I’m going in depth with one of the topics from the list of “12 Things That Work For Me” in my posts about living intentionally.
We don’t vaccinate our children. This is a highly personal topic, and the only reason I’m posting about it is because I want to make sure you know YOU have a choice, and to encourage you to make an informed decision. So, I’ll share some of my reasons and research, then you go do your own, ok?
Here’s some reasons we don’t vaccinate –
- We believe that, while vaccinations may have been a life-saving invention, better hygiene and nutrition have been the biggest factors in controlling epidemics.
- We believe that in modern times, mass vaccinations for an increasing number of diseases is driven by drug companies profits more than people’s health.
- We do believe that there is a link between vaccinations and auto-immune diseases (like allergies, autism, and other developmental disabilities)
I have personally known two precious young ladies who, after vaccinations at the age of 2, began to regress in their development until they were non-verbal, wheelchair bound, and almost completely unresponsive…one died by the time she was 16. Seeing that makes you think twice and want to do a little research into whether vaccinations are the best choice for your family.
Jeremy said one evening when we were discussing our decision not to vaccinate, “We like our children to talk to us!” I can’t imagine Seth, or any of my children, suddenly losing the desire or ability to smile at us, and maybe never learn to talk. If there’s the slightest chance that vaccinations can cause these kinds of diseases, I’m determined to be cautious and informed.
Another personal story has to do with the pertussis vaccination – for Whooping Cough. My mother stopped taking us kids in for our vaccinations when I was about 10, so I and three of my siblings had received some of our vaccinations. (I’ll never forget the the day Mom said we were not going in for the appointment for our shots – I was almost physically sick with relief. So not a fan.) Later, when our family had grown to 7 children, 3 of whom had never received vaccinations, we got the whooping cough. The interesting thing was that those of us who had been vaccinated (including Mom and Dad) got it worse than the kids who had not. Hmmm.
In some ways it was easy for me and Jeremy to choose not to vaccinate our children – our parents had already gone counter-culture and broken the trail for us. But a conversation with the doctor who circumcised Seth, questions from curious friends, and the topic coming up frequently on the news motivated us to look again at the research so we could articulate why we had chosen the route we were on. It’s amazing what you find if you turn your ear from the propaganda promoted by the drug companies and do a little digging. We have been thoroughly convinced that this is the right choice for our family.
Care to do some digging? Here are some sites where you can get started.
1. Modern Alternative Mamma thoroughly addresses questions like, “Do Vaccinations Cause Autism?” and uncovers the myths behind the need for vaccines. I appreciate her posts – they are balanced, discussing both sides of the issue, and she always posts links to the actual studies and all her sources.
“Contrary to popular belief, vaccines did not reduce the rates of diseases nearly as much as other measures did. In fact, in the early 1960s, rates of measles cases and deaths fell over 99% — before the introduction of the vaccination in 1968“. – Modern Alternative Mamma, Argument Against Vaccinations
2. Keeper of the Home has a good collection of articles for those exploring the whole Vaccination Issue. Start with “The Thoughtful Parent’s Guide to Thinking Through Vaccinations”. Here’s some of the 10 Questions they encourage you to ask when considering a vaccine for your child –
- What disease(s) is this vaccine aiming to protect against?
- What is the a) probable outcome of this disease, and b) worst-case scenario outcome?
- Today, is this disease treatable and/or preventable by other/natural means?
- What are possible dangers in this type of vaccine (look up whole list of ingredients)
3. Kelly the Kitchen Kop has a whole slew of posts on vaccinations, including the saga of how she has legally avoided vaccines for her public-school-enrolled children. If you are really questioning whether you could ‘get away’ with not vaccinating your kids, the fact is, you as a parent still have the right to choose what is best for your child. Kelly has literally put dozens of hours into each of her posts on the topic.
So, if I don’t vaccinate, what do I do to protect my kids from disease? Build up their immune system naturally. Breastfeed. Feed them whole, nutrient dense foods. Let them play in the dirt. Pray for them, and thank God for the privilege of raising them and the freedom to make wise choices for their health.
This post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday!
Again, Natalie, you bring us down to the essence of the whole decision. Thank you for your comment.
Smoore – I felt that herd immunity was one of the best arguments for vaccinations until I studied it more. I wonder what your opinion would be on this post where Kate addresses herd immunity? http://www.modernalternativemama.com/blog/2009/10/26/argument-against-vaccinations.html
Kateri, I appreciate your input, as well. Your story is proof again that this is a personal decision and that each person will have various influences and convictions affecting their choices.
I think one of the best points on this list to consider is what the possible outcomes to contracting a certain disease are. It's a numbers game – what's the probability of a severe reaction vs the probability of getting a life threatening/debilitating form of x? Either way you're putting your faith in God to protect your family.
I am totally sympathetic with those choosing not to vacinate. It would be my first inclination as I try to avoid any unnecessary or unatural treatments. In nursing school vacines where discussed a lot, and I was convinced that vaccinations can be helpful. If I have children I will probably do what Traci does. In fact, when I was pregnant I had a pediatrician picked out who sounds a lot like her doctor.
