Immunization Woes, Part 2

Since my last post on my concerns regarding immunizations, Lee and I have done a lot of reading and research regarding childhood vaccinations and the mounting concern surrounding them. I have hesitated to post about this because I have not wanted to seem like I’m trying to persuade people to feel the same way I do. But, I am interested in hearing what others think so I will be posting a slightly edited version of what we’re thinking. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a very informative and interesting book that I would actually recommend anyone read, even if your child has already received all of his or her vaccinations. It’s called, “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children’s Vaccinations.” I like this book because she presents the issue from an even ground without being overly radical either way. She gives you all the information regarding every vaccination and essentially leaves it up to you, as the parent, to decide what’s best for your child. The first half of the book goes into the specifics of all the controversies and statistics regarding vaccinations. Reading that information literally made me sick to my stomach and I was all ready to decline all vaccincations for Landon. But the second half of the book tells you about the history of the vaccines, why they were introduced, the consequneces of the diseases that they are meant to prevent and other information that gave me a much clearer picture of what they are for. This half of the book also calmed my spirit. That’s not to say that I don’t regret doing this research sooner and being more aware when Sloan and Tia were born.
The thing that stuck out to me the most is the fact that while there is certainly no proof that vaccinations have caused the incidences of autism and countless autoimmune disorders to increase so dramatically, there is definately evidence that there could be some potential for harm in them. Proof cannot be found if no one is looking for it. And that’s what concerns me. No one can question or doubt the good that vaccinations have done. When I read how nasty diseases like polio and pertussis and diptheria, etc…are, I definately see the benefits of working to prevent them. The problem, however, is that I think the medical community, the CDC and the governments are now taking it a step too far in requiring so many vaccinations in such a short period of time for every child, regardless of their genetic makeup. This is where most of my concern lies.
As for Lee and I, we have decided that there are several vaccines that we are going to decline altogether for Landon. What I’m realizing now is that I have very ignorantly gone about this whole procedure from the beginning. It never crossed my mind until I read this book what vaccinations actually were. It never even occurred to me that they were actually injecting my children with these diseases so that they could build an immunity. That’s how ignorant I was about the whole process. And I had no idea what most of the diseases were before now. Did you know that hepatitus B, while undoubtably a nasty, wicked disease, is only transmitted through IV drug use and sexual activity (or from mother to child during birth if the mother has it)? I didn’t know this! So why are we all being told that our children need to have this injection before they even leave the hospital? This makes little sense to me. There are others that we will be declining and I would be happy to share those with anyone who’s interested and why we’ve made that choice. I don’t want to share it all here because I believe it’s a personal decision and I don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable or bad if they don’t feel the same way that we do.
I don’t fault anyone who decides to vaccinate their children. I don’t fault our pediatrician for recommending and giving the vaccinations to my children. I do, however, fault the CDC, FDA and government for mandating them and thereby stripping our rights as parents to decide what is best for our children. And I fault myself for not being more aware earlier.
What we’ve decided to do at this point is continue to receive several of the major vaccinations, but at a different rate. When I looked back at Landon’s 2 month record, I was sickened to see that he got 8 vaccinations in that one day! 8! They were combined into 3 shots and one drink. It’s these over-combinations that are causing the most contrversy. It’s not that the vaccinations in and of themselves are necessarily terrible. But giving that many at one time to a child whose immune system is not ready to combat against it is dangerous. No one tells you that. So we’ve decided that we want him to have no more than 2-3 vaccinations at one time. Which means if they want to give him the DTaP, then that’s the only shot we want Landon to have that day. We’ll go back a month later to receive Hib and Polio. We will also be waiting until he’s older for some of the others that we’re still on the fence about.
Anyway, I take Landon to the ped. next week and I am dreading the conversation I will be having with her. I do not like to rock the boat. I don’t like to confront people or be controversial. I do not want her to feel that I am questioning her judgement as a doctor because I’m not at all. I like our pediatrician and have been very satisfied with the care our children have received. But ultimately, what I’ve realized is that these are my children and it’s my responsibility to look out for their well being. For some reason, I feel very strongly that Landon needs us to protect him this way. I have to go with my gut on this.
I know that to enter school there are federal mandates that require all these injections, but there are exemptions that the state of Missouri allows and we are exploring those. We’re still navigating these waters. We will see what happens. If nothing else, we may end up getting all the vaccinations, but not until Landon is much older. But if it’s possible there are 3 that we will definately avoid, and two more that we’re not sure about. Sometimes I wish I would have never opened this can of worms becuase ignorance truly is bliss!
I hope I’ve not made anyone uncomfortable by talking about this. We each have to make the decisions that are best for our own families. I have no problem with people who choose to vaccinate their own children. That’s your call to make, not mine. But I would love prayer for Lee and I as we discuss this with our doctor. If she is not willing to meet us where we are with this, then we have another doctor lined up. He is a doctor of Homeopathy (and also an M.D.) here in St. Louis. I had a consultation with him this morning and really like him. So we’ll see what happens. Sorry this is so long. It’s been a strange journey to go through. Thanks for listening with your eyes!

