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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Immunizations - What The?

I've always rolled my eyes at those that don't believe in getting their children immunized - I thought they were just a bunch of paranoid hippie types. Turns out, now I'm a little paranoid after reading an article called, "My Child Stopped Breathing." Here's an excerpt:

"She did not have her three-month shot until she was five months, due to repeated ear infections. The night she had her shots, she stopped breathing five times – a significant increase. I called the pediatrician the next morning and he told me that sometimes the whooping cough vaccine caused that! I wondered why I had not been warned of this considering her history. Two months later when she went for her next jab, we omitted the whooping cough one. She stopped breathing seven times! This time the pediatrician told me not to worry as one in 200 babies does this. And they don’t tell everyone? I’ve since met several people with the same story. Some of those babies are not alive today."

What are your thoughts/experiences with immunizations?


Anonymous said...



From the CHOP website:
What are the side effects of the pneumococcal vaccine?
Children commonly will have pain or swelling where the shot is given and occasionally low-grade fever. About 1 percent of children will develop a high fever.

Should adults get the pneumococcal vaccine?
Because older adults are at high risk of pneumococcal infections, any adult over the age of 65 should receive the pneumococcal vaccine. Also, any adult with heart or lung disease, liver disease, alcoholism, diabetes or cancer should receive the vaccine. Adults without a functioning spleen should also receive the pneumococcal vaccine.

Read a personal story»

Do the benefits of the pneumococcal vaccine outweigh its risks?
Pneumococcal bacteria still cause hundreds of cases of meningitis, bloodstream infections and pneumonia every year in the United States. Because the pneumococcal vaccine does not cause serious side effects, the benefits of the vaccine clearly outweigh its risks.

Reviewed by: Paul A. Offit, MD
Date: March 2008

Homesteader in Training said...

Wow. This is a touchy subject and I'm sure I won't be very popular. I immunized my first child do to pure ignorance and I was young and thought you HAD to do it. When I was pregnant with my second my husband and I started doing research about them and what we came up with we did not like. With the birth of my second child he almost died due to the medication they had me on for pain. So right from the start we knew he was very sensitive to things of that nature. That was pretty much the straw that broke the camels back as far as immunizations. Now my kids are 14, 6 and 3 and the healthiest kids of any kids I know. If we get a cold we kick it in 3 days and we hardly get those as it is. None of my kids have ever had an ear infection or trouble breathing or any of those "side effects" that come with immunizations.I homeschool my kids so they aren't in daycare or school where one may be a little scared of what they might bring home. But I don't criticize anyone that does do it because it all boils down to what you feel led to do. There are great books out there on the subject that one could read if one so chose too.
Well those are my thoughts. You asked lol. I'm pretty passionate about the subject but don't ever bring it up myself. I let other people bring it up and if they have questions I answer based on what I know.
Blessings to you.

scargosun said...

*stepping on soapbox*

I really wish that I could respect parents' decisions when it comes to this topic b/c I am usually very rational and I think that since I don't have kids, I don't really have a say in what other people do.
In this day and age where travel on a plane to distant countries is as easy as snapping your fingers, not immunizing your child is the absolute wrong decision. Diseases that are all but ‘dead’ here in the US are rampant in other countries. I don’t care what crackpot 'scientific' articles you cite, I don't care what your 'religious' affiliations are. Not immunizing your child not only exposes them to dangerous pathogens but every other person they will ever touch or contact. Even if you home school your children, eventually they will need to leave the house.
Are there side effects? Sure. There are side effects to just about everything we do to our bodies. Exercise can cause pain and swelling and worse if you have a heart or lung issue. Falling down and getting a cut can turn into an infection. The question you need to ask yourself is; do I want my child to suffer the effects of measles (extremely high fever, immune system overload)? How about mumps (sterilization, damage to glands and lymph nodes)? Maybe shingles (permanent nerve damage resulting in chronic pain) or influenza (pneumonia, decreased lung function)? All of those things, which you and your child can be immunized for, can cause death. Some can even cause brain damage which means even more suffering though a person’s life.
I understand people what to protect their children today…but what about next week, what about when they are older and not vaccinated for a disease that exists in a place they travel to? These are things, I believe, that parents do not look at. I mean, parents plan for their children’s education before they are born, why are they not looking to their health future the same way they are looking at their educational future?

