Feels like I'm swimming in Mud - Mothering Forums
Vaccinations > Feels like I'm swimming in Mud
IslandMamma's Avatar IslandMamma 05:15 AM 07-31-2003
First off, oh maaaaaaaan, I never thought I would so agonize over a mothering decision. The vacc question has my head spinning in a tizzy, and the more I read, the faster it spins...

Before my DS was born, I had done a little reading, and decided that while there were some very real risks, I was going to go ahead and vaccinate my son, albeit maybe on a different schedule. Well, after he arrived, things changed. I started reading even more, and digging a little deeper, and lo and behold, I decided to only vacc HiB, and maybe eventually Polio SOMEDAY, if DH and I live in Nepal again for a time (we worked there). These forums were absolutely instrumental in my decision making, and I am so grateful.

Today was DS's 2 month well baby visit. I am an EMT who knows most of the medical clinic staff. Anyway, to make a long story short, everyone-- from the nurses to the ped to the woman at the front desk-- gave me grief. Politely, but still judgemental.

I gave the ped my reasons, and backed them up with facts that I have gleaned from here, the Vacc Info Center, and other sites. She acknowledged my feelings, and to her credit, agreed to read some stats and articles, which I will print out and bring to her. (Any suggestions on the "best" ones?) Then she asked if I would read some info she had, and I agreed.

Good grief-- she brought out a photocopied tome of about 40 pages, all of which read FOR vaccinations. I am skeptical, but now DH is saying he feels like the medical info she gave us is more "truthful" than the web info.

I'll be honest, I'm questioning my decision, but somehow I'm smelling a rat. Almost ALL the articles she gave me came out of something called the "Pediatric Annals" (many from vol. 30 / July 2001). Is this a vaccine pharm. sponsored journal? She also gave me two articles written by Paul Offit, who thanks to this forum, I know works for a pharmaceutical company. And what is with the Vaccine Institute at the Children's Hosp in Philidelphia? A lot of studies cited come from there. The other articles were very technical and came out of "Pediatrics".

Sorry for the long post, but my head is swimming. My gut says not to vaccinate any more than the HiB we did today (and so far, no problems), but now all this medical jargon cr*p has me doubting myself.

Anyone have a great resource that I could use to "disarm" my ped, or at least that she will read and respect? Or am I trying to teach a frog to fly?

*sigh* I'm worried I'm losing confidence in my decision, and my husband is now questioning me as well after reading the articles the ped gave us.

TIA for any info, insight , empathy!

malamamama's Avatar malamamama 06:12 AM 07-31-2003
I began as you have. My dd is now almost 3 and still un-vaxed. I am still researching and will continuously re-evaluate as she grows.
However, our pediatrician totally supported our decision. Please don't let the pressure scare you into anything that you instinctually feel is wrong.

Have you seen this thread?

It might lead you to some answers.

Also check out Trabot's "cheat sheet".

Read some of Insider's posts too.

I know there are some that will come forward with more clear answers to your questions. I just wanted to lend some support to you since you just got bombarded!!!
Mommy To Baby Roni's Avatar Mommy To Baby Roni 06:15 AM 07-31-2003
You need to convince yourself, not your ped. It sounds as if you are trying to almost ask permission from your ped via presenting articles, etc. You will not succeed. Vaccinations are part of her "religion" and the reason she can keep her doors open (via well-baby visits).

My advice, you and DH need to look at the source and the motivation of the information your pediatrician gave you. The research papers that says vaxes are dangerous, are published by REAL doctors. They just may not be marketed as widely and pushed as hard as the info provided by the pharmacuetical companies or their whores.

And I just wondered, why Hib? There is research now that shows that by killing the 7 strains through the vaccine, that other strains are stepping up to take their place. It's too late for me to look it up right now, but I'm sure someone else here can help me out.
Tracy's Avatar Tracy 01:11 PM 07-31-2003
The other vax list:

I decided to put together a list of links and books for those people who periodically ask me for vax information. When I say vax information I mean the “other” vax information.

There is one general vax assumption out there which pulsates like a drum beat….it says, “JUST DO IT.” I don’t need to support that message there are plenty of ways one can get that information. This list I’ve come up with are for those people who are questioning vaxing and the possible long term effects of it….. (we are a growing lot, by the way) anyway, here are the links I learned about from friends or my own researching…then when I got to mother dot com I learned about even more links from likeminded moms.

For me, I think the first place to begin is with hard numbers.

