What I really want to say about vaccines

What I really want to say about vaccines

At the pediatrician's office

I read a lot about vaccines, trying to make sense of the information on both sides of the issue. The thing that stands out to me—more than any of the facts spouted by either side—is the hate and vitriol coming from both vaccine supporters and those who believe vaccines are harmful.

As much as both sides try to pretend that the issue is black-and-white, the truth is there are no easy answers. It’s a complicated and scary issue. Babies die from preventable diseases, and babies die from vaccines.

But the problem with this topic is that it’s become a battle, with each side defending their ground at all costs, attacking the character of the people who disagree with them, and digging trenches rather than furthering the conversation.

We need to stop assuming that…

…doctors are being bought out by pharmaceutical companies and are ignorant or uncaring (the doctors I know are kind, compassionate and well-informed)

…parents who choose to vaccinate are just blindly following the government or pharmaceutical companies (most of the parents I know have wrestled with this decision)

…parents who choose not to vaccinate are naive or irresponsible (I repeat: most of the parents I know have wrestled with this decision)

…the researchers who develop vaccines are evil (most researchers believe in their work and want to help people)

…the statistics and stories told by either side are unbiased or the only truth (they’re not)

…the natural community has all of the answers (it doesn’t)

…the medical establishment is infallible (it’s not)

…the government has our individual interests at heart (they don’t)

Personally, we vaccinate. We follow a schedule similar to this one, choosing to go more often and get fewer shots at each appointment. We delay vaccinations when anyone is sick. We delay the MMR. We avoid flu vaccines. These decisions—like most things in my life, it seems—put at odds with people on both sides of the issue. So far we haven’t had any problems one way or the other. But I’m keenly aware that we could end up regretting our decision on either end.

But our approach really isn’t the point of the post—and it’s not one I’m willing to debate. The point is that this is a topic wrought with emotional land mines. No one wants to make the wrong decision, and there are a lot of smart people on both sides.

Our current pediatrician is a mother of young children just like me. She’s not just aware of this issue as a pediatrician; she’s aware as a mother. And while, like many pediatric offices, our practice does require patients to be vaccinated to remain under their care, she bends over backwards to work with us on alternative schedules.

When we lived in Maryland, our pediatrician was an older doctor who cared for my sister all through her childhood and is one of the godliest men I’ve ever met. He remains, to this day, one of my favorite preachers, and I’ll never forget how he happily looked at Dylan for us at church on the Saturday night after she was born when she developed jaundice. He’s also a virologist, and he feels strongly about the benefits and importance of vaccines. Do I believe he’s infallible? No, of course not. But I do absolutely believe he’s well informed and that his number one priority is the health and safety of children.

On the other hand, a friend of mine stopped vaccinating after her daughter had a scary reaction to her first DTaP shot. The danger of a repeat reaction for her or one of her other children outweighs the benefits for their family. One can hardly blame her for her feelings.

Honestly, regardless of how I feel about vaccines, I believe parents should have the right to make those decisions for their children. I don’t want the government telling me how to raise my kids, and I think other parents deserve that same respect.

When either side approaches the conversation as if they alone have all of the facts and anyone who disagrees is either stupid or neglectful, the conversation devolves into a hate fest rather than an intelligent, helpful dialogue. There are people out there truly searching for the answers. How about we all try to have a respectful conversation about it instead?

P.S. I’m tempted to turn off the comments on this post before it even goes live. If you want to talk about the need for respectful conversation, I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you want to belittle my choices or the choices of anyone else on either side of this issue…please do that somewhere else.

This Post Has 400 Comments

  1. Excellent post. I think the key point that you mention twice is, just because someone makes a different decision than you doesn’t mean they are uneducated, irresponsible or stupid. Spewing hate, name calling, finger pointing, does nothing to advance either side of this debate, nor any other. Sometimes we should do less talking and more listening, you don’t have to agree with each other, but you sure can respect each other.

  2. Mandi, I really appreciate your efforts to post information on current issues in such a balanced way. I am sure there will always be people who don’t take it well, but personally I think it is better to address the issues as you do rather than not speaking up at all for fear of offending someone.

    I vaccinate my daughter (she’s 9). I respect people who make the decision not to vaccinate. I do think it is important for people to be as well informed as they can be on the topic before making their decision though. A celebrity or any other layman isn’t necessarily the best source of factual information. It is still important to do your own research and choose the path that is best for your family.

  3. I so appreciate this and I think you’re brave to leave comments open. 😉 I am so bothered by the mean spirited or at least the “I know my way is right” ways people discuss. This is a complicated issue and there is no perfect solution. Every family has to figure out what is best for them and not be guilted into thinking they are making poor decisions.

  4. Mandi, you almost completely match my position. I believe in vaccinations and my kids are fully vaccinated, but I did ask the questions. For me, the telling point was that I could not find one doctor who did not vaccinate his/her children. While I obviously think it is the right thing to do and I hope others will make the same choice, I respect their right to make their own decision. The government should never be allowed the power to parent our children. Beautiful, intelligent, non-judgmental post.

  5. I definitely agree with the point you made near the end, whether someone vaccinates or not (though I personally do), it should not be the government’s choice whether or not people vaccinate. As soon as we let a government decide what we have to put in our bodies, who knows where it would go from there :/

  6. Excellent post. Though I read and worry, I have gone ahead and had my 3 daughters vaccinated. Thankfully, no adverse affects have shown up. But I do completely understand when people decide it’s not for them.

  7. This post makes me very sad. Up until now I have always enjoyed your blog. Vaccines aren’t something you “believe” in. They save lives, period. Those people that can’t vaccinate for various, legitimate various reasons should be the first to want to ensure that others in the community are fully vaccinated, in order to maintain herd immunity and help protect their children. You are not a medical professional and you should not be discussing medical issues.

