Am I CRAZY Immunizations Scare Me!

Updated on October 23, 2007
J.G. asks from Denton, TX
21 answers

I am looking for some advice on immunizations. I have a 2 month old baby boy who just recieved his first round of 5 injections and I really have reservations about them. My peditrican tried to reassure me, but I am not convinced about the safety. Does anyone else have these concerns??

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T.F.

answers from Dallas on

I sympathize with you and all moms going through these decisions right now. My daughter is 12. It seems like there are a lot more "required" vaccines noww. She got the chicken pox vaccine right when it was new and I was nervous about it. 10 years later, she had the chicken pox but we were told it was a light case. If she had not had the pox, they were going to give her a booster. I was against the booster.

Right now we are faced with the vaccine for girls, Guardisil to help prevent HPV. I was NOT going to get this for her even when the Gov mandated it. Thankfully, it is not mandated anymore. I am not interested in the new vaccines that we really don't know a lot about.

Best wishes to you and all new moms out there faced with these choices.

Susan

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A.K.

answers from Dallas on

Here is my two cents - The risks of not getting your children immunized are by far greater than the risks of getting them immunized. There is no concrete evidence that autism is caused by immunizations and I personally suspect that it is a hereditary cause in most cases. I would stop stressing about it and just spend your time enjoying your little one.

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B.R.

answers from Dallas on

The issue surrounding autism, as I know it, involves vaccinations containing Thimerosal, which contains mercury. According to my pediatrician, immunizations no longer contain Thimerosal, and if your doctor is administering vaccinations that contain the same, then it is likely that the immunization has expired and should not be used any way. As for flu shots, the shots contain a trace amount of Thimerosal. The flu mist does not, but your child has to be older than 2 years of age to receive the mist. I have learned from my pediatrician that the supposed link between Thimerosal and autism is allegedly caused by the total amount of Thimerosal introduced into a child's system through a multiple number of shots-- a trace amount such as that found in a flu shot standing in isolation will not cause autism (if mercury causes autism at all). Finally, the apparent increase in numbers for autism is caused, in part, by the insurance companies. In order to get therapy for the "awkward child that lacks social skills", doctors must diagnose the child before the insurance companies will cover the costs of therapy. Accordingly, there has become a broadening of the spectrum of autism disorders. The instances of a true "Rain Man" type of autism in a child has not increased over the years. You should conduct your own research and make your own decision regarding whether to vaccinate your child.

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B.

answers from Dallas on

Well, I don't know what others will say, but here's my take on it (and I have two children that have been through most of their immunizations by now):

First, yes, there is a small risk to immunizations. A very small percentage of people are allergic to any given immunization. For this reason, doctors normally keep patients around for a few minutes after giving an immunization for the first time so they can catch any acute allergic reaction that may occur and respond to it.

Also, there is SOME evidence (disputed) that the small amount of mercury in some immunizations may harm an even smaller percentage of children. I wish they would spend the extra money to get all of the mercury out of all of the immunizations, but that hasn't happened yet.

As for the "pros" for immunizations, I am a bit unusual in that my dad is 40 years older than I and my oldest child is 40 years younger than I. So we span at least one extra generation. I grew up listening to my dad tell me how many people used to die or have permanent disabilities from the diseases that we now have immunizations for. It's easy to forget that now, since very few get these diseases because most of us are immunized. But if you go to other parts of the world where immunizations are not available/common, you have very significant percentages of the population dying as children from these very diseases and related complications. The percentages are highly in favor of immunizations - the percentage of children that will be permanently hurt if they get the disease is, in every case, significantly higher than the percentage that will be hurt by the immunization. Now, any one of us could choose to avoid the immunizations for our children and probably fare OK here in the U.S. because the rest of the population is immunized and the diseases are, therefore, rare. But many of these diseases are much worse in adults (I had chicken pox as an adult and I was VERY sick...chicken pox puts quite a few healthy young adults in the hospital every year). So if your child goes overseas as an adult to some location where the disease is still in the population, they would be taking a huge risk. So, bottom line is, I choose to have my kids immunized because the risk is so much less than the risk of not having them immunized.

One more note: I personally have a really hard time with people who claim immunizations are the main cause of autism (one fear that is passed around). We can trace autism or autism-related traits back in my dad's family several generations - far before immunizations were invented. It's just that nobody knew what to call it back then. There were relatives in the family who ended up in mental institutions, etc., because no one knew what the problem was.

