27 answers

To Immunize or Not

Wondering what you all have to say about what immunizations to give to my newborn. I have two teenagers and had them immunized w/o trouble but am concerned about getting them all at once to my 2 month old. She is scheduled to get 3 shots with one of them being the combination shot all w/o the thermosol preservative and therefore mercury free and like 5-6 diseases are handled with the 3 shots. I trust my pediatrition completely she is my cousin and i know she keeps abreast of what's safe and not. I just am concerned about it being in my newborn's best interest...What's the liklihood of her contracting polio or rubella or HIB whatever that is anyone have some feedback for me?

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Amazing thanks to everyone that replied i am going to look at the websites suggested and go to the Rolling Mdws doctor's office for their Vaccination talk couldn't make the one last night but will make the next one and will hold off on the shots scheduled next week til Molly is older and we have more time to decide. Thanks so much for everyone's input you all were great!!

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I think it is very important to immunize. Too many people are choosing not to. There have been horrible disease erradicated due to vaccines. Look at thrird world countries who stil are fighting people dying of disease that could be prevented with a vaccine. I also read that there has been an increase in some of the same diseases that vaccines are offered for because people are opting not to immunize. I would much rather have my child protected from something than die or get very sick knowing they could have been protected. Plus you never know what they can catch at an airport or something. There has been no proof that vaccines cause autism is it possible I dont know however my son has autism and looking back I could tell from birth. I have a friend whose twins have autism and her children where actually never vaccinated...

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Hello A.,
I have done tons of research on this topic. I am a registered nurse and I have been to over 20 countries around the world and am currently traveling around the world. And my husband is a bio-medical chemical engineer (with two master’s degrees). So as you can imagine, we were thorough on our research. Here is what we decide was best for us.
We don’t think there is enough evidence between and individual shot and autism (or any other long term disorders/diseases). The lady who said the recent court cased proved a link…..it only proved that the child had a pre-existing condition and the vaccine made it worse….not that the vaccine caused it!
However we can't find enough evidence that giving so many shots at once or/and so young isn't a problem. So we are doing an alternative schedule for vaccines. Here is what our schedule looks like:
1. No vaccines until 2 yrs old, (unless we are traveling to a known hotspot-then we will give the needed vaccine, polio will most likely end up given earlier due to this)
2. One shot at a time
3. Shots will be given at least 1 month apart from each other (so we know if that shot caused a problem)
4. We will not be giving ---Rotavirus, Gardisil, Hib, Pox (until 1st grade-we plan on exposing them to build natural immunity) these vaccines are to new and not enough long term studies are done for us (they have revamped the pox vaccine doses a couple of time in a couple of years!) I don't like the idea of my child being a guinea pig.
----Hep A + B (until there is a reason the child should be in contact with blood---I needed mine only once I worked in a hospital). Basically we research every single shot and decide on that shot, we are not all or nothing people.
5. No combo shots, they will be broken down into individual injections (MMR, DTaP).
6. No flu shot (still contains low levels of a mercury derivative, all other vaccines had that removed in 2001)
8. Titer checks after each shot…..the recommendations for these shots are for the general public. Some people need less and some people need more of the vaccine to be considered immune. I personally needed 8 shots of Hep B to pass my titer (3 is normal dose). So if the child passes after less shots-great, if they fail after the recommended amount they will continue to get them until they have a positive titer.

One of our other concerns (and I have seen this many times with patients or the years) is that.....if you give a child 7 diseases worth of shots in one visit and they child does have some reaction....you don't know which one it is so you don't know which one to NOT give again. Then you have two options....don't give any (but then you miss the other shots benefits) or you repeat the shots when they are due but give them one at a time to which one caused the reaction (you can imagine if you had a bad reaction why this may not even be an option)
And lastly....and by no means am I anti-vaccines in general…just because you get your vaccines doesn't mean your 100% covered. There were big outbreaks in CO and SD of Whooping cough a couple years ago....most of them HAD their vaccines...dido with the pox vaccine in FL this year, the measles a couple years ago, meningitis in the mid 90’s, etc. It still very important to know the symptoms of all communicable disease even if you family members got their shots!
The Dr. Sears book is a well written book with no hard core Anti or Pro vaccine opinion and done with good research….its honestly the only book I could find like that. We actually read the medical journals and studies (NOT recommended for most---they are not easy reads LOL) If you have specific questions feel free to send me a message!! I hope that all the research I did on this topic helps someone else but my family.
A. S.

5 moms found this helpful

I know this is a hot button issue, but I firmly believe in vaccines. Just imagine where we would be without them! You already said you had your first 2 children vaccinated...they are fine right? I don't believe in the autism caused by vaccine theory. It's just too convenient. As a teacher, we see a lot of autistic kids these days, and we are still learning about it. That's why so many kids are being diagnosed. Not because of vaccines. It's because it's the thing to look for these days. My neighbor is a med student and she commented that if you don't vaccinate your kids, you're not taking care of the "group". Vaccines only work when we all use them. Otherwise, those diseases we worked so hard to erradicate will come back. We need to trust modern medicine and do what is best for all concerned. And not let people who are scared and don't even know the true cause of autism scare us into doing things that will not even nec help our children.

4 moms found this helpful

A.,

I know when you posted this you assumed you would get some strong responses on both sides.