  8. Like many issues you present, I agree with you 100%. Vaccination is something I’ve heavily wrestled with as a parent and I’ll leave it at that. But the vaccine war makes me sick to my stomach. It is just people being cruel and it truly is coming from both sides. I feel a visceral anger when I see Facebook posts/memes berating parents for their (really hard) decision one way or the other. You’re right in that no one (Or, only One) is infallible and we may not know the consequences of our decisions (of all sorts) until much later and maybe never. But the unkindness and aggression and name calling – it’s got to stop.

  9. Everyone is discussing these issues. Mandi hasn’t purported to be a medical professional. Rather, she is a concerned, conscientious parent and someone who is willing to stick her neck out to encourage us to dialogue intelligently and maturely. Good for her!

  10. Agreed. Too many times people attack others for views differently than their own. I too struggled a bit with immunizations (still do as my kids reach teen years) but I do believe that they have been instrumental in keeping serious diseases under control for the better of our country. So many things that we could still be struggling with have stopped. However, I will say that the measles outbreak in California has me curious. How long will the vaccines continue to work, as I know so diseases can “morph”. Time will tell I suppose.

  11. I’m sorry you feel that way, Elizabeth. The fact is that we do have a legal choice on whether to vaccinate our children or not. Not once in this post did I attempt to give medical advice, and my intention was not to sway anyone’s decision one way or the other (although I did say that our family vaccinates, so I have to admit that I expected this comment from someone who is opposed to vaccines rather than someone who is “pro” vaccine), but to raise the level of conversation from one that is hateful and condescending—on both sides—to one that is respectful. I stand by that purpose and this post.

  12. I’ve actually heard that measles is (one of?) the most stable viruses around in that it hasn’t morphed at all and they don’t expect it to. Don’t quote me on that because I don’t remember the source, but it caught my attention!

  13. That is what worries me too, Jen. And there are times when I want to see the government step in, for sure—like bans on smoking in cars with kids, which protect innocent victims—but I see the slippery slope in all of those things.

  14. I’m just glad my kids are grown and I don’t have to make that decision!!

  15. To vaccinate or not to vaccinate is a personal choice of parents and to be subjected to judgmental remarks is as ignorant as being judged by one’s skin color…Freedom of choice people…I choose to vaccinate but that’s MY right as a parent…I chose NOT to have my children vaccinated for TB…Once again its MY right to do so as a parent…Come let’s be proactive in this thing…We all want the same thing – for our children to be healthy and safe. Just because our methods are different doesn’t change the mutually shared objective.

  16. This is a wonderful article. I plan to approach the subject on my blog in the same way, but from the non-vaccinating side. I just wish others who vaccinated were as respectful as you are.

  17. I yearn for the days when we mommies support each other instead of trying to belittle one another. Great post, Mandi. Thanks for tackling the tough issues and being a calm voice in a crazy world.

  18. The fact that there are two sides doesn’t mean that each decision is equally valid. The scientific literacy of this nation is failing us in this discussion. When an immunologist is on a talk show to represent the pro vaccine side and a chiropractor that sells herbs is presented as the other side they are falsely made to appear equally valid. The hard thing about this debate is while both sides have “feelings” one side also holds the predominant amount of facts established by reasonable experts.

    I am an adult woman living with (and slowly dying from) the consequences of a disease that is now vaccine preventable. My mother had no choice. But all healthy organic living didn’t protect me. I am so grateful that most of you don’t understand long term post infectious syndromes. There are far more than just polio. I “survived” my childhood illness. I would be written off as a success. But I have suffered and will suffer a great deal more.

    We haven’t lived with these things in so long. But don’t forget us, the long term sufferers. There is more than just life and death.

  19. As a family doc and the mother of two littles, I understand and empathize with any parent who wants to do what is best for his or her child. I think that is why it is so dismaying to me that a conversation about the risks and benefits of vaccines presents both sides as equally valid alternatives. In the same way that car seats are now universally recognized as lifesaving interventions, vaccines are scientifically proven (over decades) to save childrens’ lives.

    When I feel that it is actually unethical for me to recognize a premise of an alternate view as potentially valid, how do I discuss this topic compassionately but without sounding dismissve?

  20. It makes me sad that Elizabeth cannot drop the judgement and see the point YOU’RE trying to make. I think this is one of the most balanced discussions on vaccines that I have ever read. Great job, Mandi!
    I DO believe in vaccines, and I’m not using quotes around the word! It would be great to think that everyone is looking out for each other, but that’s not reality. This is not a conversation stated with medical facts, no one is trying to act like a medical professional. Please look at your wording, Elizabeth….using the word “should” twice in a paragraph is a good indicator of passing judgement. We SHOULD all respect each other’s choices.

  21. My response is for Elizabeth, not Andrea!

  22. Flo, I don’t disagree with anything you’ve written. But I also don’t think it changes the need for respectful dialogue (which you contributed to with your comment — thank you!). That’s the point I’m hoping to make.

  23. Laura, that is a really great question. I wish I knew the answer. I think it’s probably easier for a pediatrician to have these conversations with an established parent who knows and trusts them, but the nature of vaccines is such that you end up having it more often with parents of new patients (ie, new babies). i don’t know where the ethical lines of sharing are, but as a patient I would want to hear about your decision to vaccinate, and I would want you to respect my right to make even the “wrong” decision.

  24. I definitely believe in vaccines, but I also definitely believe that we shouldn’t be giving our little ones 6 shots at one time. We do an alternative schedule and also delay the MMR. I think that both sides are valid. However, I do not believe that the government should be in charge of a vaccine schedule and whether or not a child is vaccinated.

    A piece that I think everyone is overlooking, is immigration, and the requirements for vaccinations of those coming into the US. Obviously there are people that don’t go through the proper channels to come into the country, and therefore are most likely NOT vaccinated against the diseases that we see popping up again that we haven’t seen for so long. I do wish that piece could also be part of the conversation, and not just blaming a measles outbreak on parents that are choosing not to vaccinate their children.

