You might find this interesting...... This is just my opinion but I've done a lot of reasearch over the years and I think that the debate is pretty much whether to administer a vaccine with potential side-effects or not to administer the vaccine and risk serious side-effects of disease.
It isn't quite that simple. I really think that avoiding problems whether or not you choose to vaccinate means putting in some work. This is just one person's story but I think it's a good one. In my case, I started preparing for my children's healthy immune system before conception. Lots of good healthy food, daily vitamins and regular exercise. (Although I think it's never too late if you don't start this early)
During pregnancy, more of the same and with my daughter, I was asked to take part in a study on the health of mothers during pregnancy and it's effect on asthma on their children. This meant keeping a diary of any sickness I had during pregnancy which was nil. The study then got extended to the first 2 years of my daughter's life where I had to keep a diary of any upsets to her immune system and what I thought the reason was. The only thing I was able to record was that when she was teething, she would sometimes have a little bit of a runny nose, but her teeth would just pop up with no crying or any trouble at all.
I should definitely mention that she was breastfed for that two years and the vitamins and good diet continued. I believe that any germ she was exposed to was filtered through me and her immune system was protected. You also should know that she was only immunised once - a delayed immunisation at 6 months where she screamed and had a temperature for 3 days so that was the last one she ever had to this day. I regret giving in to the pressure of my in-laws but I think that the delay, breastfeeding and good food definitely protected her. Her brother was 3 years old at the time and his reaction was a fever and the quietest I ever saw him as a child. Possibly his reaction was less because he was older and his immune system was more mature. I'm not saying that every child would get this but maybe we were genetically susceptible to having a reaction.
So at the same time my sister had 2 children who received every vaccine going. She did breastfeed and look after herself, although I don't know if she took vitamins. Compared to my children who never got more than a runny nose (a healthy sign of fighting off a bug) her children had sickness after sickness after sickness, ear infections (including grommits), stomach problems, chest infections, etc.
My other sister who didn't take care of herself very well and wasn't particularly healthy also had her children immunised and they are constantly sick - every time I hear from her at least one of them is sick. Oh! ...and my nephew has a form of autism - Asperger's syndrome.
On the other hand I made no effort to limit exposure to childhood diseases - my kids did get most of the childhood diseases but you would never have known they were sick other than slight rashes. They only had 4 actual pox from chicken pox shared through 3 children. On the other hand I caught chicken pox at the same time even though I was immunised as a child. They didn't get Mumps but I believe all my family are naturally immune to it because no-one has ever caught it even with exposure. I believe that the exposure to these mostly harmless (to healthy children) diseases 'tuned up' their innume systems and made them stronger.
My family are particularly susceptible to asthma and eczema but interestingly my children have never had any of these nor any other kind of allergy. When my daughter who was involved in the study turned 12 we were invited to take part in an extention of the study. My husband, daughter and I went to the childrens hospital and had a check-up, lung tests and allergy tests. I was allergic to dust mites, my husband to dust mites and cats but our daughter had no sign of any allergies at all. The doctor was happy to report that my family was "boringly healthy".
I truly believe that the decision to immunise is purely an individual decision - there might be some reasons why it's a good idea in some children (heart defect?) but it should be looked at on an individual basis. If the risk to health is higher than the risk of not immunising or vice versa then the parents have the right to be fully informed and make the choice without pressure one way or another. No-one should be forced to do something that they aren't sure about. Also a delayed decision is not such a bad idea - when Japan started immunising children at the age of 2 years instead of 2-3 months they noticed changes to the numbers of autism cases and cot deaths.
Sorry for the rave but I like to share my own experiences in case they can encourage people to do their own research and make a decision based on knowledge of consequences either way. Hearing someone else's experience got me researching too. Also anything I can do to encourage Mums to be healthy during pregnancy and breastfeed is good too.