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How do you sift out the "truth"? - Page 2

post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by grace474
here is my method...

avoid the pro and anti vax sites
research the heck out of the individual diseases and viruses
only vax if you discover that you are realistically more afraid of the disease/virus than you are of the vax

This is good advice...

My method is a little different...

seek out the pro and anti-vax sites and see what the extreme positions have to say
look into the major claims of the pro- and anti-vax activists and decide how they hold up logically and how well they are supported empirically
talk about the issue with others from all points of view but naturally view with suspicion those who try to convince with sarcasm, casting aspersions, and fear tactics - instead of logic and factual evidence

Think about it think about it think about it and slowly decide what makes sense!

Repeat repeat repeat

The other thing is...for me...I am not just concerned about DD getting the diseases and what the risks are. I am concerned about a) her passing a disease on to an immunocompromised person or persons and b) the fact that IMO if I choose not to vaccinate her I am helping to weaken the immunity of the "herd" that has allowed parents to make the choice not to vax and to be fairly sure that this is a pretty safe thing to do.

I know that the very existence of herd immunity is met with skepticism here and I also know that the idea of vaccination as a social responsibility is considered laughable. But, those things are important considerations for me.

FWIW my daughter (16 months) has had no vax but we are definitely leaning towards vaccinating her for many of the VPDs beginning around her 2nd birthday. The exact schedule is still up in the air and this decision has not been set in stone. Still following the method outlined above.

I want to feel as sure as possible that I am doing the right thing by my DD, of course. It's a very personal thing and the right answer will be different for different individual families IMO, and thus I believe that there is no reason for one "side" in this debate to demonize the other side. Right now I definitely think that the right thing to do (for my DD, forgetting the social responsibility aspect) is to vaccinate, but not blindly - not necessarily for everything on the CDC schedule - and slowly. That's the choice I am most comfortable with, given what I have learned about the risks and benefits of vaccination.
post #22 of 35
Thanks for a great post, Nora's Mama. It's great to see more moderates posting - those aware of the dangers of vaccination, willing to delay, yet also aware of the benefits, and willing to weigh those thoughtfully.

We too are concerned with herd immunity and civic responsibility...thought I was the only one!
post #23 of 35
Quote:
seek out the pro and anti-vax sites and see what the extreme positions have to say
look into the major claims of the pro- and anti-vax activists and decide how they hold up logically and how well they are supported empirically
I would just be a little careful about that. There are a lot of, to be frank, stupid antivax claims out there on the more extreme end.
And on the pro-vax end, too.
Figuring out how and why those stupid claims can't be true is good, but it doesn't really tell you what's really going on, kwim?

Just because you can debunk a claim from one side isn't a score for the other necessarily.
A whole lot of the "information" out there is just a bunch of irrelevant nonsense. There's a whole lot of that on both sides.
post #24 of 35
I really hear you about this dilemma! We see an ND and she has totally left the decision in our hands. She has a lot of clients who don't vax at all, but also a lot who delay it, starting sometime between 6 months and a year. She recommmended we read Aviva Jill Romm's book so I put it on hold at the library but with 14 other holds it looks like I am going to have to wait a while. In the meantime, I don't feel like I can trust ANYBODY to really tell me the unbiased truth about this subject. And it's frustrating and a little bit scary.
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamakay
I would just be a little careful about that. There are a lot of, to be frank, stupid antivax claims out there on the more extreme end.
And on the pro-vax end, too.
Figuring out how and why those stupid claims can't be true is good, but it doesn't really tell you what's really going on, kwim?

Just because you can debunk a claim from one side isn't a score for the other necessarily.
A whole lot of the "information" out there is just a bunch of irrelevant nonsense. There's a whole lot of that on both sides.
Oh ITA. But I like to see the range of opinion. And if you look at the "mainstream" sites/books/info and then the "extreme" sites/books/info for any position (WRT vaccines or anything else) you start to see where there is overlap, where there might be real cause for concern and where there is just speculation, or where real causes for concern are being glossed over. You also start to see how one side addresses the other side's claims.