  25. I wish you would edit this statement. “Babies die from preventable diseases, and babies die from vaccines.” The rates of death from an allergic reaction to a vaccine or complications associated from a vaccine are so incredibly low. In most cases, the worst complications that arise are opportune infections which could be argued that the patient would have most likely been exposed to either way. And while allergic reactions are very serious, so are the preventable diseases.

  26. Overall I agree with this post. However, I don’t see it as just an individual decision for my children. Not vaccinating is a choice that also can have dire consequences for other people’s children, as we’ve seen in the news lately. Our society tends to glorify the rights of the individual, and while those are very important I think we need to think of others as well when we’re making these important decisions.

  27. We do not follow a typical vaccination schedule, and waited until our children’s brains were fully developed (21/2-3) before giving them their first shot. What I chose to do in my family is far less important than the fact that I researched, sought medical counsel, and made an educated decision to do what I felt was best for my family. I love your article, because it shouldn’t be a fight. It is really hard to understand people when you are busy yelling at them. I am not an extreme person, and I put a lot of effort into making this decision, but it is probably one of the toughest calls I have made as a parent. What I hate is that it isn’t black and white and no matter what you decide to do you will always have a few doubts. I believe self-doubt is what is often fueling the debates in the vaccine world.

  28. Thank you for a truly refreshing post on an unfortunately contentious subject.

  29. My comment isn’t about vaccines, but rather the discussion surrounding them: As strongly as I feel about this issue (I’m pro-vaccine), I don’t think name-calling or attacking changes anything for the better. It only alienates parents and discourages them from keeping an open mind & educating themselves. I also don’t think anyone on either side has malicious intent. We all want what’s best for our kids. The problem with this issue is – one parent’s decision affects more than just their own kid(s). It’s frustrating, to say the least.

  30. Thank you for this! It’s like you’re in my head :).

  31. The two biggest reasons I vaccinate are:

    1. There is global medical/scientific consensus on vaccines.Thousands of doctors, scientists and researchers have collaborated on vaccines and give vaccines to their loved ones.

    2. To protect those who are vulnerable (infants/immuno-compromised) through herd immunity. This is a way to love my neighbor.

    Do I feel nervous that my child will have a rare reaction? Yes. Then I override my feelings with logic and have gratitude to live in a time where I am not burying all my children because of these diseases like mothers before me did and know that I am helping protect others too.

  32. I wish this kind of attitude to a hot button topic had a name – ‘level headed’ comes to mind, but is too bland for a good PR push – because most of what you say could also be applied to a number of other divisive issues. It’s a sad comment on our reactionary tendencies as humans that it takes well worded paragraph after paragraph just to get to a place of ‘it’s complicated so it’s ok to having varying views’. I feel like if we could get a nice banner for that attitude maybe more discussions could start there. Complicated Compassionate View Point? Nope, that’s a wordy monstrosity. Anyway…

    I’d like to add something to the discussion that I think gets left out when we talk about parents making choices versus government making choices. Which is how, or upon what information, are the parents making those decisions? Parenting and working and living don’t leave time for some to do the research that might be required of such a complex issue, and sadly that leaves many people gathering their opinions from less then qualified sources (say Jenny McCarthy). And while you may be fortunate enough to have found doctors with high integrity and ethic, that is not a given. Especially for the poor who rely upon a medical world which at least now has some access, but if you try to get to a doctor through the government plan, you’ll find out that its a sad state of bottom feeding as far as who you are allowed to see. Which is to say if the government is denied the right to protect its citizens because we make vaccinne’s a parents choice, we are condemning a certain number of people to a mistake they wouldn’t want to make but don’t know better. And just like seat belt laws, I think we all agree there are times when the government must step in with law for the health of people.

    I’d also like to add, and again in full understanding that this should not be a ‘sided’ issue, but I think the vaccine alarm bell is leading people away from more true culprits of growth in health problems. Vaccine’s are highly researched, highly watched, relatively small dose imbalances introduced into the child’s system. They are an easy target for fear: Something’s wrong, well what was added that was different?! Truthfully, though of course there are rare exceptions as with all things, the human body, even a child’s, is quite capable of handling even a toxin at such incremental and rare doses. One cigarette does not cause cancer. If you really want to look to find what’s effecting our children, look to what is given to them REGULARLY. That is where our problem lies. The food we eat, it’s genetic disruption and chemical integration, are introducing toxic elements into our children day after day after day. We risk wasting our time and energy dealing with this problem the more we legitimize a witch hunt with vaccines.

  33. I am pro vaccines! I do work in the medical field, actually I am a pediatric nurse. I give shots everyday to children & completely believe in what I do. I think this post is great, I understand the concerns, I see parents that want to gather all info & make the best decision for their child & can respect that. What I have a hard time with is the parents that say “cant give them shots because they cry”…this is not a educated answer! Also, the parents that get angry at us(the people in the medical field) giving them info &/or websites that are worthy reading because they feel we are telling them what to do….NO we actually do know what we are doing & want you to make an educated choice-we would NOT be doing our job if we didn’t give the information. I have doing this for over 10 years & work with some that have been doing this for over 20 years & NONE of us get ‘paid off by the drug companies’ or I would be able to retire!

  34. I think that’s a very valid part of the conversation, Katie—thanks for chiming in!

  35. It is pretty sad that it needed a whole post, huh? We could change the details and apply it effectively to any conversation.

    And I agree with everything else you wrote as well!

  36. I agree with the spreading out the timing of vaccines instead of getting them all at once. As for the government involvement, we have a lower immunization rate than quite a few other large countries. Immigrants shouldn’t be treated differently than our children though, and blaming them for an outbreak is unfounded since, as I said (and it is proven) that quite a few other countries have 97-100% immunization rate.

