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Hi, I am a confirmed fence-sitter.

My oldest was fully vaccinated until about 18 months old, when he began showing behavior that placed him on the spectrum (confirmed by a speech therapist), along with some (presumably virus-caused) blisters on his palm, the combination of which scared me silly.

This particular child outgrew whatever symptoms he was showing, and is quite obviously neurologically typical at this point.

But that scare, combined with incredulity about the chicken pox vaccine (you're telling me that a childhood disease that I remember quite clearly as an annoyance is a frightening deadly plague?) made me start questioning the whole thing.

I read a lot of studies, clocking far too many all-nighters, especially appreciating the more balanced views given by the vaccine forum here on Mothering. (Other websites seemed to be very one-sided, it was rare to find so much respectful debate by those clearly well-informed both pro and con.)

My conclusion was that vaccines carried a significant element of risk, which was completely denied by the medical establishment. (This, incidentally, bothers me more than anything, because I don't consider myself terribly stupid, and if OTC medications carry admitted risks, why on earth should I believe that an injection bypassing all of the body's natural defense systems would be side effect-free? If you want to tell me that the benefits outweigh the risks, I will gladly hear you out, but this was just insulting to me as a rational human being.)

I gradually came to realize that many of the VPDs are far from terrifying, and that treatments exist. I learned that the oft-touted "herd immunity" does not apply to many diseases.

I waffled on the debate about whether or not vaccines bear efficacy at all. Some posters here are sure that they are useless placebos, and that doctors simply diagnose the same diseases under different names (GBS instead of polio?). Others state that the vaccines prevent certain strains but that the overall incidence of these diseases does not change, which makes them inherently useless (flu vaccine, and possibly meningitis). Still others stated that the vaccines worked to some extent, but the diseases are so inherently treatable that the damage is unconscionable. And, of course, there are those that herald vaccines as a modern-day miracle, saving millions of lives.

The statistics seem endless... not so much in their scope, but in their possibilities for interpretation.

I gave up at one point, unwilling to take the irreversible step of vaccinating my other children, yet not sure if I was convinced that this was the safest option.

So here I am, with a family of unvaccinated children, while I stay on the fence.

My current feeling is that the world would have been better without vaccinations, with focus on better treatments and more preventative medicine. But now that vaccines are here and have changed the landscape and exposure, it might be better to get vaccinated than to potentially catch childhood diseases in adult years when they are more dangerous.

The alternative is to to be someone very health proactive, testing children for nutrition deficiencies, providing organic whole foods, fermented foods and probiotics, treating illnesses promptly and consistently with alternative treatments, ensuring plenty of outdoors time, avoiding toxins in the home, etc.

Which I believe can work - but I do not have what it takes, timewise, financially, or emotionally, to follow through on consistently.

Which leads me to assume that perhaps vaccines would be a better choice for my children than doing nothing. (I will not sacrifice my children for the sake of herd immunity, for various reasons.)

But I am not convinced that vaccines are inherently safe. From what I see, the safest way to vaccinate is to follow some common-sense guidelines:
- 1 vaccine at a time (unfortunately impossible nowadays with combo vaccines, but at least no more than that...)
- At least 2 months between vaccines to both give the body a chance to recover and to monitor properly for reactions
- STOPPING if reactions are noted - that child is now at high risk for further reactions, almost certainly outweighing the risk of damage from the VPD. (From what I've read, it seems that most people with serious vaccine damage continued vaccinating despite warning signs that it was harming them)
- Not giving vaccines to someone with a known allergy to an ingredient (wish that didn't need to be said)

Now, would a pediatrician even look at me if I gave them that list? And told them that I wouldn't even consider the flu or varicella? Or would I just get reported to CPS for child endangerment?

And do I know enough about vaccine reactions to recognize one (despite a doctor's reassurance that all is normal, since, on the whole, they are not conditioned to believe in reactions)?

...So here I am. I am thankful to all of those who passionately and responsibly educate here, and hope that I can come to a conclusion I feel confident in. I appreciate very much that now, whatever I do, I am not doing blindly.

Sincerely,
A Fence-Sitter
 

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I can't exactly say welcome since you've obviously been here for a long time, but I can say nice to meet you.

No one ever gets to absolute certainty. However, your reasoning process seems fairly solid. Give yourself some credit and get a good night's sleep.
 

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Hi, I am a confirmed fence-sitter.

My oldest was fully vaccinated until about 18 months old, when he began showing behavior that placed him on the spectrum (confirmed by a speech therapist), along with some (presumably virus-caused) blisters on his palm, the combination of which scared me silly.

This particular child outgrew whatever symptoms he was showing, and is quite obviously neurologically typical at this point.

But that scare, combined with incredulity about the chicken pox vaccine (you're telling me that a childhood disease that I remember quite clearly as an annoyance is a frightening deadly plague?) made me start questioning the whole thing.