I tend to find that when looking into ANY issue that has "sides" that there is almost always merit to both the "pro" and "anti" arguments. So then you have to weigh the arguments, decide which ones hold more water. Not everyone will look at the same information and come to the same conclusions. It is NOT obvious one way or the other. This is where I get annoyed with both the mainstream (doctors who brush off questions about vaccines with arrogance, and don't see how anyone could possibly question their safety and efficacy) and the anti-vax activists (people who believe that if one has the "correct" information about vaccines, they will not choose to vaccinate - therefore if you choose to vaccinate, you are obviously not informed enough ).
post #26 of 35
I also sifted through the opinions of people I REALLY trusted in real life. There are more than a few really smart people here on MDC but there are also a few nuts whose stories don't add up until you look at weeks or months of postings. Just remember that a high posting count can mean someone has had something important to say OR that they just "talk" a lot.
post #27 of 35
Quote:
I draw the line at the credentials of the person making the claim. If you trust your do, then trust him. He has a lot of knowledge in the area. If you have doubts, ask him for more reading. He will know of places to go and books to read.
Nothing personal, but I think this method of decision-making is a cop-out. First, there's no reason to take a dr's word for it when you have the factual information at your fingertips on the internet...information that, most likely, your doctor has never read. Secondly, having the credentials of being a medical doctor is absolutely no indication that they have a lot of knowledge about vaccines. Thirdly, you can be 99.99% sure that any reading material they pass onto you is going to be pro-vax propoganda with very little facts on the disease prevalence and the safety/dangers of the vaccine.

This is not to say that what comes out of your doctor's mouth is completely useless, just not often very useful. And, again, why take the easy way out by allowing someone else to make the decision for you, which you are essentially doing by only going on your doctor's word and the info they pass out to parents, which is written by the pharmaceutical companies or the AAP, CDC or AMA - all who want you to vax.
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommy To Baby Roni
Nothing personal, but I think this method of decision-making is a cop-out. First, there's no reason to take a dr's word for it when you have the factual information at your fingertips on the internet...information that, most likely, your doctor has never read. Secondly, having the credentials of being a medical doctor is absolutely no indication that they have a lot of knowledge about vaccines. Thirdly, you can be 99.99% sure that any reading material they pass onto you is going to be pro-vax propoganda with very little facts on the disease prevalence and the safety/dangers of the vaccine.
AMEN!

There are plenty of docs who will still say it's good to circ--less UTIs and most babies have it done. And there are plenty of mamas who blindly trust these doctors.

I can't support someone telling another poster to just trust her doctor without doing independent research.
post #29 of 35
The thing that helped me the most in sifting through the information was looking at the page on the CDC's website which lists the cumulative totals for the year of all infectious diseases. You can find it here:

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/mmwr_wk.html

Then click on the last PDF download, "Notifiable Diseases/Deaths in Selected Cities."

When I looked at that, at the government's data on how few cases there actually were of the vax diseases, I felt a lot more confident about my decision to delay, and ultimately, not to vax my second child. I saw that, according to the CDC data, the disease being diagnosed the most frequently by far among kids in the US is pediatric AIDS. Not any of the vax diseases.

When I first started researching this I felt much like the OP. Turned off by what looked to me like emotionalism and scare tactics on both sides. But facts are facts.
post #30 of 35
I'm another one who does more research on the actual disease than the vaccine. I am not afraid of most of them, granted I have a very healthy boy. There are only two vaccines that I certainly am not getting Varicella, and MMR. IF my son tests negative for antibodies when he is in puberty we will probably vaccinate then. I feel ok with pertusses (actually, I am pretty sure we had it), but diptheria and tetanus are diseases I really would rather avoid. I will accept the small risk of the vaccine for those. However, I am going to do everything in my knowledge to lessen his chance for reaction (immune support, getting DT in a single- thimerosol free- dose without aP)

This is my choice because I feel I know the diseases well enough to be comfortable at this stage.

Maybe I will learn more and alter my plan. . .

At any rate I am taking things VERY SLOWLY.
post #31 of 35
Quote:
but diptheria and tetanus are diseases I really would rather avoid. I will accept the small risk of the vaccine for those.
Just an fyi for you Synchro, in case you don't already know. Diptheria is practically erradicated from the US, with 0 - 1 cases per year. There's a great thread on tetanus here. It's great reading, if you haven't already.
post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommy To Baby Roni View Post
Thirdly, you can be 99.99% sure that any reading material they pass onto you is going to be pro-vax propoganda with very little facts on the disease prevalence and the safety/dangers of the vaccine.

Well, this hasn't been my experience. But you and I probably disagree as to what constitutes "pro-vax propaganda".

At any rate, a doctor worth his/her salt will sit down with you and discuss these issues and give you further reading material which you can then evaluate for yourself. Taking the doctor's viewpoint into consideration isn't taking the easy way out if you know that the doctor has done his or her homework and is not a propagandist. I agree that a doctor would not be the ONLY source to consult but I don't think that's what the PP was saying.