Just how many cases of all these vax-diseases do we get here in the united states? (by the way, if you are out of the us I recommend you search your country’s online stats)

This is one of the hardest to find pages at the cdc… the way that I actually found this page was by accident. I had called the CDC to find out about hib cases and I got a doctor and he sent me to this page…


if you download the current issue it gives you the most uptodate stat that the cdc has on the reportable diseases. I would start there first.

Then these links are valuable for information about vaxes and vax damages and other associations with vaccines.









Here is Sheri Nakken's site...her site is loaded with info.

This organization is not necessarily where you go for vax information, but this is an institute that is passionately working on autism and helping parents and released the report last year about the epidemic proportion of autism in California. Caveat: the man who started this organization, his son developed autism after the MMR and he has been very vocal about such.


Going back to the topic of “hard numbers” …

one of the smartest things a friend of mine who doesn’t vax said over and over again when I started to question vaxing (before my son was born) “start to figure out what your child is really at risk of getting.” And then weigh the risks of the vax to the real risks of getting the disease.

For example:
I live in a county with ten million people. Ten million people, that’s a lot. The last figures available online from the county health department were for 1999. That year there was one (1) case of measles reported. It was in a 44 year old woman.

There were also 250 cases of pertussis, (whooping cough) 250 out of 10 million is not much of a stat and then when I looked closer at the records I saw that of the 250 people, a certain percentage were children and of those children most had been vaxed for the disease. Only two children of the 250 were not vaxed and they were in a poor neighborhood with poor nutrition and possibly weakened immunity…Again in a county of ten million. Also, periodically there are reports that come out stating that a city is experiencing an “epidemic” of pertussis. But what the article doesn’t always say is the number of pertussis cases that make an epidemic and of those cases many are in vaxed or partially vaxed children. There is an assumption made that it is always non vaxed children who get pertussis or are responsible for the rise of the disease. I hate that assumption and I really hate reporters who don’t do their homework.

I actually wonder if my own pediatrician knows those numbers… he probably does not…because that is the kind of research only parents who question have the dedication to find out….

More stats to consider

If you have gotten this far in your research then you probably already know that there are issues around MMR vax, in particular autism, etc… but here are the stats on getting the actual diseases….

roughly the cases per year in the US of the following
measles 40
mumps 600
rubella 300 of those
moms who caught it and gave CRS to their children is 25

and the united states population is about 200 million people!

5 cases of diptheria per year

and Polio has been eradicated in the western hemisphere

And this discussion board:

Anyway, mothers on mdc have many hours of research in each of them… here are some informative links to those discussions..


and this thread is very important in my opinion…even if you decide to vax…please, please, please..don’t ever do it after antibiotics…delay way, way, way after..

And speaking of Mothering… some back issues of the magazine have been completely dedicated to this issue and I recommend you poke around at this site and see if you might want to pick up some.


Get thy butt to Amazon

And finally here are books with the amazon.com links, which are very, very and very important to know about…read, study etc…. I started with Nuestadder’s book but I encourage you to check out the amazon links and see where you want to start.. (note: I provided the links to amazon..but if you want to help mothering.com, please consider purchasing the books via Powell’s books which you will find the link here on mothering.com…a portion of the purchase will come back to mothering)

· The Vaccine Guide: Making an Informed Choice by Randall Neustaedter, Randall the Immunization Decision Neusdaedter (Paperback)
· How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor by Robert S. Mendelsohn (Paperback)
· Confessions of a Medical Heretic by Robert S. Mendelsohn (Paperback)
· A Shot in the Dark: Why the P in the Dpt Vaccination May Be Hazardous to Your Child's Health by Harris L. Coulter, Barbara Loe Fisher (Paperback)
· Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective by Neil Z. ******, et al (Paperback)
· The Immunization Resource Guide : Where to Find Answers to All Your Questions about Childhood Vaccinations by Diane Rozario (Paperback)
· What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children's Vaccinations by Stephanie Cave, Deborah Mitchell (Contributor) (Paperback)

· Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child: A Practical A-To-Z Reference to Natural and Conventional Treatments for Infants and Children by Janet Zand, et al (Paperback)
· I should say, this book is pro-vax..which I am not thrilled about…but the other stuff is very, very helpful)
· Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent's Guide: How to Make Safe, Sensible Decisions about the Risks, Benefits, and Alternatives by Aviva Jill Romm (Paperback)

· The Sanctity of Human Blood: Vaccination Is Not Immunization - Sixth Edition - 2003 -- Tim O'Shea; Paperback
· Naturally Healthy Babies & Children: A Commonsense Guide to Herbal Remedies by Aviva Jill Romm, William Sears (Paperback)


good luck and happy researching!
Tracy's Avatar Tracy 01:16 PM 07-31-2003
swimiming in mud:
I just posted my little cheat sheet. Listen, my heart goes out to you because you are just in a sea of medical experts.... arggh... you going up against that world could only be seen as an..... INFIDEL!!!

you are brave.

