On Immunizations

So, it’s been awhile since I discussed immunizations on my blog.  Some of you will remember reading about my concerns with the current immunization schedule promoted by pediatricians, which I wrote about here, here and here (the second post is particularly lengthy as I was in the middle of my quandry on what to do).  Lee and I took quite a journey in our decision on how to vaccinate Landon and how to continue vaccinations for Sloan and Tia.  I’m still on that journey a bit, actually.

For the most part, we’ve stayed true to our convictions with Landon and we’ve vaccinated him completely different than the first two.  He has not received more than two vaccinations at a time since his disasterous two month check up, except in the case of the MMR vaccination, which is a combo of three that my doctor was unable to split for us.  But, when he had to receive the MMR, he received no other vaccinations on the same day.

This was a very comfortable schedule for me.  It meant we had to return to the peds office a little more frequently as I wanted at least a month in between shots in order for his little body to be able to process the inoculations properly.  But, despite the fact that we delayed and held off on a few shots, Landon is now, at 20 months, completely up to date on all his vaccinations.  And I feel like we did it on a schedule that was healthier and safer for his little body.

The only vaccination he has not received, however, and the one he absolutely will not receive, is the chicken pox vaccination.  (Well, that and rotovirus, which I just think is the most ridiculous vaccination they’ve come up with yet).  I listened to a recording yesterday, which discussed the dangers of the chicken pox vaccination and it further confirmed to me that Landon will not be receiving that shot.  And at this point, Tia will not receive the booster for it, in the hopes that she will get a mild case of the illness when she is young.

It makes me sick that Sloan has received all the chicken pox shots, knowing what I do now.  I wanted to attach the recording to this post, but couldn’t figure out how to do it.  If you’re interested in hearing it, leave me your email and I’ll forward it to you.

My concern with the chicken pox vaccination is the fact that it is not proven to be effective for lifetime immunization.  It’s only shown to be effective for about ten years.  Which puts children at risk for getting chicken pox or shingles later in life, which is much more dangerous and serious than getting it as a child.

So children will now need boosters for the chicken pox for the rest of their lives.  Where is the logic in that?  Getting chicken pox naturally, however, is proven to give a lifetime immunity to the illness.  And, given the fact that the mortailty rate of chicken pox is extremely low, the vaccine seems unjustified.

This recording gave an explanation for why the chicken pox vaccination came into effect that I found interesting.  I’m not sure if there is complete validity in this explanation, but I think it’s worth knowing and researching more (which I will be doing).  The doctor speaking gives the explanation that the chicken pox vaccination was originally developed for leukemia patients as it was extremely dangerous for them to get chicken pox due to their comprimised immune system.

But pharmaceutical companies would not make money if only cancer patients were innoculated, so they began innoculating all children.  Now, do I think that doctors are vaccinating all children simply because of a money issue?  No, I don’t.  I don’t believe that those in charge of implemeting these immunizations are soley out for the dollars.  I do think, however, that there are factors that played into the decision to make the chicken pox vaccination mandatory that had more to do than protecting children from a childhood illness that is not known to be fatal.  I also think that making an immunization like the chicken pox mandatory is a bit hasty given what little they knew/know about it’s long term effects.

It makes me angry that enrolling my child in school will now be more difficult simply because I am making the choice to do what I think is best for him.  Vaccinating for the chicken pox is, in my opinion, unwarranted and unnecessary.  I do not feel like it should be a mandatory shot.  Parents deserve the right to decide whether or not to vaccinate their children for something as minor as the chicken pox.  Putting us in the position where we feel threatened is unfair.

So what are your thoughts on vaccination and on the chicken pox shot specifically?   I know this is a heated topic and people feel strongly about both sides.  I hope there can be some discourse in the comments and that we can be open to differing opinions.  So give me your thoughts!  I really want to know what others think…