Selective Immunization or None at All

Updated on January 01, 2009
H.B. asks from Saint Michael, MN
35 answers

After reading a lot of conflicting reports and data on the necessity of immunizations and the side effects of the vaccination vs the disease it protects against, we are considering foregoing immunizations for our son or being selective in choosing them. Can anyone who has done this tell about their experience? Thank you.

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answers from Minneapolis on

people who do not immunize are hoping that the rest of us do so they get immunized by association, if too many people are making this choice the immunization by assocation will not work and we will be dieing from things that are preventable again.
I have heard of people doing all the immumizations but doing only one a month or every other month so they are not getting the addatives in the immunizations all at one time.
I think this is the best way to go. Do them all but space them out a bit more!

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answers from Milwaukee on

Hi H.,
You have loads of responses to go through so I'll make it quick. I found the Dr. Sears Vaccine Book to be very helpful. It is user friendly, non-judgmental and really lays out pros and cons of each vaccination. Good research tool. For what it's worth, my son is getting vaccines but on an alternate schedule. Good luck.

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answers from Milwaukee on

This is from our ped's website, I think it might help...we just had our one year old to the dr today for his one year well baby and had the vaccines he needs done.

Vaccines, Thimerisol, Autism and Disease:

The question of whether you should refuse vaccines

Everyday I'm in the office, without fail, I end up having a discussion with somebody about the safety of vaccines. I can't blame you for being concerned. The FDA and pharmaceutical companies have not exactly covered themselves with glory recently with this VIOXX recall, and Prozac black box warning ( among others) making "approved" medicines look questionable. And the websites devoted to vaccine injured kids are numerous, scary and persuasive.

There are a few problems here. Most importantly, the kids who are unimmunized are at risk for very serious life- threatening diseases. These life -threatening diseases, fortunately, are not part of our day to day lives anymore so it's hard to do something to your healthy child and not see something immediately for your efforts. And autism, the bad thing that with which vaccines are most often associated, is not well understood and is a devastating diagnosis for the families it involves.

The concerns:

Parents refuse vaccines because they don't want their child getting autism. (Jenny McCarthy has done a nice job spreading the dangers of vaccines. I hope you choose to get your information from more reputable sources.) I also hear that it's better for the kids to get these diseases so that they can bolster their immune system. And conversely, and sometimes in the same conversation, people don't want the shots given all at once because the immune system would be overwhelmed. I hear that the chances of getting the diseases are rare, so why get the shot? Plus, and fortunately not as often, people tell me that they believe that the pharmaceutical companies, the government and health care professionals bought off by drug companies are all in cahoots in an elaborate conspiracy to get kids immunized even when we know that bad things could happen. I'll deal with the other concerns later, but this last one irritates me to no end. I am a health care professional and if you think I'm hiding something or would recommend something that I knew would potentially seriously injure your child, it's time to find a new doc. Our relationship is obviously shot.

The diseases:

The question of whether or not kids should be vaccinated really needs to start with the diseases and not the side effect of the immunizations. The vaccines the kids get are to protect them against potentially fatal diseases. Immunizations have helped make diseases like polio and smallpox ones that we just get to read about. In their time they were as frightening as HIV and SARS have been to us recently.

The vaccine for Hemophilus Influenza changed the way the I practice medicine. That bacteria struck quickly, caused horrible airway obstruction and meningitis and killed more than a few children I that I took care of in my training. After the vaccine came out, that disease became extremely rare. Imagine trying to figure out if your child simply had croup or was developing epiglottitis, a rapidly progressive airway obstruction caused by Hemophilus. If you (or I) guessed wrong in the middle of the night, the results could have been devastating for your child because Hemophilus could close an airway permanently in 4 hours. Fortunately the vaccine is that good-- we just don't see the bacteria very often anymore.

Diseases like measles, tetanus, pertussis, pneumococcus, influenza and chickenpox are very much with us. Measles is the most contagious infectious disease. 90% of children need to be immunized to make sure that it doesn't spread if an outbreak occurs. It always seems to be easier when the diseases are around to get kids immunized. (Remember the emails and phone calls you placed to my office when you found out your child couldn't get their flu shot or when pertussis broke out in the schools?) But polio, diphtheria, hemophilus, and rubella still exist in significant numbers in places outside the US. In today's global economy, and Racine is no exception, importation of the diseases is only an airplane ride away. You don't have to live in a third world country to get a third world disease.

How 'bout a few gentle reminders that these diseases really did exist and were horrible...for pictures click here.. and for reports on what has happened to children without these vaccines click here

Diphtheria: Max cases in any one year: 206, 939 In 1998: 1

"In January of that year {1337}, there appeared a disease which spread fear and horror around. It was a malignant and infectious inflammation of the throat, so rapid in its course that unless assistance was procured within 8 hours, the patient was past all hope of recovery before the close of the day." Hecker 1517

Still in Russia with 150,00 cases and 5,000 deaths reported from 1990-1998.

Hemophilus Influenza type B: Max cases in one year: 20,000 In 1998: 150

Measles: Max cases in one year: 894,134 In 1998: 89

"Measles is an essentially dangerous disease in infancy and old age, though the danger is not in the disease so much as in the sequelae it leaves behind it...Dr. Charteris, Glasgow1885

Causes encephalitis in 1 in every 1000 cases.

Mumps: Max cases in one year: 152,209 1998: 606

Polio: Max: 21, 269 1998: 0

"The next morning when I swung out of bed my left leg lagged... I tried to persuade myself that the trouble with my leg was muscular, that it would disappear as I used it. But presently it refused to work and then the other." Franklin Delano Roosevelt. 1921

1916 27,00 left paralyzed in an American epidemic, 6,000 die

1930: Outbreak in Connecticut causes Wesleyan University to cancel its football season and prompts 121 students to quit school. Public meetings were banned in LA. 1939: Only 300 hospitals in the US were willing to care for patients with polio.