So I come down highly in favor of immunizations, even though I know there is a risk to them - like anything else. After all, I also drive my kids to the park and we could get killed doing that, too...

Sorry this was so long...

B.

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

After doing a LOT of research on the subject, I have personally come to the conclusion that it is NOT the vaccines themselves that are causing the problems we are having, but rather, the PRESERVATIVES in the vaccines! Since I have a nephew with Asperger's, the very first question I asked our pediatrician when we were interviewing him (I was still pregnant) was "Do you use the vaccines with NO preservatives in them?" His answer was that if that is what we want for our son, those are the shots he will get. Noah has since been diagnosed with PDD-NOS (a very high-functioning, social form of autism) and I firmly believe that our choice for "preservative free" has kept him from receiving the "triggers" of "full-blown" autism. (He has had the markers/symptoms for the PDD-NOS since the day he was born, so I know it was NOT caused by any of his vaccines!) Make sure if this is your choice, that you inlude the FLU shots, as well! (Our son just got his, and we made sure it was preservative free.)

I know a lot of moms think that the diseases we are giving vaccines for have been completely eradicated, but since we live in such a "transglobal" society, these diseases are not "gone" in other countries (they don't have vaccines), and there is a very real possibility that they will "come back" in the US. Just something to think about....

Best wishes for you and your family!
~J.~

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T.O.

answers from Dallas on

J.,
Be prepared for the onslaught of responses.... there's alot of discussion on this topic on mamasource. You should look at prior posts, there are a few every month or so on this same topic.

In short... YOU are the one you has to decide what's best for your baby. I personally do not think they do harm. HOWEVER, some other moms talk about delaying or spreading them out more so it's not so many at one time and that seems like a good idea.

There were fewer shots when mine were babies 16 years ago. I think waiting for some of them is a good idea. Chickenpox is horrible, but mine lived.

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A.W.

answers from Knoxville on

Ultimately, the decision lies only with you, and you have to do what makes you feel comfortable.

When researching immunizations myself, I found lots of info both pro and con. My personal feeling was that the majority of con information came from junk science and some pretty conspiracy-theory-type sites, which made me uncomfortable with the information presented. I also considered the social benefits of protecting a society against disease, and decided to vaccinate.

There are moms I know who felt exactly the opposite, and they are not any 'better' or 'worse' a mother than I am. It's simply a matter of taking a look at all the available information, and deciding what is a comfortable decision for you.

I have no doubt you'll receive many empassioned responses, so I'll just leave with this: make sure, as you research, you pay close attention to the ideology of the reporting source, dig to find out what the numbers really mean, and where they come from, etc. A healthy dose of skepticism (on both sides of the argument) is necessary when dealing with this issue, IMO.

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T.T.

answers from Dallas on

I am very pro vaccines...but yes I have heard about the risks of autisum/ticks/torretts from the preseritive that is in some vaccines (i.e. Heb B)

My daughter was diagnosed with Tics (had them since she was 9 months) and I think it just might be a heriditary issue and not a vaccine caused one.

The RISKS of not getting your child vaccinated FAR out way the side effects of getting them. As a mom I understand your concern but imagine the gulit you would feel if your child died from something that you could of protected him from.

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N.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hi:

I see you received alot of post. I hope mine gets through. I had the same experience. I went to the doctor with my 2 two month old sons and they bombarded them and me with these vaccines and acted like I was crazy for questioning them. That was it for me. And on top of that my sons got so sick later that night. First and foremost DON'T RUSH THIS DECISION. It is too important. Take your time and look, think, research (if you want). Research or not go with your gut, with your intuition and your instinct. It is highly unlikely that your child will be in danger if you don't get the vaccines. My pedi told me-as I have chosen not to vaccinate my children-that because so many other people vaccinate their is protection from the "herd" anyway but I digress. I know of several people that have had problems and reactions due to vaccines. Think about this. Our bodies have a system of protecting us from germs, virus, diseases when they are introduced to us through the normal means (mucous membranes-mouth, eyes, nose, etc.). When you receive a shot and introduce the disease (dead or alive) directly into the bloodstream you bypass all of the normal ports of entry and protection. Does that make sense to do something like that? If you like you can call my chiropractor at ###-###-####. They also have books that they can loan to you on the subject. I hope this helps. Bottom line. If you don't want to do it, it doesn't sit right with you, DON'T DO IT! There are tons of moms who are not vaccinating and there are support groups as well as letters/affidavits to help support your decision when it comes to daycare and school

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S.

answers from Dallas on

J.,

Trust your instincts! Read the book, "Evidence of Harm," for a very well-researched discussion of this subject.