*stepping off soap box*

Cassandra said...

I have always vaccinated my three kids, with no side effects. Maybe an occassional low fever for the first few hours. Nothing major. And after having a baby in the hospital with pneumonia caused from RSV, I wish I would have vaccinated against RSV as well. Somethings, while there are risks, are worth those riskd because of the greater good they have brought to the world as a whole. Just my opionion.

Anna said...

For starters, we vaccinated our three children with everything except the varicella. We will continue to omit it until the pre-teen years, if they haven't had it by then.
In addition, my daughter MUST skip the live vaccines from now on because of her JRA medications.
All that said, I am not a fan of vaccinating children and I am totally supportive of those who decline to vaccinate their own children. I am highly distrustful of the medical community, because I have seen that they will skip scientific proof if given enough money.

JMMEE said...

Not immunizing your child is placing them at an unfair risk they shouldn't have to face. You make a decision for them and they may have to face the consequences later in life because they were not vaccinated and then contracted a disease they could have been spared.
I strongly believe God has given mankind the technology and scientific knowhow for a reason (ALL wisdom, knowledge, and understanding comes from the Lord ) - let's use it and not put our children and OTHERS at risk by rejecting the medical opportunities we as Americans are blessed to have. The benefits FAR outweigh the low percentage risks.

Think on this - ask the mother in a country who does not have access to vaccinations who's child/ren died of or from complications of diseases that the medical field has made preventable if they would have immunized if given the opportunity. Ask families who have lost all of their children to epidemics of diptheria, etc. if they wish they had had the opportunity to prevent this loss by simply immunizing their children. The town my husband's family comes from has grave after grave of children who died during epidemics of now preventable childhood diseases.

Kristi said...

I have 2 children, and was very scared not to have them immunized. I know everyone has different beliefs and such about shots, you have to do what you feel is right. Both my children, 10 and 7, are very healthy, and very rarely do we go to the doc.

That's my 2 cents. =o)

Jacquelyn said...

darned if you do, darned if you don't. From a community perspective I didn't realize that my pediatrician didn't immunize against chicken pox. I found this out after my kids gave chicken pox to at least 5 other families after being in the church nursery before the pox came out. While not a huge health risk, what if by my fear I passed along a disease to another child that wasn't able to fight it? Ultimately it is something that each parent has to weigh for themselves and be comfortable defending their position. I'm still on the fence about the HPV vaccine for my daughter but I have a long window of opportunity to think about it.

Rebecca said...

After reading the intensity with which some expressed their opinion, I proceed with caution. :)

With our first daughter, we did no research and did everything the doctors told us. Before our second daughter, I started learning about delayed and alternative vaccination schedules and refused the initial vaccine in the hospital. They disregarded our request and administered the Hep-B vaccine anyway. Her little body was not ready for this and it completely wiped out her immune system.
She went on to contract pnuemonia at 10 days old and developed allergies to antibiotics and any chemical including preservatives, additives, chlorine, fragrances, etc. She is now 20 months and her body has yet to recover from that single vaccine. We have been unable to administer any since, for fear of anaphylaxis. Since most foods have chemicals, unless you grow them yourself, she has an incredibly limited diet (maybe 20 foods she doesn't react to). And yes I understand that this might be a "low percentage risk," but you kind of have little use for statistics when it happens to your child - especially when it is preventable.

Because vaccinating is not an option now, I have done much research on alternatives to the typical vaccinations and have a completely different opinion than before.

I encourage you to read and make up your own mind, which I think you've started to do. "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children's Vaccinations" by Stephanie Cave & Deborah Mitchell is a great book, since it not only discusses side effects of vaccines, but also safer ways to vaccinate your kids (i.e. delaying until their immune system is developed, not administering so many at once, etc).
And I agree much with Kim. I am have such strong feelings about the subject, but for the sake of peace, rarely discuss it.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

OK, Sarah Mae, you must be feeling better if you're taking on a topic like this! :)

This isn't a subject I usually discuss since people have very strong feelings on both sides and I am a wimpy non-confrontational kind of gal. I do think that each family should prayerfully consider all information and do whatever they feel is right. There are risks either way, in my opinion and evidence can always be found to support both sides.