Chickenpox (Varicella) : Now the leading cause of vaccine preventable deaths in children in the United States

Streptococcus Pneumoniae: Worldwide, more than 1.2 million children die each year as a result of pneumococcal disease. In children, pneumococcus costs the US healthcare system an estimated $1.5 billion annually. In developing countries, pneumococcus is the major cause of mortality in children under 5 years of age, accounting for 20-25% of the total mortality of this age group.

The preservative Thimerisol

Thimerisol is really interesting. It's a preservative that's been used in vaccines since the 1930's, which means that most of who are parents now got it in our immunizations. It's not in our vaccines now, but it wasn't taken out of vaccines because of concerns that it was causing disease. It turns out that in the FDA Modernization Act of 1997, we asked the FDA to assess the risk of all mercury containing food and drugs and so vaccine manufacturers, under our orders, found mercury in the form of thimerisol in many vaccines. Theoretically, the thimerisol in the birth dose of the hepatitis vaccine may have been enough to exceed the government set limit of mercury exposure, so it was removed from that vaccine. Since then (1999), it's been out of all vaccines in our clinic, except the multi-dose (adult) influenza vaccine. We don't have thimerisol in our vaccines anymore.

In the meantime, while we were removing the thimerisol (that has still not been shown to cause any harm) ,the CDC received reports of children being born to moms who had Hepatitis B and who did not receive the birth dose of the vaccine and who were subsequently put at serious risk of getting the disease. Hepatitis B virus causes hepatocellular cancer, a mean form of liver cancer, so the hepatitis B vaccine is a cancer-preventing vaccine.

Now, a bunch of credible scientific publications and agencies (The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, Pediatrics, the official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics) have done a bunch of research and have still not shown that thimerisol causes disease. You could, I guess, distrust the whole government, and health community who believes these studies (including me) and think that we were all somehow confused by the research, but the studies look really good to me. The Pediatrics study looked at 12 studies published between 1966 and 2004 investigating a link between thimerisol vaccines and autistic-type disorders and found no such link. In fact, another study showed that when the Danes stopped putting thimerisol in their vaccines in 1992, the incidence of autism went up!

Plus, the range of potential mercury exposure after vaccines wasn't found to be toxic after all.


Autism is regression of development at 18-24 months of age and is characterized by delay in language. Failure to point at 1 year may be a warning sign and is what I look for at that visit in terms of verbal skills. Kids with autism don't read faces, have poor eye contact and tend to relate better to adults than kids their own age. They have repetitive behaviors and do not engage in imaginative play.

The best explanation I've heard goes like this: The brain is a plant, and plants, in order to grow well, need to be pruned every so often. Our brain grows and every so often, the extra cell connections that don't serve a purpose or even get in the way, need to be pruned. So, at 18-24 months, a "pruning" takes place and kids with autism over -prune and start losing the skills they previously developed. Most docs who have seen kids with autism can recognize signs much earlier than 18 months. I start looking in the first few well visits of the first year.

The amount of autism that we have seen has been going up. It may be because we are better at finding it or are better at realizing what we are dealing with. Instead of kids getting another diagnosis like "mental retardation," we are realizing the disease is really autism.

It is clearly a genetic disease. Studies in twins show that if one twin has it, the other will 90% of the time. Several chromosomes have been implicated. It is found in families with a history autism, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disease, anxiety disorders and ADHD. There is a characteristic brain pattern very recently described which has lead researchers to speculate that the disorder starts as early as the 6th month of pregnancy.

It's clearly a devastating disease and I have seen and worked with brave and determined families that have kids with autism and I am always inspired by the courage they show. It doesn't look though, like vaccines are to blame.

Critics of vaccines point to the increasing numbers of shots and blame them for the increases in autism. That seems to ignore other things that may have changed during that time period. Just to throw out an example- we use more sunscreen, and therefore get less Vitamin D, a potent immune system modulator. And again, when you have a name for a problem, the rate that the disease occurs can only go up from the time when it didn't have a name.

The immune system:

The immune system is truly an amazing thing when it comes right down to it. It responds to any number of infectious particles every day and cause out body to do remarkable things to protect it from further disease. It creates fevers so that the infection can't replicate as well, creates coughing and congestion so that the invading organism can't get farther into the body, makes antibodies to whatever comes along. Those antibodies have a memory so that we don't get as sick when the infection comes along the next time. It doesn't work as well when you are infant as when you are older, but the elegant system then uses antibodies from mom that crossed across the placenta and the infection fighting cells found in breastmilk to serve as a bridge until the baby's system is up and running.

Immunology is a complicated subject, but, to put it in ridiculously simple terms, you either have a working immune system or you don't. There are components to prevent entry of the infection into the body. If that doesn't work, then there are cells that handle viruses, other ones that tackle bacteria, yeast, fungi. There are cells that learn from the infection so you don't get it again. There are cells for immediate response and others for longer-term protection. Some cells catch, others destroy. And other cells prevent your immune system from attacking things they aren't supposed to attack. It can handle a lot. It has to. It can be affected by diet and stress.

If you really stop and think about how many infectious particles we come across every day with normal interactions with other people (and even more when you consider school and day care!) it's a wonder we aren't sick all the time. Multiple immunizations are not a problem for the beauty of the human body. Through immunizations we are able to give the body a head start on the most aggressive diseases so that if we are exposed, we already have the plan of attack formed and ready to go and the antibodies can work without the help of fever, cough, congestion, chills, swelling and such that the immune system creates once the organism has invaded. Making kids have these diseases so that they have a "stronger" immune system just means that we are going to make them sick before they can have the antibodies other kids got without getting sick. And sometimes that sickness, and the body's attempts to defend against it, are fatal.


