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

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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

I think all "factual" information will be possibly factual, yet also possibly a big fat lie. You have to find someone who has no bias or don't have an alterior motive/interest. ie - some people are paid by pharmaceutial companies.

A great book to get if you are worried about autism is "Changing the Course of Autism" by Jepson. Full of facts and they site their sources.

Gary Null is another name to put out there. I watched some videos of his on youtube a while back where he revealed how certain studies were done, yet done wrong and biased.... (like if a woman got sick during the study, then her results got thrown out of the study while really, her sickness should have been looked at as a result OF the study). He wrote a book "Vaccine Nation" which I have not read. But he seems like a very informed man. I don't know if he is anti-vaccines or if he just wants the TRUTH about them out there.

But I think there are a lot of people out there that form their opinion based on what they heard on the news and what I have learned is that the news is very biased and are paid to say what they say, not necessarily what is true. Hot topic on this site btw. Expect a lot of answers.

5 moms found this helpful

If you wantunbiased information, do not look to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC, the WHO, the pharmaceutical companies or Mamapedia!

As another posted has already mentioned I would suggest checking out the Dr. Sears' Vaccine Book.

Unfortunately, finding good unbiased information is often very, very difficult as there is plenty of fear mongering on both sides of the argument. Your best bet is to read both sides of the argument, research each illness that your child is being vaccinated for and then decide on which vaccines you will or will not get and a schedule that you are comfortable with. You can google "alternate vaccine schedules" as a place to start. Dr. Sears also gives and alternate schedule in his book

5 moms found this helpful

Dr. Sherri Tennpenny has done extensive research on vaccines and the impact they have on our bodies. You can google for her. I also second the recommendation for Stephanie Cave's book. Dr. Mercola and Dr. Ben Kim have had interesting articles on vaccines. Google Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, he has some eye opening information about vaccines and is the author of How to Raise A Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor.

The National Vaccine Information Center http://www.nvic.org is an excellent site that you may find helpful.

As you research the vaccine issue, I strongly encourage you to educate yourself on the illnesses they "prevent".

Best of luck as you research and decide what is best for your little one.

* Just checked back and wanted to second the post about aborted fetal tissue in vaccines....yes, it's true along with many other ingredients that should never be injected in our bodies. You can go to http://www.informedchoice.info/cocktail.html to see a detailed listing of specific vaccines and their ingredients.

Peace & Light,
J.

4 moms found this helpful

I would speak to your pediatrician in depth about the consequences of vaccinating vs.not vaccinating. He/She will advise you to their beliefs and give you real examples of what it's like to have Whooping cough, measles, etc. Once your decision is made, you should be seeing a pediatrician who whole-heartedly agrees with your choice.

The internet is FLLED with propaganda and bias. Like the person who told you about aborted fetal cells used in vaccines - that all comes from pro-life propaganda.

I am personally very pro vaccinating. The diseases that we don't have to deal with anymore (small pox, pollio) are due to vaccines being readily available to our children.

Good luck with your decision.

4 moms found this helpful

I would talk to your pediatricain, unless you reject medical care all together for some reason. If you cannot trust your pediatrician, then you need a new one.

If you go to govenrment based sites they are going to have a "bias" in that they support the medical profession and scientific research and standard statistical data. If you are the kind of person who thinks these agencies are out to get you, or out to harm you, or really do not care about your welfare, then don't read their recomendations. The CDC and mainstreem medical community supports vaccination, and if that is the bias you dislike, then you are kind of out of luck to read anything that is unbiased, balanced, and without sensationalism and fear mongering attached.

If you have already decided that there is a conspiracy to harm you, that vaccines are bad, that the government knows that they are bad, and have managed to keep a lid on oodles of data about deaths and terrible injuries caused by vaccine, then go to those kinds of sites and read what they say, like the Tennpenny site and the like.

I look at it this way. If ten or so women could not keep the lid on Tiger Woods afairs, then hundreds of people involved in such a conspiracy could not keep this quiet either.

Talk to your doctor, and take your husband with you. That is what they are there for.

M.

