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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So What Happened?™

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.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.,
It's actually more important for our children to immunized that it was for us. There are so many immigrants that are not immunized that already have the diseases that some cases are now being reported when they havn't been in 50 years. This is what I have read and heard from my peditrician. I did a lot of research on vaccines, and do not get my kids the chicken pox vaccine because I see no big deal with them getting the actual chicken pox. Trust your instinct and follow your gut!
W.

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I on the other hand will play devils advocate. I do not vaccinate & NEVER will. It is NOT in the best interest for my children. Not all vax follow herd immunity due to how the vax actually works....if you REALLY reseach how the vax works & not just the Vaccine Information Sheet (VIS) your ped hands to you.
Check out the long term timelines of the diseases, NOT starting when the vax was introduced. You will see almost every single one of them was in decline prior to the vax being introduced (mainly to to better sanitation/handwashing etc)

Remember children die from most anything...including riding in a car. Peds LOVE to scaremonger about A child having died form XYZ disease ( & I am not discrediting that parents loss, by any means)

On top of my own childrens reactions(one resuted in brain surgery) & the death of my brother 36 hours after DTP & perfect check up.....& my own reaction after a vax that resulted in surgery (& I was 29 years old at the time)
Doctors do not know enough about young immune systems...especially a newborns, who is not likely to come into contact with an IV drug user or multiple sex partners (ie HepB).....but once it is given you will NEVER know what the childs 'normal' is.

Also for me, there are toooooo many coincidences & INCREDIBLE increases in Type I diabetes in children, asthma, allergies, eczema, autism ( which I don't believe that Mercury is the only player), rheumatoid arthritis, along with ADD, ADHD, speech & developmental delays...to name a few. I would rather deal with an acute disease for a week, than a chronic one for the rest of my (or my childs life)

Vaccines CAN NOT be compared to what we were given 24 years ago
10 'shots' in 1983 vs 36 'shots' in 2007... & that is not talking about multiple virus shots assaulting the childs system.

Read up on the actual diseases via the CDC pink book. you will see the majority of them are not that bad.....but in time, peds & the media will be convincing you (general you) that the chicken pox (just an example)is a deadly killer.....nevermind that now that the attempt at wiping it out is shifting the epidemeology to more shingles, which is worse & kills more than CP ever did or will......oh wait, they now have a vax for that too (puke)

Follow the money & follow your gut. It is YOUR choice...not your doctors.

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I have debated this over and over, and I have ended up giving my kids the vaccines that are "required" and none of them that are optional, including the chicken pox vaccine (at least until right before kindergarten). There is a great book that I just got (I haven't read it yet) called "Don't Vaccinate Before You Educate". It's written by Dr. Mayer Eisenstein who has run a home and hospital-assisted birth practice for thirty years, and they have a pediatrics practice too. They educate you about the vaccines and will vaccinate or not, depending on what you decide for your child. The practice is in Rolling Meadows, and I am considering switching my kids to them for that reason. Check out the book for sure. I hope the info. helps!

Here's a link to an article that has some scary info. The US government has actually admitted that mercury causes autism in a ruling in court for a little girl that developed autism after getting immunizations for 9 diseases all at once. It's just good to be informed, and now that it's been admitted by the government, maybe some things will change for the better!

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/3...

1 mom found this helpful

A.,
If you go to this website, http://www.pathwaysmed.com/menu/education/education300.html
There's recommendations on an immunization schedule from Dr. Hicks, he treats kids with autism, and developmental problems. You should check into the rest of the website, there's alot of useful information on there.

Hope that helps.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm one of those parents who believe in immunizing their kids. People still do get the German measles... (rubella) and it can be very harmful if a pregnant woman is exposed to it... Perhaps you should look up the diseases that the immunizations protect your baby from and see if you want to risk her getting sick. (Since obviously you have the internet, you might want to spend some time doing this... especially with the "HIB whatever that is " comment. Maybe you should KNOW the diseases before you write off the shot...) Remember, if everyone skipped infants shots the diseases they prevent would be seen much more in children. And I don't mean to offend anyone, just my opinion...