This is where I stand:

Thimerisol is not a problem, but it's a moot point-- it's not in the vaccines we give.
The immune system can handle many infections at a time. You expose yourself and your family to more infections than we immunize against just by going to the grocery store. If you are worried about overwhelming the immune system, then you are better off not leaving the house.
Make sure to wash your hands. An ounce of prevention...
Jenny McCarthy and H. Robinson Peete are not good sources of info on this subject. They might be very knowledgeable about other stuff. I don't know.
Autism sucks. It's not caused by vaccines.
If you aren't getting the shots for the kids, they are being protected from dangerous diseases because other families chose to immunize their kids. If enough people choose to rely on the kindness of others, we will get to see these diseases again.
Pneumococcal and Hib disease scared the beejeebies out of me when I had to care for kids with them. Thank God they aren't around as much anymore. No matter how much you distrust vaccines, please consider getting these two.
I will be the one taking care of your child when they get sick. Not the people telling you to skip the vaccines.
If you read all this and still don't want vaccines, I will respect that decision, as I respect all informed decisions you make about your child's healthcare. You do have the right to refuse these vaccines.

And for the record, my 3 boys have been immunized with each of the recommended vaccines appropriate for their age

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answers from Minneapolis on

In the end, this is all up to you. You have to be able to live with the results. Not one mom on this this or doctor who pushes you into them has to sit by your child's bed or change their diapers for the rest of their life if it goes wrong. You do. Either way.

There is a doctor who is on the board of disaster preparedness for the US. That includes immunizing our country. He recommends NOT vaccinating until a child is two and their brain has gone through its development. Then do ONE shot at a time, not vaccines that have 2 or more vax in them.

I personally no longer vaccinate. I started long before the internet made it possible to so easily be scared into not doing it, and I had never read anything against them. I felt God stopping me from doing it. I didn't know why. Later I found out one of my childre had vaccine injuries, and injuries tend to happen often to the same family. (that is why you will see a bunch of kids in the same family end up with autism or diabetes, asthma)

Now, I let my teens get vaccinated if they want. My oldest had no choice, going into the military. My daughter is preparing for college, and that is smart with living in the dorms.

I would never again vax a child under 2. Older than that would have to be because there was an outbreak of something.

And the chicken pox vax is a JOKE. There is a small need for it, and it should stay there. For the mom that vaccinated her child because she got shingles, she needs to do major research because you can still get shingles with the shot, and the shot wears off. The child will have to get the shot for years to come. Natural immunity is the best way to go. Unfortunately, my younger kids are not likely to ever get it since so many people are doing the vaccine.

As strongly as I am against vaccinating children, I am 100% for parents choice, with complete education. Our personal experience always skews our views. But that should not be the deciding factor.

If you have someone with the disease that could have been prevented, you'll want to vaccinate. If you have someone in your life with a vax injury, you will want to not vaccinate. But the truth is that either choice can, and will, bring about something bad to someone. Life isn't perfect. So make the choice YOU can live with. Your child getting sick with a preventable (sometimes) disease, or your child being disabled from a vaccine that didn't have to happen. Either scenario is slim, according to the medical society, but I think the injuries are far more prevalent than they will admit. Some doctors do admit it, and they are shunned from the medical community.

Personally, I think if you are struggling with this question, you have reason not to do it. Trust your mommy gut, God put it there for a reason.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I have been working with a chiropractor for 2 and a half years and he has given me a great amount of knowledge on why immunizations is not OK for kids. The one thing I will tell you is that it is important that they get chiropractic care because the nervous system is what controls the immune system actually all of the systems. When your child is in full alignment their nervous system works at 100%.
The other thin is despite what schools or anyone says it is not illegal for your kids not to be immunized. The also have immunizations that don't have mercury. However, it is not neccessary to give your kids immunizations.
When your kids go to school they do not have to be immunized either. There should be a space on the form that you fill out that all it needs to be is notarized by a notary and then they have to let your kids be in school.
My boys are 8, 6 and 3 and they don't get sick as often and if they get a cold it only last 24 hours. It is amazing what your body can do when the nervous system is working correctly. I also am giving them multivitamins and they eat very healthy.

H. I also want to add that I was reading some of these responses. I live in Minnesota and I saw that someone said you have to have your kids vaccinated to start Kindergarten. This IS NOT TRUE.. Even if you start to vaccinate them. I stopped vaccinating my kids 2 and a half years ago and two of my sons have vaccinated. I also have had the immunazation sheet notarized that says I have chosen not to vaccinate and they let them in. The schools will tell you this LIE because the government wants everyone vaccinated.

Happy New Year.


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answers from Appleton on

I feel that your children need the immunizations. yes, most of the diseases that are covered by the shots have been almost extinct here in the US but we have hundreds of thousands of illeagal immigrants crossing our borders every year. They never went through any health screenings to gain entry into the US and who knows what they are carrying. In the Southwestern US there have epidemic porportions of polio and other diseases that crossed the border. And the problem is no longer just in the Southwestern US but all over the country. I live in Wisconsin and about 300 Hispanic families moved to one small town because they heard about a lot of job openings.
I am not trying to make a political comment on illeagal immigrants. My point is their kids go to school with your kids and they shop in the same stores and play in the same playgrounds. I feel that every child need immunizations to protect them from horrible diseases.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Hello. I would like to let you know that I as a parent are foregoing on given my son shots. I have given my 3 year old shots but have stopped even doing that and my 10 month old has not recieved any. When going to school all you have to do is check the box that says against personal convictions. I am doing this for my family because my middle son passed away from SIDS 5 days after he recieved his 4 month shots. I don't know if that played a role in his death but i am not taking any chances. I would like to recommend a book "What your Doctor will not tell you about childhood vaccinations. Great book.