Thinking about this made me wonder how many children who were not vacinated grow and decide to get vacinated—I was not vacinated as a child and ended up getting them all as an adult (I would not have been able to do clinicals or work in the hospital without proof of immunity to those child hood diseases.)Several of my siblings have chosen to be vacinated as adults as well so that they could pursue their chosen vocations.
Even if I hadn't had to have it for my job, I would have most definitely chosen to get the rubella vaccine. There is a 25 percent chance that your baby will end up with severe birth defects if you develop rubella when pregnant. I don't think I would be able to live with myself if that happened and I knew it could have been prevented.
I do not get the flu shot–for one thing it is only effective against the strain of flu that is in the shot, so you are still left vunerable to every other strain that happens to be floating around. Good hygiene, HAND WASHING, good nutrition, and taking vitamins are just as effective. I have had the flu once in the past 10 years–and all my colleagues who where vaccinated got that particular strain too, just as bad or much worse than I did.
So that is my two cents. 🙂
Here is one other point of view to consider: I actually had problems with some vaccinations, particularly pertussis, which gave me a febrile seizure. Febrile seizures, though scary, don't cause lasting problems. My mother, an RN, knew this and chose to continue having me vaccinated. Due to an unusual allergy, I am not vaccinated against measles. Measles still exist and there have been recent outbreaks among unvaccinated children. This concerns me for two reasons: 1) If I caught measles from an unvaccinated child while pregnant, I would most likely lose the baby or it would cause serious birth defects. 2) Children are not usually vaccinated against measles until they are a year old. If I caught it(you are contagious with measles for several days before symptoms occur) I would pass it on to my son, as he is too young to be vaccinated. For me, the “herd effect” is what I count on to keep myself and my family safe.
It is a topic that is certainly worth a lot of reading and research.
Oh, Serena, not at all! Your comment was insightful, appreciated, and added to the conversation! I understand how you feel, and am glad my kind readers aren't afraid to chat about this subject with me.
Trina, you handled the subject very well. I'm sorry if I sounded like it was what you wrote that upsets me. I didn't mean that at all. I just meant the subject in general. I'm so sorry if I gave that impression!
Thanks, Duck – I'm glad that you're grateful for the decision our parents made.
Serena, you're right – it is a polarizing issue. Especially when people try to convince others to their point of view. I hope that, while being clear on where I stand, I have not given people the impression that they're wrong if they've made different choices. That's not my goal at all.
Traci, you're right, it's a very personal decision and should be made carefully and with prayer. I respect your balanced approach to vaccinating your children.
Whitney, I love your response – that's what I hoped to inspire with this post – decisions made with hope and information.
I see some people who don't even know they have a choice, haven't done the research, and that's who I hope to encourage.
Smoore – thanks for the book recommendation!
It sounds like many of my readers have already looked into the issue – which is what I hoped to encourage. Thanks for all your responses.
Good post Treen, I really needed to understand more about why we weren't vaccinated, and you have a nice way of putting it.
Oh, this subject makes me sick to my stomach. I hate how polarizing it is. We vaccinated my older daughter up until about 18 months, and every time she was due for shots, I was sick with worry, wondering if it was the right choice. At 18 months, I researched a particular vaccine and finally came to the conclusion that she would not be getting any more shots. My younger daughter has not had any.
There are so many strange ingredients in vaccines, ingredients that really bother me–including cells from aborted babies (in certain ones, I won't claim they're in ALL vaccines), and cells from monkeys and eggs—yet we're supposed to wait until babies are a year old to give them egg white to eat? That might not be the main issue here, but it IS something to consider.
I was once a dedicated anti-vac'r and had no plans to vaccinate our son. And then I did some unbiased research from a medical perspective–and completely changed my mind. So my son is 100% vaccinated and we have chosen to have him receive some extra vaccinations, as both parents work in healthcare and, though we try to be careful, do bring home things that he otherwise would not be exposed to.
The one study “proving” an autism-vaccination connection has been thoroughly discredited. The normal autism pattern is a normally developing child until about the age of 2, and then the child will begin to regress developmentally.
There are several reasons why we chose to vaccinate, and all of them are based on sound, scientific, and peer-reviewed medical studies.
A good book for the non-medical layperson is “Deadly Choices” by Paul Offit. It may offer you some different points of view to consider!
matt and shell says
We chose not to vacc, thanks for this post, shows me I'm not alone!
We've chosen some vaccinations, opted out of others. My dr has always been one to give sparingly and to space the ones they do get, which I like.
I know a public schooling mom who after her first was diagnosed with autism she refused immunizations with her second two boys. The school wasn't a fan but she fought for it and she won. (If you're wondering if her refusal helped, the second boy is not autistic, and the third one is autistic w/aspberger's. She considers the experiment a success because it could have been all three if the succeptibility was enhanced by chemicals)
On the flipside, this same friend has a nephew who died from the H1N1.. and her sister would never hear of refusing a vaccination now because she sees them with lifesaving potential. Same family, different convictions, both researched and both very emotional about their experiences. Makes for good family conversation, lol!
This is another topic like so many others that requires more than just some facts on a paper for a decision to be made.. it requires prayer and conviction. So glad you can verbalize what God used to convict you in this and explain it to others.
We vaccinate Nate, but it's not out of fear, but hope, and information. 🙂
Trina, Our children have not had any shots either. We don't want all that junk in them. Thanks for the post!