Some moms are saying it's better to get the immunizations than the disease they prevent, but the truth is, most of those diseases were already disappearing before the vaccines were developed for them. Better living conditions and improved hygiene made a huge difference.

The vaccines at this point are a huge money maker for the drug companies. I think we've all seen too many drugs placed on the market that turn out not to be safe, and yet the drug companies and the government regulators allowed it. That should be a big warning flag that neither industry is really looking out for your best interests.

Keep doing research and look at it from both sides. I think your instincts will remain the same.

http://www.vaccineinfo.net/

http://www.evidenceofharm.com/

Best wishes!

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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

I am sure you are getting tons of responses but my advise is to spread out the vaccines and dont give them all at once. get 2 then wait a few weeks and get 2 more... that is what I have done with my 2 younger sons since my 4.5 year old has autism.- GOOD luck, AJ

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J.B.

answers from Dallas on

We did not vaccinate. Their nervous system does'nt develope until 2 years after birth. It is too hard on them to fight these illnesses that they are injected with. Also, even though they say they are "mercury free" it is impossible for them to be mercury free and they have been linked to autism. I would stop them now.

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L.C.

answers from Dallas on

J.,
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE listen to your gut! I have a son with autism and he regressed after his MMR shot. I am not anti vaccine but I do believe they have played an important role in autism, learning problems and delays. And believe me I have done my homework! The docs just won't listen (YET). I think that will change, but in the meantime you are the only one to protect your child. Our babies get nearly 40 shots and 15 years ago only around 10 were given! Their little immune systems CANNOT handle them! To me its common sense. There is a book by Stephanie Cave called "What the DOctors Don't Tell You About Vaccines" and it has a safer Vaccine schedule in it. Please call me if you have any questions ###-###-####. its hard to explain on email all of it. If I had only known what I know now. At least I can help other moms like you. You are a very good mom adn have every reason to be concerned.
Flu shots are TERRIBLE also. They contain mercury in them so PLEASE do not give one to your baby.
There is a wealth of info out there. But if its easier for you to call me then go right ahead. I don't mind at all.
L.

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

Remember you are not the only one making this decison, so please involve your husband, too. That is how our family decided - together.

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J.C.

answers from Dallas on

I have responded in the past to other similar posts. It is up to you and what you feel comfortable with. I waited until my son was 2 to start getting his shots. He was home with me most of the time and I didn't feel like he would likely be exposed to any of the diseases.

Just a few minutes ago I got off the phone with my best friend and her daughter (2 yrs) had a major reaction to the chicken pox vaccine. She had shingles near her eyes and was very lucky not to go blind. Her eye was swollen shut and she almost had to be admitted to the hospital for a 72 hour antibiotic IV. I'm sorry, but I think that chicken pox would have been much easier and less painful to live through.

Some shots you are better off getting (like they say, the benefits outweigh the risks) But some are just not as necessary in my opinion.

Hope that helps!

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J.R.

answers from Dallas on

I do give my kids shots, but I only allow two at a time. Even if three or four are required at a visit, I pay the extra co pay and come back in a month. I think all that vaccine is too much for a little body at once, even for a big adult. Also, if they do have a reaction, you can pinpoint which vaccine caused it. You may even go one step further and do one shot at a time. My doctor never questions me or makes me feel bad about doing this. He is super sweet when I say only two at a time. Some shots, like the MMR, are really three vaccines in one, so you could ask to break those up as well.

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K.K.

answers from Dallas on

As for whether or not to vaccinate...that really is a personal decision. Personally, I think vaccines are beneficial to a point...currently it is getting OUT OF HAND, but for some of the major illnesses I support it. However, I do not support the current schedule and we have done our schedule differently. There is no reason to rush the vaccines. When I asked my pediatrician, which it took a few interviews to find one willing to work with me, he said the reason the schedule is like it is, is because parents won't come in every month to get a shot for their child. They have to try to get all the shots in in as few visits possible to reduce the hassle for the families. Well, I did not mind the hassle and am so grateful God showed me all He has so that we could be better informed.

