On the Fence - Not Sure Which Way to Go - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 08-18-2014, 05:41 AM - Thread Starter
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On the Fence - Not Sure Which Way to Go

I'm expecting my first in January and I'm really really struggling with the decision about vaccinations.

My husband and I are both leaning more towards vaccinating (on a delayed schedule), however I'm still not 100% sure and I'm still considering not vaccinating. We both want to find as much information as possible, from both sides, so we can make an informed decision.

Here's the deal. I have two step-sisters. One I'm very very close with, we basically grew up together. She's a few years older than I and has a daughter who is almost 2. She originally wasn't going to vaccinate but has done so since my niece was born. They haven't had a single issue and my niece has been very healthy, not even getting a cold. I'm sure that's more to do with the fact that she feeds her very well, mostly organic, and when she does start getting symptoms of a cold she does what she can to nip it in the bud.

Now. I don't know anyone personally who has experienced a vaccination injury but a photographer's work who I used to follow did. A few years ago her son experienced a severe demyelination injury and was able to cure him by taking him off vaccinations and changing his diet. After reading her story is when I began questioning the whole vaccination thing. However, the only person that I know who doesn't vaccinate is my other step-sister and her boys have experienced many health issues. I don't want to just assume that it's because she doesn't vaccinate. Most recently her 12 year old was diagnosed with shingles at the beginning of the summer.

Can anyone provide any resources from both sides to help us decide what to do? For those who don't vaccinate how do you keep your children from getting these illnesses. And those who do how do you decide when and what to give to your children?

This whole thing is so confusing and stressful and I don't want to make the wrong decision or a decision I'm going to regret.
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#2 of 11 Old 08-18-2014, 06:46 AM
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The main thing to remember is either way it'll most likely be fine. Serious vaccine reactions are rare, but right now so are most of the diseases vaccines are designed to protect us from.

I choose to vaccinate. You might like to check out "Voices for Vaccines" which is a provax parent led website with stories from other parents who vaccinate (including some who chose to after being very against it for a while).

Others on here will no doubt give the non vax online resources. Can I also urge you not to just research online. Hopefully you have a good family dr who you could discuss these concerns with.
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#3 of 11 Old 08-18-2014, 08:04 AM
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Please be careful not to trip on the astroturf when researching. Corporations love to set up groups that look real folksy to spread their message and promote their agenda.

Voices for Vaccines is the reincarnation of another group called People for Immunization. Pamphlets about this group were handed out at the American Committee for Immunization Practice in October 2007. The stated aim of People for Immunization was that, “it will have a large Scientific Advisory Board comprising recognized authorities in the field. To ensure its credibility as an independent voice, it will accept no funding from the vaccine industry or the federal government…” They changed their name to Voices for Vaccines. Sounds much better than People for Immunizations.

It's also important to ask specific questions and read between the lines. When someone says "I vaccinated my kids and they are fine" it doesn't tell you that although they did vaccinate their children...
- they may have not started vaccinations until those the children were much older
- they only did one jab at a time
- they gave some but not others
- because of where they live, they were able to split up a jab like the MMR
- that their country doesn't follow the US schedule and jabs like the Hep B aren't given to newborns
- their family has no history of autoimmune issues or other conditions (allergies) that might contraindicate vaccines.

You are actually in a good position in that you have time to look into the diseases (how to treat, the role of nutrition etc) and vaccination (the ingredients, how they are made, are they for a disease your child is actually at risk for especially as an infant, etc). I think your best bet is to go to the library and find some books on the history and treatments of disease.

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#4 of 11 Old 08-18-2014, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by prosciencemum View Post
The main thing to remember is either way it'll most likely be fine. Serious vaccine reactions are rare, but right now so are most of the diseases vaccines are designed to protect us from.

I choose to vaccinate. You might like to check out "Voices for Vaccines" which is a provax parent led website with stories from other parents who vaccinate (including some who chose to after being very against it for a while).

