finally, "get it," and is absolutely supportive of our decision to avoid further vaccinations; in fact, he offered to write medical waivers for us, and put in our childrens' charts that he is recommending avoiding future vaccines due to past adverse reactions. He even said that he does not want to see any more vaccine reactions on his watch. But we--and more importantly, our children--had to go through hell before he "got it."  (The nurse--who ended up losing her job--wasn't so understanding, and treated me with scorn when I called in when our oldest was having the seizure/encephalopathy reaction; she wouldn't even let me talk to the doctor and told me that I was a hysterical new mom over-reacting, and that I should put the baby in his crib and walk away.)  The reactions my children had included unconsciousness for days (happened to both the oldest and the youngest), seizure/encephalopathy, full-body rash that lasted for over 6 months, and sudden-onset food intolerance.

 

We are also extremely lucky that all our children recovered.

 

If we had known then what we know now about the risks of vaccines, I'm really not sure if we would have opted for selected/delayed vaccination schedule, or if we would have avoided vaccines entirely.

post #5 of 40

I started out vax DS 'on schedule' because I didn't want to argue with anyone.  I've been declining the CP vax for years and just recently declined the HPV vax for him.  Since DS had a horrible rxn to abx 2 years ago I've pretty much stopped everything.  I did allow tetnus because he is on swim team and walks around with out shoes at the pool.

 

We homeschool so vax isn't as critical or debatable as those who need to deal with schools.  Our state also has a personal exemption

post #6 of 40

The fact that I was breastfeeding and not using daycare did give me some comfort at first.

 

My exclusively breastfed daughter did get chicken pox when she was 6 months old, though, so I no longer think BFing is a magic bullet against disease.  Looking up stats on how often breastfed babies get something versus non-breastfed babies may be useful to anyone researching the issue.  

 

My decision not to vaccinate largely stems from the fact that catching the disease where I live and having a serious reaction to the disease is lower than the known and accepted chances of having a reaction to a vaccine. I came to this conclusion using sources such as CDC and vaccine inserts.   In short, I believe not vaccinating is safer for my children.  I will pre-emptively say that while I do not entirely discount herd immunity, I do have some serious issues with it, enough that the battle cries of "we vaccinate so diseases don't come back!" does not hold much sway with me.  

 

Lethalness of diseases has given me pause.  If I could have found a tetanus shot that was separate from d and p  (and yes, I know some people can get a hold to TD) I might have gone for it.  Knowing disease prevention and management has given me a fair bit of comfort - for example:  making sure wounds bleed properly often (almost always) prevents tetanus.  


Edited by purslaine - 5/1/12 at 8:38am
post #7 of 40
For me, it's all about estimating and comparing risks: of exposure, of catching the VAD, of short and long term impacts of VAD, of short and long-term impacts of vaccine, etc. This is a fluid decision that takes into consideration health of myself, other family members, my child, etc., both that day and overall, including family history, exposure to environmental pollutants, etc. Then, being totally honest, there is a healthy dose of personal perspective factored in there as well from our care providers, sources we respect, and ourselves (including my DH, who grew up in a developing country and has a different perspective from US-born me).

Every vaccination opportunity is a chance to reevaluate where we are with respect to all of these factors and to either afifrm or change our previous decision.
post #8 of 40
From the outset i was nervous and my husband was adamant that we would vax.  I knew my daughter was going to daycare and husband and I both work in environments where we have a lot of interaction with people and a decent probability of bringing things home.  That really was what pushed me from hesitant to "ok, we need to do this," then as I started to research and read more and talk to my pediatrician I started to feel more comfortable with the decision.  Since then the more I've read the more confident I've been that we're doing the right thing. I totally agree that each vaccine is a chance to reevaluate and assess the decision.

