There are some topics in life that immediately evoke an emotional response no matter which side of the issue you are on. Whether or not to vaccinate your newborn child is one of them. Because so much emotion is involved, the prudent parent will seek credible information from both sides before making their decision.
For the record, I have five children (all girls). After looking into the topic for myself and evaluating the pros and the cons, none of them have been vaccinated. This does not mean that I believe that all children should not be vaccinated. Read the information below (and lots of other material) before making your decision.
There is a great deal of pressure from many sources to vaccinate your children. All sorts of guilt and condemnation await those parents who choose to do otherwise.
The U.S. has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. If you follow the recommendations set up by the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics, your child will receive nearly 34 doses of ten different vaccines by the time they enter kindergarten.
What are the long-term effects on the human body? Several childhood conditions are escalating in this country such as asthma and attention deficit disorder. Many of us in the natural health field suspect a relationship between this condition and vaccinations. Unfortunately, very few studies are underway to confirm or deny this suspicion.
Vaccination rates are increasing. American children born in 1948 were only required by state health officials to show proof of smallpox vaccination to enter school. For the American child born in 1998, getting in school requires being injected with 33 or 34 doses of 9 or 10 different viral and bacterial vaccines. Today, there are more than 200 vaccines being created by federal health agencies and drug companies, including Hepatitis C, D and E; Herpes simplex types 1 and 2; gonorrhea; rotavirus (diarrhea); Group A and B streptococcus; meningitis A, B and C; and HIV for AIDS. I am scared to think what the child born in 2014 will be required to undergo.
Why I Didn't Vaccinate
Without question vaccinations have been a powerful force in the prevention of disease. However, in my opinion, in the U.S. today they are an abused form of health care. Below I have provided the five reasons why I chose not to vaccinate my three girls.
Vaccination shots are filled with toxic ingredients – Genetic material from other infected animals, preservatives (formaldehyde and acetone, and heavy metals), antibiotics, and other chemicals are all injected into the closed system of the blood stream.
The body has special defense systems to help fight these organisms if they are breathed into the nasal passages and lungs. However, when injected into the blood stream, these defenses are bypassed, which creates an immune response different than what was intended. In other words, vaccinations are a direct assault on the most guarded and protected system of the body.
Vaccines are grown on animals such as chickens, monkey kidney cells, human fetal tissue (chicken pox vaccine) and infected tissues.
Thimerosal – is an organic form of mercury that is fifty times more potent than mercury itself. When an infant receives a vaccination shot containing thimerosal, they are actually receiving a dose of mercury 70 – 200 times higher than the recommended safe levels. Thankfully, the United States is reducing this ingredient in many vaccines…but not all.
Vaccinating your child does not guarantee that they will not contract the disease for which they were vaccinated. Some children get the disease as a result of being vaccinated. For example, the antibodies for Hepatitis B are not detectable in 30% and 50% of persons after 7 years despite having three doses of the vaccine. If immunity only lasts 7 years, babies vaccinated with hepatitis B vaccine may be candidates for more shots (boosters) at age seven (see more on Hepatitis B below). The only way you get permanent immunity is by getting the disease.
Most of the vaccinations given today are for non-life threatening diseases. Chicken pox for instance, is merely a nuisance. Once a child endures this condition he will have lifetime immunity. Others, like polio, are essentially non-existent in the United States. Then there are the vaccinations that make no sense whatsoever (except perhaps economically). Take Hepatitis B for example.
Hepatitis B – People at high risk for getting Hepatitis B disease (which is transmitted by coming into direct contact with an infected person's body fluids) are IV drug users, prostitutes, prisoners, sexually promiscuous persons and babies born to infected mothers. Since this is true, why do most hospitals inject a Hepatitis B vaccine into babies before they even leave the hospital? I have yet to hear a reasonable explanation for this one. Hepatitis B is not life threatening. 90-95% of all hepatitis B cases recover completely after 3 to 4 weeks. Symptoms include: nausea, fatigue, headache, arthritis, jaundice and a tender liver. Interestingly, up to 17 percent of all hepatitis B vaccinations are followed by reports of fatigue and weakness, headache, arthritis and fever of more than 100 F.
The vaccination schedule requires most babies to be fully vaccinated by the time they are two years old. This was the strongest reason why my children were not vaccinated. In my practice I see what simple foods can do to the health of a sensitive adult. It makes no sense to me then, given my experience and what I have already explained above, why a child with an underdeveloped immune system should be subject to such an extremely toxic substance at so young an age (some shots are given soon after they are born). The immune system of the child is dependent upon receiving support from the mother’s breast milk, which contains certain antibodies that help prevent infection. This is why breast feeding should last between one and two years; allowing for the full development of the child's immune system.
In Japan, the rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) almost disappeared when the vaccination program was stopped until after 2 years of age.
As with any medical procedure, there are risks associated with vaccinations. The Food and Drug Administration established the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). Every year 12,000 to 14,000 hospitalizations, injuries, and deaths following vaccination are reported to VAERS. Experts suspect that numbers are much higher because not all parents report adverse reactions.
A child who has had a previous severe reaction to a vaccination can be especially at risk for even more severe reactions if more vaccine is given.
Monitor your child closely after vaccination. Call your doctor if you suspect a reaction. If your doctor is not concerned and you are, take your child to an emergency room.
If your child is left permanently brain damaged or dies as a result of a vaccine reaction, you may be entitled to benefits under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. By fall 1995, the federal vaccine injury compensation program had compensated nearly 1000 families at a cost of $600 million.
Obtain a copy of your state mandatory vaccination laws. Become educated about state vaccine requirements, your rights and legal exemptions to vaccination. In most states a religious exemption is permitted. Thankfully, in Colorado, parents are permitted to deny vaccinations for philosophical reasons as well.
When I Would Vaccinate
Despite my strong views as outlined above, I would vaccinate my children under certain conditions.
When their immune systems are strong - This usually means waiting until the age of 3 or 4. I would consider changing my mind on this point if there were an outbreak of a highly contagious life-threatening disease and a safe vaccine was available. However, in the U.S. that is not presently the case.
If I could not properly care for my child – I am at a tremendous advantage. Since I work in the health field I am familiar with the subtle signs and symptoms of oncoming sickness. I am also able to support my children's immune systems with various remedies taylored to their specific needs (many of these are discussed throughout choosehealth.net). In addition, I do not permit the weakening of my children's immune systems through prolonged lack of sleep, too many stimulating activities (television, video games etc.) or constant junk food indulgences. As a result, they are much healthier than many children their own age. All this being said, if my child were at significant risk to contract a disease that was life threatening or life altering, such as when traveling to certain foreign countries, I would strongly consider vaccinations in spite of the facts above.
For more information on this immensely important topic presented in a balanced format please see:
The National Vaccine Information Center