Seeking Opinions on No Vaccinations/delayed Vaccinations

Updated on October 17, 2006
J.A. asks from Auburn, ME
39 answers

My son is now three years old and received all of his scheduled vaccinations up until he was one, except for chicken pox. I decided at that time that I wasn't comfortable with continuing immunizations and he hasn't had any since.

I don't believe in immunizing against common illnesses like chicken pox or the flu as I want my son's immune system to strengthen naturally. However, I wanted to ask your opinion on the other vaccinations out there - which ones did you get done? Which ones did you refuse? Did you use a standard AAP schedule, or did you opt for a different or delayed schedule?

I'm curious to know what helped other moms decide so I can determine what to do about my son's immunizations, if anything, and prepare for our next child someday.

Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thanks so far for the replies - well, except the mean ones. Just chill out. I'm asking a question because I want to hear what you think, not get a bunch of sarcastic snark from you. If you don't have anything nice to say, feel free to move on.

I wanted to let everyone know that I am fully aware of the whole vaccination "requirement" for schools so you don't have to keep writing about it :) Maine has an ethical/religious waiver for vaccinations so when he's ready to go to school it shouldn't be a problem. I wasn't aware of private schools, though, so that was a good point and something I'll consider.

I think my biggest concern about vaccinations is that so many are given at once, when the baby is so small. Then of course I think about children who are ill just before or when they receive vaccinations - all those attacks on their immune system at once, they just don't seem like a good thing to me. That's why I was asking about delayed immunizations and how people handle them, because I think this is more along the lines of what I'll end up doing.

The other thing that bothers me was touched upon by one poster - the fact that some vaccinations are given just because the child is accessible. That's also the reason my son's pediatrician gave me for why five shots would be needed at once, because "we can't guarantee the parents will bring the child back, so we fit as many in as we can." I don't think that's a good reason at all.

When it comes to chicken pox, I have to admit I don't see the danger. Excuse the ancedotal evidence - I had it, everyone I know had it, and it was a week of discomfort that went away and now we're immune for life. The chicken pox vaccine is pretty new and they're still not sure how long it will last - rather than letting my son lose his immunity and get chicken pox when he's an adult when it's more dangerous, I'd like him to get it now and that be the end of it.

One doctor tried to coerce me into it at first by saying, "This way you won't have to stay home from work for a week," again, the whole convenience issue that makes my blood boil, and when that didn't work he tried to guilt me into it by telling me about a girl who got chicken pox so bad she scarred her face and needed skin grafts. I'm not an idiot, I don't need someone trying to strongarm me to get me to do what they want.

Lastly regarding the flu vaccine, isn't it made from last year's strain so it often doesn't do anything for the current year's strain? People talk about flu deaths all the time but the facts are that it's mostly the elderly or the immuno-compromised that have complications that lead to pneumonia or lung infections. If my son is healthy and has no chronic diseases, should I worry, or just treat the symptoms and keep an eye on it? It's tough to say. More ancedotal again - the only times I've gotten the flu vaccine, I ALWAYS get the flu. Funny, that.

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M.B.

answers from Boston on

Hi J.;I'm new to this.I have 2 grown kids and 2 grandsons. They never had chicken pox vaccinations and neither did my kids.they never even got the chicken pox,not any one of them.I even exposed them to it when they were young.My oldest found out that she is immune to it.So we had the other ones tested and they all seem to be immune.So do what you feel is right for you.Good luck!

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J.F.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hey J.,
I also decided not to vaccinate my child. I have read many many books because I found myself constantly defending myself to my doctor, friends, family. Basically anyone I told this fact to either wanted to argue or find out more info so I educated myself thoroughly. I would recommend the same and don't let people intimidate you. Remain calm. People will get upset because they either don't agree with you or they now feel guilty they have already given thier children these possible dangerous substances. Lotsa good books out there. Good luck!

