Am I the Only Mom Getting Nervous About All the News About the Vaccines?

Updated on June 14, 2007
J.C. asks from Norristown, PA
14 answers

My daughter who is 17 months old has been getting all of the vaccines as recommended and required. But lately I hear so much in the media about bad side effects and serious problems that might be linked to it. Just like with everything else, there are always pros and cons, and specially with me who suffered from serious whooping cough couple years ago, I do make sure that she gets all the shots.
I know that I will still make sure that she gets all the shots that her doctor wants her to, but I still wanted to see what other moms think of this serious issue that have been coming up a lot.
Thank you.

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J.M.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I vaccinated my children until my youngest was 2 months old, when I was clued in on the potential dangers of vaccination. I was not completely conviced until I requested the inserts from the packaging from the doctor. I refuse to inject my children with formaldehyde, monkey kidney cells, and newborn calf serum. (and that is just the polio vaccine.) Also, according to the packaging information, more cases of polio have been reported caused by the vaccine than "wild" polio. Many of the other vaccines recommended are for diseases that are not life threatening, so I would rather not risk introducing my children to poisons directly injected into their bloodstream. Also many of the commonly used vaccines are produced using aborted fetal tissue, which is appaling in my opinion.

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M.A.

answers from Allentown on

There are several problems right now with the research that has tried to link vaccinations to autism. There has been an increase in the diagnoses of autism, but 2 things have happened that will interfere with good scientific research on the topic: the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders changed and BROADENED the definition of autism (in 1980 and 1994 - on other words, more children fit the definition now than did before) AND autism awareness has greatly increased.

As far as thimerosal being the culprit, there are studies that show an increase in autism in children who received vaccinations WITH thimerosal (a preservative) AS WELL AS children who received thimerosal-free vaccinations. Thimerosal has been removed (or is in trace amounts) from all routinely recommended immunizations for children under 6 (see the FDA website for info) and has not been proven to be the cause of autism (or any of the other spectrum or developmental disorders). Autism is still increasing, but there is no more thimerosal - why? Thimerosal was used during all of the time that autism was not significantly increasing as well. Most good long-term scientific studies have refuted the correllation between thimerosal & autism.

In addition, there is a Japanese study that shows a rise in autism DESPITE the removal of the MMR vaccination. (They stopped immunizing against MMR because of some meningitis outbreaks from the type of vaccine they were using - which was different from ours) If MMR immunization is at fault, why is the incidence of autism continuing to rise?? Unfortunately, there was in Japan, as a result of the removal of the MMR immunization, a rise in measles deaths over that same time period.

That said, any child can have an allergic reaction to vaccinations. As a child, I had an allergic reaction to the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination, so I never received the booster. Unfortunately, as a result, I CAUGHT whooping cough & passed it to an elderly aunt who almost died - it is highly contagious.

There is a lot of thought that goes in to vaccinating youngsters, but some thought should also be given to a few other public health facts: Many diseases for which we receive vaccinations STILL EXIST. They are not GONE & they are still dangerous if contracted. If you want to travel with your child, it could be dangerous without vaccinations (it can, however, be done). There is a reason why governments are working so hard to develop wide vaccination programs in third world countries. Additionally, there are children who cannot receive vaccinations for other medical reasons. Part of the reason why those children are safer is because of the public responsibly vaccinating their children.

Vaccination is about your own child's health; but, as community members and conscientious citizens, it is also about other children's health. HOWEVER, you are not ever legally required to immunize and there are waivers available for school, military, and travel. Give it some thought - people against immunizations can be very persuasive, but do your research - weigh all of the pros & cons - it is a serious decision not to be taken lightly.

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M.R.

answers from Philadelphia on

Just to be clear, thimerosal has been out of all vaccines for a decade now. Multiple studies have shown no link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. The only thing is egg allergy--there are some shots that contain an egg protein, so if your child has an egg allergy, you should discuss that with your doctor before any shots (although, hopefully, the doctor is aware of the allergy!).

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C.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

They aways have good and bad things to say about everything...the way i look at is there isn't really anything you can do if you go against the shots your child is at risk of getting the disease if you go for the shots your child is at risk of side affects. I vaccinated all three of my children and that was my choice and i also just don't pay any attention to the media hype anymore it is to stress ful and confusing.

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A.L.

answers from Philadelphia on

I went ahead and did them until my daughter started having seizures after one of her shots. Then I stopped. After several years, we tried again with ONLY the ones that were truly necessary. We did do the DTaP -- She reacted with seizures again, so she's done. My other daughter actually got the measles from her MMR -- 105 fever and measles rash. (on the positive side, we think she probably has a great immunity now - and she's fine)

IT DOES HAPPEN - even tho many doctors and many parents will tell you shots are harmless. I wish you the best as you struggle with this difficult decision. You may want to consider delaying things like the Hep B or chicken Pox - and polio doesn't exist in the US anymore, so in my opinion, you CAN safely be selective.

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J.B.

answers from Allentown on

Jin,
I think the disease's your vaccinating against are far worse for a child than the vaccine itself. I read recently that there is not a significant correlation between Autism and immunizations. One of the ingredients in the vaccine, Thermisol- was believed to have caused the problem- however vaccines are no longer made with this ingredient. And, there are vaccines you can ask your doctor for that do not contain any synthetic preservatives. But they cost double what the regular vaccines cost, and most insurance doesn't cover the cost.

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A.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

I knew from the very beginning that I was not going to vaccinate my son when he was born. I refused ALL foreign injections including the Hep-B shot at the hospital and the Vit K shot they pretend is mandatory. I do not judge anyone who does vaccinate, but I always suggest READ EVERYTHING, then make an educated decision. Good Luck with whatever you decide.

