Sunday, March 18, 2007

To Immunize or Not to Immunize. . .

Since I'm a new mom, that's pretty much going to be all I blog about for a while. . . maybe. . . anyway, so I've got a question for all my informed blog readers out there. I have been prepared to immunize our little girl at her 2 month appointment--which I believe is the typical time frame they do immunizations. However, I was recently introduced to the idea that immunizing too early can cause problems for children--some people even think early immunization is a link to autism? (In my few minutes of research on line I'm pretty skeptical about that one). Someone (who shall remain nameless) also told me that the USA is the only developed country that has their children immunized before the age of 2 (years, not months). Is this true?

So what do you think? Are there legitimate reasons (and can you actually support your argument) NOT to immunize your children? Or at least reasons to wait? Or do you think it's just plain crazy not to immunize?

16 comments:

  1. I really liked this 20/20 report on vaccines... I say vaccinate!

    http://tinyurl.com/2u38qj

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  2. I support vaccines 110%. Sofia did wonderful and even slept longer for 2 days...yippee! My Dr. said in short that if you don't vaccinate your child in todays world, you are putting your child at risk and other peoples children at risk. At that point, I was sold. I know it is an issue with a lot of people, but the results of not vaccinating are far worse than any side effects. I want to protect my child in every way possible. Im sure many people decide not to vaccinate and the kids are healthy and fine. They have one now for chickenpox...YEAH! They didnt have that vaccine when I was a kid and it was horrible. I have scars all over. You gotta love todays medicine!

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  3. I remember thinking about this a lot because my sis in law does not vaccinate and either does one of my best friends. They both feel that those diseases are pretty much eradicated so that there is no need for those vaccines anymore.

    I read the 20/20 article mentioned above and I agree with a lot that is said. The whole autism thing I feel is totally wrong. I agree that it's just that we are more into labeling kids now with certain problems than we used to. Autistic kids used to be just weird kids, ADD kids used to be the hyper ones, bipolar used to be moody. It's not like these problems just appeared or something.

    If you think of all the millions of children that vaccines have SAVED I think their necessity becomes obvious. Infant mortality rates 100 years ago were crazy high. I think vaccines are needed. Not immunizing, thinking that your children won't be exposed to those awful diseases of the past is too risky for me.

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  4. I would say, look up the diseases measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, tetanus, and hepatitis B and look at pictures of what your kid would look like with one of these.
    It's hilarious how many people think these diseases are "eradicated." Unvaccinated (and even some vaccinated) kids get measles, mumps, and hep B all the time.

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  6. Brady has been fully immunized, but we are planning on being selective with Lucy. Some of the diseases are so rare that they are practically eradicated. If we wait just a few years, like someone else said, her body can be better prepared to handle the vaccinations. But like I said, we are going to do some of them now. Brandon has read a really good book that has helped him learn more about the pros and cons of each vaccination. Of course we realize that because everyone vaccinates their children, that is why we have the luxury of deciding whether to do it or not. So, taking that into account, we will do them all eventually (especially because an unvaccinated child in the school system is a joke), but the time frame might be different than what the medical doctors suggest. You really have to educate yourself on this one, and even then it's a tough decision. Feel free to give us a call - Brandon really knows his stuff on this one.

    P.S. I ADORE that picture of Ms. Grumpy. She is SOOO cute and I see a lot of B in her.

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  7. Well,
    I debated on whether to blog, but my wife said I should. I am a chiropractic student. I am in a field that uses alternatives to medicine. I graduate in a year, and I have done some research about this topic. My expertise is not to lean you in any specific direction but to educate people. In today's society I believe people leave too much responibility in the hands of their teachers, religious authorities, lawyers, and doctors. I know that we can't be an expert in all things, but I do believe that we should at least research things. There is no stance in chiropractic about vaccinations. I would say that my profession is about 50/50 in favor of vaccines. The goal of a vaccine is to inject a substance (dead/living bacteria and viruses) so that your immune system has an easier time building immunity without the symptoms of that specific disease. I believe that vaccinations have helped millions. We have eradicated diseases like small pox and are about to eradicate others like polio. The World Health Organization spends millions of dollars to help eradicate and fight diseases. With all of this said, I still believe it is the parents choice to give their child vaccinations. They need to understand the risks and benefits of each one. They need to know what Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Polio, Diptheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Hep B, Influenza, HPV and all the others are. Injecting things into your children should be important enough that one should now what they are and their benefits and risks. For instance, if your child has had an allergic reaction to a immunization, you need to report it. If there are any other side effects to the immunization, report it. Did you know that you are never supposed to vaccinate when your child is sick? Did you know that Hepatitis B is spread through unprotected sex and blood transfusions or needles? HPV vaccine is a hot topic because they want to give it to every girl, but it is only spread through unprotected sex. Pertussis is also a hot topic (the "P" in DPT) because authorites have seen various side effects, so they are switching to a different kind.
    My main goal is not to tell anybody what they should do. I just think people should be educated. For this reason my wife and I have decided to vaccinate our daughter, but to avoid a few vaccines, but this is our choice. Every parent should have their choice. If anyone ever feels like they want chat about this topic, "Miggy" can get you in touch with me.

