These two words don't go together in our family. After much research before our son was born, we decided that we would selectively vaccinate our children. After our son was born, and much more research, we decided that we would delay all vaccinations until such time as our son could decide for himself. Why, you ask?
Besides the ongoing vaccine recalls, the questionable ingredients in vaccines (including mercury and other harmful toxins), the debate about whether vaccines truly work as well as reported, and the massive numbers of people with reactions to vaccines, some including irreversible damage or death... my son has a healthy immune system; he was exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of his life and will continue to be breastfed until the benefits are no longer sustainable or he decides to wean; and on top of all that, he is not likely to contract any disease that there is a vaccine for that is life threatening.
Right now, in the USA, the choice to vaccinate children is left solely up to the parents. This means that parents have an obligation to educate themselves about this choice and not to blindly accept the advice or pressures from outside sources, including healthcare professionals, the school district or other parents... This education should cover some specific bases... one mother I know said this:
"I wrote down all my questions in a Word doc. Made a list, something like this:
What is the disease?
Who is most at risk?
What percentage of people who get the disease die?
Who do those people tend to be? (old, children, etc.)
Is there a geographical component?
What are the known risks of the vaccine?
Go on from there. then under each question I went to the CDC site and gathered data until I felt like I could answer that question.
If you choose to vaccinate your children, you DO have options and you DO NOT have to follow any schedule set forth by any organization, you may choose to follow the CDC schedule, or an alternate schedule agreed to by your doctor, or one that you decide on yourself. Two things that you should always do, if you choose to vaccinate are
1. always break up combination vaccines, such as the MMR and the DTaP. Yes they can do this, although you may have to insist on it before your doctor admits it. Because it is more hassle for them to order them separately, they cannot bill you for the cost above what the insurance company pays them, and insurance companies do not compensate them for the added expense.
2. do not get more than one vaccine per healthcare visit. By doing this, you are better able to watch for side effects and to report any reaction to your doctor or healthcare professional immediately.
If you decide that you do not want to vaccinate your children, you cannot be forced by any authority to do so. People often say that " fill in the blank said it was a law to vaccinate my children, I had no choice!" this is not true. THERE IS NO LAW REQUIRING A PARENT TO VACCINATE THEIR CHILDREN.
For more information, check out these links:
http://wonder.cdc.gov/vaers.html - The CDC's database of reported adverse reactions to vaccines. A doctor told me that this database only contains about 10% of the actual reactions to vaccines because doctors often fail to report, death is attributed to other causes, or parents don't see a connection and don't report to the doctor.
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/mmwr_wk.html - The CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
http://www.marytocco.com/questions.htm - Questions every parent should ask about vaccines.
http://www.lewrockwell.com/alston/alston33.html - A website about the flu shot and other vaccines. Contains information questioning the efficacy of vaccines in general.
http://www.generationrescue.org/vaccines.html - A website dedicated to the research of the link between vaccines and Autism in children. The link listed goes to a page on this site that lists things every parent should know before vaccinating their children on the CDC schedule.
http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/package_inserts.htm - Package Inserts and Manufacturers for some US Licensed Vaccines
http://www.lewrockwell.com/miller/miller15.html - A doctor's take on vaccinations
http://www.vaclib.org/exempt/washington.htm - WASHINGTON STATE - IMMUNIZATION EXEMPTION INFORMATION
I hope that the above information can help someone come to a decision regarding vaccinations and the children in their family.