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S.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

I am a mother of 2 boys, ages 2 1/2 and 5. They have received all of their immunizations as designated by the AAP. There are a couple of reasons why I feel that everyone should get their children immunized. First of all, there were several outbreaks of mumps this year (this disease had been almost eradicated) this was likely due to the small percentage of children that were not immunized. Chicken Pox is generally a mild illness in children, but can be very serious in adults. I personally did not get chicken pox until I was 13 and was very sick (they were in my throat).

I know that a lot of parents have concerns about vaccinations causing autism, but studies have shown this not to be true. Also, they have taken thimerosal out of the vaccines, which was thought to possibly cause reactions.

I hope this information was helpful to you.

S. S.

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J.D.

answers from New York on

I went back and forth about immunizations before we decided to have my son's done. We did eventually agree to have his immunizations done on schedule, and for a few reasons:

1. Among the major issues with vaccinations is the autism connection. BUT: not one single established medical authority agrees that there is a link. The AAP, the WHO, both state that this is false. Additionally, the ingredient believed to cause the probloem wasa preservative named Thimerosal, which metabolizes into mercury in the body, the theory goes. However, Thimerosal has been out of U.S vaccinations for several years, so no problem there.

2. School is an issue, in some places. We are attending a Mommy and Me program this year that will not take children who have not been vaccinated. While it's not life or death over this, I wouldn't want him to miss out on certain opportunities because we hadn't made sure he had his shots. Private colleges and univerities are also allowed to do this, religious objection or not. They aren't subject to the same kind of tolerance laws, because so many are either run by or affiliated with religious bodies.

3. Vaccines exist for a reason. We vaccinate against diseases where kids DIE. I'm not willing to take that kind of chance, regardless of the statistical odds, hoping that his immune system will be stronger in the end IF he lives through the disease. While it is rare in the overall population, 80% of deaths from chicken pox occurs in people under 30. For me, even one is enough of an example why I needed to do this for him.

If you want to do some research, check out this website which breaks down both the benefits and the risks of vaccinations, and answers a lot of questions on why it's important, exactly how a vaccine works, and a history of the development of the vaccination schedule. It's important to see both side of the story before you make a decision. Good luck!

http://www.cdc.gov/nip/menus/vaccines.htm#varicella

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K.K.

answers from Philadelphia on

I 've always gotten my kids immunizied. If you read the stats on how many children end up in the hospital, or even worse die as a result of the flu, or chicken pox, you may change your mind. It is available, why not take advantage . Unfortunately, kids end up with so many virus' etc, they build up their immune system that way. Do what your heart feels, but that is just my opinion. Take care.

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H.

answers from Pittsburgh on

We have basically followed the dr's schedule. the one exception is we wanted them to be showing good communication - lots of talking - before doing the mmr. So my daughter got that one at 15 months instead of 12. We have not done the flu shots either. I did do the hep c though.

I don't know what all of the restrictions are, but I do know that you can opt out of immunizations under certain guidelines for school attendance. I know at least part of it is religious, but I think it is a pretty loose definition. You'd have to check. I know my chiropractor did not have his kids' immunized and they are both in school now. He's Catholic. If you want to completely stay away from the shots, it is possible dispite what others suggested. You'd have to research it.

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M.M.

answers from Lewiston on

My son had the chicken pox vaccine and still got them. He didn't get them badly, just on his legs and back, but he still got them. I have no real strong opinion on vaccinating or not. My son got the penta vaccine- 5 vaccinations in one shot (out of the country). They never made him really sick. I'd rather take the "better safe than sorry" route, but that's jut me. I had to be careful when I lived abroad b/c many vaccine makers and distributors from the U.S and Europe would use children in third world countries as guinea pigs for new "recipes." They would offer free vaccines in exchange for test subjects. but that doesn't really apply to you. Sorry I cn't help you, I just htought I'd share my stories and opinion.

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Y.L.

answers from Philadelphia on

I held off on my daughter until she turned one. My philosophy seems similar to yours. Then I did one shot a month. I worry about the MMR the most. My doc actually separate the shots (he's the only one in Philly that I know of that does that) so it's slightly safer than the combo shot. He won't do any combo shots because he feels it compromises the immune system too much.