4 moms found this helpful

Check out Dr. Sears' book, "The Vaccine Book". It's got the straight facts, no bias, but good recommendations on an alternative schedule. He lists all the preservatives, by vaccine brand, and which ones to be wary of. A great place to start. He's also got a website http://www.askdrsears.com/thevaccinebook/ I've done ALOT of reseach on this topic and I think this is the best resource for providing good and factual information without scare tactics (I've read those too!). I know it can be overwhelming to sort through all the info. Remember to 'trust your gut' too.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

Hi there,

I wrote a long answer to your question earlier, but it seems to have disappeared. :(

Just wanted to say that it was hard making the vaccination decision for our daughter because there are so many scary things written out there! I think everyone desperately wants to do the best thing for their child, and that's why it's such a controversial topic. It's scary to read that vaccinations that are designed to protect our babies and children might harm them.

We vaccinated our daughter (she's 3 years old now) and I'm glad we did. Since then, articles have come out stating that Dr. Wakefield's (the doctor who claimed vaccinations caused autism) research has been discredited.

Here are some articles from npr.org and Mayo Clinic. These are sources I trust, but you have to find sources that you trust.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/05/uk_bans_dr_wh...
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/02/autism_mmr_va...
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/03/court_vaccines_do...
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1234...
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vaccines/CC00014

We don't vaccinate against the flu, and our daughter got the chicken pox when she was 1 1/2 yrs. old, before we had decided whether or not to vaccinate her. But for the big diseases we definitely did vaccinate.

Good luck!

H.

p.s. Looks like some of those URLs aren't complete, you can try these:
http://tinyurl.com/376vz9n
http://tinyurl.com/3ah37px
http://tinyurl.com/yjk3a6o
http://tinyurl.com/yaa3ulu
http://tinyurl.com/ce76gs

Reading one of these articles again... it's tragic and criminal that children died because of Wakefield's claims that scared parents into not vaccinating their children. See, not easy to get non-biased information. :)

3 moms found this helpful

its hard to not assume some sort of bias, any one with anything to say on the subject has been on one side of the fence and has been effected by it enough to speak out on it.

im in the middle, i pick and choose my info. I definitely would not look to any source that could stand to profit from publishing the information.

2 moms found this helpful

Here is a great resource to check out:http://drjaygordon.com/vaccinations-dvd
Hope it helps you make the right decision for your child.

2 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

Pretty much each side will disprove the either side. You need to read all you can stand and then make an educated decision for your family. Every night for a month I would read all that I could about it and swayed both ways. Finally I just decided that I love vaccines, but hate how many they get in one sitting. So I found a doctor who is willing to spread them out and I love it. It is more work having to go in once a month or every other, but Soooo worth my peace of mind. :D Good luck!!

2 moms found this helpful

I don't have any particular resources to recommend.

However, I will say that a doctor I trust told me
that the total amount of "stuff" . . . whatever is in the vaccine dosage
that we give very young children . . . . is significantly LESS
than what used to be in vaccines 20-30 years ago.

If you feel strongly about it, you CAN ask your doctor
not to give your child 3-4 different vaccines all at once.
You can have one-at-a-time given, and then take some time
to watch for reactions, if any, before getting the next one.

I generally trust the vaccine protocols for children nowadays.
I think the consequences of not getting vaccinated are terribly serious.

My DIL gave birth last week to her second son.
I went to get a pertussis shot, as did many of us in our extended family.
We will all get flu shots when they're available in a week or two.

I firmly believe that there is no connection between vaccinations and autism.
I believe, based on my own experiences and my extensive reading,
that autism is happening as a result of some brain anomalies,
that were in place before birth.

S.

2 moms found this helpful

I agree with Karen, Dr. Sears' "The vaccine book" is great. I also spoke with my pediatrician, midwife, close friends and family because I was interested in their findings and views. Something that helped us to decide on how/if we were going to vaccinate was to look at all the information that we gathered as being biased, or with a point of view. It didn't change what we were reading/hearing, but helped us decipher fact from opinion/profit/personal experience vs. the big picture.

Good luck making your decision.

