41 answers

Seeking Factual, Balanced, Unbiased Info on Vaccinations

Is this a ridiculous request? Is all information out there about vaccinations biased in some way? Where can I look for something balanced?
We have not yet vaccinated our infant and my husband and I have differing views.
I want to do more research and welcome website, magazine, and book recommendations. Thanks!
(I suppose this can be a springboard for your thoughts on the matter, but I'm just looking for resources).

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

The only website I would trust is cdc.gov. They list all the factual information. I am a strong believer in immunizations. However, this is the first year I only got half of my son's shots. He was due for 5 shots this year! I just didn't feel comfortable doing that many at once. We only did two and the nasal mist flu. I will have to take him back later for the other 2 shots. I personally think any risk from vaccines is worth the benefit. Especially, with so many people choosing not to vaccinate these days, causing pertussis (whooping cough) and measles to come back.

5 moms found this helpful

Here is a fact for you: California is on track to break a 55 year record for Whooping Cough. Here is just one of many articles that I found on this:

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2010/09/17/california-whoop...

Another good article:
http://www.newsweek.com/2008/10/24/stomping-through-a-med...

2 moms found this helpful

I like Dr. Sears "The Vaccine Book" and I also bring any questions or concerns I have up to my boys pediatrician.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I would go to the website for the American Academy of Pediatrics. They're the governing board for pediatricians and would offer the best insights. They tend to be the best source for factual information about children's health issues.

13 moms found this helpful

I would never risk my child's life by not getting him/her vaccinated. Vaccinations are VERY IMPORTANT, and should never be missed. They can save your child's life.

I wouldn't be here today if not for the vaccinations I had as a child.

I know there are some people who choose not to vaccinate their children, but they are putting the whole community at risk.

Children are dying in epidemic proportions now because they didn't get the pertussis vaccine when they had a chance.

Please, please vaccinate your children!

12 moms found this helpful

I second cdc.gov. There are some pretty wacky websites out there, and a good webmaster can make them look really impressive.

Don't trust everything (most things?) you find on the internet.

When did Dr. Sears become a god? When he was my kids' ped., I thought he was a weirdo.

11 moms found this helpful

I would suggest NOT going to the American Pediatrics website. Not because they are "pro vaccine," but because they pro every medical treatment. They are not individualized, to what your child might need. For example, the last case of naturally occurring polio in the US, was in the seventies. The chance of someone coming to America and causing a polio scare is unbelievably tiny...with or without the vaccine. There is formaldehyde, animal kidney cells, aluminum, antifreeze agents, etc. in the vaccine. The risk of getting polio being so small you might choose to skip that vaccine, if you knew the ingredients. American pediatrics don't run down the likelihood of getting something, the chance for adverse reactions, and the ingredients...and the trade off of benefit vs risk. That's why I don't suggest using them.

The first step I took when researching, was to call the manufacturers of the vaccines. I found what vaccines my child would need and called all manufacturers of those vaccines. I could have made my decision based solely off of that! (I won't get into what MY decision was, because I don't think it's appropriate for your question.) The second thing I did, was look at research from both sides. I read very carefully. If you wade through all the research, you can find facts on both sides.
On thing I found, is vaccine manufacturers, always give a statement to release liability, when I asked for the vaccine ingredients. For example, this is the disclaimer when researching the flu shot: "Flu vaccines are created under short deadlines every year. Long term effects of added ingredients have not been tested." Every other vaccine has a liability release, stating long term effects of vaccines have never been studied. In fact, most vaccines are ONLY studied for immediate reactions.

I wanted to REALLY know what was in them. I can tell you, it wasn't always easy. It is a multi-billion dollar industry, so it is very closely protected. Like I said, look at all ingredients and go from there. You make make your decision based on that, or you may decided it's worth the risk It's a very personal decision.

**One note. Aborted fetus cells (especially from late term abortions) are in almost all vaccines now. If you have a religious/personal/moral view of abortion, that could weigh in greatly also. This is NOT pro-life propaganda. I said, that I contacted all manufacturers. You can call and get the very same information I did. I am not selling you propaganda. The ingredients came straight from the mouths of the companies. I am not asking you to take MY statements as fact. I am saying what I found and then you can contact the manufacturers, to get the facts yourself.