Y.

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K.L.

answers from New York on

I have done a LOT of research on this topic and strongly feel that the benefits far outweigh the potential risks. As a result, all of my children have had and will continue to have their immunization shots according to schedule. I have friends who have chosen to decline immunizations or delay them and I respect their choices. I just happen to disagree. :) In communities where there are significant populations of children who are unvaccinated there have been repeated outbreaks of a variety of vaccine-preventable diseases (measles, mumps, whooping cough, rubella, etc.) So, I feel it is best for me to protect my children which also helps to protect my community.

I know I should let it go... but I really need to address this: "Be careful though, some people like the ones commenting here are full of fear and can be your enemy. They never know any facts though so don't let them scare you." That is the kind of attitude that makes those who don't vaccinate "black sheep." They often isolate themselves with their air of superiority. Everyone else has been very respectful on this topic and have limited their responses to sharing their own personal points of view. Personally, I believe that attacking others by belittling their beliefs to be extremely counter productive and is just plain disrespectful. And I can promise you that I have studied many of the "facts." We could sit here and share website links all day long - mine supporting my opinion and yours supporting yours. Obviously who has the correct "facts" can be quite subjective.

Okay, I am done now. Thank you. :)

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H.M.

answers from Lewiston on

J.,
It sounds as though you've made an informed choice, which is most important. You know the risks, and you've made your choice. The flu vac is made based on what the manufacturer THINKS the prevalent strain will be this year, as you're right- it changes. So some people do get a big benefit from the flu shot, others not. As for the rest of the vacs, and delaying, there is one series that docs won't complete if the child hasn't had them all before age 2. It's worth the talk with the doc about which one that is, and whether you would want to complete that series for your next child. Most of the vaccines are to prevent severe diseases, but I agree about the big hype about chicken pox these days. My ds is fully vaccinated, but I was never given a real choice, and I was only 19. It was just done. Dd has been getting hers on the AAP schedule- she's 5 mo so far- but this time I am more aware of what they are vac'ing for and why. In Maine, though, if little one doesn't have the chicken pox vac, the school can keep your child out for as long as there is any child who has the virus (could mean months). With so many getting the vac, it's unlikely that there would be a major outbreak, but like you said- we don't know really how effective it is- so that could mean a lot of missed school. Just a little (ok a lot) of what I know...or think. Thanks for listening- and even tho I chose to vac my kids, it doesn't make your choice wrong or bad! You are the mother to your children, and you have the right to decide if our cultural choices (and that's what vac is!) are right for you and your family. That's why you live in America, right?

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K.

answers from State College on

Hi J.:

I am Physician Assistant student and am HUGE advocate for immunizations. I somewhat agree with your view on chicken pox. I believe this to more of convenience rather than necessity (although it can be serious if not watched carefully). I totally disagree with you on the flu vaccine, though. Children and elderly are the most prone to die from complications of the flu, namely diarrhea and pneumonia. It is really nothing to play around with.
One last note: if you plan on sending your child to public school, these vaccinations are required for your child to enter school. For some immunizations, you may need to start all over again if the time period between shots has expired.

I guess in closing, I would just ask, what are the benefits your child is getting by not being immunized and is it worth the risk? Only you and your child's father can make that decision.

Good luck!

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M.

answers from Lancaster on

You are obviously devoted to your son and want the best for him. As such I urge to reconsider your position on delaying immunizations. Speak with your pediatrician and if you need recommendations for one who can give you an unbiased opinion please let me know!
Best,
Mom of three

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J.

answers from Boston on

my children have been on the regular schedule of vac. I think the schedule is in place to protect the very young from common but potentially dangerous diseases. My youngest son was hospitalized for the flu when he was 13 months - the flu is very common but can be very dangerous for small children. After a whole week in the hospital i vowed to get everyone in my family a flu shot every year! i believe the shots are to boost our already existing immune system i do not believe they are meant make us less immune naturally. Because of my scare with the flu at a young age I would urge you to do more research before delaying shots. great question!

