Should I vaccinate my baby?

Owen Clarens Dec2008Of the many advances of modern medicine, none seems to evoke as much emotion as childhood vaccines. I’m a mom (that’s my son on the left) and like so many parents I had to decide whether or not I would vaccinate my child. Luckily for me there was far less public debate, especially in South Africa, when I was considering the question and the decision was an easy one for me to make. I decided to vaccinate my son, I had been vaccinated and so had my parents and I had not even heard of the alleged risk of autism.

In the past few years there has been a disturbing increase in activity by people urging us to stop vaccinating our children. I am not going to re-hash the arguments from either the pro-vaccination or anti-vaccination spokesmen. These arguments have been made too often and they are always the same. So I will provide you with two links;

Firstly the anti-vaxxers have a website which promotes their position and wants you to look at 14 studies which supposedly show a link between vaccines and autism. That straining sound you can hear is me NOT tearing into all the fallacious arguments presented on this website. I would like you to have a look at a blog post which handles the problem far better than I could, Science-Based Medicine is a blog which deals with medical issues. Mark Crislip is a hospital based Infectious Disease doctor and in his article “14 Studies Later” he analyzes the evidence put forward by the anti-vaccinationists.

All of this verbal sparring with big words and inflamed ego’s can get a little overwhelming for the concerned parents who simply want to do the very best for their children. That is where the CDC steps in and produces a great video which answers a few of the most pertinent questions in a simple and concise way. Thanks CDC guys! (watch to the end – it’s really cute)

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20 responses to “Should I vaccinate my baby?

  1. I have 3 kids, fully vaccinated. I have become more and more aware of what is going on in the world since and now have a fourth child and am struggling with the decision. I have found that the studies supporting vaccinations have been sponsored by the drug companies that make them. I am not convinced that they cause autism, but I believe that the horrible reaction my second child had to be the cause of his learning disability. Could just be a coincidence, but it happened at the same time this area of the brain was going through neurological development involving fine motor skills. Regardless of this, I do not trust the drug companies. Look at all the crap in cosmetics, baby lotion and wash, diapers… etc. These are deemed “safe for human use” by the FDA yet contain ingredients that are known carcinogens, etc. The studies will show what the ones funding them want them to show. All our “trusted” sources operate in the shadow of greed, rather than in the best interest of humanity. Money is the pseudo god of these uncertain times.

    • I wouldn’t compare the safety standards of wet wipes, cosmetics and baby lotion to those applied to vaccines. But hey, it’s your decision and if you are willing to risk your child’s life over some baseless conspiracy theory, be my guest.

      • Im not sure she is “risking” her childs life by questioning what is being put into her childs body. An educated parent is a good parent.

  2. I have 3 children, the oldest at 17 is fully vaccinated,the middle child at 5 is partially vaccinated as he experienced an allergic reaction. The youngest is not vaccinated at all … and i have to say she seems so much stronger for it. She has never really been sick ..even though the other children in the house may have been she has never caught their bugs.Given the choice again .. i would probably have not vaccinated any of my children.It seems crazy to me that unless you inject these traumatic toxins into your child radicals are convinced you do not love your child.
    How about the recent case in Australia with whooping cough mutating and the bug becoming resistant to any vaccine?

    • “It seems crazy to me that unless you inject these traumatic toxins into your child radicals are convinced you do not love your child” Yes, that is crazy. But it’s not an argument for vaccination.

      “How about the recent case in Australia with whooping cough mutating and the bug becoming resistant to any vaccine?” It is resistant to the current vaccine, but a new one will be developed soon.

      Vaccines save far too many lives for us to stop vaccinating. What if your child is exposed to Polio? It hasn’t happened yet, but if it did, and your child is unvaccinated, she could die or be left crippled for life. Right now she is still protected by “herd immunity” – the fact that most of her peers are also vaccinated, but with more and more people deciding not to vaccinate, that herd immunity will drop and become ineffective. That is when I will be REALLY glad that my kids are vaccinated, and really sorry that yours are not.

      • What about the side affects not counted toward vaccinating that have never been rightfully delved into? Whatelse are you injecting into your child besides small doses of a deadly disiease ?I vaccinated my eldest child unaware and unthinkingly as it didnt cross my mind to question.what my government or my health board told me,but these questions seem too important to continuosly ignore.
        My 5 year old had a severe allergic reaction and was sent to the hospital in an ambulance from the doctors surgery where he recieved his shot.I have too many unanswered questions too simply inject smaller dosed toxins into my children.
        My 5 year old also has a peanut allegy…..next we will be thinking up vaccines for peanuts!

