I think I *may* have crossed over to the not vaccinating realm. Up until now I've been selctive/delayed. I have an 8 month old who is partially vaccinated (Hib, Pneumococc, and DTaP). I decided when I was pregnant that we would do very selective and delayed vaccinations. However, something shifted for me the other night. Nothing dramatic happened, no horror story. My baby hasn't had any noticeable reaction to any of his shots and he seems incredibly healthy and happy.
I was reading up on DTaP, as I was debating whether to give him his third round at his next visit, and I came across people's stories about the DTaP scream, which freaked me out. I started thinking about how horrific that would be if it happened to my baby, and the thought that he could get encephalitis/brain damage really hit me hard. Granted, it's a rare side effect, but when it happens to YOU and YOUR BABY, does it really matter if it's "rare"? So I started questioning if I would proceed with th DTaP schedule. I already decided against Hep B, any flu shot, MMR, varicella, rotavirus, polio, but DTaP was (is?) a hold out for me because I'm honestly really scared of whooping cough and tetanus. Reading up on tetanus I now realize how rare it is, and there is always the immunoglobulin in the rare event that it might be contracted. But whooping cough still scares the shit out of me, I'll be honest. My baby was hospitalized for pneumonia the first week of his life (he aspirated meconium) and I worry a lot about his lungs. I think anti- and pro- vaccinators alike will probably all agree that whooping cough can be a very scary illness. I doubt my strength if my baby contracts it and ends up vomiting and turning blue from coughing for weeks on end. And I worry that I will fell terribly guilty, like I could have prevented it. But then on the other hand, you hear a lot about vaccinated people getting whooping cough quite a lot, so it makes me wonder about how "effective" it really is.
The other piece is a deeper, more philosophical pondering about the role of these diseases in human health. I've been reading in Sally Fallon's baby book And Aviva Del Romm's book about the idea that by preventing some of these illnesses we are actually trading an acute, self-limiting disease for a chronic longterm autoimmune disorder (i.e. more asthma cases now that we don't get whooping cough as much). Thoughts on this? Also, any thoughts about my huge fear about the severity of whooping cough and my son's possibly compromised lungs? thanks in advance!!
I would be researching pertussis and strategies for supporting my little ones through it wether I vaccinated or not. I live in an area where it is endemic and I know people who have had it even though they are vaccinated. Any time our little ones get sick it is hard. I, personally, took CPR and First Aid classes, then studied herbal medicine in-depth. I am still studying and learning. It is a life-long path. What my herbal studies did for me was to help me know when to call the doctor - in fact, I am more likely to call a doctor or advice nurse now than I would have before my studies. I usually ask about symptoms that would indicate the need to call the doctor again and symptoms that would indicate the need to get to the ER or dial 911 for emergency response. Knowing these things ahead of time help me stay calm in the midst of caring for sick littles.
FYI - I personally know 2 families who had whooping cough when their babies were 3 months old and 2 months old, respectively. The baby got it last and the parents were worn out, but better equipped emotionally to support their baby since they had already gone through it themselves and with their older children. Antibiotic therapy early on (as well as other therapies you may read about here) can help prevent further transmission and I know a couple families (different from the ones I mentioned above) who saw symptom relief after starting antibiotics.
About the thoughts on trading acute illness for chronic illness. . . yes, I have been musing along these lines for years. Vaccines - and the current US vaccine schedule is still so new. It will take a few more generations to really know the fall-out of all our current practices. It is a tough place to be when doing our best to make the right decisions.
AFAIK, your child is NOT fully vaccinated against pertussis until your child gets the third shot, and then it takes 7-20 days for the vaccine to do its job and help the body develop immunity.
Keep doing your research. The medical literature has plenty of information for treating pertussis with sodium ascorbate dating back to the 1930s. The medical literature has known that the pertussis component is neurologically toxic since it was first introduced in the 1940s.
I am not going to tell you what to do. This is your baby. You make the decision for your baby.
Your job is to provide the best of informed consent that you are able to do.
You need to read, learn, research, question, and then read, learn, research again. You will never be done. It is a lifetime of challenging your position, finding your balance, questioning, and then fortifying your stand once again. I know. As a lifelong nonvaxer and grandmother, I have done this, 60+ years, and I respect the conclusion any thinking parent makes for him/herself for their child.
And this is just the beginning. You have 18-25 years ahead of you.
"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
Hi! I know it can be a tough decision!
Things that affected my thought process:
1. I decided long ago after living in Africa and how unclean it was there.... no one I was ever around ever got Tetanus. Its rare!
2. Even when we (USA 1800) were surrounded by horses everywhere, it was still amazingly rare.
3. Even if you show up in the hospital and they can confirm you really do have a tetanus scare, they can give you TIG.
4. Considering how rare it is (it is way more rare than the supposed rate of Vax reactions) and seem to only happen in old people or drug users.... it seems the host body has more to do with contracting it, than with just getting cut.