Comments

  1. Tiffany says:

    Thanks for posting about this Kelli. Jeremy and I are really talking about this too lately with everything that has happened to Carter. I so appreciate your post. I would like to know more and I think I will pick this book up. We want to have more kids but I agree with you; it is our job as parents to be educated on these issues. God gave our children to us that we would guard them-no one else will do it! It is our job to protect them and to understand everything that goes into their little bodies. I too wish I would have been a more educated parent while Cooper was little. I will do better next time for sure.
    Love you friend and stay strong with your pediatrician. If she can’t respect you as a parent than you don’t want her for a pediatrician anyway!

  2. Jenni Chism says:

    What a great post. Thank you for being brave enough to write it. I really do feel strongly that we all as parents need to be more informed and not rush to every protocol just because the government says so. The Lord is teaching me that there is still good in some of these things, but we must let Him guide our decisions in what is best for our children. We, too, have opted against several of the immunizations, and are hoping to get cooperation in the way we would like to space out some of the big ones. We are changing doctors because of our insurance switching networks, and I am thankful for that because we have allready been told “no way” about getting the shots as single shots and not combo-vacs. We were actually told that if we opted against their protocol they would not see Eli or our other 2 kids. Conviction has been laid on our hearts, as well, when it comes to vaccinating Eli. I have to trust in that conviction. Sounds like a good read, I will look for it at the library. I believe the Spirit is at work here and I thank you for being a vessel. We will be praying!
    Jenni Chism

  3. kelli – thanks for this post! i too have become concerned about vaccines, but need to do more research. i would love to hear more about what you guys are doing w/ landon – my email address is kghmaddie@yahoo.com. hudson has his 1 yr appt in a few weeks. i was thinking of just spacing the vaccines out instead of having so many at once. with his complications @ birth & all of the colds/stomach viruses he was gotten this winter, i wonder if his immune system is a little low. i have seen the research that suggests that vaccines have nothing to do w/ autism, but something is causing this, & so how can anyone fault us as parents for trying to be protective?
    anyway – thanks for the post & i’d love more info 🙂

  4. I enjoyed reading your view on the vaccination issue. My oldest son is now seven and I have struggled with the fear of immunizations since then. I have chosen to delay the MMR and varicella vaccines until preschool ages and that doesn’t make many people very comfortable. I was actually kicked out of a moms group for it and I am still a hot topic of conversation because of it. I taught autistic children for two years and as you said, they can’t confirm they cause it, yet each and every one of those kid’s parents swore it their kid changed after that MMR. I am just not comfortable with it period. We gave my oldest the MMR at 2 because of pressure from the ped and seven days later he had a temp of 105 for three days and an odd rash. They swore it was completely unrelated to the vaccine, but it was too circumstantial to me.

    Good for you in taking a stand on it! I am off the amazon to get that book. I wish I’d read it before I had kids.

  5. Melissa (aka Kitty) says:

    Email me which ones you’re not doing. We have given Ryder any and every shot plus 8 rabies shots. At least I can feel more regretful with your list but very curious. I need to check if there’s any more shots he is getting in June for his 3 year check up.