I think you don't need to explain anything to your ped. Just say, "I'm delaying vaxes now."
end of discussion.
In the meantime you and your husband keep researching.
you might want to get Cave's book and Mendelson's book which are on my cheat sheet. They are both doctors and that might be a good jumping off point.

it can not be said enough, don't vax until you are completely comfortable with your decision.

good luck
Tracy's Avatar Tracy 01:18 PM 07-31-2003
swimiming in mud:
I just posted my little cheat sheet. Listen, my heart goes out to you because you are just in a sea of medical experts.... arggh... you going up against that world could only be seen as an..... INFIDEL!!!

you are brave.

I think you don't need to explain anything to your ped. Just say, "I'm delaying vaxes now."
end of discussion.
In the meantime you and your husband keep researching.
you might want to get Cave's book and Mendelson's book which are on my cheat sheet. They are both doctors and that might be a good jumping off point.

it can not be said enough, don't vax until you are completely comfortable with your decision.

also, it should be noted that eli lily does fit into the vax puzzle if you follow this thread you'll see more on it..

good luck
menudo's Avatar menudo 03:30 PM 07-31-2003
Oddly enough, most of the other non vaxers I know are RN's...go figure.

The Childrens Hospital Thing scares me, as that is where my DD was rushed when she had HSP-a rare autoimmune disease-which I feel may darn well have been vax related. Then again,. as much as I loved their treatment, they are the idiots who forced a blood clotting drug on a perfectly healthy 5 yo boy I know. The yadmitted they were just beign careful, and tried to charge his very mainstream, always at the Doc (her son does a have a clotting issue) with medical neglect-which the yof course had to drop!

But I live fairly close top CHOP and aroound here, if a kid is ill, that is where they go.

Also, I mentioned way back, I found out a relative worked for a vax manufacturer when I sent her a Mothering link on vaccines. She then sent me books she said were fair, etc. they were awful and many Docs give them out. Full of prety obvious lies and more. Paul Offit was co-author.
Xenogenesis's Avatar Xenogenesis 03:41 PM 07-31-2003
Paul Offit is a very charismatic, powerful person (with a LOT of money).
suschi's Avatar suschi 04:15 PM 07-31-2003
Here is one study your dr won't be able to provide, and the one that would be the most important to read:

A LONG TERM study on the effects (long and short term) of giving a child up to 40 doses of vaccines by the age of 5 years.

The study doesn't exist, because the Prevnar vaccine was just licensed in 2/17/2000, and the varicella has only routinely been given since 1995.

Hey, but you can ask your dr for the study anyway and see what kind of response you get.

As far as the Hib vaccine, did you get a copy of the insert from the dr? You may find your child doesn't fit in the "high risk" group. This vaccine is not required in many states for Kindergarten entry, only for daycare/preschool.

The breastfed stay at home baby is low low low risk for hib.

This vaccine was not around when my older two children were getting their routine shots (born in 1984 and 1987)

IslandMamma's Avatar IslandMamma 04:30 PM 07-31-2003
Thank you everyone for such prompt and thorough replies! I have a ton of info to peruse now (I guess it was always there, but it does help to be given a roadmap), and I am going to print some of it out and give it to my ped regardless. She said she would read it, and even if she refutes it, at least she'll have it.

An EMT is an Emergency Medical Technician, Hilary. I work on an ambulance and respond to 911 calls, and as such, am entrenched in the medical system. I just happen to have different views than alot of other folks I work with!

I would love to find another ped, but I live on an island, and the one we do have only comes once a week anyway.

I decided on the HiB b/c it's the bacteria responsible for Epiglottitis, which if my son contracted, could rapidly be fatal before the necessary medical care could be reached (the island factor).

interestingly enough, where I live has a lot of very free-thinking folks, and my ped stated with exasperation that the island has "third world vaccination rates". I do know that every year there are cases of pertussis, Varicella (of course), and recently, rubella, but as a population, the island's children seem exceptionally healthy.