1 mom found this helpful

I, too, struggled with this one. I once asked a nurse friend of mine how she can give shots to babies all day long and she replied "once you see a child with one of these diseases, you want to immunize everyone you see". Also, there is an increase with some diseases with more visitors to the US that haven't had the shots. Give your baby Tylenol 1 hour before they get the shot, so it is in their systemand working already.

D.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is 14 months old and she has had her immunization shots at the intervals recommended by her doctor and the AAP. She has not had any issues with any of them except for a little soreness at the injection sites. Of course, keep in mind that each child will have his/her own issues, if at all. We have been lucky that Dominique did so well with her shots. I've read that if they do contract a disease after the immunization, it should be a mild form. Our cousin (she doesn't believe in shots at all) has warned us against giving shots to our newborn until she was older. However, we felt that the AAP guidelines were best for our daughter. Always best to do your own research. I hope this helps, A..

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I wait the first year to start ANY immunizations. I heard an interview a few years back from a former president of the American Association of Pediatrics and he indicated that the side effects of immunizations would be drastically reduced if people waited to start them until the child was 12 months old. And to wait to do the MMR until age 2. It's a personal choice to make, but I encourage you to do research on the vaccines they are going to give her and educate yourself so that you are making an educated decision, not just doing it because the doctor says it is safe or not doing it because someone told you it wasn't safe. There is a lot of information out there, but it is worth knowing.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree it is important for us to be educated before we put things into our children's bodies, but be wary of where the information is coming from. Also- have you ever considered the fact that your child may someday want to travel to a part of the world where these diseases are not rare- such as most of Asia, Africa, and even parts of Central and South America? Even years from now when they are adults, middle-aged or retired you are putting them at great risk for traveling anywhere outside of a few industrialized nations! If you had ever seen firsthand the effects of polio or even whooping cough I think you would feel differently.

1 mom found this helpful

A.,
In England, children are not immunized until they are 2 years old. This is because their bodies can better tolerate the vaccine dose as well as the mercury that accompanies it. As a nurse, I understand the importance of vaccinations, however, I have chosen to wait until my child is at least 2 years old before making the decision on whether or not to immunize. The chance of him coming in contact with HIB, hepatitis B or pertussis is so very slight that I have decided that right now, the risk isn't worth it. He is breastfed, does not go to daycare and only has Grandma watching him on occasion. I do plan on re-visiting the issue when he is a bit older.
There is a great book out there that really explores both sides of the issue in an unbiased way, but it is in my sleeping baby's room right now! I will email you the title and author info later.
Best of luck,
T.

I immunized my now-4 year old when she was a baby, but just because the medical community told me to. I've learned alot since then and have stopped her immunizations and we've decided not to immunize our new baby (now 6 months). There is a small possibility that they'd get polio, rubella, etc. and even if they did, there are medicines to combat the problem then. I just don't trust that the vaccines are safe. I know too many first-hand horror stories of the vaccines having bad, no-terrible!, results. It's not worth it.

Dear A.-Right at this moment the Federal Government has FINALLY conceded that vaccines do impose risk. There are almost 5000 families suing the major drug manufacturers for damage done to their children. Lets face it-they are using the American public for profit. Your cousin has been trained by a medical establishment that is funded by these companies. I have a newborn and 3 other children whom have not been immunized. They are never ever sick and you can go directly to the CDC's website and find out how much of a small percentage of children or adults coming down with theses diseases. My thought process is why would we want to inject a live or dead form of a virus into our bodies when the immune system is perfectly functioning at birth?? It is not until we introduce environem4ntal toxins (which is what a vaccine truly is) into a perfectly healthy baby. Plus the shots are made for a 200 lb person not an infant. Check out Mercola.com. he has a wonderful website. Our doctor also supports us tremendously-he practices both holistic and conventional medicine. Get all of the facts before you make a decision. Your concerns are very warranted.

I have been studying these kinds of issues for over 10 years and have many friends and family members that also do not vaccinate and their children are also very healthy. The hepatitis vaccines are pretty much unwarranted because it is only transmitted via sex or drug needles...

T.