I was quite obsessed when we had our first child and I really drowned myself in finding information, reading books, etc. We came up with a plan we were comfortable with and found a pedi to work with us. You have to follow your instincts and trust them as you make these decisions. God gave us those for a reason. I don't think Dads have them like we do. My husband is well intentioned and SO caring, but somethings on my radar, are not on his. Do what you feel is right for your child and family. Do not let the doctor pressure you into something you are not comfortable with or do not know about. IT is YOUR CHILD. IF YOUR CHILD HAS A REACTION ...YOU LIVE WITH IT, NOT THE DOCTOR.

I could go on, so if you have other questions or what not, feel free to let me know.

I have our schedule we followed with both girls and the one from a book I read "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Childhood Vaccinations"---I think the key is to limit the number at a time and to spread them out. Give the brain time to filter out all these toxins. QWAs for whether or not to vaccinate...that really is a personal decision. Personally, I think vaccines are beneficial to a point...currently it is getting OUT OF HAND, but for some of the major illnesses I support it. However, I do not support the current schedule and we have done our schedule differently. I agree with Jenny McCarthy about the schedule doing too much too soon. There is no reason to rush the vaccines. When I asked my pediatrician, which it took a few interviews to find one willing to work with me, he said the reason the schedule is like it is, is because parents won't come in every month to get a shot for their child. They have to try to get all the shots in in as few visits possible to reduce the hassle for the families. Well, I did not mind the hassle and am so grateful God showed me all He has so that we could be better informed.

I am so excited that show aired on Oprah. I had told my husband about a year ago, that I wished a big name would bring this out. This is huge and hopefully things will be moving along with the CDC now. There is so many politics behind this too that it is scary. The pedi's are given incentives to have each child fully vaccinated, they receive monetary compensation per child. I wasn't sure a big name would get involved with that much political pressure and money involved, but kudos to Oprah for sticking her neck out there.

Don't know if I helped you or not. I was quite obsessed when we had our first child and I really drowned myself in finding information, reading books, etc. We came up with a plan we were comfortable with and found a pedi to work with us. You have to follow your instincts and trust them just as Jenny said. God gave us those for a reason. I don't think Dads have them like we do. My husband is well intentioned and SO caring, but somethings on my radar, are not on his. Do what you feel is right for your child and family. Do not let the doctor pressure you into something you are not comfortable with or do not know about. IT is YOUR CHILD. IF YOUR CHILD HAS A REACTION AS JENNY'S...YOU LIVE WITH IT, NOT THE DOCTOR.

I could go on, so if you have other questions or what not, feel free to let me know.

I have our schedule we followed with both girls and the one from a book I read "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Childhood Vaccinations"---I think the key is to limit the number at a time and to spread them out. Give the brain time to filter out all these toxins. When you count up how many vaccines children get today...it is significantly more than when we got ours. My two year old has had I think 22 vaccines. That is the problem. The schedule does not take in account the increase either. So, just let me know if you want me to email the schedules we did...not that it was very formal...basically two vaccines at at time(not combos except DTaP, and MMR--which I did on its own with no vaccine six months on either side of it) but the new combos we do not do. If you need a contact to get vaccines separated...let me know.

Don't wig yourself out....but it is good you are listening to your instincts. I love our pediatrician; she actually helps me determine which ones to do based on things in the community and such.

[email protected]____.com feel free to contact for more info.

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S.C.

answers from Dallas on

I don't have a credible reply for you, I can only sympathize. I have three step kids that were all immunized, and are healthy kids. My husband and I hope to have more and I am scared to death already. I just don't know, it is such a huge deal, we could hurt them with the shots, and if we don't and they get something that puts them in the hospital . . .
I have been reserching a bit and will talk to our pediatrician when the time is right. I know he will want to immunize, but i think he will be open to things like waiting and spreading them out. I really think it is the preservatives, and I have read only recently have they stopped using mercury. They can do the MMR separate. Measles one month, a couple later mumps and then rubella (that is the one Jenny McCarthy blamed on Oprah).
My husband and I are actually trying to decide on flu shots for us and the kids. The flu shots supposedly still have mercury in them. There also could (and who knows if this is reliable) be a link between ongoing flu shots and Alzheimers in the elderly.
Sorry, I know I was no help, but i really can understand what you are going through.