My son is completely vaccinated. I didn't know there was an option when he was a baby and he didn't have any reactions other than typical mild ones. When it came time for boosters and new vaccines, I was more informed, but still decided to continue vaccinating him, partly because he hadn't had any problems when younger and because some of the vaccines had been changed and improved.

If I had another baby, this would be a very difficult decision that we would consider in much prayer. At this time, I think I would end up doing some of the vaccinations, but not all and possibly delaying some of them.

Some of these diseases are starting to come back, which is also a concern. Here is a link to one article about measles: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/09/060911-measles.html

Whichever decision you make, you will have plenty of people that strongly disagree with you. So, after all of your research (which I know you will do!) and prayer, do what you feel God wants for your family.

I am happy to say that I was always provided with an info sheet on every vaccine that explained exactly what it was for and listed all side effects and reactions from the common to the very rare. I feel that all parents should be receiving that info from their doctors before doing any vaccines.

Anna said...

Despite the passion of your own belief, I would encourage the pro-vax people to be cautious when sharing your opinion. You never know when you're talking to someone who has a child that's reacted to a vaccine. If you're a Christian, you're setting an example. It would be very easy to hurt someone's feelings.

Kristin said...

I don't have very many strong opinions but on this subject I do. I have worked in a pediatric office for over 5 years and given thousands of shots. I very much respect people’s decisions to not vaccinate as long as they really are educated about it and take the time to read and gather their information from reliable sites and people. Although you may trust you friends or family search it out on your own before making final decisions.
You have to be careful about what you read. As we see with all of these blogs that we love, anybody can start a .com and say whatever they would like. If you are uncomfortable with one vaccine don't throw them all out! Vaccines do allot of good but as a parent you do need to be comfortable with the documented side effects.
The only other thing that comes to mind is that fact that if my neighbors are not vaccinating their children it is not only putting their kids at risk but mine also.
Although I come from a medical background my mom is kind of holistic and wasn't comfortable vaccinating and she waited a until we were 2 yrs only to start.
I guess what I am trying to say is if you are uncomfortable REALLY search it out on many sites to get accurate information. And as a mother use your BEST judgment for your own child.

Katie @ 3 Blondes and a Redhead said...

I don't speak about this unless asked, so even though you don't know me, I'm willing to give my opinion. I know how controversial this is, so this could be a tough round of comments for you to read through.

My thoughts are personal for me and my family - I don't judge those that immunize or think there's anything wrong with their decision. But for us, we choose not to.

My chiropractor was relentless in warning me about vaccines during each visit of my first pregnancy. The statistic that I couldn't shake was that in Japan (the healthiest country on the planet) it is a federal LAW that children cannot be vaccinated until the age of 2 because "their little bodies can't handle it." Hmmm...

SO we decided to wait until 2, then revisit the idea. During that time, my son got hand, foot and mouth disease which caused his skin to get scaley and ugly for a few days and he threw up once. When I took him to the doctor, they said, "There's nothing you can do for it, but don't worry - they're working on a vaccine for it." A vaccine for something that wasn't fatal and was nothing more than an inconvenience?!!??

I just think it's getting out of control, that's all. I can understand why they started the polio vaccine (which polio is gone now, by the way, yet I think they still vaccinate for it) and some of the others, but why load up these little bodies?

I pray that God protects my kids from the diseases these vaccines prevent and know that He is in complete control. I'm not one who scoffs at taking a Tylenol when I get a headache, but I am beginning to "get" the people behind all of the conspiracy theories out there about the pharmacuedical companies.

And if I plan to take my children abroad (or if they travel there as adults) we'll be wise enough to be vaccinated for potential threats in that country. But by then, their bodies will be more mature and able to handle the intensity of the shots.

My advice is to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY about this very personal choice. Doctors are bias one way, naturopaths are bias the other way, strong opinioned friends are bias...God knows you and your family and the beginning from the end. He will give you a peace about this decision one way or the other. Continually seek His guidance from now until your baby is born and you'll know the right thing to do!!!

Anonymous said...

This is no one's decision but the parents. Different life styles and beliefs will require different decisions. I'm a biblical Christian and therefore can not put many of the ingredients found in vaccinations in my body or in my children.
http://www.vaclib.org/ http://www.vaccineawakening.blogspot.com/

HeathahLee said...

You're back! I hope you're feeling better!