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S.S.

answers from Pittsburgh on

As far as immunizations go, i have three year old son who has had all regularly scheduled vaccines EXCEPT the chicken Pox and the flu. First of all the cp vaccine can cause chicken pox and my siblings and i were born with natrual immunity to it so why risk actually giving your child the illness ( besides it is a right of passage for most kids to stay home with calamine lotion and some tlc when they get chicken pox) . And in my opinion the same goes with the flu. I think whatever decision oyu make is oyurs and i think as a mom you love your child enough to make the right one. As long as you feel you are making an educated descion then i say do what you think is right and be proud of it.

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G.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

We have declined all vaccinations at this point. My daughter will be one in 2 weeks. I am on the fence about what to do in the future, but think, unfortunately, we will have to get them in order for her to go to school. Is your daughter in daycare?

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A.

answers from Philadelphia on

Your statement that "I don't believe in immunizing against common illnesses or the flu" shows that you have not really done any research at all. The flu kills thousands each year, with the very young and very old among it's most vulnerable victims. The chicken pox vaccine has shown that while not completely effective to prevent the virus, when it does ocur in children that have been immunized it tends to be less severe and of shorter duration.

I'd have a talk with your pediatrician to get your child caught up, or skip certain ones. Whatever decision you make, follow through on you research so you can be sure you won't have regrets someday...

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J.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi J.,

I too am leaning towards not vaccinating - or, at least, delaying vaccinating - our child, due in October. Two great resources I've encountered are a video, "Vaccines: What CDC Documents and Science Reveal," by Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, and information received from my chiropractor (apparently many chiropractors are of the same vein?!). From what I understand, vaccines do not guarantee immunity, and anyways, so many of the diseases against which they're vaccinating aren't that huge of a deal in the first place (e.g. chicken pox). There's also the notion that, by vaccinating our children against so many diseases, we're weakening their immune systems against other diseases.... like maybe cancer? (Don't quote me on that.)

I wish you all the best! Happy researching!!

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M.G.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other. My two children have gotten all their shots with no problems. (Except for those experimental ones, I don't participate in those!) BUT, you do need specific ones for your child to enter Kindergarden, you should check with your school district.

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T.

answers from State College on

Hi J.,

I opted for all of the vaccinations that our pediatrition recommended. I know that many parents choose not to but I felt it best to go along with the program. Much success to you and your family. I feel that you are doing what is best by researching all of your options.

T.

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M.R.

answers from Rochester on

Sorry, but I cannot agree with you. You are NOT strengthing your childs immune system but rather compromising your child's health. I used to work for a Pediatrician. Do you know how many children are in the hospital every year for Chicken Pox AND Flu ? A good friends child thought the same as you and her 5 yr old almost died of intestinal chicken pox. The flu can also be serious and possibly lead to Pneumonia or Bronchitis. People including children die of Pnuemonia every year. My advice... give the kid the shots.

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A.C.

answers from Boston on

My son is almost 2 1/2 and has received all of his vaccinations up to this point. He never had any problems with them. Yes, chicken pox and the flu are common which is why it is all the more important to protect children from them. They can pose a serious threat to a child's health. I would be highly concerned with my child entering the school system not vaccinated. Vaccinated children could probably still be carriers of these illnesses.

