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Thoughts on Vaccinations

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I seem to be running up against a brick wall in deciding what to do about vaccinations.  My Husband and I have read a lot about the pros and cons of various vaccines, including the vitamin K shot, but still can't settle.


We've spoken to so many friends who "just did them all" without questioning, which I found very suprising.  On the other end of the spectrum we have friends who were anti-vacc and had none of them.


Feeling like there has to be some middle ground......thoughts?

post #2 of 19

That's a loaded question winky.gif.  I feel like there is a lot of middle ground.  It definitely doesn't have to be an all or nothing choice, and you can simply choose to delay things until you have a better understanding of the choices you are making and still do all, some, or no vaccines.  


I think that you should look at each vaccine separately and make a choice for each one, since there is a different risk to benefit ratio for each.  Think about why you are hesitant to vaccinate, and really try and figure out if that makes sense in each situation.  Also, think about what your lifestyle is.  If you are planning on "extended" breastfeeding, are a SAHM, and eat a very healthy diet with a healthy immune system it's a totally different situation than it is if you are formula feeding, sending your child to daycare and eating a typical American diet. 


If you can stomach the back and forth, the vaccine forums have a ton of info.  I always keep in mind that the vaccines were created for a reason and they have done a lot of good.  But they are also questioned for good reason.  You really have to look at your own risk/benefits to each choice and make a choice that you feel comfortable with.  I don't think that there is a right or wrong answer, just a best answer for each person. 

I worked next to an immunology lab before DS was born, and on their bulletin board was a quote that went something like: "50% of what is in immunology textbooks is wrong...the problem is we don't know which half".  People do the best they can with what knowledge that they have, but that doesn't mean that just because a choice is right at one time doesn't mean that it's right later, and I think that goes for both sides of the argument.  I think the vaccine choice is something that we should be making over and over again.  Just because we decided one thing now because we believe it to be best, it doesn't mean that what we know (or don't know) won't change somewhere down the line and that means that we all have to reevaluate our choices from time to time.


I'll also throw out there that there is an oral vitamin K that you can use with a protocol that is as effective as the shot; this way if you are concerned about vit k levels but don't want to do the shot, there is another option to consider. 



post #3 of 19

You should do what you feel comfortable with. At least you are informed. That's the most important thing. Keep reading and thinking and try to work out what you feel is best for your family. 

One thing to consider is you can't not vaccinate after you have vaccinated, so if you feel like you need more time to decide, you can delay them until you feel confident about what you want.

post #4 of 19

I'm going with selective vaccination.  Since our baby is going to be in daycare, I'm going to go with the HIB and pneumococcal vaccines (protects against types of meningitis and ear infections).  I think that we're going to hold off on the rest until he's a little older (and some I will refuse all together).  I refused to get a Tdap during my 3rd trimester (new recommendation).

post #5 of 19

We don't vax at all.

If you're on the fence, I'd recommend delaying since you can vax later if you decide to, but you can't unvax. 

post #6 of 19

We did one set at 6 months with my first son because I felt pressured into it, hes 2 and hasn't had any since.  We won't with this squish either

post #7 of 19
Originally Posted by jr'smom View Post

We don't vax at all.

If you're on the fence, I'd recommend delaying since you can vax later if you decide to, but you can't unvax. 


Originally Posted by SunnyMuffin View Post

We did one set at 6 months with my first son because I felt pressured into it, hes 2 and hasn't had any since.  We won't with this squish either



I feel both of these. The other thing to consider is statelaw for school/daycare policy. Some states make it impossible to attend publicly regulated schools/daycares without vaccinations and/or with an all or nothing approach. We use a religious exemption to get out of vaccinating- but it is a lot of paperwork. With DD we were pressured into the first few rounds- though they were delayed because the DRs didn't want to give them to her since she was early/so young. This time I don't think it will be the same issue and we will refuse. Unless birth is hard on the baby we will decline the Vit K as well.


You need to do what feels right for you and your family, the debate is pretty heated. Good luck momma! Thanks for bringing this up.

post #8 of 19

I'm in the middle-ground.  I looked up the specific 'requirements' for my state for public schools (I put 'requirements' in quotes since we do have the option of religious exemption in my state, so technically they are not actually 'required' if you hand in the exemption statement, however I'm not feeling comfortable going that route).  I do only the vaccinations 'required' for school in my state, I do not start until 6 months, and I do only 1 or 2 at a time depending on exactly which ones I'm doing on a particular visit.  (the 'required' ones in my state are DTaP, Polio, Hib, Hep B, MMR, and Varicella, in varying doses some of which vary depending on timing)  It is much less strenuous than the recommended schedule but gets my kids easily up to date for school entry w/o having to do the exemption.  The dr I take the kids to is very supportive and would be fine with me not vaxing at all if I wanted - they are very respectful of parental decisions.  Some are not, though.  Make sure you do your research before you settle on a ped or family practice. 

post #9 of 19

We'll probably do something middle ground as well. They don't do Hep B at all here in the UK - but I would pass if I were in the States...it doesn't make sense to me unless you have a family member who will be in close contact who has Hep B.  