The question of vaccine or no vaccine is one a couple in my circle of friends and family have gone back and forth on. For me, personally, I trust my Pediatrician and got all Kiddo's shots. I'm thinking that should the child actually get the disease they didn't get immunized for it would be much worse than the side effects of the vaccine. Just my opinion, of course.

kari and kijsa said...

Trying to get back into the blogging swing of things and give a grateful shoutout for all the paryers and support!

Thankful blessings,
kari & kijsa

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

My son's leg swelled up twice its size after getting the DPT vaccine when he was about 3 mths old. I refused to let him get any more vaccines of any kind until he turned seventeen.

We then had him get the MMR, Tetnus, and a couple others he would need when entering college.

A young intern who was on duty when we had to take him to the hospital at 3 mths old warned me never to let anyone give him another DPT shot again.

Also, just as they were to give him the new Tetnus vaccine at age seventeen, we were talking about him being allergic to the DPT shot. She immediately pulled the needle away, saying the new Tetnus vaccine containes the same thing that caused him to have the reaction to the original DPT shot!!!

She had to find one of the "old" Tetnus vaccines to give him.

Anonymous said...

We are quite fortunate to be able to make the decision as to whether or not we should vaccinate our children. Not only this, but we are fortunate to not have these disease that are rampant in other parts of the world. I realize that it is a personal decision, but have you ever considered what it would be like if we didn't have these vaccinations? Consider the polio vaccination, have you ever spoken to someone who had polio before the vaccinatio was available? I have, my own mom had polio. She wishes that the vaccination had been around. Their are side effects to anything that you take. Not everyone experiences the side effects of the vaccinations. The down side to not having them is two fold. One, if people in large quantities don't recieve them, then the fatal diseases can come back, and they could possibly be worse. Thus affecting multiple people. Secondly, you could be ultimatly harming your own child. What if your child dies from one of these diseases. They can't speak for themselves. You are their voice and their protector. It is the responsibility of the parent to be able to look at the childs future and protect them from what they can.

Anonymous said...

I too had my first son fully vaccinated. Second son was partly vaccinated. Both of these boys were very sick babies. Son number 3 comes and I have read many books on vaccinating. My husband and I made the decision not to vaccinate him as a baby. He is now turning 11 and just got his first shots a year ago! He is the healthiest out of all 3 boys. Yes, there are pros and cons on both sides of this issue. But we live in a free country where we are free to choose. I had an uncle with polio and saw the side effects of this devasting disease! I also know of people who have lost their child to SIDS the day after their baby received their vaccinations. It is a hard decision to make, but it is one that you must make once you are fully informed. One child who does not get vaccinated in your school will probably not affect your child who is vaccinated. Most parents don't even know when there is a non-vaccinated child in their school. We cannot bash those who do or do not vaccinate, we can only be responsible for our own choices.

Katharyn said...

I think immunizations put you between a rock and a hard place. Your children could die from the desises that they are trying to protect you from, but some people do have bad responces...

Sometimes they don't even work. I was immunized, and still got whooping cough!

Rebecca said...

I think in most all cases the risks of vaccines outweigh any benefit. My sister works with a county program for the disabled. Many, many of the people she works with were developmentally fine - up until a day or so after a batch of vaccines.

I'm also highly appalled that so many aborted fetuses have had their tissue harvested for vaccines. Even recent vax and those currently in development are using aborted fetuses. Back in the 60's there were many moms told to abort due to rubella. The first 26 babies were fine. Those moms aborted for no reason - except because they were part of a funded program to develop the rubella vaccine.

Here are some more links.


In the second link you can see what vax have been cultivated off of aborted fetal tissue and which ones are currently in development using aborted fetal tissue.

I too thought originally that people who didn't vax were crazy!!

Rebecca said...

I wanted to also add that most all diseases for which we have vaccines are no longer very dangerous at all. Even in the 50's when vax for MMR were being developed, almost noone was dying of those diseases anymore. Why? Because we have advanced medical care. In 3rd world countries w/o medical care, the risk of disease is worse because there is no knowledge or facility to treat the disease.

For example, for many of us here, chicken pox was a childhood rite of passage. Now it's considered dangerous. The same for measles, mumps and rubella in our parents generation - they had them and thought nothing of it. It was a mild childhood rite of passage. Now we are terrified of those things.