    Two great books
    The Red Book- it is what your pediatrician uses

    Vaccinations- A thoughtful parent's guide How to make Safe, Sensible, decisions about the Risks, Benefits and Alternatives
    Aviva Jill Romm

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  8. We did, but only with the established vaccines. I was offered the new rotavirus vaccine and turned it down, on advice of my nurse practitioner MIL. It's a good thing I did. I would prefer to not innoculate my child with anything trial or new until there is a proven track record.

    I'm not crazy about those people who just depend on others to get their kids vaccinated. Utah has relatively lower rates of childhood vaccinations than other states and as a consequence we've seen a rise in diseases, like measles and mumps, that could have been easily prevented.

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  9. Crystal Barton Workman10:35 AM

    My son Riley is in School in Houston, Texas and last week at his school they had an outbreak of Ruebella. There were several kids that had not been vaccinated that are being treated now. Luckily Riley had his immunizations so it didn't affect him but being that I am pregnant I had to go to the doctor immediately because I had been exposed. Even though I have been vaccinated, my unborn baby is at risk. I say vaccinate.
    Crystal Barton Workman

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  10. So i should have clarified--I DO plan on immunizing our little one, but like Britty and Azucar I believe in reading up on these things and in general being educated about such matters. I agree that it's dangerous not to immunize. . . but at the same time the risk factors might seem minor to most, but if it's your kid who ends up reacting to a vaccine it won't seem so minor anymore you know?

    Also, I found this link for anyone who is interested--http://babysvc.consumerreports.org/baby/index.html?id=16&partner=00000017&ccRelLink=&url=%2Fexpert%2Fbaby%2Fbabyills%2Fbabyvaccine%2F11757.html&xTopic=babyvaccine&bus=plus

    It's on baby center but it's from consumer reports. While they support vaccination, they are also quick to point out some of the problems past vaccines (and some that might still be out there) have had and some suggestions for safe vaccination. Anyway--thanks for all your comments--keep 'em coming.

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  11. There are choices when it comes to a lot of what is done with your baby that I didn't really make myself aware of. Like circumcision. Didn't realize that was a debate. I guess most other countries in the world do not circumcise. I had no clue! I guess there are some risks involved with that as well??? I read about it after the fact and although I still think I would have gone the circumcision route it was interesting to find out the other side. I just thought all baby boys are circumcised now.

    It's so true about not just yes sir, yes sir to the doctor but ask questions... they don't usually like that but if they are any good they will have answers or reading material.

    That is crazy what Crystal said. did it hit the news??? People need to read about stuff like that. Obviously, like Azucar mentioned, people are choosing not to vacc. If everyone is thinking that everyone else is immunized then we are in big trouble.

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  12. Actually watching your own baby son have his circumcision generally limits personal motivation to do it again. Haha.
    Just in case you're curious, the reason other countries don't do it is because they never had Judaism, or if they had Christianity, listened to Jesus when he said it wasn't necessary anymore.
    The U.S. still does it because in the 1890s, people thought it was germ-y, and also some individuals thought it "protected" against masturbation (it doesn't, just in case you're curious). So they started it up again, after not having done it for a couple thousand years or so.
    But, there are lower rates of urinary tract infection for cut boys, and also the HIV infection rate is halved for them - so circumcised boys can be twice as promiscuous! Yay!

    Also: vaccinations rule.

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  13. Just thought you would get a kick out of this story...
    When Lia was a baby we went to Brady's family reunion, attended by some of his distantly-related polygamist cousins. I was talking to one of them, and commented that Lia was fussy because she had gotten her shots the day before. The woman got extremely excited, and began illuminating to me the evils of immunizations. She said "The government doesn't want you to know this, but immunizations can make your baby's brain explode. Well, not always, but it's like 50/50." I think I should move to Vegas, because two more immunized kids later, all of the skulls in our family are still intact!

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  14. Jill--that is awesome. Next time I have a serious conversation about vaccinating I'm going to use that line. Silly polygamists.

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  15. jill-

    I don't know if I can continue to give your marriage my blessing, knowing that you married into a polygamist family...however distant it is:)

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  16. Yes...vaccinate. And that's all I have to say about that...

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