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D.H.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi J.,
I wish I would have given shots a thought when I had my now 8 year old autistic daughter immunized. My eldest (17) weathered the shots just fine. I had Sara (my 8 yr old) immunized on schedule (her 1st shots. MMR. Diptheria and Tetanus) and she had also gotten a Hepatitis shot before leaving the hospital, which they claimed was mandatory for release.
When Sara was 1 year old we noticed something "different" about her. She was a loveable little girl who seemed slow in learning how to walk and talk. We also noticed around 18 months she never gave eye contact or responded to anyone she didn't know. Shortly before Sara's 3rd birthday we received the diagnosis...Higher functioning Austim.
I did a lot of research on the subject and learned that one of the main (and debated) reasons for autism is the high amounts of mercury in the immunization shots. I truly believe that the mercury is the trigger that causes autism. Therefore...I have refused further immunizations for Sara. She attends a school for children with disabilities in Baltimore County...and my response to doctors and authorities who require immunization records before the child starts school....I claimed it was against my religion. That was the only reason I could give to placate the school system.
My thoughts are....follow your heart. I do believe as a mom that if you want to wait to have your child hold off on immunizations to go for it. Sara hasn't been sick with any of the diseases she had her first immunizations for even though she was exposed to them from other children (including chicken pox).
It's always better to be safe than sorry in the long run. Besides, you can always have the child immunized later. Doctor's always leave that option open.
Follow your heart J.. No one knows your children like you do.
Hope sharing my story with you helps.
Take care,
D.

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R.G.

answers from York on

J.,

I am in a similar situation as you. My oldest are both vaccinated, my middle does not have the chicken pox. My oldest wasn't supposed to either, but the day they gave it to her I was pre-occupied with my youngest at the time and signed off on it without being aware of what they were giving her. My third is not at this point. I will not be giving him anything before he's 2 1/2 and then it will be selective at best.

I would love to hear if you actually do receive any real responses to your question, as opposed to the answers that offer personal opinion on the topic. Feel free to contact me if you do come across anything. I will be sure to email you with the schedule I decide on as I will be working on that very soon.

Blessings to you and your family,

Rolinda

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S.P.

answers from Erie on

Hi J.. My five year old has never had any. It's a serious subject. And if you don't then it's not about the getting sick part but rather being prepared by being healthy. This is the first book I suggest: "Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective". What made you stop in the first place? Go back into it and I think you'll find your confidence resurfacing. Since vaccines are not reliable and there is serious damage possible, then being diligent makes the risks out-wiegh the "benifits" (ha ha "benefits"). I've started to notice since I've had my son that religion and politics aren't the biggest riske conversational topics like we thought. In my life it goes Medicine, Politics and Religion. I have been surprized by the personal experiences I never would have heard if I wasn't so open. C'mon join the rest of the black sheep, we're not so rare anymore anyway! No, but seriously I have had pretty good luck with preschools (that being about 3/4 being fine with it). The most recent private school I visited said "it's about fifty-fifty there" and many of the older high school graduates still aren't vaccinated. Be careful though, some people like the ones commenting here are full of fear and can be your enemy. They never know any facts though so don't let them scare you. Here's a nice website: www.new-atlantean.com www.NVIC.org

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M.

answers from New York on

I have a 2.5 year old and a 6 mo old and neither got any of the vaccines. You do not need vaccines to enter school. You can claim a religious exemption. There are forms available but I'd have to find out where to get them. A child's natural immune system is a body's greatest asset for fighting off disease. No vaccine will give immunity and, I belive, all require boosters or are no longer effective.

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G.

answers from York on

J., If you don't get him vacinated even for the chicken pox, he will not be admitted to school. I have 4 children and followed the normal schedule and all of my kids are fine. The doctor who first came out with that study to suggest that immunizations cause autism has since retracted his study and has apologized for his article. I truly don't think you have anything to worry about. Besides, if you plan to put your children in any school in PA, he will need to have them all including the chicken pox. You can't put it off unless you plan to home school.