  37. I did vaccinate my kids but on an alternative schedule. Made me feel better not putting so many things in their little bodies at once. I do believe that parents should have the right to decide for their family. It really is scary but thankfully vaccines have also saved many lives! Thanks for your post! I’m sure all parents carefully decide what’s best for their child!

  38. Excellent post Mandi!!

  39. Vaccinating can also have dire consequences for the people around the recently vaccinated. When my best friend’s mother was going through chemo, her doctors told me not to have my children around her if they recently received certain vaccinations because they could possibly pass the disease they were vaccinated for to her. It really goes both ways.

  40. I appreciate your post. You handled your viewpoint very honestly and respectfully. We, too, vaccinated all our children. However, with our youngest, who is now 11, I remember specifically having to sign a waiver form with one of his vaccinations. I don’t remember which one, but it was in the 6-9 month range. At the time, we didn’t have insurance, and the doctor told me we would be receiving the health department version of the vaccine, not the one used at the doctor’s office, which is why I had to sign the waiver. Looking back, I have to say I should have refused the vaccine, and the waiver should have been my flag. I never had to sign one before, and our last child was the youngest of five. At his one year check up, the doctor noticed a difference, but we were going to monitor it. At 18 months, he had completely stopped talking, using verbal grunts or pointing at things he wanted. The doctor said she would let it go a bit longer, allowing me to work with him before taking additional steps. By the time he was two, we had made some huge life changes. He saw a different doctor for his two year check up, and he wanted to immediately classify our son as “autistic.” I refused to let him do that and went to the original pediatrician, who was now two hours away, for a second opinion. She said, while there were some definite causes for concern, she wasn’t ready to go all the way to autism, so we left with a diagnosis of PDD-nos and a plan of action. At 30 months, we made the decision to obtain speech and occupational therapy services, because he still wasn’t talking. He was tested for autism at the age of five. It was determined that, while he displayed some characteristics of autism, he didn’t score high enough to fall on the spectrum. He was able to continue receiving speech therapy services until the age of 8. At that time, in order to continue, he had to have a diagnosis. We pulled him from receiving any further services. I firmly believe everything he has been through in all this points directly to that one vaccine that I should have refused. However, I am on the side of the debate that says, let the parents choose. I’m not going to force my opinion on anyone, and I certainly do NOT want government involvement in my parental decisions.

  41. I agree with you COMPLETELY! All 3 of my children were vaccinated and I did space them out and NEVER if they were sick…my children have never had a flu shot and some swear by it… My boys are 22 and 16 and they are fine….sadly my daughter passed away in 2002 due to complications from a tonsilectomy …. I was also skeptical of the surgery but at the time it was necessary…. I think we all make the best decisions for our families but hearing stories from my parents and grandparents about how many children died from diseases that we have pretty much eradicated is amazing….at one time it was common for families to have one or more children die of diseases that we don’t even think about today

  42. Cheryl Bodemann: I so appreciate this opportunity to share my experience without coming across as being judgemental. I just want to share how these shots have affected my family and extended family. I deal with guilt for having given my children the vaccines. Although strong reactions might be rare, me and my family have to live with lifelong consequences from the shots. One family member even got encephalitis and is severely mentally and physically handicapped. Most (not all) of my siblings had adverse reactions to the shots. The same goes for our children. Can you blame my children for not wanting to take the chance of vaccinating? Actually some did and, again, reactions. Please don’t judge me for making my decision. It’s a whole different ball game for those who have to live the rest of their lives with the devastating results of these shots. Even our doctor, having seen what has happened to me and my extended family, has recommended that we should no longer give shots to our children. I do not appreciate it when people tell me I am putting their children at risk or there is no way these handicaps were caused by the shots. I do not judge people for giving the shots and would appreciate people not judging me for not getting my children vaccinated. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share without feeling like I’m on the defense. I feel like so many people are sharing the pro’s to vaccinating; I just wanted to share a legitimate reason not to.

  43. I just want to add that the government (and the CDC) have a vaccine schedule for parents to follow (usually lining up with well checks) is that not every parent thoughtfully researches vaccines and if it were up to the average parent, they may not remember or keep track of what vaccines their child has had yet or not. And they give many at once because MOST parents, especially working parents, are not able to keep coming back every few weeks with their child. So although I’m not saying the govt should force vaccination, the schedule is there for a reason. Mostly to offer protection from dangerous illness when not everyone has the time or ability to “make their own schedule”. Although that is what our family does 🙂 And even though some may cite how many children die (or have a reaction to) vaccines, the truth is, it’s not always that clear of a connection. It may or may not have been the vaccine and sadly unless there is a trend being seen, it could just be bad timing. So I try not to become fearful by thinking vaccines are “dangerous”. Anyone can have a reaction to almost anything but then we’d have to ban all allergenic food and all pharmaceutical medicine. The truth is you really can’t know how your child will react just like you can’t know if your child will contract deadly meningitis because they were not vaccinated with HiB vaccine. It is good to be informed either way but we are not in control of our children’s lives, ultimately. Someone far wiser is!

  44. I appreciate your stance on having a civil dialogue on this topic and your sweet nature. The fact of the matter is human beings have been seasoned to think the “squeaky wheel gets the oil” and that’s why some of us are so “loud” when expressing our opinions. Just remember that when someone is hateful or malicious, it’s a reflection of their character, not yours!!

  45. I think it’s really unfortunate that people now think medical issues are so sacred that a layman cannot even discuss them. So if we are not medical professionals, we can’t discuss medical issues? Layman should be able to discuss and debate issues represented by any profession – religious, medical, etc. I certainly feel that as an educated person, I have the right to discuss any issue. To close one topic off as “not open for debate” is not conducive to learning and deepening understanding. Vaccines save lives. But they also have been *known* to cause medical problems in children. I can discuss this, certainly. We all should be free to do so.