And the more I read about Paul Offit, the more I'm shocked that he is the most quoted "expert". Sheesh.
mom2tig99Nroo03's Avatar mom2tig99Nroo03 02:45 PM 08-01-2003
hilary, here we have either emt's OR paramedics... paramedics ( the difference - at least here in my area is that p[aramedics can push meds ets, whereas an emt is more "basic" hth ) my dh is an emt and volunteer firefighter .

thankfully my dh has come round, thanx to the info i found here and a few dear friends on another board

am still not looking forward to our wic recert coming in 2 weeks, since i used to work with these nurses.....

i am with trabot, you are brave. hoping i can "strap on the big ones" shortly.
menudo's Avatar menudo 05:44 PM 08-01-2003
Check out this thread in response to WIC:

mom2tig99Nroo03's Avatar mom2tig99Nroo03 10:54 PM 08-01-2003
thanx, already have that one it is more that i know the nurses etc there at the health dept from working with em, and what they have been misinformed about...
IslandMamma's Avatar IslandMamma 05:49 AM 08-02-2003
I'm just an EMT, but opefully working towards my paramedic license when DS is old enough for me to go back to school. Call me weird, but I love emergency medicine.

I think that yes, that sense of "emotional blackmail" was part of why I accepted the Hib, but I also did research and wasn't as scared of that vacc as others, and have also seen epiglottitis here, which scared the bejeezus out of me. Fear is a terrible motivator, and does tend to override logic, and in that way, I hope I haven't failed my child. But please don't judge me for making that decision. It was a tough one to make, and I'm neurotic enough!

It's the DtaP that I agonize the most over.. it's the vaccine that frightens me the most, while the Pertussis disease is one that as of today is confirmed in 4 children in the county I live in. 4 doesn't sound like a lot, but out of a population of 4,500 on an island, it does make me pause. At the very least I've talked with my EMT supervisor, and while my DS is under a year, I'm avoiding calls that could be contagious disease-related as a precaution to the best of my ability. On the other hand, it doesn't seem that by giving DS the DTaP at 2 months it's going to do anything anyway to prevent pertussis. He's not in daycare now, but when I go back to work in a few months (sob-- I'm dreading this) (I teach, the EMT "job" is on a volunteer basis) he'll be in an "infant center" with about 8 others. Incidentally, 2 of them aren't vacc'ed either.

My gut instinct says NO DTaP, and sometimes, that's the most powerful deciding factor of all. I just need to up my courage to deal with the disease should the unthinkable happen.

Funny, how confident I feel treating other people in life or death situations, but when it comes to any health issue with my own child, I'm a quivering blob of jello. There's a lot of medical "unlearning" I think that needs to happen; we're so bombarded as a society that the ped/doc knows best....

Ok, must go to bed.......
Tracy's Avatar Tracy 01:11 PM 08-02-2003
My gut instinct says NO DTaP, and sometimes, that's the most powerful deciding factor of all.

Yes! couldn't agree more. whenever I have not followed my gut I personally have been burned.

keep listening.
malamamama's Avatar malamamama 05:35 PM 08-02-2003
"My gut instinct says NO DTaP, and sometimes, that's the most powerful deciding factor of all. I just need to up my courage to deal with the disease should the unthinkable happen."

I have made separate decisions for each vaccine. Pertussis was one that particularly concerned me. And I do not have near the vast amount of knowledge that so many on this board have, however, a few things that helped with my decision to forego this one also:

1. Hearing others experiences of going through this disease with their infants. Some were easy, some were not.
2. The fact that Vitamin C in the form of Sodium Ascorbate can be effective in the healing of infection.
3. The fact that probiotics with bifidobacterium given on a daily basis, helps to prevent infection.
4. And I may be unclear about this one...but since it is a bacterial infection, couldn't one use anti-biotics here if necessary?
5. The fact that pertussis is contracted by those who have been vaccinated themselves.

In addition, are you bf'ing? If so, she has an extra boost of health right there. And you could take the sodium ascorbate and probiotics yourself too. Granted my dd has not been in a daycare situation, but she was in an after-school elementary setting on a daily basis with me from 7 months-20 months. And she did not contract any of the diseases for which there are vaccinations.

Keep reading
malamamama's Avatar malamamama 11:22 PM 08-02-2003
Thanks Hillary!! I'm learning so much!!!!
IslandMamma's Avatar IslandMamma 05:10 PM 08-03-2003
I've heard of preventative Vit. C, but the probiotics thing is new to me. Anyone here have a favorite link to info about Probiotics? I'm intrigued.... I'd search more myself but DS is having, shall we say, a "high needs" day. No matter what I do, the grumpy face is lurking... Off to sing and dance as the roving mama entertainment center....