J. Smith

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answers from Grand Forks on

Hi H.,
I am a mother of a 15 mo. old and a Public Health Nurse. I have done my own research on immunizations. The side effects of immunizations are only minor including: pain at the injection site, redness, swelling, fever, nausea, or vomiting. A severe reaction is rare. The complications of the disease itself are worse that the vaccine side effects especially for infants and the elderly. If you are worried about Autism, the myth of MMR vaccine or thimerisol causing Autism has been disproved. They DO NOT cause Autism. The influenza vaccine does not cause the flu. I am a strong believer in immunizations. We are seeing an increase in diseases that can be prevented by vaccine, due to those not getting vaccinated. Minnesota Law requires children to have certain immunizations to go to school. If these immunizations are not given, the child can not go to public school. The parent may have a notorized signature on file that you are a conceientious objector to immunizations. I hope this helps you with your decision to get your children immunized. If you have any more questions please call your childs MD or a local clinic or Public Health office.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I will respond to your actual question. We started immunizations with our first but had such terrible reactions- eczema flare ups, etc that we stopped. We then researched and decided that we would not continue at that time. It was hard initially to voice our concern to the doctor, who does get paid on every shot. We eventually switched doctors and found a Dr that was able to hear our concerns. We have had 2 other children since and have abstained from all vaccines with them. All three of our children are very healthy and we are very happy with our choice. I could get on a soapbox now but I will refrain.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Hi H.,

Looks like you have gotten plenty of input, but I feel strongly about this subject and had to weigh in. I did a lot of reading when my first child was born, talked to other moms and found a doctor who was not pro-vax. The result for me was a mixed approach - we opted out of some, chose a different version of some and did what was recommend for others - but all much later than the proscribed timetable. My kids, who were home with me - no daycare, had no vaccinations for their first year. After that I weighed what I knew about the short and long term dangers of each vaccination, against whether I felt I could cope with my child getting the disease.

Here is what I did:
DPT - My doctor's advice was to immunize for tetanus, which is essentially untreatable, so we did. At the time the pertussis component was one of the most dangerous (now it is the acellular version, which we are told is safer), so they did not have that one or Diptheria, which at the time I researched there had only been 9 cases in the US over the previous 10 years.

MMR - I and members of my family experienced all these illness as kids and while potentially dangerous and even fatal, I felt comfortable with the risk. We did ultimately do them when the kids were about 10, so they would be protected if they became parents.

Polio - at the time the oral (live virus) vaccine was standard, but my reading suggested it carried a fair amount of risk. We opted to do the killed-virus injection. I understand the medical community has since concurred and no longer do the live-virus version.

Hep B, HIB, Varicella - They don't give HIB after age 5, so we never did that. I had hoped that my kids would get the Chicken pox, but that not having been the case I am starting now as they become teens to do the immunizations for illnesses that would impact them as adults - Chicken pox, Hep B and the newer Menningitis vaccine.

It was very stressful when they were little - I carried around a lot of fear, but I couldn't ignore my instincts, which were very strong, that injecting all that is in those immunizations into a newly forming immune system, was also very risky. I feel that for me the choices of how and when we had them immunized was the best I could do.

You also might be interested to hear that both my kids ultimately did contract pertussis. They were 7 and 11 years old and got it from a close friend who also never was immunized. Interestingly, his brother (unimmunized) never got it and another close friend (fully immunized) did. It is a strange illness in that they never felt the least bit sick, it just presents with a crazy cough that can last for months. The cough sounds terrifying because they have to whoop for air at the end of it and often throw-up then, but honestly, it was no more difficult to bear than any other time your child gets sick. One caution - it truly is life-threatening in infants - that is the scary part.

Last thing - there is a local group that meets out in Crystal, called Vaccine Awareness Minnesota ( Chris Abel, a nurse is the founder and is so supportive. I called her when my kids got pertussis and she really calmed me down.

So, do your research, trust your instincts and be secure in the choice you make, as you will be called on to defend it.

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answers from Fargo on

Hi H.!
This is certainly a good question and a hot button issue! Unfortunately you have gotten some very uninformed advice from previous posters. My understanding was that you wanted advice from people who have actually had experience on the subject.
Vaccines contain more harmful ingredients than just mercury and there is more than autism at stake. For the record, the CDC did concede in court that there IS a link between vaccines and autism. Thimerosal is still prevalent in vaccines. You can call the drug companies yourself and ask.
In Minnesota, if you would decide to delay or opt out of vaccines, you would be protected by the Conscientious Objector Law. That means your child would not be barred from ANY childcare, school or program because of lack of vaccines.
The biggest risk an unvaccinated person has of contracting an infectious disease is actually FROM a recently vaccinated person. Otherwise the risk is virtually nil. So, sorry to contradict Becca, but, people who don't vaccinate are not just trying to be immune by association.
Some good sites are , and

Some good reading on the subject:
Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective? A Parents Guide to Childhood Shots, by Niel Z. Miller, 6th edition

Our research has been ongoing for 6 years. I am not opposed to vaccines and am considering 3 in particular for our children. Our pediatricians and in full support of any of our decisions.
If you need any more information, feel free to message me.

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answers from Eau Claire on

Wow H.,

You sure picked a touchy subject it seems. It is hard to see Mom's on here attacking each others viewpoints. Everyone has a right to their own opinion.

That being said, you have a right to your own opinion too, just make it an educated one. There have been lots of websites and such suggested here, read up on 'em. I personally have selectively vaccinated my son, going with the ones that seem most important and only one shot at a time, no big combo shots either. I feel very good about my decision, but I did a ton of research first. Asking friends, doctors, reading.... etc. And I've had people judging me and arguing with me for both sides the whole time.