2 moms found this helpful

I hope you get the type of advice you're looking for...I'm sure it's hard for some people to give. Here is what I've researched & here is my opinion:
1) Vaccines do not cause autism
2) The current vaccine schedule may be too hard on some baby's bodies (this is why I delated the MMR shot 6 months, and did not let my baby have other vac's at the same time)
3) Dr's want to vaccinate everybody for everything to lessen the risk of an epidemic. They think about the whole of society. So, sometimes dr's advice is biased. I did not give my kids the hep A vaccine, nor the new prevnar 13 (though they had the prevnar 6). I do not do flu shots. I personally think my child does not need the hep a, so I did not give it to them. This is based on my own personal research. I never had flu shots & was fine growing up...so my kids probably won't get them. If you decide to omit any vac's, do sufficient research to have piece of mind w/ your decision.
4) Vac's prevent the spread of disease & outbreaks...I think they are a necessary evil. Some parents are irresponsible about not vaccinating b/c they are afraid...but they are putting their child at risk...as well as other children.
5) It may be beneficial to spread out some shots...like maybe don't do MMR at 12 months, wait a few extra months so your baby's body can handle it better. Look at the dr's shot schedule, research, and see if it would be wise to alter it slightly. My son had a bad reaction after the MMR (high fever, ER visit, but was ok), this is why I delayed it 'til my daughter was 18mo.
Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

There's been so much said I just wanted to add one thing: don't believe everything you read on-line. Any joe with $30 can buy a website that ends in .org! The best source would be a doctor you trust. Ask THEM for reference material and opinions. I think too many people automatically assume that if it's on-line, then it MUST be true ;)

2 moms found this helpful

CDC has proven helpful to me thru the years. Also your local health dept will have factual info.

& honestly, unless you are planning on being a SAHM AND homeschooling, you don't have much choice in the matter. If your child will be attending public or private school & daycare/in-home facilities.....then it's a requirement. Even organizations such as Scouts require immunizations.

I truly believe the vaccines available today are much better than the ones used 20 years ago. I also believe that somehow, sometimes they do affect children. We are diverse in our makeups, therefore how can one vaccine apply to the many? BUT regardless, I knew my children would attend public schools.....therefore they were vaccinated.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi D.,

As a medical writer specializing in infectious disease, I can tell you that I whole-heartily support their appropriate use. There are a few that I have doubts as to the real necessity, such as the varicella vaccine for children (although it is a valuable and important vaccine for those over 65), but for the most part, not about safety and efficacy.

I do not trust most internet sites, even those run by doctors, unless they carry the HONcode label, indicating that they abide by the principles of the
Health On the Net Foundation. This is a red box enclosing the red and blue HONcode logo and is usually found at the bottom of the website page. This foundation was established to combat information passed off as medical advice by charlatans and by companies whose only purpose is to sell you something that is usually medically unproven.

Many would say that the "evil" big pharma companies should be included in the latter category, that they're only in business to make money. There is some truth to this, to the extent that, like any company, they need to finance their research to make safe products and, of course, be profitable. No company can survive as a nonprofit. You should know, however, that most pharmaceuticals, vaccines included, can cost millions of dollars to develop. Those development costs include extensive clinical trials conducted in multiple phases, culminating in very large based, typically international trials (to encompass a wide breadth of populations with different physiological characteristics) involving careful administration and observation of tens of thousands of individuals. (I am not employed by, nor to I write for, any pharmaceutical companies.)

In contrast, most of the "alternative" positions you'll find on vaccination are based on anecdotal situations, often involving only a few people. You can't draw good scientifically sound conclusions this way. Good science requires very carefully controlled experimentation and large numbers "subjects" for accurate statistics to be gathered and appropriately interpreted. Generally, experimentation is blinded or double-blinded, so that it is not biased by expectations what the experimenters hope to prove or see. Most scientists I know are of the highest integrity, who insist upon exacting and careful procedure -- both because they value their results and reputations, are generally humanitarian at heart, and because there are very, very strict government guidelines imposed by the FDA, and usually by the hospitals and medical centers involved in the testing process. Very often, external independent clinical research management companies oversee large scale studies. Yes, there are certainly unethical scientists out there, eager to make a buck by promoting their own ideas, or so stressed over the need to "publish or perish" the research gets rushed or falsified. Eventually, the scientific peer-review process catches up with and discredits them, usually because the work cannot be reproduced by anyone else. Unfortunately, some of these individuals can do a great deal of damage before that happens.

In contrast to this, most parties that I've read opposing vaccination have some kind of alternative agenda they are supporting. Some are simply fearful of science that they can't or won't understand. Many draw indirect conclusions from half-truths and outright lies.