  46. One of the problems about the conversation is that much of the evidence is anecdotal. The pro side would say “yes” because they know people and the anti side would say “no” because they know people, this is long before either side considers the science. And, of course, there are pots of money to be made which muddies the waters significantly.

  47. Heather, I wanted to respond to your post about immigration and vaccines . The majority of South America and Mexico as well as a number of other countries that people frequently migrate from actual have higher vaccination rates than the US. Ours is around 92% where I believe South America and mexicos stand between 94 & 96 %. I will try to find the site w that info for verification of percentages. However, I personally don’t bueve that’s where our concern should lie as far as spreading diseases .

  48. Unless you believe that the rate of adverse reactions is highly underreported. The fact is that doctors do not want to believe parents who suggest that something went wrong with their children due to vaccines. We have a friend whose son was progressing on par for his age. He missed a set of vaccines and the doctor doubled him up on his 3 year wellness check. He, within a week, regressed completely. He stopped talking, started rocking all the time, hitting himself when stressed. The doctors insisted it had nothing to do with his shots….his parents and their friends know differently. Japan in the 70’s moved to delay vaccinations until after age 2 and almost eradicated SIDS. When is SIDS most common? Between 2-6 months when babies are given a dizzying array of shots with brains that are nowhere near developed and an immune system that can’t even produce an adequate antibody. This is why they must be vaccinated several times for the same illness in the first year. I vaccinate my kids but I use an alternate schedule. I too have experienced what I believe are adverse reactions from vaccines. My 2 year old has baby warts which were almost gone. She was a little rashy but even that had cleared up getting her off dairy. We got her 2 year shots and within 2 weeks, her baby warts came roaring back, along with her rash. No one is touching her with a shot until the skin problems are cleared up again. Did I report it? No. I’m sure a doctor would dismiss it as coincidence.

  49. Well said! I will have to share this one 🙂

  50. Thank you for blogging this, I work in pharmaceutical’s. I see both sides, as where I live whooping cough has hit some children. I think that some of these vaccines aren’t tested for long enough periods of time. Take an injection like the one to prevent STD’S,the laboratories and scientists been to be following ALL their test subject from the time of injection to the time of death in each individual. People need to be informed about the long term effects. We all know that every medicine we take has a list of side effects. Parents need to be informed in ways they can understand, not in scientific terms.


  51. Yes. Yes yes yes. To all of this. Well said!

  52. I love your article and will be reposting to my Facebook page where the vaccine debate has raged on. As a parent of a child who had one of those “one in a million” reactions….I can say that from this side of the coin these decisions are even more difficult. My son was a perfectly healthy 2 month old baby when we had him vaccinated and 5 days later he had (what even doctors would not argue) was a severe reaction that left him paralyzed from the mid chest down and in a wheelchair. Needless to say, we never vaccinated him again. Then our daughter came along and we didn’t vaccinate her either because no one could guarantee me that this is not something genetic and wouldn’t happen again. I realize that we are rolling the dice in this situation and it’s extremely hard. My daughter could get a vaccine preventable disease as easily as my son was forever damaged by the thing that was meant to protect him. I am grateful for this article because it really represents my thinking on this subject. Thank you.

  53. WELL put, Mandi

  54. Becci, I cannot even imagine walking in your shoes. I am SO sorry about your son’s vaccine injury.


  56. I believe in vaccines. I also believe that breastfeeding is best, however, I don’t think I or anyone else (government) should have the right to tell us how to raise our children. Just like people insist on bashing each other for working/not working, breastfeeding or not, now we’re bashing each other about vaccinations! Really? All anyone wants is what’s BEST for THEIR child! People need to learn to respect others choices without bashing each other. As parents, we should be supporting each other’s right to choose!

  57. appreciate the balanced view, refreshing. People get passionate about these choices as both sides believe the very life of their precious baby is at stake… truth. I couldn’t make the decision alone. I took it to prayer and found my answers there. Thank you.

  58. Thanks for a balanced approach to this. I know people who fully vaccinate, some who use an alternate schedule, and some who choose not to vaccinate at all. All are parents who love their kids and are doing what they fell is best for their children. It’s time for the hate and the threats to stop.

  59. In other countries, where these diseases are incredibly prevalent (I have spent time living in Zambia), the vaccine schedule is far more aggressive than in the US. MMR is given at 6 months, and babies receive a tremendous number of shots at this age because it is when Momma’s immunity runs out of the body and babies are now building their own.

  60. If the “death” part of vaccination or diseases is the only one you are concerned about I can understand your statement. The problem that most parents worry about isn’t “death” from a vaccine. The issue is the learning disabilities, allergies (food and body), more prevalent respiratory issues (colds, asthma), seizures and immediate reactions tp vaccines. Make no mistake, the “possible side effects” are not side effects. They are direct effects of a vaccine. They are not “normal” they are “common.” Big difference.

    I’ve heard people say (not you), that healthy children can tolerate a vaccine or 4 at a time. Healthy children can easily tolerate a disease also. With medical care fr symptoms. They will be immune for life.

    So let me suggest this way of looking at it. More children have REACTIONS and reactions or “effects” from vaccines than they do from catching a disease.

  61. Thank you Mandi! This issue goes beyond vaccines. So many times I see news blips on Facebook and I never want to comment not because people disagree with each other, but because of the negative comments and name-calling people do. Imagine how much we could actually learn from each other if we listened instead of getting defensive and calling each other names all the time.