I read a lot of studies, clocking far too many all-nighters, especially appreciating the more balanced views given by the vaccine forum here on Mothering. (Other websites seemed to be very one-sided, it was rare to find so much respectful debate by those clearly well-informed both pro and con.)

My conclusion was that vaccines carried a significant element of risk, which was completely denied by the medical establishment. (This, incidentally, bothers me more than anything, because I don't consider myself terribly stupid, and if OTC medications carry admitted risks, why on earth should I believe that an injection bypassing all of the body's natural defense systems would be side effect-free? If you want to tell me that the benefits outweigh the risks, I will gladly hear you out, but this was just insulting to me as a rational human being.)

I gradually came to realize that many of the VPDs are far from terrifying, and that treatments exist. I learned that the oft-touted "herd immunity" does not apply to many diseases.

I waffled on the debate about whether or not vaccines bear efficacy at all. Some posters here are sure that they are useless placebos, and that doctors simply diagnose the same diseases under different names (GBS instead of polio?). Others state that the vaccines prevent certain strains but that the overall incidence of these diseases does not change, which makes them inherently useless (flu vaccine, and possibly meningitis). Still others stated that the vaccines worked to some extent, but the diseases are so inherently treatable that the damage is unconscionable. And, of course, there are those that herald vaccines as a modern-day miracle, saving millions of lives.

The statistics seem endless... not so much in their scope, but in their possibilities for interpretation.

I gave up at one point, unwilling to take the irreversible step of vaccinating my other children, yet not sure if I was convinced that this was the safest option.

So here I am, with a family of unvaccinated children, while I stay on the fence.

My current feeling is that the world would have been better without vaccinations, with focus on better treatments and more preventative medicine. But now that vaccines are here and have changed the landscape and exposure, it might be better to get vaccinated than to potentially catch childhood diseases in adult years when they are more dangerous.

The alternative is to to be someone very health proactive, testing children for nutrition deficiencies, providing organic whole foods, fermented foods and probiotics, treating illnesses promptly and consistently with alternative treatments, ensuring plenty of outdoors time, avoiding toxins in the home, etc.

Which I believe can work - but I do not have what it takes, timewise, financially, or emotionally, to follow through on consistently.

Which leads me to assume that perhaps vaccines would be a better choice for my children than doing nothing. (I will not sacrifice my children for the sake of herd immunity, for various reasons.)

But I am not convinced that vaccines are inherently safe. From what I see, the safest way to vaccinate is to follow some common-sense guidelines:
- 1 vaccine at a time (unfortunately impossible nowadays with combo vaccines, but at least no more than that...)
- At least 2 months between vaccines to both give the body a chance to recover and to monitor properly for reactions
- STOPPING if reactions are noted - that child is now at high risk for further reactions, almost certainly outweighing the risk of damage from the VPD. (From what I've read, it seems that most people with serious vaccine damage continued vaccinating despite warning signs that it was harming them)
- Not giving vaccines to someone with a known allergy to an ingredient (wish that didn't need to be said)

Now, would a pediatrician even look at me if I gave them that list? And told them that I wouldn't even consider the flu or varicella? Or would I just get reported to CPS for child endangerment?

And do I know enough about vaccine reactions to recognize one (despite a doctor's reassurance that all is normal, since, on the whole, they are not conditioned to believe in reactions)?

...So here I am. I am thankful to all of those who passionately and responsibly educate here, and hope that I can come to a conclusion I feel confident in. I appreciate very much that now, whatever I do, I am not doing blindly.

Sincerely,
A Fence-Sitter
We don't see a pediatrician, we see a family doctor. I would say he has adjusted, over the years, to my not vaccinating, because I've established my credentials otherwise. He wouldn't have taken me as a patient if I'd gone in with a list.

And that would be sad. :serious:
 

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In the "tribe" section I would post to find a friendly doc (be it a Ped or Family one) -start there asking to see if there is one in your area.

Sitter's like you can post in the Sel/Delay section too for more direct answer-the middle section above.
 

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:w

Some people have firm opinions, but I think you'll find a lot of fence sitters here.

Personally, I have a "regular" pediatrician and an alternate pediatrician. Honestly, I take the kids to the regular ped for most illness and the alternate ped when I need forms signed for school. Although I've had the regular ped since the beginning and I've told her I'm not vax-ing and she has all the records (which will show that vaxes have never been given) I think she's forgotten. She'll say things like, "you'll need to make an appointment for this or that vax."

I think it goes to show how little docs read the patients chart, but that's my job as mom to stay on top of it. So, overall, it's a little more work, but it has not been a problem at all.
 

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I am not sure what you are looking for here (said kindly)

Do you want to be gently challenged on what you wrote, or are you looking for advice on how to find a doctor that will be onboard with you calling the shots (no pun intended!) re vaccination?
 
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