Others on here will no doubt give the non vax online resources. Can I also urge you not to just research online. Hopefully you have a good family dr who you could discuss these concerns with.
I agree with this.

Voices for Vaccines is a really good resource, here is a link to some of their stories. http://www.voicesforvaccines.org/blog/

They are a non profit and information about who contributes and runs the site can be found on the link I just gave you.

As non vaccine members even here concede, the NVIC (probably the most popular anti vaccine website) is run by Mercola, who is a multi millionaire that sells vaccine alternative supplements and makes money off of convincing parents their child doesn't need vaccines (Because he has a great supplement alternative, of course). Recently the NVIC also (pretty amusingly) linked a story that claimed the flu vaccine caused MRSA not realizing that the article came from a satirical science website. So be careful what you read on places like that, since they do little to no fact checking before posting information. As long as a story or article says vaccines=something bad, they'll post it.

Also adding, I'm sure the mantra of "you can always vaccinate but you can never un vaccinate" will come up on here. But by the same token, if your child suffers from a vaccine preventable disease you can't go back in time and get the vaccine that would have almost certainly prevented it either. I'm sure the former anti vaccine parents who refused to get their son the tetanus vaccine wished they could have gone back in time and given their child the vaccine when he was suffering and near death from tetanus. They have since changed their minds about vaccines and got all their children up to date. Here is their story if you are interested: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/heal...ppies-about-it

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Last edited by teacozy; 08-18-2014 at 08:46 AM.
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#5 of 11 Old 08-18-2014, 08:42 AM
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If you want impartial information, I would avoid Voices for Vaccines like the plague. It is an industry propaganda organization.


I would also caution you to have your dogma detector full on because when it comes to anything to do with vaccine science dogma rules.

I am Rhome
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#6 of 11 Old 08-18-2014, 10:05 AM
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I suggest getting a couple of books from the library for starters. There is a good one by Aviva Jill Romm that goes over the vaccines and the related illnesses in considerable detail.

I've looked at Voices for Vaccines and find them untrustworthy, regardless of how they are funded or not funded.

Here is the process I usually recommend.

If you can afford to print out stuff, use a notebook. If you can't, save stuff on your computer in a set of files, divided up the same way.

Get a copy of the recommended vaccine schedule from the CDC and a copy of the vaccine schedule for your state. You need to know which vaccines are recommended and which are required for school. Doctors won't inform you of the difference in some cases and if you are doing selective and delayed you want to know what your choices are.

Start from birth with the Hep B dose. Go to the CDC, find the Pink Book, download the chapter on Hep B and read the description of the disease and how it is spread. Either print out relevant pages for your notebook, or save the entire chapter and make a note of the parts you want to be able to find quickly. Continue on through the list of vaccines for each visit using the Pink Book for basic info on the illnesses.

It is much harder to get accurate information on the number of vaccine reactions (which should set off alarm bells), but you can start with the package insert for each vaccine. Remember that clinical studies exclude children who are even mildly ill (but mild illness is okay when the vaccine is being used out in the general population) so reports of adverse reactions on the package insert on totally relevant and not just a matter of legal defenses.

Look into the question of liability. The drug companies that produce vaccines have all been fined for fraud and other misbehavior in the last few years. All involving products for which they do have liability and where they can be held responsible. When it comes to vaccines the drug companies are behind a protective wall and any problems will have to be fought over with the US Government, which defends vaccines very vigorously. Why in the world would drug companies exercise due diligence on vaccine safety when they are so sloppy about drugs where they can be sued?
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#7 of 11 Old 08-18-2014, 11:47 AM
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When you are trying to sort it out, keep in mind a few things:

1. if you are looking at reaction rates, figure out if that is per series or per dose. It is typically per dose. Thus, if a reaction that concerns you has a posted rate of 1/10 000, if you recieve 3 doses, it is really a risk of 1/10 000 the first dose, 1/10 000 the second dose and 1/10 000 the third dose.