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J.L.

answers from Pittsburgh on

when i had my first baby, i got all the shots like the dr says so. she started out being a normal baby, then when the shots started, the problems started, crying, fits etc,, by the time she was [email protected]____.com/2 you could tell something was wrong. by the time she was 2, her dr wanted to put her on ritalin, she would go into fits, lasting for hours, took forever to learn things, and these problems lasted her whole life{she is now 20}

when my sister had baby # 3 she decided she was not doing the shot thing as she heard and had had the same problems with baby 1 and 2, and so with baby # 3 he talked way early was such a pleasent child,never got sick, smart as a tack, and we found out that it IS NOT required by LAW that babys get these shots and only certian shots are needed when they go to school,{namly heb shots, which everyone should get}

so when i had baby # 2 i got her first set off shots which included whooping cough, which she got 2 weeks later, and the flu shot everyone said i should get for her because she was a premie, and guess what she got the flu. each time she spent 2 weeks in the hospital. upon research i found out that the baby shots contained lead and other toxins, which everyone knows causes brain damage, there is a very distubing article about a whole town in california where they did a study and found that cases of autisum had risen almost 85% in 10 years which meant that over half of the children in this town had some form of autisum and the rest had other mental health issues, from mild cases to full blown mental retardtion, and the only link they found was the baby shots.

well the FDA admitted the stuff was in the shots and said that it should be out of the market by the year 2007, but let drs continue giving the shots anyways. every case or lot of shots was contaminated. would you trust the goverment to give a crap if its off or out the market at all? after all they said the instances of brain damage were rare, but this is our goverment and not the most trustwothy group of folks i ever met.

so my baby # 2 never got another shot of anything, she is now 4, can read at a 2nd grade level, talked in complete{ not baby talk} sentances by 14 months. ties her own shoes, passed her deep water test, is well balanced, has no fits, or outburts, can almost have an adult conversation with you, knows how to copy and paste things on this computer, {something that took me a while to learn} has her own digatil camera as she takes great pics, and even downlouds them onto photoshop by herself, she only has to watch and she can do it. i did nothing different with her than i did with her sister, other than get them baby shots.

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K.H.

answers from Philadelphia on

The only shot I ever had a major concern for was the MMR. I chose to break it up into three seperate shots, which insurance does not cover. It cost me $325 but I feel her health and safety is far to important to put a small price tag on so I didn't mind paying for it. I do believe in vaccinating our children but it is a personal decision, not one that should be forced upon you by Dr's or schools. Some of the research I did said that the shots are still made with the ingredient Thermisol, which is believed to have caused the problems, then it is removed but still trace amounts can be there. Just don't do anything you are not comfortable with, either way. My daughter gets a fever every time she gets her shots but I rather a fever for a few days than the actual disease she is being vaccinated against.

K., mom to Abigail, 23 months

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J.R.

answers from Philadelphia on

As a pediatric nurse, i have seen the terrible suffering of little ones who were not vaccinated. However, I have not had to care for any who had to be hosptialized because of side effects. It is so much better to have them vaccinated. Do your research, but make sure it is from credible sources.

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N.R.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I am the wrong person to ask about this. I have a son with autism and feel deep down that the thermesol (the synthetic version of mercury) helped ingnite my son's delay.

HOWEVER they are "claming" that they are safe--no one really knows for sure. I have my son's next MMR shot coming up and I am SICK over it. I am making my ped doc put into writing that they will break up the triple coctail into single shots that are thermesol free. I also want them spread out.

I don't give my son the flu shot either. The less I have to pump my son full of the "stuff" the better it is for us as a family.

I swear to God if they give me a fight over this, it will get ugly.

This is a personal choice. Every parent fells differently about this.

Good Luck
N.

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J.R.

answers from Allentown on

Thimerisol has only been removed from shots given to children under 6 months of age. It is still in the flu vaccine, which is why it isn't reccommended for children under 6 months. It is used during the processing of other vaccines and then removed, leaving trace amounts. How much is "trace?" Who knows?

I strongly reccommend the book "What Your Dr. May Not Tell You About Childhood Vaccinations." It is part of the "What Your Dr. May Not..." series of books. I think it is very well written and balanced. It lays out the data, and leaves you as the parent to make the decision.

I have to say, I have 4 kids, and each child got fewer and fewer vaccines despite more and more being introduced onto the market. I hate the idea that 2 month old babies now can get 5 shots in one visit, and I hate the super-combo-vaccine idea even worse. Much better to divide the shots up so that if there is a reaction, you know which one your child is reacting to.

You are not required to get ANY vaccines for your child before entering school in PA or most other states, despite what the schools will try to tell you. There is a provision in most laws that says you can claim a religious exemption from vaccination. PA's is pretty broad in that you can selectively vax, and still claim the exemption. I do, based on the belief that God put me in a position of responsibility for making healthcare decisions for my child, not the school district.

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Y.L.

answers from Philadelphia on

I use an alternate vacciation schedule so my daughter and son's system do not get overloaded. So they get a shot once a month starting at one year old. I know some mothers don't start until two. There are some vaccines I won't do until they are older. I'd rather they get the illnesses naturally because it is more effective and ususally safer, depending on the age they contract it (ie... mumps, chicken pox, etc...). My doctor won't do combination shots because he thinks they are dangerous. So he seperates the MMR and the other shots as well. There are some good books and websites out there about the pros and cons of vaccines. Check them out.

Y.

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A.G.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi Jin,

I feel so strongly that we have to keep vaccinating our children. As far as I know, no scientific proof has connected the current vaccines with autism or other serious conditions on a large scale. I just saw a segment on the Today show on NBC yesterday where they strongly recommended vaccinating our children. Not only are you protecting your own children from contracting diseases, but you're protecting our entire community.

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