Wednesday, August 4, 2010

You don't WHAT??!

The question of vaccination came up on Hobie's PR recently, I'm sure after that really sad link about the short life of baby Ian who passed away at 47 days old from complications from his Hep B vaccination. I wanted to share my response here too as to why we choose what we do for our children. Sadly I don't share our vaccine status with our own family because I know they wouldn't begin to comprehend. I don't have a problem with people making a choice opposite of ours, I just have a problem with people who think everyone doesn't deserve a choice! Here's what I wrote:

"Hobie is not being vaccinated. As R*** stated, in all but two states you can obtain either a philosophical or religious exemption to vaccines from your local health department and still access public schools. Here in FL you have the religious option and you do not have to state or prove your religion to obtain the exemption form. We happen to homeschool so it's not an issue.

My kids all have different vaccination statuses. I can tell you my oldest DD is high-functioning autistic and has not been right since her second night in the hospital. We spent 5 nights in the children's hospital with her as she had a fever and nonstop screaming, and refused to eat or sleep. They did blood tests and treated her with IV antibiotics but all of her cultures came back negative. We brought her home and she screamed inconsolably for the next 5 months. The *only* thing that happened to her during her hospital stay as a newborn was the Hep B vax, which had just been mandated for newborns. We wound up not getting her any more vaccinations, and our pediatrician here in FL (she was born in TN) agreed that she might be one of those kids who is susceptible to vaccines and our pedi told us NOT to vaccinate her. This is a pedi known for alternate schedules but not anti-vax; in fact I had a friend who didn't want to vax at all and they gave her a really hard time. I don't know if Ibis is damaged from a vaccine. I know she's not like any of my other kids. It's not a discipline issue. She will never be normal. We have to take her behavior into consideration before we go anywhere, be it the store, the pool, the library, you name it.

For me, for my family, the benefits simply do not outweigh the risks at this time. If, down the road, we felt as though there was a serious medical threat in our community that could possibly be helped by a vaccine, we might pursue it. But right now? No. For many of these vaccines, the number of serious adverse reactions and deaths FROM the vaccine are greater per year than the number of serious complications and deaths from the disease the vaccine is supposed to prevent. I know you can argue that the disease's numbers are low because of the vaccine, but many of our vaccines are now proving to be ineffective or have worn off of those who received them. 

Another reason is that we don't feel that, in the case of quite a few of these vaccines, the disease they are attempting to prevent is "bad" enough to risk vaccinating for. For example, diseases like chicken pox, the typical flu, rotavirus, and even the measles are things that our bodies were made to fight. For a typical non-immunocompromised individual, the risks of serious harm or death from these diseases is pretty low. 

We also are concerned that there are ingredients in vaccines that are more harmful than we are led to believe. There are tissues from other animals and human fetuses, formaldehyde, aluminum, and even still mercury in some vaccines (influenza doses typically have mercury). I wouldn't let my kids ingest any of that stuff, especially as infants. I definitely don't want it injected directly into their bloodstream; at least your intestines provide a filtering barrier for some of the bad stuff you might ingest. 

It bothers me personally that vaccines don't have to adhere to the vigorous research and testing and trials that all other FDA-approved drugs must go through before being marketed. Vaccines are often tested on the fly, and sometimes with fatal results. The rotavirus oral vaccine was recalled not all that long ago because it was causing intestinal perforation in some infants. 

I also don't think that a doctor or other medical personnel can afford to be anti-vax. Vaccine reactions are, to my knowledge, the only thing you can't sue your doctor over. You sign a liability waiver every time your child receives a vaccination, and you are taking any and all medical complications off of their liability-conscious hands. If your child is injured or dies from a vaccine reaction, you may receive money from the federal government's Vaccine Injury Compensation fund, but that's it. No suing Dr. Smith because he gave your baby that vaccine, no suing the hospital because they couldn't save your baby. However, you CAN sue your doctor if your baby dies from or is permanently injured by a vaccine-preventable disease. What incentive is there for a doctor to NOT vaccinate according to the CDC schedule? If I were a doctor I'd probably do the same thing. We as a society are so ready to sue that I think doctors are barely even practicing medicine anymore.

Whew, well, that was a long story  I just wanted to give you our personal reasons for why we choose not to vaccinate. I have no problem with people who choose to vaccinate, I just like everyone to know that it is just that: a CHOICE. Never feel like you are being forced either way on the issue, it is up to you as a parent to choose what is best for your family."

So, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. I'm glad that we live in a country where we HAVE a choice!  

1 comment:

someonelsehasit said...

i refused the hep b when isaak was born....why do they give a baby a vax that is to protect against an STD and will 'expire' around 13 yrs? at least,this is what i was told it is.

i am on the fence if i am going to continue vaxing him....and i signed NOTHING at his 2month visit before he got shots....hmmm. i actually need to blog about that...wrote myself a note and