I am so against doing them or doign them all at oen time. if you do it do it one t a time so if there is a raction or problem you know from what shot. There are some studies that kids are getting juevenile diabets after the poili vaccine but not proven just reaserch etc. I am too scared but did most of the shots for myu kids and one had a seizure after one and the other is rel sick and tiny and they both now have immune probmels and delayed speech really delayed. so I am killing my self ofr doig the hsots. ih ave not done the mmr one that is for srue and they are 3. if they will conract anythign it would be mumps that is out but I have not foudn a way to separate that shot hence why i didnt do it. also my son has had immune work done and some of the shots arent even taking and he needs to re do them. I wonder how many kids that happens too. I have a 6 year old we adopted when she was three and she too had to have one redone becasu it didnt take. I am so against this yet still did some becaue of teh terrible and extreme pressure form the nurses in teh dr off ice and the drs in the practice becaue i trusted them so muhc. i eill probably not do anymore until i find a way out of it so they can go to school still.
J.
there is a good book what yoru dr didnt tell you about child immunzations get it from the library

Hi, A.!
I recommend researching more yourself, as there are so much info out there. There are several really informative books, and that could help make your decisions.
We researched a lot and voiced our concerns to our pediatritian and he recommended giving our son only HIB and Prevner, since he had witnessed too many tragic meningitis(sp?) cases in young babies in his years of practice. But he said other vaccines are not really necessary for kids now.
Good luck researching.
--M.

Our doctor said most of the problems occur either when too many shots are given at once, or when the child is already fighting an illness, and/or if the child had previous reactions to that same vaccine. He advocates more caution and waiting until the baby is at least 4 months before even beginning. At this time I am still on the fence about vaccinating and need to read more about it. The last visit, he said there is no current reason to rush as there is not an outbreak of any major diseases going on. I have serious worries about all of these chemicals being injected into my child. Even the "thimerisol-free" shots have a small amount and thus are able to be called that. You will find tons of information out there going both ways. We need to filter through it all and not be blind and then make the best decisions for our little ones. Take a look at Homefirst.com and his books also. There is a vaccine seminar tonight at 7, Rolling Meadows. Good luck!

Everyone has their own opinion on the issue obviously. I wanted to point out to you that just because a shot "covers" three diseases does not mean it is "3 in one". It is still three seperate doses of three different viruses, just combined into one needle. So it is still the same idea as getting three shots. It sounds like that is the impression you may have so I wanted to make sure that is clear.

You can check on the CDC website for info on the chances of contracting the disease. For instance, a child under 15 is more likely to have a negative reaction to the Hepatitis B virus than they are to contract Hepatitis B in any given year.

Obviously, I am not pro-vaccination. I selectively and delay vaccines for my kids because I believe in herd immunity, but that the health of my kids must come first.

I recommend a book... What Your Docotor May not tell you about Vaccines. It sounds like you have a good relationship with your Dr. (family!!!), that is great. What I liked about the book is it took a non-basis appoarch to the subject. Laid the information out, the good and bad. It helped me work with my Dr. to make an informed choice. I personally opted out of all most all the shots. That said, I think what is important is to be informed, regardless of your choice! Good Luck,
C.

I am not educated enough to answer you, but I know somebody who is. I will be happy to send her your email if you want. She lives in Florida and I believe she did not immunize her daughter, but I can let her tell you. I will try to hook the two of you up. She is very knowledgeable. M.

Angels I asked my friend and she is happy to talk to you. Her email is ____@____.com Her name is Stacy. She did not immunize her daughter. She did a lot of reading and is very knowledgable. I hope this helps

Hi,
I remember when my kids were little they are 13, 14 now,
I refused the Hepatitis B shot,I thought it was crazy to give that to children,considering how they can get it.
Of course they made it mendetory, and I had to vaccinate them.
I always felt they give to many shots at one time.
My kids were fine,although my older one has high functioning autism, but I know it's not from the vaccine.
Then I had another baby,he is 3 know, and he was vaccinated,
I just feel good about it.I could not imagine,not to vaccinate
and then they would get sick,how bad I would feel.
I research everything,but sometimes people are just to
paranoid and look into it tooooo much.
I wouldn't give my daughter the Herpes vaccine.
In some case I believe is moneymaking.Doctors are forcing
the vaccines on us because of some kind of profit.
But the real important vaccinations,I would definitly give to my children.

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