A related anecdote: DD's former pediatrician disagreed with my not vaxing her but was very respectful of my POV and helpfully sent me an e-mail breaking down the recommended doses so that I could see at what age I would have to give fewer doses. I don't think she's an expert on vaccinations, and she wasn't really a "source" of information in my particular case - and she is certainly pro-vax - but that doesn't make her a tool or a propagandist.

Pediatricians are not all brainwashed money-grubbing sheeple ! Some of them are quite intelligent and have given these issues a lot of thought. Some of them (like the younger Sears') actually don't vaccinate their kids or do a selective/delayed schedule...or, like my former ped (she moved - sob), they recommend fully vaxing but are very respectful of an alternate decision and will not press their POV on you although they are happy to answer questions and defend it. So I don't think it's fair to say that 99.99% of what a doctor is going to tell you about vaccines is "propaganda". The MD (or DO) behind their name doesn't make them God but it also doesn't make them automatically stupid or sellouts.

It is always good to critically examine the information relayed by any source, be they credentialed or not - no matter how many degrees are behind their name or how stellar their reputation. If you trust your ability to evaluate the info, what harm can it do to look at it? You might even learn something new.
post #33 of 35
I'm a little nervous about posting because I hate to "open my mouth and remove all doubt" and don't really want to offer advise but experience. My oldest was diagnosed with Rubella, the Doc's blamed it on a new strain at the local Indian reservation and did nada for her. Years later several of my children got Pertussis. Where? My (vaccinated as a child) hubby brought it home from work. Wasn't scary but took a long time to recover. I know it sounds like my kids have been sick but they really haven't and they have great defenses. As informed Mommies we keep a close watch on our babes and that makes a big difference. I believe the best preventative medicine is a Mother's intuition. You sound like you've done the right thing
post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nora'sMama View Post
Pediatricians are not all brainwashed money-grubbing sheeple ! Some of them are quite intelligent and have given these issues a lot of thought. Some of them (like the younger Sears') actually don't vaccinate their kids or do a selective/delayed schedule...or, like my former ped (she moved - sob), they recommend fully vaxing but are very respectful of an alternate decision and will not press their POV on you although they are happy to answer questions and defend it. So I don't think it's fair to say that 99.99% of what a doctor is going to tell you about vaccines is "propaganda". The MD (or DO) behind their name doesn't make them God but it also doesn't make them automatically stupid or sellouts.
I don't think they are all brainwashed but I think many leave much to be desired. The two I tried to engage in conversation one said he knew a kid that died of pertussis so ergo I should vaccinate and the other told me not to listen to the crazy people on the internet. Otherwise I got handed that colored piece of paper.
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Pediatricians are not all brainwashed money-grubbing sheeple ! Some of them are quite intelligent and have given these issues a lot of thought...... So I don't think it's fair to say that 99.99% of what a doctor is going to tell you about vaccines is "propaganda". The MD (or DO) behind their name doesn't make them God but it also doesn't make them automatically stupid or sellouts.
You misrepresented what I said in my previous post. I said none of the above. What I did say is that you can be 99.99% sure the reading material they give you will be provax propoganda. I don't know how anyone can argue that those one-page descriptions are anything but. They don't give you accurate information on the disease prevalence, what the illness is like and almost no information on the dangers or safety of the vaccine. There's no way a parent can be fully informed and give "informed consent" from that one page. I'd love to hear that a pediatrician offered the package inserts, CDC statistics or suggested the reading of Stephanie Cave's book (which I consider provax, but better than nothing).

I think that to say pediatricians (which is not what you said, I'm just singling them out) are not about the money is naive. They run a business. They have mortgages, student loans, equipment loans all to pay and families to support and send to private school. So, while they may have gone into medicine because they care about helping people, they now have big bills to pay, often needing to shove in as many patients in a day as they can (one child every 10 minutes is what I've experienced), leaving them very little time to do research on anything. They have no choice but to rely on vaccine manufacturers, the AMA, the AAP, the CDC and medical equipment companies. If there's really something serious wrong with your child, they order tests, send you to a specialist or both. The average pediatrician has neither the time nor the expertise.

They are not all money-grubbing and most are very intelligent, but they are "brainwashed". They are trained. Medicine is a religion. If you start to question part of it (like vaccines), then you have to start questioning other areas of medicine. Then, how can a doctor be condfident that their diagnosis and treatment is accurate? How dare they question those books and medical school professors and doctors they interned with who all know more than they and have been around longer? They have to believe. They can't afford to 2nd guess. It can cost lives and cost them their livelihoods.

I'm not angry about it or angry at doctors. It's not a conspiracy theory. It's just life and our society. It's just something I've come to accept.
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