  62. There are more babies/children that die from being unvaccinated than there are from an allergic reaction to the vaccine. I firmly believe EVERY parent has the right to raise their child as they see fit within logic (some parents are just not suitable for parenting – thus CPS). HOWEVER, if a persons actions, or lack thereof, are capable of harming others then they need to stay out of the general population. PERIOD! Otherwise “they” are deciding whether or not other people’s children can be harmed due to reinfection. My child cannot kill yours by being vaccinated but yours CAN kill mine for not. Just as parents trust the government in making the decision on whether Ebola infected people should be allowed into the general population, they should understsnd why the government, who has allowed for extensive studies on vaccines, thinks it’s best for kids to be vaccinated. People need to stop being selfish and think of others because, again, vaccinated children do not spread disease and kill unvaccinated ones. It can’t be much clearer than that.

  63. Thank you so much! My father had polio as an infant and has, all of his life, suffered the effects of it. Never complaining, God bless him. I am an RN and I also practice natural medicine everyday but I firmly believe in vaccinations. I do believe that the amount of and intense scheduling of vaccines should be altered to be spread out over a longer period of time. Unfortunately, I believe that the unvaccinated population will again bring to prevalence the diseases that were once eradicated years ago by proper use of vaccines.

  64. My goodness, I hope you don’t get hateful comments (I’m too busy to read them myself…sorry anyone whose caps lock is stuck in the ‘on’ position) as this is an amazing article that has the rare combination of being able to be in the middle of an issue, yet still say something substantive. Thank you!

  65. Very Well spoken. I enjoyed reading your comments. I’ve just given birth to my third child, a preemie this time. For the first time, I’m terrified for my child and being able to protect her from communicable diseases, and i hate that. I find myself asking Adults who come near her not only to please wash or use sanitizer, but “did you have your flu, TDAP, and MMR?” And the thing is, while I agree that being a parent means doing what you feel is best to keep your child safe, I also believe in a worldly view……doing what’s best to keep our world and all the people in it safe. Part of that responsibility includes preventing things that are preventable. I vaccinate because 1. i believe it’s best for the safety of all my family because it prevents communicable disease better than anything else, and 2. I want a healthy world and for my childrens children to be able to born into a healthy world. I believe vaccinating will accomplish this more than I believe it won’t.

  66. Nicely said. And I also agree the gov shouldn’t force vaccines just as I believe another person shouldn’t force my child to be exposed to the dangers of infection because they chose not to vaccinate. They should home school if they choose not to. Majority should rule and, yes, I’d keep my kids home if the majority flip flopped because it would only be fair.

  67. Great point!

  68. Excellent post. Neither side has all the answers. I like to refer people on both sides of the issue straight to Merck’s own website to download the Vaccine Package Insert for the MMR vaccine so they can read it in its entirety and form their own opinion. In that document, parents will read that newly vaccinated individuals can spread these diseases. They will read that not all patients who receive the MMR become immune to these diseases. They will read that the MMR has caused encephalitis, which has a symptom list extremely close to autism. Now that being said, everyone in our house had the MMR vaccine. But it took our son within an inch of his life, and after the fact, I learned both the pros and cons of vaccination. So I just beg everyone to please understand that unvaccinated people are not nearly as big of a “problem” as Merck the company is. They’re not being forthcoming about the downsides, failures, and side effects of their drug. At the end of the day, the MMR is a drug, and like any drug, it doesn’t work for everyone. It doesn’t affect everyone in the same way, and it poses different risks for different populations. Merck is actually being sued right now by scientists and pediatricians for fraud regarding how they represent the MMR. That is very important information that the nightly news segments aren’t touching, perhaps because Merck is such a huge advertising sponsor. We have to all agree to read for ourselves and ask questions for ourselves.

  69. I chose not to vaccinate 20 years ago with my first. I did a lot of research and found that many Dr’s and scientists, have found vaccines unsafe. I’m disappointed to see people say that not vaccinating is not a valid choice. Our pediatrician whole heartedly agreed with that choice.
    I love my children more than life itself! I breastfed for a year, kept my kids away from medicine, and home schooled them. My kids are healthier and smarter than most and I have never regretted going against the flow even though it was really difficult sometimes. My heart would break if that very valid choice was taken away from my grandchildren. My heart would break for our America without freedoms.

  70. If you believe vaccines prevent desease…. it doesn’t make sense they would be infected or endangered by a non vaccinated…….

  71. You need to make sure that people who’ve been vaccinated with in 7 weeks don’t come in contact with your child. They are much more likely to spread a disease than the unvacinated who more likely not be carrying one. This is according to vaccine inserts, which many Dr’s don’t read.

  72. Even if it is low, it still does happen. Sweeping facts under the rug makes parents less trustful.

  73. I am so grateful you write about this! Hearing everybody else’s comments and not in a “Keep your kid away from mine” voice is a huge relief!

    I was vaccinated. My (grand)parents were told to have me checked for ADHD when I was in kindergarten. They thought that was the “I don’t discipline my child” syndrome so they never did. I have never been diagnosed but checking myself against friends and blogs of people who have it I believe I do.

    We planned an alternate vaccine schedule for our son at 18 months he had a bad reaction. We never vaccinated again. He has allergies, asthma & gets sick easily. He is behind all his classmates in learning & requires 1-on-1 to help him learn. He was diagnosed with Hyperactivity a few months ago (he is now 4) he is only a few point away from ADHD (he was 15 points over on the test but they didn’t want to settle on that just yet).

    Our daughter came and we never vaccinated her. She has never had health problem. She is highly advanced (she had already surpassed her brother). She rarely gets sick.

    My life questions are:
    Did I stop the thing that brought on his Hyperactivity?
    Had I not would it have progressed into autism (some believe ADHD is just the mildest form of symptomatology that is found on the autism spectrum)?
    Is this something that I passed on to him?
    If I vaccinate my daughter will she wind up like my son?
    If she get one of the diseases will she pass it on to my son?
    Am I sacrificing her health and well being out of fear?
    This list could last forever…

    Every time one of their check ups comes up I battle with this again. It’s a never ending cycle. I pray and settle on “I can control everything & I can’t trust everybody’s opinion”. I know my kids. I know their normal. I know when they are set “off balance”. When we told our pediatrician that we would no longer be vaccinating our son she asked why (we were on a limited schedule already). We told her his reaction to the previous vaccination and she told me, “This is why I beg parents to be educated and pay attention to their kids. I don’t really know your child. You do.” I thank God everyday for those words. They have been my sanity saver.