I think it's normal to feel nervous when you're taking this perfect little creature and injecting them with something that even maybe might hurt them.  I really had to research and think about the relative risk and realize that the risk from the disease was greater than the risk from the vaccine.  We also doth have food allergies or other things that might make methinkmy child was more "sensitive" or likely to havea reaction in our family, that likely would've swayed my decision making, as well.
Edited by Rrrrrachel - 5/1/12 at 8:38am
post #9 of 40

Don't want to offend anyone, but I see refusing any standard vaccinations for your children as incredibly selfish. Not only are you putting your child at risk for an otherwise preventable disease, but you are endangering the welfare of people in the community who that vaccine will not work for. I'm talking about the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine in particular.And recent outbreaks (even in the US - a few recent cases in California) because of parents who refused to vaccinate their children.

 

Interesting article about Measles in the world:

http://www.usatoday.com/NEWS/usaedition/2012-03-20-Measles_ST_U.htm

 

While its understandable to be skeptical about something you don't know about in its entirety, all vaccines go through numerous regulated and monitored animal and human safety trials to prove that they are safe and effective. So let's stop all of the unfounded assumptions. There is absolutely no evidence that vaccines cause chronic illness or disease of any kind. While some people can experience mild allergic reactions or mild cold-like symptoms from some vaccines, these side-effects usually don't last more than 24-48 hours. Vaccines are designed to enhance our immune systems - and in many cases have been key to ending epidemics (like polio). Even the flu vaccine - which is tricky because of multiple strains and mutations - continues to help to reduce both infections and deaths from flu over the last several years. The CDC has some pretty graphs to depict this trend if you don't believe me: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/

 

For the sake of healthier communities - get your vaccines and get your children vaccinated properly.

post #10 of 40

Like many parenting decisions, the vaccine decision is sensitive and personal. We start with the assumption that we all respect each other even when we make different choices. As in all discussions here at Mothering, talk nice to one another and remember our User Agreement.

 

 

Your post heyjustagirl is incredibly offensive no matter what side mothers are on. Mothers are always doing what they believe is the best for their children.

 

Calling people selfish, stupid and unable to come to a "proper" understanding is beyond me.

 

You have broken the forum guidelines and I have reported you. You owe women on this forum an apology...

post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by heyjustagirl View Post

Don't want to offend anyone, but I see refusing any standard vaccinations for your children as incredibly selfish. Not only are you putting your child at risk for an otherwise preventable disease, but you are endangering the welfare of people in the community who that vaccine will not work for. I'm talking about the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine in particular.And recent outbreaks (even in the US - a few recent cases in California) because of parents who refused to vaccinate their children.

 

Interesting article about Measles in the world:

http://www.usatoday.com/NEWS/usaedition/2012-03-20-Measles_ST_U.htm

 

While its understandable to be skeptical about something you don't know about in its entirety, all vaccines go through numerous regulated and monitored animal and human safety trials to prove that they are safe and effective. So let's stop all of the unfounded assumptions. There is absolutely no evidence that vaccines cause chronic illness or disease of any kind. While some people can experience mild allergic reactions or mild cold-like symptoms from some vaccines, these side-effects usually don't last more than 24-48 hours. Vaccines are designed to enhance our immune systems - and in many cases have been key to ending epidemics (like polio). Even the flu vaccine - which is tricky because of multiple strains and mutations - continues to help to reduce both infections and deaths from flu over the last several years. The CDC has some pretty graphs to depict this trend if you don't believe me: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/

 

For the sake of healthier communities - get your vaccines and get your children vaccinated properly.

 

You're not telling us anything we haven't already heard a million times, and those of us who question vaccines have done countless hours of research on the topic, way more than your mainstream media propaganda.

 

There actually are tomes of evidence that vaccines can cause chronic illness and even the diseases they are supposed to prevent.

 

You did intend to offend, and your comments are inaccurate and ignorant.

post #12 of 40

She is explaining her perspective (she sees it as selfish) and she didn't call anyone stupid.  I dont' see how her post is offensive at all, and if hers is offensive, insisting she must be reading industry propaganda and just regurgitating it is at least as offensive.  You seem to be offended by the fact that she disagrees with you.