In my opinion, the best unbiased information can be found in the medical literature, which can be accessed by anyone at PubMed.com. This is the website of the national medical library on the NIH (National Institutes of Health). The database is searchable using easy, logical terms. As an example, if you enter in "vaccination," a long list of possible associated topics will be displayed. If you want to search on multiple terms, use AND, OR, and NOT to connect terms (all caps). For example, entering in "vaccination AND controversy" currently calls up 215 articles. Most articles will have free abstracts that give an overview of the entire paper. Some articles are open access and can be downloaded for free. Unfortunately, publishers need to protect their copyright and support their businesses, too, so most articles are now available on a pay for download basis, which can cost anywhere from $10 - $60/article. If you go to a large university library, such as the UCLA biomedical library, however, you can usually access most articles for free, although you'll have to pay for copying if you want to take materials with you. Of course, it does help to have some background in science or medicine though, although the more you read, the better you'll get at following scientific design and interpretation. Journal editors are requiring more and more transparency; authors are required to list their affiliations, and are now more often asked to also acknowledged in the article external writing and financial support.

What I keep in mind is this. Before we had vaccinations, thousands to millions of children and adults died each year from diseases that we can now prevent. When is the last time you heard about a case of smallpox (presumptively eradicated in 1979)? This disease killed between 300 and 500 million people in the 20th century alone. Now? No one. Parents no longer have to worry about losing children to killers such as diptheria and polio. Parents in the third world praise organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, which provides free vaccinations for many diseases in poverty-stricken, medically-sparse areas. Birth rates in many of these areas are declining, as parents worry less about having large families to ensure the survival of a fraction of their children, and many countries are making large forward economic strides because of this. Frankly, I think the millions speak far louder and more convincingly than the relatively small population of nay sayers.

1 mom found this helpful

one of the reasons there is no straightforward opinion is that there has not been a comprehensive, long term study done to prove or disprove the effects. it seems it would be hard to do that, as every couple of years they are adjusting formulations of one vax or another. the wakefield study has been discredited, but in my mind i would still like to see more serious research done. a study like this would be intensely costly, though, and what if they found out something negative? i am not a conspiracy theorist or anything, but the gov't would have a serious issue on their hands if that were the case...

i don't believe autism is caused by vaccinations. but it does seem that it can be a trigger for some kids to have a type of reaction akin to autism, as is evidenced by the fairly recent settlement by the family of hanna poling and the us gov't. but who knows for sure because there hasn't been enough research done! it's very frustrating. where is the disease coming from? and why is it on such an incredible increase? is it the general increase of chemicals in our lives, from food to shower curtains to the plastic in everything? no one really knows.

we found the dr. sears vaccination book to be very helpful and even toned. it is very informative, and helped us make a decision that felt moderately informed. based on the book, we chose to request specific brands to have administered, as some vaccinations are made by multiple companies and have differing ingredients. we paid attention to the levels of aluminum as well as other ingredients. some weird ingredients cannot be avoided, but there are instances where there is an easy preference. i also came across a vax schedule from the 80's, which i found interesting - there were far fewer shots when i was a child, and my generation seems to be doing alright. this helped inform my personal choices as well.

ultimately, we decided to take most vaccinations, but spread them out more than the govt schedule requires. our baby got one shot at a time, with a few weeks in between each. this called for a lot of dr's visits at first, but our dr didn't mind (i think she liked getting the payments!) - some dr's might, though. it seems like the mass of shots at one time is more about convenience than anything else. he has not yet had any side effects.

we only declined one of the newer vaccinations - rotovirus, as i am a SAHM and my son was not in as much risk since he had limited contact with other children and adults during his most susceptible early months. we are still considering the merits of chicken pox and hpv but we have lots of time. personally, we made this decision because my husband and i think there still needs to be more long term research done on these drugs and their effects, and they don't seem as deeply imperative as some of the other drugs (seeing as how there are plenty of generations before this one that have survived withou)t. but you may have a different opinion, fine by me! good luck. this was just the first of many tough decisions we have had to face upon becoming parents.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello D.,

Well, you're sure to get a range of responses to this question! :-)

I would suggest you check out the information in this article: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/10/ff_waronscience/all/1
it has information not only on vaccines, but also on the diseases that they prevent.

My main counsel for you is to do some in-depth research about the actual diseases, not just the vaccines themselves. I believe that you can make an informed decision not to vaccinate only if you understand the symptoms, potential complications and manner of catching a particular illness.

For example, I didn't realize that rubella was so easy to contract.

It seems to me that we have become so complacent about vaccine-preventable diseases, that we've forgotten the real effects of them. And because vaccines are so effective at preventing diseases, we parents today do not have to spend any time worrying about either polio or smallpox. If those diseases were still prevalent, I doubt we'd be hearing so much about how vaccines are "unnecessary".