    Tomorrow is not promised to me or to you, but we will feel guilty if we “ruin” our child’s future and that is why this is such a hot issue. Thank you so much for this post!

  74. Hi. I am a grandmother who vaccinated all three of my children….but I have to say, if I had it to do over again, I don’t know if I would. I had the unhappy experience of watching a happy, healthy, verbal, and engaging child turn diagnosed autistic and there were no changes in her life except the vaccines. My friend has that to live with for the rest of her life. I see her deal with the worry of what will happen to this precious baby of hers when she is no longer around…..she has to worry about her every day. I know this has nothing to do with the wanted “respectful conversation” you asked for, but I say all that to say this……YES!!!! when you attack someone for their choices, you have NO idea what walk they have walked or what experiences they have lived. A respectful conversation just might give an opening for you to understand that not all children come out of the vaccines perfect and wonderful. There are definitely risks. Hope this was ok to write. Not trying to be mean, just wanna show we all have different reasons for what we do.

  75. There are many children who have medical conditions which makes vaccination impossible (such as autoimmune disorders or treatments associated with cancer). So, by not vaccinating, those children are endangered. That is the idea.

  76. My concern is the paralysis. My daughter was vaccinated for the flu, because her doctor recommended it. She ended up with Transverse Myelitis. That is a rare side effect, but not worth not catching the flu that year.

  77. Mandi thank you for your well presented and politely written remarks. I have a 7 week old son who is going to be due to be vaccinated at his next pediatrician visit, but my husband and I have been talking and decided to delay the vaccination. We are not anti-vaccine as a whole, but we were both vaccinated as infants and both suffered strong reactions (he was hospitalized with a 105 fever) so have decided to wait until our son is a little older and his tiny body is stronger. As his parents we are around him every day and are the most familiar with his health and well-being, so we feel that we should be allowed to do all the research on both sides and then make that judgement call. If our friends who also have young babies choose to vaccinate immediately, that is their decision and we respect that, and just as we wouldn’t tell them what to do with their children we expect that they will respect our decision and not accuse us of being bad, evil or unloving parents or haters of society in general.

  78. I have the same issues in my family. I hate when people say we are genetically inferior and we shouldn’t have children, when if we have no shots we are fine. It’s hurtful. It’s wrong too.

  79. That last line should read “REACTIONS and permanent reactions or ‘effects’ from vaccines than they do from catching a disease.

  80. There are immune compromised children who may not be completely protected by the vaccines.

  81. What a great post! Thank-you!

  82. I am the mother of 6 children. I vaccinated all of my children until my 4th daughter ended up paralyzed from the hips down from the flu vaccine. She still can not feel her feet at 11 years of age, but she is walking with braces. We consider that a win.

    I don’t hate parents that vaccinate, in fact they can keep my children safer, so long as they weren’t recently vaccinated. However, I will not vaccinate the rest of my children that have not been vaccinated ever now.

    My other daughter had seizures after the DTaP. She is allergic to the Pertussis part. Now that she is older she can not get a booster because of the fact that Td vaccines are hard to find. I have two children that had reactions.

    When I hear people call me a moron, a loser, genetically inferior, a baby killer, it hurts. I didn’t make these decisions lightly. No mother does. It doesn’t even matter that my children are medically incapable of having vaccines to many proclaiming I am a terrible murderous person. I don’t want children to be harmed. But I refuse to accept that my children being crippled is “the price I must pay to be in a civilized society.” If it were civilized it wouldn’t demand such sacrifice and heart ache from parents against their will.

    I can live with the fact I made a mistake in letting my daughter get the flu shot. I couldn’t if the state forced me to.

    I think parents should decide.

  83. But she’s a mom and this is definitely a mom issue. Every single mom will have to make a decision one way or another. And I personally enjoyed reading about hers.

  84. I believe in vaccinating your children . When it comes to disease control I do believe in regulation . I do not think it’s government trying to control the way you raise your children . They’re certain things I believe are essential to every child . Education , vaccination, and good parenting . A parent that is there to teach and protect them .

  85. We don’t vaccinate. We used to. I totally and completely respect both sides. I believe in a parent’s right to choose what is best for their own family. (like breast/bottlefeeding, circumcision, schooling, etc) Unfortunately, most time the finger pointing is done in the direction of the non-vaccinaters. Scientifically speaking though, there has been evidence(and isn’t there always evidence for the side we choose?) that it could very well be ther other way around. So, I stand on record to say, we respect both sides and only hope for the same…however, in the days to come, I believe parents will have the right to choose stripped from them because fear of the uncertainty will reign.

  86. I’m a labor and delivery nurse and I will often have patients that will come in and they don’t want to follow their doctor’s orders. The way I approach it is by always starting with, “Can you tell why you don’t want to do ‘x’?” I will then clear up anything they might have read on a blog, remind them of their patient rights so they don’t feel forced to do anything they don’t want to, suggest accommodations if possible, and then follow with my personal feelings and experience. My personal view/experience usually goes something like, “I know becoming a new mom can be scary and overwhelming and now there is so much information out there, both good and bad, that it becomes very confusing. That being said, knowing what I know as a nurse, I had no hesitation when it was my turn to do’x’.” I think reminding them that I was once a new parent and went through the same fears and questions helps them see we’re not the enemy and truly want what is best for them.

  87. We vaccinate, I read everything, I avoid flu shots, I care for my grand daughter and so far she is healthy. I treat her with natural remedies and essential oils but I don’t rely on them solely. I see both sides, its hard doing it right, is there a right way? We just do our best and try to keep her safe. So far its working, If I lost her I think I would DIE! so that’s just not an option.