      • Hi Rennay,
        I’m sorry to hear about your experience and I hope that your son recovered. However, to say that side effects of vaccines are not “rightfully delved into” would be, quite simply, incorrect. As with all properly controlled medicines, it takes a long time and a lot of testing before the compounds are declared safe for public use, and even while they are being used by the general public, all medicines are continuously monitored for adverse effects.
        In South Africa (where I live) we recently had a common painkiller removed from the market because it was found to be dangerous. Unfortunately, medicine producers can’t test every medicine for adverse reactions in every person in the world before they release the product. So they do the best they can by running controlled trials in specific stages to root out the medicines that pose a threat to the population at large as soon as possible.
        The same is true for vaccines. They are thoroughly tested before they are used on the general public, we understand the risks and benefits of the vaccines better than most other drugs. If you think about it, every time a vaccine is administered, we have another person the medicine is being tested on.
        In a quick scan of PubMed (a wonderful resource for scientific medical information) I found a study about immediate allergic reactions to 15 vaccines between 1994 and 1998. The rate of allergic reactions that sound similar to the one you describe your son suffered is ONE allergic reaction per 450,000 vaccinations administered (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11808876). That’s safe. Really, really safe.

        As an aside, you absolutely should question what the government and health board tell you. That’s what makes scientific skepticism such a powerful tool. If you understand how to evaluate medical evidence and how to judge a study, you are immediately more able to make informed decisions.

        And we don’t make vaccines for allergies – although you can do allergy exposure in controlled doses to reduce the severity, if I’m not mistaken.

      • Hi Angela,
        Should my child develop polio then i would immediately seek treatment for its symptoms,wouldn’t you ? Herd immunity is measured in terms of its failures not its success, which is used as justification for requiring its use. Thus, children attending school are required to get vaccinations, whether their parents want them to or not, whether it is personally good for them or not, simply because vaccination doesn’t always work. This, all in the name of “herd immunity”. One of the potential problems in the theory of herd immunity is that outbreaks have occurred in highly vaccinated populations, including those documented to be 100% vaccinated.
        My personal experience …
        My eldest son is fully vaccinated yet contracted serratia meningitis at which left him with many long term health issues.My 2nd child at 6 is partially vaccinated as he developed the allergic reaction to the immunization .The 3rd child is not vaccinated at all. I believe when you say
        ” That is when I will be REALLY glad that my kids are vaccinated, and really sorry that yours are not ”
        that you would be referring to my 3rd child who is vaccine free. However please note that my oldest son whilst vaccinated was still thoroughly at risk of infectious disease as his medical history does prove. My 2nd child who is partially vaccinated developed his peanut allergy after his allergic reaction to immunization ( i have questions on the relation of this too!) so my decision to not immunize my third was a deeply cautious one finally made free through self observation of the scare tactics used against people such as yourself who administer guilt as a tool through a misguided idea of love and protection. To say i already worry for my own children and yours would be more human like than ill be glad that mine live mutation free while yours make 3 headed babies.lol Not cool Angela.

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  4. I have two children. One has been vaccinated and one hasn’t. The one who hasn’t been vaccinated, has never been sick. No colds, no ear infections, nothing. I think that the toxins introduced to the body cause damage to the immune system and can lead to future problems. If I have another child, I will also not vaccinate him.
    Here is a Should I Vaccinate video that I agree with:

    http://www.ihealthtube.com/aspx/viewvideo.aspx?v=cdb4aebad51f3a11

    • Anthony, your logic is flawed on so many levels. By your logic, since you haven’t died, I don’t need life insurance. Vaccines don’t stop the minor issues (colds, ear infections etc) they stop the killers and the maimers – and if they don’t save your kid(s), your immunisation may very well save someone else’s child. One healthy kid is statistically irrelevant! Vaccines also don’t introduce toxins – this is a fact. And as for the video… sheesh. Andreas is a dangerously uninformed quack – “medical intuitive” is modern parlance for “medical clairvoyant”, someone who makes the average homoeopath look like a medical saint.

      Happily some others are also highlighting Andreas’s unfounded (and frankly dangerous) claims:

      http://forthesakeofscience.wordpress.com/2009/05/24/andreas-moritz-is-a-stupid-dangerous-man/

  5. This is also a issue I feel strongly about. My kid is vaccinated.

    My nephew is autistic and luckily they caught it at 3 years old. He is currently in a normal school and doing well. He does get special care at school etc (New Zealand), but he is doing academically the same work as the other kids and also doing all the sports.

    Anyway, I get angry with the don’t vaccinate your kid crowd, because they just put their kids at risk.

  6. Thanks for this – great timing. I have a blog post in the making, following some quite heated debates with friends and colleagues on vaccines / autism. Gets me all fired up :-) I hadn’t found the video or link, thanks.

    • You’re welcome Ewan. I have been trying to avoid this mess, but I thought the video was worth spreading, so I took the plunge.

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