I don't vaccinate my kids. It's true. And my reasons are pretty complicated.
Most babies are given their first vaccine when they're only hours old: the Hep B shot. And obviously, we've skipped it. A lot of parents are on the fence about this, even if they do choose to vaccinate for the most part.
I know, I know: It's an extremely hot issue right now. There are people who say you're basically killing your children if you don't … or if you do. I'm not going to tell you that. I know all parents have their own reasons for the decisions they make and that they are trying to do their absolute best based on what they know and what they believe. The answer's not the same for every family.
There was a point where we didn't question vaccines, before I got pregnant with my first. But we were working then as therapists for children with autism. I know, it's so cliche. But the moms we talked to basically said they had concerns and encouraged us to look into it more. Although it started over a potential concern with autism, that's actually very low on our list of reasons for choosing not to vaccinate now.
Then we thought we'd just do selective and delayed vaccines. We thought that we'd get vaccines for the "scary" diseases, like measles, but we'd definitely leave out chicken pox, rubella, and others that we knew weren't so bad. (Rubella's not, unless you happen to contract it in the middle of your first trimester of pregnancy.) But, I wasn't satisfied to take anyone's answers. I needed to do the research for myself. I made a long list of questions I wanted answered, and I began searching through every book, journal article, health website (both mainstream, like WHO, and non-mainstream), and so on.
What I found was very interesting -- and shocking. The more I read, the more I became convicted that I did not want to inject my children with vaccines, ever. I know that places me on the far, far outer edges -- most people are willing to consider some vaccines, under some circumstances. I really can't think of any situation in which I'd allow a vaccine. But, of course, this is up to each family to choose.
So here is a (very) brief summary of my reasons (please note I'm not a doctor or medical professional; I'm trying to explain these to the best of my knowledge but I'm sure I'll make some mistakes along the way. Always do your own research and talk to your doctor):
1) The way they work - This is a super, super long explanation being very condensed here. Most natural infections enter the body through the mouth or nose and are fought off by the mucous membranes, the gut flora, etc. It's called the TH-1 system. This is bypassed when a vaccine is administered directly into the body and only the TH-2 system is stimulated (the body's secondary defenses). This doesn't produce permanent immunity (and in some doesn't produce immunity at all). The body, when the TH-2 system is activated, is more susceptible to future disease. And although typically the system would "calm down" soon after a vaccine, when a baby is born, it is TH-2 dominant (so its mother's body won't reject it), and vaccines prolong the time before the immune system matures. There's some evidence to suggest that the immune system never learns to work properly and this places the child at risk to more serious illnesses like cancer. There's a lot more to this, but this is my primary concern.
2) Ingredients: I know that most people are concerned with thimerosal. It's been removed from most vaccines, (not all) and it is used in the production of the vaccines and then removed later (i.e. there are still trace amounts). But the vaccines also contain tissue from monkey kidney cells, human diploid cells (read: aborted fetal tissue), or chicken embryos, depending on what the vaccine was cultured in. Regarding the human cells, they've been using the same ones since around the 1950s, and I'm not convinced they haven't mutated or in some way become contaminated. Vaccines also contain adjuvants to boost their efficacy, and most of these are based on aluminum, which is another heavy metal toxin. There are also antibiotics and various other ingredients. To me, this just doesn't sound like something I'd want in my body -- or my children's bodies.
3) Potential environmental issues: Kids today have skyrocketing rates of asthma, allergies, ADHD, and yes, autism. I don't believe that vaccines are the sole cause of any of these conditions. But I do believe, along with many other factors, that they play a role. Children who are born with fragile health or are genetically "sensitive" could be at risk for developing one of these things because a vaccine was the trigger or final straw. Cases before the so-called vaccine court have paid many families under conditions like this. If I can minimize my children's exposure to toxins in any way, then I will.
To see the rest of my reasons for not vaccinating my kids, visit Babble.
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