You have to take things with a grain of salt of course. Most of the websites you read are trying their darndest to make you believe THEIR point of view and they are going to make it sound as good (or dramatic) as possible. Such as the website example from Cate S. Made some very good and valid points. Many of these diseases are very scary, and we don't want them to make a comeback. But it also belittles the opinions of some very educated people, as though the Dr. speaking was more intelligent than they could possibly be. It uses scare tactics and lies about thimerisol. The research into vaccines and thimersol may have been requested by doctors of the FDA, AFTER so many parents complained about vaccine side effects.

Some of the "anti-vaccine" sites will use the same tactics, trying to scare you or belittling research and opinions of highly educated people. Talking of government or Healthcare conspiracies. They all have points, but they tend to take it a little far in their attempt to make YOU believe THEM.

Don't let yourself be brainwashed by EITHER side.

My point being, vaccines were created for a good reason and I don't think we should disregard that, but there are enough concerns out there that are valid to consider being selective in how you vaccinate. This decision has worked well for me mentally/emotionally, and my son is very healthy.

Good luck, this is a tough decision.


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answers from Appleton on

This is a touchy subject like some other mothers have mentioned. We all have our opinions and we make the best decisions for our kids. I am a mother of a 2year old who is up to date on all of his shots to this point and a mother of a 10 month old who we have decided not to vaccinate at all. There are so many toxins in those shots and these kids are so little and we are putting ti all in them. They say that mercury is out of the shots, but as long as it isn't the main ingredient they don't have to put it on the label. Go to, you can also buy a dvd "Are Vaccines Safe?". It is a great DVD and after watching it my husband and I decided not to vaccinate our kids anymore. You can also go to and you can see all of the ingredients they put in the shots. Another thing that bothers me is how is every shot the right amount for every kid that is getting it. That being said good luck with whatever you do decide to do.

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answers from Minneapolis on

H.- Someone else mentioned Dr. Mercola's site. I would recommend it and

It is a very tough decision and controversial. Someone mentioned thimerosal isn't an issue because it isn't in vaccines but it is (maybe not all but it is still there). However, thimerosal isn't the only toxin in vaccinations. Dr. Sears recently wrote a book on vaccinations and lists every ingredient in every vaccine. Another post stated as long as your child isn't in licensed daycare it doesn't matter. Please know that you can put your child in licensed care, schools and the like if they are not vaccinated. Do your research and whatever decision you make, make an informed decision. There are a lot of fear mongers out there. Our children are our future. They deserve to be safe from disease. I also believe they should have access to safe vaccinations. My heart is with yours on this decision.

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answers from St. Cloud on

We have an almost 4 year old daughter and a 1 1/2 year old son. THEY HAVE HAD NO VACCINES!!!! We do use chiropractic care on a regular basis as a preventative and healing measures. We eat about 90% organic and drink no pop. We haven't had fast food in over a year. Our children are the healthiest kids I know. When they do get sick, they typically seem to get over it with 24 to 48 hours.

I used to do in home daycare when my daughter was little. NONE of the parents cared that I didn't vaccinate. THERE IS NO LAW IN MN THAT SAYS THEY HAVE TO BE>!!! Just as with the schools, you have to sign a line on the vaccination schedule saying you chose not to vaccinate. IT IS NOT AN ALL OR NOTHING!!! My brother got some vaccines, not all, and still went to public school.

We researched this subject for months after finding out we were pregnant and didn't decide until our daughter was a month old that we would do NO vaccines. (We chose not to do the Hep B in the hospital.) We went back and forth but ultimately decided that it was NOT worth the risk to vaccinate. We know people who have had a child die and others who now have autistic children (after MMR) who were fine previous to vaccinating. Doctors can say whatever they want because it is extremely hard to prove injury from vaccines. But you know if your child was completely normal and healthy and then after vaccinating they go down-hill......

In my opinion, 1 child is too many from vaccine injury if that child is mine!!!!!!

No matter what you decide though, IT IS YOUR DECISION. Don't let anyone else "convince" you because they don't have to live with the consequences. This is your decision. We chose to take the risk of getting a disease than the risk of vaccine injury, death, or problems assiated with vaccinating.

ON A SIDE NOTE: We had to switch docs because the one we were going to when our daughter was a baby terrorized us about our decision. He was mean and dominating and YOU DO NOT NEED TO PUT UP WITH THIS!!! We switched to a clinic where they are very understanding and support our decision even if they don't totally agree with it.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I'll start by saying we've opted not to vaccinate.

I've seen some good/informative websites recommended. I'd like to add this one.... Her videos are so informative!! I bought them, but I've been told they are available online (youtube? or google vidoes?) if you have high-speed internet.

Don't let the pediatrician mandate your's your decision to make based on the research you do. There are MDs out there who support the decision not to vaccinate, it just takes a little searching. Our son's 1st pediatrician told me that I was a bad mom and that mother's in 3rd world countries where smarter than I was/am. Needless to say, I did not go back to her. Our current pediatrician is wonderfully supportive of the fact that whether or not you vaccinate your child is your decision to make.

Good luck with your research & decision making.

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answers from Milwaukee on

I have a friend who did no immunizations and her son is now very sick and it could have been completely protected and stayed out of the hospital if he had got his immunizations!

There is a reason for immunizations... to help prevent deadly diseases from spreading and killing a huge amount of people. If you use day care most day cares are now saying they will only take kids up to date on immunizations and school systems are thinking of doing the same... high schools and colleges do this too so at some point your child will need to get the immunizations he could have gotten as a child.