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C.W.

answers from Providence on

We have chosen to follow the standard immunization schedile basically because vaccinations were designed for protection. If you have not allowed your son to be given the complete round of any vaccination he is not protected against that disease.
Sometimes the side effects of these diseases are worse than the disease itself too. The human body never completely gets rid of the chicken pox virus & it re surfaces as shingles when your system is older & weaker. I have known people with shingles & if I can protect my children from that pain I will.
The flu shot to me is a great help for those who do not have a strong immune system such as young children. You can't force a small child to drink & dehydration is not fun to deal with. Do you know that if you bring a child to the hospital for dehydration they report it to D S S(childrens services) as possible neglect. That is a side effect of an optional vaccine that I never want to deal with. I have taken the flu shot many years myself so I don't have to deal with someone else taking care of my children because I am too sick to care for them properly.
There are many benefits to vaccinations. If I can make one suggestion to you it wiuld be, Don't stop giving vaccinations until you have dilligently researched both sides of the issue. I know there are a few groups that have a loud voice that make it sound like you are a horrible mother to even think of vaccinating your child. I'm just putting out the ideas that many Doctors & others believe differently.

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M.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi J.,

I used the standard schedule for immunizations for my 2-1/2 year old daughter. I did immunizize for chicken pox, mainly because of the associated risk of developing shingles later in life if pox is contracted (I know two close friends who both developed shingles and it was very painful and lengthy). I am also a firm believer in modern medicine. I hope my opinion was helpfull. God Bless.
M.

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M.

answers from Boston on

because i work in the field of autism, i would highly recommend researching your vaccinations. insist that they are mercury free (which are readily available)... make sure that your child has been illness free for many months before any shots, and just to be sure, you can request a blood test to test see if your child is able to recieve an attack on his/her immune system.

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C.D.

answers from Portland on

I am doing a delyaed vaccination schedule. My daughter is 9 months old and has only has 4 shots total. I also want her developa healthy immune system naturally. If you want the a presentation the was given at my Chircoprators office on vaccines let me know and I can email it to you. They recommend holding off until a child is two if you decide to give them at all. But I also urge to visit the CDC website of the other side as well.
My child's doctor does not give the Chicken Pox vaccine, she thinks that it was only created so parents would not have to take so much time off from work.

Cari

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C.M.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Please do what you think is right for your child(ren) and your family. My son was vaccinated with everything and when his pediatrician wanted to give them. I am upset by this fact now. First it was the flu vaccine, that we were told he woul need because he was born almost 5 weeks pre-mature. Well, you guessed it, he got a TERRIBLE case of the flu, in which case we almost had to hospitize him. The next was the varicella vaccine, you guessed right again, a terrible case of chicken pox. I think about it again and this is how I wished I would have done it. No hep B vaccines, I am immunized for it as I am a nurse, and gave my son breast milk for the first almost 6 weeks of his life, so he received anti-bodies aganist this. All the other vaccines I would have given him at 1 or 2 month intervals and only 1 at a time. Each time my son received vaccines, he would become sick! I still woul immunize aganist MMR, my son has recently been diagnosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) but I would have done these seperaltly from everything else, considering children have died recently from measels and mumps. There are a lot of sites with this same topic, and any autism site you will be able to find moms who are asking the same questions. Just remeber, do what you feel right.

I am a very happily married mother of a 2 year and 9 month old son, living in WV

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D.T.

answers from New York on

I just joined....My name is D. and I have an 11 month old baby Ariel. I strongly wanted to wait to even start her vaccines until she was 2...but my hubby is an EMT and he was really not comfotable with that...so we waited till she was 2 months, and only did one shot at a time...I'm really wishing that I had been stronger and not had her get them until she was at least 6 months. I'm definately not going to have her get the flu shot, or the chicken pox vaccine...here are some links that I have used to support my decisions....

http://www.lewrockwell.com/miller/miller15.html
http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/evolution_vaccines.htm
http://vvv.dph.state.ct.us/BCH/infectiousdise/Hepatitis/E...
http://vvv.dph.state.ct.us/BCH/infectiousdise/Hepatitis/h...
https://www.nvic.org/Default.htm
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/7395411/deadly...
http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/7483530/kennedy_re...
http://thescarletletter.org/modules/news/article.php?stor...

If we have more children, i think I'm not going to let them have any shots tillthey are about 6 months old or older.....babies immune systems aren't even fully developed until they are two!

hope I helped any...