Best of luck to you and your family!
C.

1 mom found this helpful

i would say you will always get information that is tainted one way or another. everyone has an OPINION, the drug makers, doctors, parents, teachers. i cannot think of how anyone could not let their opinion influence the facts.

basically, whatever side you are on, you can look up online and find resource after resource "proving" your side. for vaccines, or against them, you can get a wealth of support. so i dont think the "information" matters since it is so conflicting and there as so many groups that have ulterior motives. but keep in mind, this is going to be both non-vaccine groups, as well as medical resources such as the CDC and drug makers. they are all going to go to the absolute extreme to scare parents into being on their side making it impossible to get only the facts.

soooo, what do you do then since i guarantee everything one side says, the other will dispute. you have to go with your gut. you make your decision and tell yourself this is what you really feel is best. and if something ever were to happen, you dont look back. every parent thats child may die from a vaccine prevented disease would regret not doing it. every child that may have effects after vaccines would regret it. but we are not able to tell the future and are not able to GUARANTEE either side of the vaccine debate.

now, here is the important thing to remember. i belive california has philisophical exemptions. you are so fortunate. you may "pick and choose" so you can research each vaccine and make a decision. i live in nj. you either have to not vaccinate for anything for religious reasons, or vaccinate for everything. the biggest problem with that is they keep adding more and more vaccines.
i myself have a problem with certain, newer vaccinations that come up, and fear they will mandate even more. nj is a leader in drug manufacturing and has more vaccines mandated than any other state as of right now, they mandate the flu vaccine for children in daycare every year starting at 6 months. i see no reason to give the flu vaccine to a child for the first 5 years of its life considering i have only had the flu twice, and never had the vaccine myself. there is one FACT i can give, the numbers of "flu deaths" are not actually from the flu alone and are only an estimate with no actual numbers actually being counted. chicken pox, imo, should not be mandate as it has been stated several times one of the main reasons they mandated it was to avoid school absence and parent time out of work, not the actual danger to the child. being in a state that allows philisophical exemptions means you can decide which vaccine you dont agree with. this is a wonderful oppurtunity for you to look at your states health regards of how many cases of each disease they have every year, go over pros vs cons, decide if you may agree with hep B, but think since of its transmission, you will delay till your child approaches teens. please use this right you have to educate yourself and make a decision for each vaccine. other states are fighting for this right, and the majority are not those oppossing all vaccines(but there are those who actually think the whole thing is a conspiracy), they are just parents who dont believe one or two vaccines should be mandated, or they may only want to wait on some vaccines until their child is older. you are in a wonderful position, please use it. good luck to you.

1 mom 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

Have an open discussion with your Ped. See what he thinks. Fact is, there is no unbiased sites, because the sites that are pro are going to list all the good, and the sites that are anti will list all the bad (real or imagined). Talk with your health care professionals so you can make the best choice for your family. Look at the ingredients, look at how many people died of these diseases before the vaccines, and than decide what is best for your family. My son did not want to get his most recent polio vac until he met a man who did not get the vac, and lost his leg to polio. Weight the cost to benefit ratio with your doctor and decide what is best. If you decide to vaccinate, do not be afraid to insist on a schedule you feel is the safest. My boys do have all their vaccinations (except the flu shot, cost to benefit ratio did not add up on that one for us), but they never got more than 2 shots at any one time. If anything on the web might be ok, and not totally biases, it would have to be the American Pediatric website, but the anti vaccination people will say it is not good since it does suggest getting most vaccines.

On a side note, I was just watching a show about a baby (too young for the MMR), who was exposed by an un-vaccinated child to measles, and died. That mother did not get to make a choice, the other parent made it for her, and it cost her her baby. If you choose not to vaccinate, that is your choice, but be careful about exposing your children to others who are too young for the vaccines, or who may have siblings that are too young. I am a strong believer that un-vaccinated children should always be home schooled to limit the risk to other, younger children who have not yet reached the age to be fully protected and vaccinated. I am just so thankful that both of my boys are now old enough to be fully vaccinated, and thus fully protected.

1 mom found this helpful

Ha ha - I have two friends who are doctor's - one is a pediatric surgeon, other general family. We also have our own pediatrician and I get three different answers based on "facts." However all three agree that research is not 100% however the more research you do the more information you have to try to make a decision that is right for you and your family.