5. If by some rare chance, you have it.. hospitals in the US can treat it. Have you seen the mortality of tetanus?
So, I don't worry about it. If I get a wound to bleed at all, I know I am healthy and young.... the chances are a billion to one.
I know that there is no good solution. The vax doesn't work. It is not protecting anyone. It can only give back end antibodies for when the disease hits the blood stream which may or may not lesson your symptoms.
It is a false sense of security.
It won't stop you from giving it to everyone around you.
I see no point in this Vax at all.
It seems giving antibiotics and taking SA has had more effect if given at the right time than the vaccine ever has.
I do actually like the nasal Vax they are working on coming out with. I hope that it does actually work.
I am going to re post my standard reply for it, as it is a tough position all of us are in. I would Definitely look into Suzanne Humphrey's SA (sodium acorbate type of Vitamin C) treatment for Pertussis that has been used for almost a hundred years from now, as well as any other natural remedies because in reality: you need to know this information regardless of Vax status!
You have to understand what whooping cough is. If you have ever had the DTP or DTaP... your body already has "original antigenic sin:"
Also, WC It is a MUCOSAL infection.
In adults, booster shots don't work. Why?The original exposure to the disease through immunization "locks in" as they say the way the body will respond to it.Which is why vaccinated people can't clear the bacteria from the bronchi and therefore become carriers if infected, and THEN can act as a reservoir to infect others. They do not respond to the key toxins which arise as A PROCESS of infection.
Natural mucosal immunity specifically targets the infection process - how the bacteria sets up shop - and the specific toxins the bacteria switch on and then start once their little claws attach to the cilia in the bronchi at "ground zero".
Another words, the current whooping cough vaccines create antibodies at the "back-end", to antigens which come later in the infection. Vaccines MIGHT reduce disease severity for the few months those antibodies exist, but the current whooping cough vaccines don't create the powerful "front end" protection which will immediately clear the bacteria on re-infection. Does that make sense?
The vaccine antibodies, if they are around, might ... lessen the effect of pertussis toxin when it Finally hits the blood supply.
Again: The vaccine creates back end antibodies, BUT natural infection requires a specific bronchial immunity not made by the current vaccines, and not provided by the antibodies detected in antibody tests.
This is WHY scientists have been searching and testing for an intra-nasal vaccine, starting in 2000. BPEZ1 has been tested and should it work, should be the only "vax" given for WC. It is to finally confront "front end" defenses in the mucosal area where they need to be. This should also help against para pertussis as well.
However: The intra-nasal vaccine will be of no use to adults, whose immunity - as a result of "original antigenic sin" was primed for "back end" immunity and whose immune system will no longer respond in any other way - so an intra-nasal vaccine won't give front end immunity to adults, any more than re-exposure to whooping cough would, or booster injections will. In fact, adults will continue to be the main source of carriage and spread in the community because of this.
Given that booster shots don't increase the bactericidal qualities in the blood why recommend them?
The shot will never stop transmission to anyone else. (So why make other around you get it?)
The shot will not help you/or your babies not get it.
The shot might lesson severity (which is a crap shot to say what percentage-some seem to have no symptoms while others get horrible cases).
Personally: Risk of Vax does NOT outweigh Risk of not getting it.
"Those who are afraid retreat.
Those who are brave grow greater.
Never fear, always grow."
I think you should let go of your fear of whooping cough, especially now that your baby is 8 months old. It's no longer dangerous at that age. Sodium ascorbate (a type of vitamin C) is a very effective treatment during the illness.
Your child will probably get whooping cough at some point (and I'd say that even if you fully vaccinated him for pertussis).
Pertussis was not scary to me at that age. We did DTaP (pentacel) at 2 and 5 mos and she did have the screaming episodes. Basically it was 2 weeks straight of screaming every time she was awake, and whimpering when she was asleep or nursing. Between that and her other reactions I was done with vaxxing. Once I found the Vit C protocol for pertussis, I wasn't afraid of her contracting it. It would absolutely be scary in an infant, but the older they get, the less worrisome it is.
Here's the Vit C link: http://vaccinationcouncil.org/media/The-Vitamin-C-Treatment-of-Whooping-Cough.pdf
Vaccine reactions are kind of like allergies in that you might not react the first time, as with a bee sting.
Thank you everyone for your helpful insights! I feel much more confident in this direction we're now moving--the direction away from vaccinations! The Vitamin C link is now in my bookmark bar and I have a lot more researching to do (currently reading Aviva Romm's Vaccine book). But overall I have a feeling of confidence and "rightness." This decision just feels right in my deepest core. I trust the human body's innate wisdom for healing and finding true balance (as an acupuncturist/herbalist this is a given), and I also believe that our non-processed, nutrient dense traditional food diet will continue to ensure the health of our family, come what may. And, if things do spin out of control and all else fails, there is always modern allopathic medicine as a last resort/safety net (as much as I abhor antibiotics in many ways, they also can save lives in extreme cases). I'm motivated, inspired, and confident in taking charge of my baby's health without vaccines! He's one of the healthiest babies I've ever seen, and we intend to keep him that way!