Monday, November 03, 2008

To Vaccinate Or Not?

My boys on Halloween. Jonah looks so proud and Bram looks huge!!

With a new child in the house it's time for vaccinations again. No one likes to see a needle going into a baby's skin. Are these diseases we're being vaccinated for still around? Don't vaccinations cause problems? Are they really necessary?

After reading an article from TIME the answer to these questions seems to still be GET VACCINATED! I've had these questions but hadn't read up on it at all. I've only read one article now but this at least helps. Here's an excerpt.

Read the full article here.

Some parents have taken to cherry-picking vaccines, leaving out only the shots they believe their children don't need—such as those for chicken pox and hepatitis B—and keeping up with what they see as the life-or-death ones. But that can be a high-stakes game, as Kelly Lacek, a Pennsylvania mother of three, learned. She stopped vaccinating her 2-month-old son Matthew when her chiropractor raised questions about mercury in the shots. Three years later, she came home to find the little boy feverish and gasping for breath. Emergency-room doctors couldn't find the cause—until one experienced physician finally asked the right question. "He took one look at Matthew and asked me if he was fully vaccinated," says Lacek. "I said no." It turned out Matthew had been infected with Hib, bacteria that causes meningitis, swelling of the airway and, in severe cases, swelling of the brain tissue. After relying on a breathing tube for several days, Matthew recovered without any neurological effects, and a grateful Lacek immediately got him and his siblings up to date on their immunizations. "I am angry that people are promoting not getting vaccinated and messing with people's lives like that," she now says.


kathryn 11/03/2008 10:31 PM  

i always worried a bit when my kids were vaccinated. . but its actually not possible to register them for school if their vaccination schedule has not been completed. I felt more uneasy about the possibility of them contracting the diseases than i did about the 'safety' of the vaccines.

Holly 11/04/2008 9:24 AM  

When I've asked about the safety of the vaccinations and the possibility that they "cause autism," the reply I've gotten is that even if they did cause it (which the doctors assure me they don't), it's better to have a child alive with autism than a very sick child with polio or TB or some other awful deadly disease that we don't even relate to in this day and age. Also, what I've heard about the autism thing is that if anything, the vaccinations would only amplify the behavior in a kid that's already predisposed to being autistic, but vacc's will not turn a regular kid into an autistic kid just because they were vaccinated. That's at least the message I've been given. (And I ask just about every time!!)

Carla 11/06/2008 1:14 AM  

When I mention to a person of an older generation that some parents don't vaccinate, they are often dismayed . They or their parents lived through epidemics. Epidemics that were finally halted by vaccination. They can't imagine why anyone would risk their children.

I guess when it seems like we're in the clear, we let our guard down, but these diseases are still in the world and with people traveling internationally (legally and otherwise), you just never know what's going to crop up next.

Kiki 11/07/2008 6:20 PM  

Hey Glenn! Enjoying your blog! I have done a bunch of research on this, and really think parents have to just do what they feel comfortable with. There are two sides: you could get your kid vaccinated and have them deal with a horrible side affect (and there are some really bad ones) or NOT do it, and then have them get that disease. So, ultimately, you have to do what you feel is right and not second guess it, especially if there is a negative outcome. Dr. Sears The Vaccine Book is really good, because it goes into lots of detail about each vaccine. He mostly recommends all of them, but I read the book and still felt okay about our decision to pick and choose vaccines. Our criteria were as follows: -is Sawyer at high risk? -is the disease or virus scarier than the side effects? -is there stuff in the vaccine itself that I'm uncomfortable with? (there's stuff from formaldehyde to aborted fetus tissue in those things...)

Then again, maybe it's better not to think or research at all, and you'll have less to worry about! :)


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