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E.S.

answers from Dallas on

No you are not crazy. There is alot of info out there to read. There is alot of theories for and against it. Getting immunizations is a concern for all parents. Immunizations are a weaked or dead strain of the virus. Yes there is a chance that it can develop into the full blown disease, but this is VARY RARE. There are speculations that getting the immunizations can cause autism, but noone knows if this is true or not. In my opinion, I would rather my son's get immunized then run the risk of them getting measels, polio, Hep B, mumps, etc. Talk to your husband about your concerns and if you don't feel comfortable with your son getting so many at one time, tell your Pediatrician that you want his shots split up. Instead of 4 shots at one time, tell the Dr you want him to have 2 shots one week and 2 weeks later have the other 2. This would give your son's immune system time to build up antibodies to the first 2 and heal before getting the next 2. This way you won't overload it so much. As for the chickenpox vaccine, don't bother with it. My 7 yr old got it right when it came out when he was 1 yr old and he ended up still getting chickenpox. It was a lesser case of it, but it was all over his diaper line. I had to let him run around without a diaper most of the day and switch to cloth diapers when he did wear one so that I could let the sores dry out and not get infected. I have regreted letting him have the vaccine since. Also scientist have found that their is a new mutated version of the chickenpox since the vaccine came out, so I think getting it is useless anyway.

C.R.

answers from Dallas on

Hi J.,
I'm sorry to not be very personal but I sending my standard letter that I use. Only thing that I would add on it would be that if you do decide to go forward with the vaccines seek using single doses instead of the combo's one. Which I think most doctor's do not carry so it may be hard to find. I wish you the best.
C.

I have chosen not to vaccinate our children because I believe that most of the diseases are no longer a threat in the area of the world in which I live.
And the ones that are seen here are treatable if taken care of in a timely fashion.
While researching this I lost my faith in a system that has turned a blind eye to the possibly that there are problems with their vaccines but at the same time keep their selves in a position of safety from any liability.
Also I question them with the history of use of heavy metals and other toxins used in their injections for the sake of shelf life and profit. Why would they even put this stuff in there in the first place if they cared about my children?
And then there’s that nagging question about autism.
The number of vaccines that are suggested to give to a child are more than 44 individual vaccines by the age of 6 or 55 if considered “high risk”. This is at an age when some serious development is going on. The nervous system is not yet fully developed and we are bombarding the body with toxins to fight off. Both the very young and very old have compromised immune systems already, why would we then take that time in their life to vaccinate them? I know that why they suggest the vaccines to begin with but think about it. I don’t have any data to support my theory but I believe that is why most think that it is “normal” for a child to have up to 8 colds a year. My eldest son is three and has only had 3 colds that I can remember and only one ear infection. Both of my boys are very healthy and I feel that one of the reasons is that their immune system is available to fight the infection instead of being compromised with batting inoculations! Again this is my personal thought to reason.
I asked my doctor at one of my first well baby check ups why they are vaccinating against Hep B starting at birth if the disease is a blood disease that is passed by transmit ion of blood. His answer was that we are going to have an epidemic in 20 years from now. That’s some crazy thinking to me! I don’t want to expose my child to toxins that might be a problem 20 years from now! I think it’s just gotten a bit out of control!
I think that too many of us go blindly into the whole vaccine schedule thinking that we have protected our children from disease. This is not true. Written in each of the vaccine inserts states that: As with any vaccine, vaccination with ______may not protect 100% susceptible individuals. There are many known cases of people contracting the very disease that they where vaccinated against.
The only vaccine that I have considered is the TT (tetanus). But I am having my doubts about it as well. It is found that once a person has had tetanus they are able to contract it again. So you cannot obtain a natural immunity from it which blows the whole inoculation thing out of the water.
So I am again looking at my options.
I thought in the beginning that I would just delay the giving the vaccines but now I don’t think we are going to vaccine our boys after looking into it more. I don’t believe that our bodies are capable of healing themselves of every illness without the help of drugs, surgery etc…. I just feel that the health care industry has conflicting interests in the care of my family and it is my duty to question their care of me and my family.
I could go into facts and statistics but it’s very hard to find anything with any consistency on either side! Unfortunately with it being a subject of great debate it is very hard to weed through it all! So bottom line I have chosen through research and much prayer that this is the best decision for our children.
C.

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