I'm getting the whooping cough vaccine during pregnancy (single dose vial, no mercury preservatives) so she'll be covered for that through me and I'll definitely be doing MMR when she's due because there are massive outbreaks in the UK of measles right now (like 5000 kids in Wales last month with a couple of deaths). The rest we'll decide once we figure out what we're doing for childcare if she's in group care and at higher risk for being exposed to things we'll make sure she has more coverage for the appropriate things.


Definitely doing oral Vitamin K - I did some research and the incidence of hemorrhagic disease (which is often fatal) in newborns without any vitamin K is about 1 in 200, which while overall a low number is too high for my liking. 

post #10 of 19

It would be my luck that there is a pertussis outbreak at one of the schools that I work at, just weeks after I refused a Tdap vaccine (new recommendation to get it in the 3rd trimester).  I wasn't 'directly' exposed, but I'm in the building.  I feel fine and am not too worried, but still makes me wonder if I made the right choice.  I told my OB that I would rather wait and get the vaccine PP and have the immunity go through my milk.  The recommendation is so new that I can't find a lot of information about it.

post #11 of 19

This is the new recommendation for Tdap during 3rd trimester.  I'm sketchy- even if there is a pertussis outbreak.  I had a Tdap in 2011 (required for grad school)....



post #12 of 19

Hmmm... I think I had mine a few years ago too.  My doctor hasn't mentioned anything.  I didn't get a flu shot this year, and I don't think I would be comfortable getting a Tdap at this point even if there is no mercury in it.  I made DW get one so she would be protected.  I would want other people who will be around the baby early to have one.  There have been outbreaks in my area.  There was an article in the paper just the other day.  But I still don't think I would want to get one now.

post #13 of 19
Originally Posted by JNajla View Post

This is the new recommendation for Tdap during 3rd trimester.  I'm sketchy- even if there is a pertussis outbreak.  I had a Tdap in 2011 (required for grad school)....



If you had Tdap in 2011 you should have full immunity at this point.  As far as I understand the Tdap vaccine is good for 10 years.

post #14 of 19
My ob knows this, but the new recommendation is an additional Tdap during 3rd trimester (even if a previous Tdap w/ in past 10 years). I felt that my immunity would be ok from shot 3 years ago- she said it doesn't always lead to 100% seroconversion so I should get another one. I refused it.
post #15 of 19
Just got the tdap 2 days after giving birth. My arm is the most painful part of my body now. I'm like really? What the ?
post #16 of 19
I'm feeling really torn about thus issue. DD got one oral dose of rota virus but nothing else, and she has not gotten any "VPDs" thus far. We did have a couple run-ins with croup, which scared us first-time parents enough that we went to the ER and were scolded for her vax status. But we still haven't gotten her any shots and, for now, we feel comfortable with that decision...

However, now that DD is taking preschool-type classes and is being exposed to so many germs that I am not necessarily encountering, I'm starting to wonder if we should re-think the vax thing for #2. DD probably won't be taking any classes for the first 2 months of baby's life, so maybe we will put the decision off til late August. If we end up vaccinating either of my girls we'll definitely be delayed (obviously) and selective. No Hep B orChicken Pox til they're tweens, probably no rota virus. I have serious reservations about Dtap, even though ÇA has been reporting high numbers recently.
post #17 of 19
The chances of getting rotavirus in this country are slim compared to 3rd world countries, so I'm going to skip that as well as hep b. My little one will be in daycare so I'm doing DtaP, HIB, and Prevnar. The rest can wait.
post #18 of 19
My 4 year old had about half the shots recommended, no MMR etc, and when he went to preschool he was sick so often I had to pull him out. I don't think it's shot related though, I just feel like it was because he wasn't exposed to so many other small germ carrying children until them. We also had a preemie in the house in 2010 and I was t concerned a bit about him not being vax'd and being around her.

Our preemie is now 3 and she's had almost no shots. She gets random fevers (low grade) sometimes when no one else has any signs of being sick but her body works them out and he's fine the next day. I'm also not concerned about her not having them.

New baby will get the Vit K and eye stuff at the hospital but will not start with shots in the first 6 months and afterwards we'll be doing them selectively as well. He also has a hole in his heart that quite possibly will need surgery around 6 months old.

I also wanted to add, my other children, 14, 12, & 9 have had all the recommended shots except the HPV vax and we refused that as well. My 9 year old has ADHD and makes me crazy sometimes but I would never suggest it was related.
post #19 of 19

I waited until our daughter was 6 months to do any vaccines even though we traveled internationally. Our holistic doctor felt that breastfeeding and being worn would very likely keep her safe.


After that, I think we did HiB, Dtap and polio very, very gradually. Polio because of our fairly frequent international travel and because it is considered a pretty non-reactive vaccine. If she were in daycare, we would maybe do more. To be honest, I don't feel very confident that our vaccine choices were the right ones for us or for the population at large. Our daughter has not been in daycare but we meetup once a week for a few hours with children who are. She has been remarkably healthy her whole life--we follow a whole foods, vegan, no added sweeteners diet for the most part--but it's hard to know why.


I'm thankful for this thread because it's making me think about all this stuff again, to review for the coming baby and for my daughter.

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