I just read somewhere (I can't remember if it was a magazine, the internet, etc. since I currently have 'mommy brain'). Anyway the article said in short that the 'choice' to immunize is made possible by the fact that most children ARE immunized and therefor those children who do not carry the antibodies are less likely to get the diseases we immunize against, since those children who are immunized do not become sick and pass it on. Since we don't see Measles nearly as often as previous generations, we are under the assumption that it is not necessary. The fact is, there are some illnesses we vaccinate against that are still reported to the CDC. If you feel you may want to weigh your options, make sure you are completely informed on both sides. Check out the CDC website (link here: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/spec-grps/parents.htm ) and decide for yourself.

How many times have you watched the news and in their health report on Monday they say 'oh new studies indicate dark chocolate will help prevent heart disease' and then on Thursday they say 'new studies say dark chocolate is directly related to increase in cholesterol levels' (just an example - i dont know if either statement is true - but you get my point). So which is it? is dark chocolate good for you or bad for you? I hate to say it, but we need to arm ourselves with quality information and do research on our own, from credible sources to really get the best information to make these tough decisions.

I immunize, and will always immunize, and while there are children who have reactions to immunizations, there are more who do not. I mean put it into perspective... how many kids do you hear about who have extreme reactions to peanut butter? they haven't pulled that from the shelves.

I also asked my doctor recently what she could tell me about the link to autism and immunizations. She said that there was a girl who was diagnosed with autism after receiving immunizations, however, there are two factors involved - 1) she had an existing condition that already made it possible to have autism, whether immunized or not and 2) she recieved 9 immunizations in ONE visit in an attempt to make up missed shots. She said in short, there is no conclusive evidence that vaccines are linked to autism, and at this point the benefit far outweighs the risks.

consider it this way... people are prescribed medications that are helping them live longer lives, or more productive lives, and they carry side effects. I take a medication for post partum depression, and there is a risk that it could cause seizures, but the benefit to me (and my family) is far greater.

Good luck with whatever you choose, but I hope you'll decide what's best based on credible info.

EDIT NOTE: after coming back and reading some of these replies, I am honestly a bit scared that there are so many seriously misinformed truths out there. Deductive reasoning tells me, the more people rely on the herd immunity method, the less effective it's going to be. I know my pre-teen is due for some boosters, but I plan to have her blood tested for immunities and make sure she is absolutely current on all immunizations.

4 moms found this helpful

I think it is very important to immunize. Too many people are choosing not to. There have been horrible disease erradicated due to vaccines. Look at thrird world countries who stil are fighting people dying of disease that could be prevented with a vaccine. I also read that there has been an increase in some of the same diseases that vaccines are offered for because people are opting not to immunize. I would much rather have my child protected from something than die or get very sick knowing they could have been protected. Plus you never know what they can catch at an airport or something. There has been no proof that vaccines cause autism is it possible I dont know however my son has autism and looking back I could tell from birth. I have a friend whose twins have autism and her children where actually never vaccinated...

4 moms found this helpful

Please do your research before deciding on this important topic. Check out The Vaccination Book by Dr. Robert Sears. He talks about which vaccines are essential, which can be delayed or not taken, as well as which studies have evidence rather than assumptions. There's a lot of rumor out there that people are touting as fact. Dr. Sears was on the Pregtastic podcast (www.pregtastic.com) in December. I just listened to it on Friday so I remember it well. He said that right now, the only vaccine with mercury is the Flu Shot. He also stated that the most important vaccines to get in newborn babies are the PC, HIB, DPT, and Rotavirus since they can be fatal in children.

2 moms found this helpful

I think it's important to immunize unless the child has an allergy or illness.

It's not just your kid you're protecting, it's all the children that cannot be immunized for various reasons (like cancer patients). These people with compromised immune systems benefit greatly from the majority of people being vaccinated.

Polio and rubella are horrible diseases. Pertussis and rotovirus kill infants and children.

Do your research, but don't limit it to just vaccines and their side effects. Read up on the illnesses themselves and see how horrible they are.

1 mom found this helpful

Good morning A., I take it as, it is better to "have it and not need it" than to "need it and not have it". There are some things that we should not play russian roulette with, namely our children. If your other children have not contracted any reaction from the shots, would it not be safe to say the same for your daughter. To want the best for our children and not giving it to them, are we shortchanging them for our skepticism?

1 mom found this helpful

the american academy of pediatrics has great info on their website about immunizations (www.aap.org). The bottom line is your child has no immunization from harm from some really terrible diseases that can kill your baby until they are vaccinated. Even with the vaccinations, they are not 100% guaranteed protection in all cases but are hugely beneficial both to your child and other children. today, most of us are totally unaware of the effects of these illnesses because most children are immunized, so we don't see children with polio, we dont see children born deaf due to their mom's not having had a rubella immunization etc. 242,000 children die of measles currently each year. This is down from over 1 million prior to vaccinations. The New York Times had a great article this last week - http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/21/us/21vaccine.html?_r=1&... The immunizations generally don't have a live virus and so your newborn can't get polio from the vaccine. If you need more info, either aap or the center for disease control and prevention (www.cdc.gov) have great info. The dangers to your little one are far far greater if he/she is not fully immunized. It is frightening to see outbreaks of diseases recently here in the US that could have been entirely prevented if children had been fully immunized. In some instances, because others have chosen to not have their children immunized, babies who are not fully immunized were at risk. This is such a shame given that it is entirely avoidable and puts both the children of those refusing them immunizations and other people's babies at risk.

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