 

Her opinion is at least as valid as either of yours.  I don't know why voicing her opinion had to result in attacks ON HER vs. statements on the issue at hand.

post #13 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post

She is explaining her perspective (she sees it as selfish) and she didn't call anyone stupid.  I dont' see how her post is offensive at all, and if hers is offensive, insisting she must be reading industry propaganda and just regurgitating it is at least as offensive.  You seem to be offended by the fact that she disagrees with you.

 

Her opinion is at least as valid as either of yours.  I don't know why voicing her opinion had to result in attacks ON HER vs. statements on the issue at hand.

 

Really?  Being called selfish and endangering the community isn't offensive?  Huh.

 

Of course she is entitled to her opinion.  But these sweeping generalizations from a brand-new poster are insulting and suspicious.  It's nothing we haven't heard before.

post #14 of 40
She expressed her opinions about not vaccinating. Her comments weren't addressed at anyone in particular. There is epidemiological support for what she said, it's hardly mud slinging. She didn't even use very inflammatory rhetoric. I can see getting upset if someone went into the "I'm not vaccinating space" and said something like this, that would just be stirring the pot, but that's not where this thread is, is it?

Why does it matter if she's "new?". It's a discussion forum, she joined the discussion. Weren't we all new once?
post #15 of 40

We vaccinate fully and on schedule. I am grateful that we live in the first world and have the option. We have traveled extensively and seen the damage done by diseases for which there are now vaccines. I think the benefits are clear and the science supports them. My area, which has many unvaccinated people (documented and undocuments immigrants from developing countries; people who don't vaccinate by choice) has many, many serious outbreaks of avoidable disease.

 

Our family is crunchy in almost every MDC way but I absolutely, firmly believe in vaccinating. Personally, I think delayed or alternate schedules are kind of pointless (you either believe in them or you don't) so we do it on schedule because it is easier to keep track of them.

post #16 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post


Why does it matter if she's "new?". It's a discussion forum, she joined the discussion. Weren't we all new once?

 

Yes, some of us joined MDC because we were interested in natural family living, not to bash those who disagree with one aspect of it.

post #17 of 40
I don't see why people have to try and start unnecessary debates...the original poster of this thread was asking what factors impacted our vaccination decisions. If you get every vaccine on schedule, good for you, but this is neither the time nor the place to insinuate that other posters on this thread are selfish for making our own medical decisions for our children. I am holding off on vaccines for now because my son, 10 months, is still breastfeeding, he is not in daycare, and as of right now the risks don't outweigh the slim (imho) benefits of giving him all of the recommended vaccines at this point in time.
post #18 of 40
She didn't bash anyone! She shared her opinion in response to the question! Why all the hostility to a simple opinion (and one backed by facts, at that)?
post #19 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by heyjustagirl View Post

Don't want to offend anyone, but I see refusing any standard vaccinations for your children as incredibly selfish.

 

Whether or not you see not vaccinating as selfish may come down (in part)  how you view herd immunity.

 

If you have reservations about herd immunity, then it is not a selfish act.  Reservations may include:  some diseases are not contagious (tetanus), some vaccines are not highly effective (pertussis) some diseases are not dangerous for many people (CP, mumps, rubella - and catching those diseases as childrren usually confers lifetime immunit, unlike vaccines) and the fact that some diseases or their severity declined due to time, advances in medicine, nutrition, sanitation (diptheria).  

post #20 of 40
Thread Starter 
Just a reminder to all - this is a place to share about YOUR reasons for YOUR vaccine decisions. I don't think that anyone's opinion about anyone else's vaccine decisions have any place in this thread. Nor does arguing about whether or not someone else is offensive further the aims of this thread in the least. It's also exceptionally pointless in this case, as it seems this person has joined to forum solely to voice her opinion about others' decisions - both of her posts on MDC are exactly the same.

I don't want to ask to have my own thread deleted, but I absolutely will if it can't remain useful.
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