I have asked my daughter to space the immunizations out and if my daughter is sick when we go from a well check up then I arrange to come in a week or so later to get them done.

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answers from Minneapolis on

This is such a tough decision and one that feels like a heavy burden either way you decide to go. We decided to go ahead and vaccinate our son as recommended and he's 3 and completely healthy and normal. I have no regrets. Some of our decision was based on talking with people who have lived through times of disease and illness when there were no vacinnations. Most of us are very lucky to have only ever had to worry about Chicken Pox and such. My mother remembers how they lived in fear of such things as drinking fountains. I hate the things because of the risk of our very basic bugs...but can you imagine worrying about your child getting a deadly disease from one? The more people decide against these vaccinations, the more we will be seeing these same illnesses become more prevalent again. I have several friends who got very scared just last winter when there was an outbreak of disease in a neighboring state and their children had not been immunized. At the same time, I became ill with a odd chronic illness less than 1 year after completing the Hept B vaccination series. I will always wonder if it was a factor in developing the illness. That is such a long shot though that if I had a chance to do it all over again, I would still get it.

Obviously I'm now on the side FOR vaccinations and this is not really what you asked to hear about. While I do worry about people such as yourself possibly increasing the risk of disease for my own son, I do respect a decision either way. We all have the best interests of our children at heart, and that is the most beautiful thing in the world we can give them.

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answers from Minneapolis on

As long as they are not in a licensed childcare it is your choice. I don't have experience in this or agree so I won't go on any further. I can't tell from your a little about me that you are a stay-at-home Mom so wanted to point out that licensed childcare and school require certain immunizations. Also, people claim therimosol in the vaccinations cause autism but it's not proven. You have to ask for therimosol free vaccinations if your weary and do decide to vaccinate. I'm not sure your reason for not doing it.

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answers from Omaha on

Wow, this is a hot ticket item and lots of responses.

We struggled with what to do. Our first had all the shots, minus chicken pox. We have had three family members have life threatening responses since then to the vaccines and have opted to not vaccinate our second daughter. Our nephew was 12 months old and was given last rites and we started making funeral arrangements. He somehow survived and then the pediatrician did it again months later with the booster.

The fact that we have had three family members, not all blood related, i.e. my sisters niece on her husbands side, etc., have devastating reactions tells me the statistics they give when you have to sign off on them are not accurate. All three have shortened life expectancies because of this and that was clearly stated by their doctors after the event.

Keep in mind there are diseases that there are no vaccines for and we don't do anything about them. You have to weigh the risks and benefits. Bad things can still happen, no matter how much we try to prevent. There will always be new diseases. Remember when AIDS and HIV was never heard of?

This is a lot to think about and it needs to be your decision, not your doctor or anyone else. We struggled and thought hard about it.

Another site is Children of God for life, which gets into what is in the vaccines and it is not just thimerisol, that can be an issue.

Good luck, pray about it and educate yourself. Just because a vaccine, treatment or option is out there doesn't mean it should be used on everyone. Look at your family, your background, your risks, exposures etc.

Trust your judgement. Long after your doctor is retired, you will still be the parent of this child. Medical opinion is just that, opinion. Everything that is known is learned and more is known each day, however, they have to go on what they have concluded at this point in time. Think of how many times the medical community has pronounced something as unhealthy and later to say the opposite. They can only know what they have learned so far.

I found a doctor that rearranged the schedule when I asked about best immunity. She said, if you want the best immunity we need to do it this way and promptly changed all the shots to a different schedule. I was shocked. So much of this isn't prompted by our health but many other non health related factors.

We later switched to a doctor that supported us not vaccinating our second daughter, as long as we breast fed, didn't use day care etc. This doctor educates, and then respects our decision. I never want to be bullied into a decision.

Take care and when in doubt, don't! You can always do it later, but once the vaccine is in your child, you can't reverse it.

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answers from Minneapolis on

We have selectively vax'd our two boys, now ages 6.5 and 3. When my oldest was born, he was given the hep B vax shortly after his birth without my consent, and I was quite angry about that. I started researching vaccines and was shocked by what I read. Unless you don't do the research, you blindly follow what you hear from your doctor. He has not had the Hep A (not required).

So we delayed vaccines, and we only allowed one vaccine per visit, and delayed the MMR until he was 3, and we asked to have each vaccine separate, measles, mumps, and rubella each alone. We split those up, one shot at each visit. He started Kindergarten a few months after his 5th birthday and he was up to date on all required vaccines, and had the chicken pox vaccine a few days before the first day of school.... I held that one off until the last minute.

With my youngest, we followed that same schedule, only one shot per visit, and spacing them by at least 3mos apart, and getting the MMR each, measles, mumps, and rubella, separate. He is 3.5 and has had most of his shots, he has NOT had the Hep A (not required yet) or chickenpox.

However in MInnesota, its all or nothing. You cannot selectively vax and only be partially vax'd and start school. If your child has one vax, he must then get the rest to start Kindergarten.