1 mom found this helpful

So much has already been said!

I would just say, do your research, you can't do enough of it, the internet is invaluable!
Many of the books mentioned are excellent, I have read and re-read them!
I highly recommend a family doctor over a pediatrician...WHY? Because most pediatricians get incentives for every shot given, regardless of whether you want all, some, or none of the vaccinations-having a doctor that has financial incentive to provide them is a serious conflict of interest in my opinion and regardless of how good of a person they are, the bottom line becomes money, not the individual health and wellness of YOUR child! This is why I like small town, family doctors or doctors that practice more complimentary medicine and open minded to western and eastern medicine.

Bottom line, go with your gut. After you've done your research and talked about it and thought about it, you're going to know what the best decision is for your child! That's the biggest problem with this whole issue...the government has a one size fits all policy and it's not a one size fits all situation, every family, every child is different and you ultimately have the right and responsibility to decide...not anyone else!

1 mom found this helpful

I would also highly recommend the Dr Sears book. It was the most balanced, sensitive information I could find.

1 mom found this helpful

Don't be fooled into thinking the CDC is factual and unbiased. The ex Director of the CDC, Julie Gerberding, is now the president of Merck Vaccines. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julie_Gerberding) They're all in cahoots and when you can't trust the government who is regulating these things who can you trust? Nobody but yourself. Do you own research, question everything and follow the money trail behind all the "studies". Then go with your gut and make the best decision you can for your family. That's all you can do. Best of luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I would make a 'consultation' appointment with your pediatrician. If you don't have one that you really like, this is the perfect time to start interviewing a doctor that you feel comfortable with.
Are you worried about the autism link and vaccines? If so, check out this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/24/andrew-wakefield...
I know at our pedi's office, they have articles readily available to help parents with up-to-date information on vaccines.
My daughter (she's 4 now) has had all shots on time. I do know of an acquantaince that had the non-thermerisol shot, and her son still has an autism spectrum diagnosis.
Do what you're comfortable with - at least you're investigating and not putting a blanket statement over all vaccinations.

1 mom found this helpful

Geez, my husband just got a small pox shot and his arm looks like he has a gunshot wound! There is a large hole where the shot was given with a big pus ball. It is so sick that I just felt very grateful that nobody's kids get small pox anymore because of that shot.

As for autism, I totally believe it runs in families/genetic, not from vaccinations.

1 mom found this helpful

Whatever opinion you want to find, you will find on the internet. I would talk to your doctor. While most have opinions, they can at least give you the pros and cons and an educated response. I feel that a lot of what you find on the internet is very biased by whatever "cause" that person supports. Also, know that just because you want to have your child vaccinated, they don't have to use that schedule. We get all the recommended ones, but spread them out a bit.

1 mom found this helpful

I believe some vaccines are completely not neccesary, but some are....
hepatitis B I find only makes sense, if you are a healthcare worker...
why children??
But things like polio, ist still all around us and if we wouldn't have the vaccine, we would have a lot of children running around being very ill...
So, I have vaccinated them all and feel better...
but I did skipped a few !!!

Updated

I believe some vaccines are completely not neccesary, but some are....
hepatitis B I find only makes sense, if you are a healthcare worker...
why children??
But things like polio, ist still all around us and if we wouldn't have the vaccine, we would have a lot of children running around being very ill...
So, I have vaccinated them all and feel better...
but I did skipped a few !!!

I agree that most feel one way or another. The book that helped my husband see my side of it is called The Sanctity of Human Blood, his website is www.thedoctorwithin.com. I do like dr sears book, what your doctor won't tell you, and information found at the nvic website as well.

Hi!
Dr Sears has a wonderful book called The Vaccine Book. It's pretty balanced and gives a lot of good info. By the way, this is a different Dr. Sears that the one we've all heard so much about. Anyway, look up the book, he also has a website.
Good luck.

My kids and I are so allergic that I've had to really look into this also. I found KnowVaccines.com to be really helpful. If there is a doubt in your mind, it seems that doing the delayed schedule method is best. They only do one shot every 6 months and they wait until your child is 2 years old. It seems like the amount of shots given to such a little body, is what causes so much trouble. I don't know because we never had just one shot. Just multiple doses in one. Even when I got a tentenus as an adult, they had MMR in with it as well. Good luck!!

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