9 moms found this helpful

I concur with both CaWriterMom and Sue H - both the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (healthchildren.org is their parenting website) are likely the two best sources of information that will be unbiased.

I asked a question about it a few weeks ago when the CDC released their report that showed no link between the preservative thimerosol and autism. I received a lot of responses that people don't trust the FDA or CDC because they're in bed with the pharmaceutical companies.

I have worked for pharmaceutical companies for the past decade - I promise everyone, their foremost interest is protecting the public. They've really increased vigilance and enforcement of their regulations in the past 2-3 years.

Avoid any sites like Dr. Sears, Dr. Greene, because they're physicians, but it's their opinion, not a consensus. Dr. Sears's site is primarily dedicated to selling his product line, and Dr. Greene is less mainstream than the general AAP member.

Any site that isn't connected with a leading research institution is suspect. However, the leading sites for credible health information tend to be WebMD, MayoClinic.com, and those affiliated with universities/hospitals.

Regardless, you should always have a thorough and candid conversation with your pediatrician.

Medical information changes more quickly than it can be printed, so your pediatrician should be the most up-to-date source of information on all health matters regarding your children. It's also OK to ask for other opinions to make sure you're making the most informed decision possible.

Good luck.

7 moms found this helpful

I checked out a book from the library called "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children's Vaccinations" by Stephanie Cave, MD and Deborah Mitchell. I have heard of Dr. Sears's book but have not read it (it is newer - perhaps the library has it too).

Whatever you decide, you do have choices. Most states have vaccine exemptions for day care, school, etc. (not that you should do this - just telling you to research it further if you are interested and believe it may apply to your child).

These are not easy decisions to make whatever you decide - congrats on at least attempting to educate yourselves beforehand. Good luck to you and your family!

6 moms found this helpful

The only website I would trust is cdc.gov. They list all the factual information. I am a strong believer in immunizations. However, this is the first year I only got half of my son's shots. He was due for 5 shots this year! I just didn't feel comfortable doing that many at once. We only did two and the nasal mist flu. I will have to take him back later for the other 2 shots. I personally think any risk from vaccines is worth the benefit. Especially, with so many people choosing not to vaccinate these days, causing pertussis (whooping cough) and measles to come back.

5 moms found this helpful

Hi D.,

I hate to be negative, but I don't think you will find factual, balanced, unbiased info on vaccines.

Vaccinations, like CIO / Breast v Bottle / co-sleeping etc are really issues that for some reason have become rooted in emotion, so getting basic information that isn't shrouded with a "you're a bad mom if you do THAT (either one) to your child...." is hard to find. As with all of parenting you have to sort of go with your gut and remember that what works for one child may have bad repurcussions for the next seemingly similar child. I think research is always good, but you can quickly become overwhelmed with the amount of information that is out there. it's also really really hard to discern which is actually FACTUAL and which is an opinion from someone who knows how to write a good article and cite a bunch of 'studies' proving whatever they want (for or against).

It's super tough when you and hubby see things from opposite sides of the moon, BELIEVE me - I've been there. I think that if you both like/respect your pedicatrition that may be the best place for you to start conversation. Because just like which bottle to use, every person you talk to will give you a different answer.

FWIW, one thing that I would do differently (my daughter had every shot except the flu shots and all were given on the regular schedule) is I would not give her more than one vaccine at a time (except 'combo shots' like the dpt - that i would still give). But I think you can combine so you give hepA, pnemoccocal, and varicella all on the same visit (or whichever shots)..... Sometimes that means you would go 3 months in a row to get each shot individually. But if she had a reaction after getting 3 shots in one visit, you wouldn't be able to tell which one it was and then you wouldn't know to stop the next in the series (for example HepA is a series of 3 shots). Insurance won't pay that way (unless your Dr is on board and then they bill differently) - but I would pay out of pocket just for the peace of mind. But there are others who will say 'how horrible to subject your baby to extra trips and hurtful shots" so even with that everyone will have a differing opinion.

Good Luck!

5 moms found this helpful

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.