Obviously the choice is yours.... it wasours too, and after much research and fighting with our ped, and more research, delaying the vax schedule, only allowing one per visit,at least 3mos between vaccines, and splitting up the MMR vax worked out for us. My boys will be fully vax'd, but on OUR schedule, not one preset by someone who has thier own pocketbook in mind, not my children's best interest.



answers from Janesville-Beloit on

My son is 3 1/2 years old and we decided to put him on his own schedule for vaccinations. He didn't receive the first one until he was 7 months old, and then it was only because he was going into an inhome daycare with other children. His first one was DTaP. If I had my choice, I would have had that one separated and he would have only gotten the pertussis part of the shot. However, I couldn't get it separate. He gets one shot at a time, usually when he goes in for his well-child exams, so he is nowhere close to current on all of his shots. We are lucky in that we were able to find a pediatrician who is supportive of our decision. I have had people in the medical community (workers at health care facilities) who have told me in no uncertain terms that I am a bad parent for not having my child current on vaccinations. However, I have never regretted making the decision we did. We made our decision because I used to work with autistic children and I had too many questions or concerns about the safety of the shots. We are comfortable with the decision we made. When I get my son a shot, I talk to my pediatrician about what shot is the most critical for him at the time, and that's the one he gets. She gives me the information she needs to as a doctor about the risks of not vaccinating him and the medical studies about vaccinations and autism, but has told me that she understands my concerns and is supportive of my decision. For daycare I have to sign a form saying that he is not current on his vaccinations for personal reasons, and I will have to sign the same thing when he goes to school. Daycare providers can also refuse to take children who are not current, so that is something to think about. I am lucky that my inhome daycare provider is willing to take him (and has actually delayed vaccines with her youngest since my son started). When he starts school, if there is an outbreak and he is not vaccinated, they can refuse to let him back in school until the outbreak is over or he gets vaccinated. I am willing to take the risk. It's not an easy decision and you have to be ready for the negative attitude people have toward you not vaccinating your child. But in the end, you also have to make the decision that's right for you and your family. Good luck with your decision!



answers from Omaha on

As a mother of two sons, now 15 and 24, I had withheld some of the shots that they said where necessary. I would advise to have them give the DPt and the MMR shots. But alot of them I paased on and even though they were requiired by the school systems I wrote a letter advising them of our personal choice not to give them. You may make it a "religous" choice if necessary. Both of my kids have been extremely health. They get the occassional cold and my oldest had a time with his tonsils but nothing major. If your children are under a day care situation you may want to make other choices but again I didn't give the HIB or the chicken pocks vaccinations and they did fine. Your personal choice and gut feeling will need to direct you on your choice. Do your research of the your area of the country and make the best choice for you.



answers from Green Bay on

We were selective. It has worked fine. I've looked protection and reaction as a guide to the Immunization. I also looked at can it be treated if they get it. We did Tetnus as an example. It's controversial.
Happy, Healthy, New Year,
mom and home business owner



answers from Minneapolis on

You have gotten alot of responces but I felt the need to give my 2 cents worth too. As with most of the others I agree that it is up to you to decide what you feel is best for your child. You need to da as much research as you can and get info from both sides of the debate. I researced it for many months and we dicided to vaccinate on an alternate schedule. My son never recieved more than two vaccines at any time, sometimes it was just one. All of the combo vaccines were split up. My son is now just over two and he is current with all vaccines except chickem poxs. We didn't feel the risks from the disease were as bad as the risks from the vaccine. In my opinion, the problem, short of allergic reations, is with the number of vaccines given at once. I think they overload the immune system causing it to attack things it shouldn't bringing out or enhancing certain weaknesses, diseases or conditions that may have been just under the surface.
Again, this is our decision. I just recommend doing a lot of research, don;t just look at sites that are anti-vaccination. I found some very interesting sites regarding vaccination schedule in Europe and Scandanavia. I wish I could remember them and I can't find them again. When you read articles online make sure you check any links provided by them.
Good Luck! If you decide not to vaccinate now you can always change your mind and do it later.



answers from Duluth on

what you need to do is educate yourself. thats the best defense and offense when it comes to immunizations. there ARE safer, better ways to give them in the first place, and though doctors are reluctant to follow them, they cant fight too much against an educated parent.

i HIGHLY RECOMMEND the vaccine book by robert sears. he tells you EVERYTHING you need to know about vaccines, the particular risks/benefits to each one, the ingredients in each, the different ways to get the vaccination, the risk and dangers of the disease it prevents. he also outlines an alternate vaccination schedule, as the one that most doctors follow needs DESPERATE spreading out. more problems occur because too many vaccines are given at once than from the vaccines themselves.

be aware that the normal person doesnt come into much contact with many of these diseases in the US that have become rare or nonexistent. however, if you are in a metro area, where travelers are common, you have a higher chance of catching something that way.

i had chicken pox when i was a kid, and back then it was not vaccinized nor was it a big deal. i have had shingles since. im only 25. and let me tell you, im making sure my son gets his chicken pox vaccine. i wouldnt want anyone to feel as uncomfortable as i did. the think about chicken pox is it NEVER completely goes away. i will probably have shingles outbreaks for the rest of my life. its VERY uncomfortable.

so i guess its really up to you - educate yourself about the vaccines, what the risks really are, and dont listen to reviews or outside negativity OR positivity about them for that matter. do your own research. i vaccinate, i have a good friend who has a son a month older than mine, she doesnt vaccinate. in the end, its not a big deal. however, its worth knowing what you are saying no (or yes) to.
and the vaccine book is a GREAT place to start. im sure you can find it on amazon or even ebay used at a lower price. thats how i got mine!
good luck with your decision. :D

ps. you will come across a LOT of resistance from doctors about not vaccinating. you will also come across resistance for altering the schedule. go over the doctor's head. my doctor told me they couldnt alter the schedule because of clinic protocol, and i went over his head and got 2 shots altered. the doctor literally has his hands tied and can only do so much. always check your clinic/hospitol's administration before making a final decision.
also, the most controversial, the MMR, CAN be given in 3 separate shots. i plan this for my son, however, robert sears had sent an email out saying that the separate shots are in low supply, so you might run into problems with that. it looks like your kids arent ready for that shot anyway.. but i would delay it as long as possible, and try to get the 3 separate shots. :D is a relating website. :D good luck



answers from Milwaukee on

Hi, I was really fearful of immunizing with my first child. I put it off and off. After thinking, talking, investigating, I realized it would be a good way to go. We took it slow and did one or two at a time in case she had an allergic reaction. I have no regrets. I think a baby is too small and perfect to inject anything into. I think 2-3 is a good age to start slow. I also think being selective is good. I continued to ask my pediatrician what he recommended for the most important. With my second child started at 6 months. He happens to be developing at a different rate than my daughter. It may or may not be related to immunizing. I will never know. I am not at all against immunizing...I just feel strongly to wait until a child is older. With little babies it seems completely too soon. Good luck and listen to your heart.



