PPs, yes, my fear that something will happen to my child and everyone will think it is my fault (because most people are a brick wall on this issue, esp in my family) is matched/exceeded ONLY by the fear that some adverse event (like seizures/a coma/neurodamage) will happen to my child and I will know what caused it and NO ONE will believe me.
Of course this is all centered on me wanting to make the safest possible decision for my child, independant of the 'wisdom' of the times I live in. That is why I feel like I have to find the solution based on the facts as I know them, because I can't justify putting him at risk because of a fear I have . . . I've even been fantasizing about making videos of him prior to any vax so that if something happened, no one could tell me he just spontaneously developed it. But I can't feel good about experimenting with him or taking that risk.
Before what happened to my son, before I researched BOTH sides, I could not understand how a parent could not vaccinate and not feel guilty if their child got sick witha VPD. Now I understand. I get it! I get that the vaccine might not have prevented anything anyway. I get that, if they could do it all over again, they would still know that the vaccine was the bigger risk. Yes, their child got sick, but that doesn't mean that it wasnt more likely for them to have a bad reaction to the vaccine. Not everyone thinks that way after doing the research, and that is okay too. I think a lot of people (like me before what happened to me son) THINK they have researched it, but all they have really done is trust in other people who researched it for them, without adding in skepticism towards the source. If one day you change your mind, those vaccines will still be there (unless of course they DO prove they are ineffective and dangerous - more dangerous then the diseases they are vaccinating against). Once you vaccinate though, you can't take it back.
"It is hard to imagine a more stupid or dangerous way of making decisions than by putting these decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong."
Here are some thoughts, opinions, and information that I’d like to share after reading this thread:
“You can’t take back the vaccine.” True. But the same would be equally true if your child suddenly came down with a life-threatening disease that you had decided not to vaccinate him against. You wouldn’t be able to take back your decision not to vax that lead to his condition.
“Assuming again that these vaccines work, which hasn’t been proven.” 100 years ago, we weren't sure exactly how vaccines worked, we just knew that vaccinated people got the disease far less. Shortly after WWII vaccination rates shot up and the infection rates shot down. There is really no other way to interpret these closely correlated historical events other than to say that vaccination simply works.
Diphtheria is a perfect example. It was one of the most feared of the childhood diseases up to the early 20th century. Throughout the 1920s, the US saw about around 150,000 cases per year with an approx 10% fatality rate for an average of about 13-15,000 deaths per year. That’s more Americans than will die in gun homicides THIS year!
For a graphical interpretation of what the vaccine for this disease did to infection rates, see this chart of reported diphtheria cases by year from 1940-2007: http://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/us-diphtheria-cases
At the very least I think an objective reader would agree that if one wished to argue that the diphtheria vaccine was not the cause of this disease's sudden disappearance, one would need to at the very least propose a compelling alternative cause. And improved hygiene and/or diet is not compelling because diphtheria affected people equally up and down the socio-economic spectrum.
Also, as far as MMR causing autism, consider the following from the Mayo Clinic’s general info page on autism:
“Some children show signs of autism in early infancy. Other children may develop normally for the first few months or years of life, but then suddenly become withdrawn or aggressive or lose language skills they've already acquired.”
Since MMR is typically administered at 12 months, and autism can present suddenly anywhere in the first few years, it is therefore a statistical inevitability that occasionally a child’s autism will present very soon after the MMR vaccine is received just by sheer coincidence. This is to be expected. Here is some rough math on that: there are ~4 million babies born per year in the US. A common figure to see quoted for autism rate is 1 in 88 children. That would be 4M/88=45,454 autistic kids born annually on average. Very commonly, autistics first show symptoms from age 12 to 24 months. If you assume for argument’s sake that every single day within that one-year period is equally likely to be the first day that the parent notices symptoms, then that means there are 365 different days this could happen on. If all these kids go and get an MMR vaccination sometime around 12 months, then that means that of the 45,454 autistic children within a particular 12-month age cohort, there will be roughly 45,454/365 = 125 kids that first present symptoms on the VERY SAME DAY that they received their MMR shot. Now you could push and pull my numbers around a bit here and there, but whether you come up with 125 or 12.5 or 250 kids within two days after the MMR instead of one day, the same idea remains clear: with 45,000 autistic kids diagnosed a year, it is guaranteed that there are going to be at least a handful that will present symptoms right after their MMR shot just by mathematical probability. In fact, if there WASN’T a single case of this, THAT would be astonishing!
Now, suppose that the parents of, say, 12 of these children find each other on autism websites and decide to form a class action and sue the pharmaceutical company that produced the vaccine. They don’t have to look too hard to find a crack team of sharpie plaintiffs lawyers. At say $2M per family, times 12, times the typical attorney’s fee of 1/3 the settlement, that would be a lawyer’s payday of $8 million dollars. And the lawyer might not even be above commissioning a less-than-rigorous researcher to produce a study designed to help them win the case. The scenario I’m painting here is precisely what occurred in England. The researcher was the now-infamous Dr. Wakefield, who it later came out was paid $750,000 in “consulting fees” to help them win by ginning up his findings and basically going on a whirlwind media tour with them.
We have our own domestic version of Dr Wakefield, btw. His name is Mark Geier. He is one of the principal authors of a study published by the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons that concluded a strong link between thimerosal and autism rates. Like Wakefield, Geier is a professional expert witness in vaccine suits. Except in Geier’s cases, often the judges themselves have openly reprimanded him for lacking the expertise or clinical knowledge he claims. He has had his medical license revoked in all 50 states because, among other things, he claims he can successfully treat autism by administering the chemical castration drug Lupron---a service for which he charges desperate parents tens of thousands of dollars.
Lastly, the Am Assoc of Physicians and Surgeons in which Geier is not a respected medical or scientific organization, such as the Lancet. It is a politically conservative PAC that was formed in 1943 to lobby against socialized medicine. Their publications are neither peer-reviewed nor indexed by the big scientific journal databases. Basically, their publications are for general consumption, like Time or Newsweek. This doesn’t mean that Time and Newsweek are bunk, it just means that they have different audiences than serious academic peer-reviewed journals in which people report scientific findings. What makes the J of Am Assoc of Phys and Surg bunk is that it’s a general consumption periodical that goes to great lengths to appear to LOOK like a respectable scientific journal, which is inherently deceptive. And actually, if you dig deeper, you’ll find that they’re bunky for even more fundamental reasons, like still to this day failing to retract their thoroughly discredited leprosy-caused-by-illegals story---something that Time or Newsweek would never do.