2. When you are looking at number of cases and complications per case, keep in mind it is reported cases. Many cases, historically, are quite under-reported. Take measles - for instance. It is often said measles has a death rate of 1/1000. However, it needs to be noted that historically only about 1/7 cases of mealses were reported….which means the real death rate was closer to 1/7000. In Europe recently, it was around 1/2400-1/3000, per reported case. Citations available if anyone wants to make me find them.

I do recommend waiting to vaccinate until you have sorted it out. Start researching the newborn /early infant ones first. I will say: you can almost always vaccinate later, you cannot undo it. There is very little risk to waiting - check out the disease rates from the CDC Pink book and the CDC MMWR weekly to give you an idea on just how safe waiting actually is.

I would also do a search on how to protect newborns from pertussis. As almost all infants who die from pertussis were too young to be vaccinated anyways; this is something you should familiarise yourself with no matter if you choose to vaccinate or not. Myself I am partial to the breastfeed and stay the heck away from crowded public places until 4 months plan. Wear your baby if you need to go out, people are less likely to get up close and personal if you are wearing him or her.
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#8 of 11 Old 08-18-2014, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
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First of all thank you so so so much ladies. I love getting insight from mothers on both sides and the information you gave me was very insightful. I love the idea of keeping a notebook/binder of all the information. I'm also going to check out the library and research the importance of vaccinating newborns (I think that's one of the ones I find hard to swallow, my poor little one fresh out of the womb being stuck with a needle?! tugs at my mommy heart).

Again thank you all!

Amber. Expecting #1 in January 2015. Married to a fireman. 2 fur babies - Golden Retriever & a chubby tabby cat.
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#9 of 11 Old 08-18-2014, 07:01 PM
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Great info everyone!
I also recommend learning about the immune system and how it works.
I would like to learn more myself. Anyone have a recommendation for a good physiology book?
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#10 of 11 Old 08-19-2014, 07:52 AM
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Learning about the immune system is a great idea. We should find a book and make a thread to read together. I'm definitely up for learning more.
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#11 of 11 Old 08-19-2014, 08:22 AM
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Hep B and pertussis will, without a doubt, be the first major hurdles you will face regarding vaccination. Heb B is the very fist vaccination they would receive in the hospital and probably one of the most controversial because unless you yourself have Hep B, your newborn has almost zero risk of contracting it: http://www.nvic.org/faqs/infant-hepatitis-b.aspx

Pertussis will come at you in many forms, not only about vaccinating your baby, but also "requiring" (requesting) that all of those around you and intending to have direct contact with the baby, be vaxxed at least 2 weeks prior to visiting with some variety of DTaP. Pertussis vaccine does not prevent transmission and thus may mask presence of symptoms allowing someone to walk around spreading the disease. Common sense with exposure to others goes a long way. Stay away from crowded places, ask that those with any symptoms of illness OR recent exposure to someone who is ill kindly stay home until they have been well for at least a week. Does it mean that some people won't be able to see the baby while they are "new"? Yep! Instagram, skype, facebook...all wonderful ways to share pictures and updates of the little squish without exposing them to unnecessary harm. I didn't get to see my best friend's baby boy until he was almost 2mos because I had a lingering cough that I surely did not wish to share with him. Such is life!

There are plenty of great books with links on how to treat the major vaccine available diseases and even an ongoing thread on here with great tips and links: http://www.mothering.com/forum/443-i...l#post17920218

In spite of all this talk of rarity of vaccine reactions, I and many others on here seem to have hit the unfortunate reaction lottery and have children who've suffered immensely. So yes I will join in on the 'you can't unvaccinate". As for the 'you can't undo a disease'....well watch out for all that hype as well, because unless someone is specifically discussing a major, life threatening/life altering reaction as a result of the disease or death associated with a disease...well, then a disease in and of itself really isn't much to worry about. Watch out on charts for this major flaw: rate of occurrence vs death rate. Most charts on sites like voices for vaccines are going to show rate of disease and decline in that rate - NO mention of fatality or adverse reaction. So while charts might look convincing, be sure to really look at what they are depicting before putting too much stock into them.
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