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Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Look at Vaccinations: Vaxing, Not Vaxing, and Delayed Vaxing Just the Facts

So first of all, I am going to share that I am just giving the facts.  I do not even know if I am going to share with you my decisions (Hint:  They were different for each child.) on vaccinations or why.  I know for a fact that I will not be sharing them now.  I just wanted to list the facts.  The benefits and potential hazards of all and then leave things open for you to discuss.  I'd love to hear some other mom's opinions about things and see what you think.  I'd love to hear what the deciding factors were for you and why you personally chose the route that you chose.

This information was all gathered from a number of medical and professional sources from all sideds of the issue.  I was very interested in this because there are so many conflicting decisions out there and so many different ways to look at things.

The Case For Vaccinations

--In the recent past parents were terrified of losing their children or having their children become paralyzed because of diseases that were common.  Thanks to vaccinations we no longer see these diseases and typically are no longer worried about these.  (Today there is a resurgance of many different diseases that were not an issue for many years because of people not being vaccinated.  This is not an opinion, it is a fact, not to say if you do not vaccinate your child is going to get these diseases but should they be exposed there is a chance that they potentially could be.)

--Diphtheria was a problem for many years and caused devastation when children died.  Today it is rare because of vaccinations.

--Measles was almost completely extinct and only seen in very rare cases.  However prior to the vaccination in the US alone there were more than 500,000 cases each year.

--Smallpox was a devastating disease that could potentially lead to death.  Today there is no longer a smallpox virus to worry about.  It has been wiped from the earth because of vaccinations.  (I am still curious personally on this note as to why children continue to be vaccinated if it has been wiped from the earth completely.  I will be talking to my health care professional about this one now.)

--Polio caused much devastation.  It not only caused death but caused for millions of children to be devastated not that long ago.  I had a boss at one job that was still dealing with a ton of problems from the fact that he had been infected with polio as a child.  From what I have seen this is something that could be very devastating.  It is expected, unless there is a resurgance of the disesase, to be gone completely like smallpox and to only be a memory.

--The way that vaccinations work is that these viruses are introduced to the body in small and controlled doses so that the body builds up immunities.  There is a potential that your body will not produce the needed immunities and that you will end up sick.  This is very rare but could potentially happen.

--After your body has built up the immunity if you were introduced to the diease in it's live and active form (as the illness itself) your body will instantly recognize the disease and start to attack it more aggressively which is how you avoid getting sick.

--The germs that are in the vaccine are supposed to either be dead or weakened so that you do not get sick.

--Delaying vaccinations has been linked to a rise in diseases like whooping cough and can mean that your baby is not protected against it when they would be most vulnerable and when it could cause the most damage.  Today there are thousands of cases of whooping cough and sadly many of the youngest patients (those under the age of six months) end up dying.  The DTaP vaccination does protect against this.

--Many doctors are speculating that the resurgance in diseases that had not been heard of in a long time is because of the delay or choice to not vaccinate children.  I have only seen opinions (most of them from medical professionals and this is one that my doctor did side with as I was speaking to him).  I am only including it because it is a big part of a large majority of these vaccination commentes and something that I felt deserved mention because I saw it so much.

The Ideas Behind Delayed Vaccinations
--The idea is that as a child gets a little older they could more easily handle their vaccinations.  To date there is no evidence to support this.

--The reality is that most of the time a child is not exposed to these diseases or potential diseases until he or she is older.  Many factors could contribute that would not make this the case, like living in a home with someone who works in a hospital.

--There is evidence that babies who have these vaccinations at an older age are more likely to avoid things like developmental delays, autism, and learning disabilities that are often associated with vaccinations.  The recent study was conducted by the University of Louisville and is very enlightening and interesting.  (On a side note there have been no studies to look at the long term side effects and learning disabilities associated with vaccinations.)

The Ideas Behind Not Vaccinating Your Child

--Let's face it the potential problems and the rare cases in which a child has a reaction to a vaccine and dies are scary.  The worst part of this is that you would basically blame yourself because your child was vaccinated when you knew that they would be and they had problems because of that vaccine.

--Pharmaceutical companies have not always been the most ethical.  There are too many different reasons to state this but even those who choose to vaccinate have to be aware and admit to the fact that this is true.

--There are a lot of different chemicals and poisons contained in the vaccines.  This is not theory, this is fact.  Vaccines contain MSG, antifreeze, phenol, formaldahyde, aluminum, glycerin, and acetone just to name a few.

--A lot of parents use the argument that the majority of the children who seem to be "sick" all of the time and are constantly on antibiotics are those who are fully vaccinated.  This is an opinion but a strong one that many believe to be a factor.  I will say here that most of the non-vaccinating families that I know either have full time stay at home moms or their children are watched by family members.  A vast majority of the fully vaccinating families that I know have children who are in daycare.  I believe that for this to be a statement of fact you'd have to put together these two groups of children (those in daycare vs those not in daycare) and then look at the two separate groups within each one (those who are vaccinated vs those who are not vaccinated) in order to figure out if this is a fact.  My guess is that children who are not vaccinated and in traditional childcare are going to be sick the same percentage of time and that this is probably not a factual statement.  However I felt compelled to include this one because it was mentioned in nearly every article that I read on the case for not vaccinating your child.

--Other countries are actually changing how they vaccinate to older ages becasue of the potentially harmful side effects.  Japan (#3) in the world for infant mortality rates has a minimum age of vaccination of 2.  The United States is #33 in the world for infant mortality.  Australia does not allow the flu shot until the age of 5.

--There have been a lot of vaccines that have been linked to serious health risks in just the recent past. 

--Finally if you change your mind you can be vaccinated at any time but you can never undo a vaccination.

I did a lot of research on this topic.  I find it fascinating and sometimes I worry that I might have made the wrong decision in the ones that I have made.  In the end I know that I must take full responsibility for doing what I thought was best and I know in my heart that the decisions I made considered a number of factors.

I will say in my research that I found a MILLION (litterally) different opinion articles and it seems like a hot topic that everyone feels strongly about.  There are so many different sides and of course everyone thinks that what they are doing is best.  I pass no judgement.  I do what I think is best for my children and I am sure that everyone out there, whether they choose the path that I choose or not is doing what they personally think is best for their children.

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