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D.

answers from New York on

I did alot of research on vaccines before my son was born. I read a great book called "What your doctor may not tell you about Childhood Vaccinations. He is having all the shots, but not on the recommended schedule. I changed it according to what I found in this book. He hasn't had the chicken pox and hepatitus B vaccines yet. But in my state he has to have them to go to school. And in my state also it's either all or nothing. They either get all the shots or none. I was hoping he'd get chicken pox on his own, considering that vaccines don't last forever like natural immunity. My son won't have them all until he has too. I'd look into what your state allows and doesn't. There are some states that allow for certain exemptions that others don't. Not that I don't want to throw a kink in your plans. I agree as parents we should have the rights to choose what happens to our children, but a lot of states don't give those options. I'd hate to have you run into those problems later.

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L.G.

answers from Philadelphia on

J.

Hi...if you find out any info on your question...please let me know what you find...I am curious myself

thanks

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N.L.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I agree with Molly s... She is right on the money...my daughter had a few as a baby (before I knew any better) She is 4 1/2 still breathing, a vegan, and as tall as a 7 yrs old... Very healthy... Please visit these sites... They say it all!!!
It would not hurt all of you that left sarcastic remarks to look either...;-)
http://www.nvic.org/PressReleases/pr51899hepbhearing.htm
http://www.nvic.org/Diseases/Autism.htm
http://www.safeminds.org/
http://www.vaccineinfo.net/
http://mothering.com/sections/action_alerts/july2006.html...
http://www.nccn.net/~wwithin/hepatitisB.htm
http://www.medalerts.org/
The CDC promotes and regulates...It's ALL about money!!!

J.S.

answers from Hartford on

You should be aware that it's CT law to have a vaccination for your child for varicella (chicken pox) before they enter school if they have not yet had the chicken pox. The new standard is no longer 12 months for the varicella vaccine, but 15-18 months.

A delayed schedule is OK, but only by a few months because there's a REASON the AAP set up the suggested vaccine schedule the way they did. Yes, I'm pro-vaccine. No mercury is used at all anymore, and they do work. If you don't have your child vaccinated, he can still benefit from secondary vaccination (other children who WERE vaccinated) as long as at least 80+% of other children WERE vaccinated. Otherwise, he still runs the risk of catching illnesses that the vaccines are meant to minimize. If we all stopped vaccinating our children, we would have increased rates of mumps, measles, rubella, chicken pox, polio, etc. all over again.

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S.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Consumer Reports has an article about this issue which you could read on-line. It is a difficult decision for some people. The benefits do outweigh the risks for the general population. I recommend reading the article.

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M.S.

answers from Albany on

Hi Momma:

I selectively vaccinated my 4 1/2 year and I don't plan on vaccinating my new baby [10 days old!!!!] at all. My 4 year old received only the DTaP because Tetnus and Pertussis is pretty much endemic and HiB because Haempholus influenza primarily effects the very young, the elderly, and the immune compromised.

Polio has been pretty much eradicated in this country and is only given as a "global" risk vaccine. That's probably the first one that most people give up.

Hepatitis B is only transmitted via blood and body fluids. The greatest risk of getting Hep B is through IV drug use or as an STD. Again, not a big threat for an infant in a "not at risk" home.

The MMR is pretty controversial. I didn't research it as much as the others because I was pretty much "over" vaccines by the time my daughter was eligible to get it.

I hope this helps. You can email me at [email protected]____.com if you wanna talk more about it. I'd also suggest finding a local doctor that isn't partial one way or another to vaccinations to discuss your concerns with. I go to Dr. Jacob Ryder in Slingerlands and he is wonderful.

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K.

answers from Philadelphia on

Check out mothering.com they have a great section on the vax issue. There are a lot of things that the medical establishment is still debating but we are left out of the loop. I know the major shots in question are DtP (big seizure warning), MMR and that with chicken pox. The hepatitis vaxs are admitedly given just because babies are accessible.

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