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi H.,

I'm really in the process of researching this all for my 12 month old son, but I can share with you what I've done so far.

When my son was born, they wanted to give him a Hep B vaccine right away. Apparently, this is fairly routine now. We opted not to give him that vaccine at 1 day old, but he did get it later on.

We have been vaccinating our son "on schedule", but he is soon due for the MMR vaccine, and I know I want to postpone and spread out that vaccine. We opted to have him "on schedule" for everything else because we live in a neighborhood that has a lot of first generation Americans--people from countries that would not have vaccinated for certain diseases, and who knows if our neighbors have gone on to be vaccinated as adults. Also, my husband works at MSP Airport, and in the area he's in, he comes into contact with foreigners everyday. We were concerned about anything my husband my pick up. So, I really felt like it was riskier to NOT vaccinate my son. If we lived outstate or came into contact with fewer people, there's a chance I would not have vaccinated my son.

I'm not so sure my current clinic would be supportive of postponing/spacing the MMR vaccine, so I be looking for a new provider.

Good luck to you!



answers from Rochester on

First I will say, good for you for researching this and not becoming like the rest of the world and just do what the doctor's say. I have been a chiropractor for 20 years and have never been vaccinated and I have three children and none of them have been vaccinate. They and I are extremely healthy and always have been.
There is a great website that can help you also.... He is a holistic medical doctor, but wasn't always that way until he started doing more research on both sides of things.
Second....I don't know if you know this, but in China they do not vaccinate until 2 years of age. And that is because of the side effects of the vaccines. Older children are better able to handle the side affects, short term and long term. We still don't know the long term side affects of vaccines, but if you look at the increased rate of asthma, diabetes for example, there supposedly is a link.
I had a patient whose 18 month daughter died after a DPT shot. Some may not believe it was the shot, but when you are the parent and your child was completely normal before the just know.
If you are going to vaccinate.....wait until they are 2 year them one at a time, wait at least 6 months in between and ask for thimerosol free shots.
Good luck and keep researching. I even had my doubts for a little while after my first child, but I just looked at all of the data and the bad outweighed the good.



answers from Minneapolis on

I fully support parents who decide not to or to selectively vaccinate their children. I believe it should be a choice families are allowed to make and doctors should provide the information necessary for parents to make the decision they are comfortable with.

However, that being said, should you decide not to vaccinate remember the families of the children your children come in contact with may not have made the same decision and their decision should be respected as well. We had a family in our ECFE class who chose not to vaccinate their children for anything. Again I fully support their decision, however when they brought their children to ECFE classes (and sib care) with full blown chicken pox it was no longer a decision they were making for themselves, but the rest of the children they were exposing, including a 4 week old infant.



answers from Milwaukee on

There definitely are a lot of opinions regarding this issue. I fully recommend researching it as much as possible, as many others have recommended. As some have pointed out, websites and various medical professionals will usually push for their own agenda. That being said, I have some great concerns about not vaccinating at all. Look at all of the diseases that have been virtually eradicated or decreased in this country- small pox, polio, measles, etc due to vaccinations. A couple generations ago, parents feared polio because it could ruin their children's lives forever, now we don't really even worry about it with the vaccine that is available. Last year when my youngest was 6 months, after a very difficult beginning, measles was being spread around in our area. He was too young to be vaccinated himself. It was such a helpless feeling when there is nothing I could do to protect him. With all of the world travel, things are still being brought back to our country. The smallest babies are the greatest ones at risk from the diseases others are carrying not only from their weaker immune system, but also from the fact that they cannot be vaccinated for many things until they are older. My MIL works as a pediatric RN and she has known of babies who have died from some of these diseases. I think it is ok to be selective in when the vaccines are administered as long as you really research it and know not only the risks for your own kids but also the risks for other kids who can't be immunized yet. There are Pediatricians who are willing to stretch things out.



answers from Appleton on

The choice is definately yours, but I suggest checking with any daycare, school, etc. that you plan on your child attending. Some of them are real sticklers and won't let your child attend without having all immunizations. Good luck with your decision making!
B. M.



answers from Minneapolis on

We are selectively vaxing our third baby. My first and second are fully vaxed and my first is on the autism spectrum. Our pediatrician and I agreed that delaying/selectively vaxing would be a good idea in case there is a genetic link to vaccines and austism. Our youngest is 2 months old and hasn't had any vaccines yet. I stay home so he's not really exposed to much yet so everyone agreed that it would be a good idea to just wait out the vaxes for now.



answers from Davenport on

This is a topic that I have to add my 2 cents, there is so much false information!! It shocks me that people refuse to vaccinate their children. First off, the only disease eradicated is small pox (this is why it was such a big deal during the whole terrorist scare). In fact, because so many people are choosing not to vaccinate now, measles cases in the US is actually rising. You not only have to think about your child, you have to think about everyone that child will come in contact with. There are a lot of websites out there, but a lot of them give false information, especially about autism. The best place to look for info is Even the legit autism websites do not list vaccinations as a cause. In fact, the more research being done is leaning more towards genetic factors for autism. Personaly, I think the risk of not vaccinating is far worse!!!!



answers from Minneapolis on

I know that some Dr. will not treat your child if you do not immunize, so you may have to look for a new Dr.

Did you immunize with your first?

Tough choice, good luck.

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