  88. Evie , are you a nurse . You sound like a nurse I worked with named Evie M.

  89. I am a pharmacy school student and not a mother. I have studied vaccines in school and even learned how to actually make them. I am not bought out by pharmaceutical companies and really do want the best for my patients.

    With that being said, I believe wholeheartedly in vaccines. I appreciate your wanting to have a respectful conversation. I admit I get profusely angry at parents that don’t vaccinate. That does no one any good. I’m mad and the parents are not going to want to listen to an angry “brain-washed 24 year old telling me how to raise my kids.” – yes have gotten that response from just asking someone if they have gotten their flu shot yet.
    What I struggle with the most is the autism argument. There is no argument. That study was completely falsified and had no scientific proof. I also struggle explaining herd immunity. Herd immunity is import because those who are not vaccinate can get a virus. Once they have the virus it can use their DNA to mutate. Once it is mutated it can then infect the vaccinated people because now we need a new vaccine. It is what happens with the flu every year and why some years (like this year) the flu vaccine is not as effective. The flu changes so quickly because the virus can also infect pigs and birds and can mutate in them too and then infect people too.

    I wonder if people that do not study these things know this? How do you nicely explain yourself without being stereotyped as too young or bought out?

    I just really want people to have the scientific facts. I want the most people possible to be protected from illness.

  90. That does not make any sense . You want to protect the unvaccinated child .

  91. JJ, well said! Could not have said any better God bless .

  92. Just FYI, any one vaccine is about 90% effective. SO, ten percent of vaccinated people are a danger to that unvaccinated child. You want to start testing EVERYONE before they’re allowed in public? Didn’t think so. Protect YOUR unvaccinated child. You have to, anyway, so it still doesn’t make a difference to his or her life whether or not little Tommy is vaccinated.

  93. I’ll just offer this much.
    Never forget that what you give the government the power to make you do, you have given them the power to take away from you.
    When you encourage the government to ‘force’ vaccinations on families, you have given them the authority to deny vaccinations as well.
    When the winds of change turn, would you rather be at the will of the government or free to make your own choices?
    This is bigger than a debate over vaccines.

  94. If your child experienced an adverse reaction to the vaccine, you would never stick them with another needle.

  95. My thoughts exactly. My daughter is immunocompromised.

  96. This is not entirely true. Most of the vaccines are not “live” viruses, so they are absolutely no cause for alarm to a chemo patient. The only one I know of that is, is the Oral Polio Vaccine, as it can sometimes travel through the GI system. The MMR is a weak live vaccine, but is injected…so how would this “pass a disease”?
    The real risk is children and adults with cancer and undergoing chemo coming in contact with ACTUAL diseases and illnesses. A chemo patient with measles could indeed be a deadly situation. Its all about educating yourself and thinking about things logically and on a more global level.

  97. I love the way you wrote this post. Thank you for being humble, compassionate ad honest.

  98. The same thing was said of my brother who received a bunch of vaccines before headed off to war. He was told not to hold my new baby because of the risk of shedding.

  99. Again, this is only possibly applicable with the Flu, OPV vaccines. The others are not live viruses. Thank you.

  100. As others have mentioned, the problem with claiming that it’s a “complicated” issue or that neither side has all the facts is that it equalizes both sides when they are not, in any way, shape, or form, equally valid. I could write a 50-page essay on the subjects of evidence, bias, and how utterly easy it is for innocent people who are not highly trained in science and statistics specifically (no matter how highly educated they are in other areas) to be swindled into believing that utter crap is scientifically sound. I agree with an earlier poster who said that the scientific literacy in this nation (or lack thereof, rather) is failing us here. And it is absolutely dangerous.

    The human mind is very unscientific. For example, we tend to put more weight on anecdotal evidence than other kinds of evidence, even though this is utterly illogical. For example, when the scientific data says that 1 out of 1,000,000 children will have a serious allergic reaction to the MMR vaccine, and on the other hand you hear a second-hand story from your mother’s first cousin’s best friend’s daughter’s-in-law sister’s kid having an allergic reaction, or from some random stranger on an internet message board claiming their kid did, the mind will automatically give more weight to the stories than the data. Your brain will basically trick you into thinking that the risk is higher than it is just because you heard a story about it.

    Additionally, the human brain automatically sees patterns everywhere, and the brain doesn’t care whether there is actual evidence or not. If there is not a pattern, the brain wants there to be one so badly that it will even trick you into thinking there is one.

    And this only scratches the surface. The epidemic of the “well-informed,” “educated” parent being over-confident and under-competent in his or her judgments in this area is a dangerous one.

  101. April, Will you please share your scientific evidence, please?

  102. The main things you never hear discussed on TV are:
    1. Many of the CDC’s recommended vaccines are for diseases that are not even deadly or debilitating for most people. Polio, yes. Chicken pox or the flu, no. But public school systems follow the CDC schedule & force kids to have all of them in order to attend school.
    2. Nobody should be forced to take a vaccine to keep their job, their Dr, or their kids in school.
    3. Many of the people who got sick in these latest outbreaks of flu & measles already were vaccinated, so what does that say. The vaccines are not always 100% effective and/or they wear off after a few years.
    4. All people are asking is that parents should be allowed to make their own decisions on the issue. Why can’t they choose some vaccines but not others. Nobody should have it forced on them. If your kid is the one who ends up with seizures or some other permanent neurological problem from a vaccine reaction, then the vaccine was 100% dangerous for your kid, and I bet all the people calling for herd immunity won’t be contributing any money to pay the medical bills!

  103. Thank you for your respectful article. I wanted to add my experience. My first two children were vaccinated. My oldest has a mild form of dyslexia. Vaccine related? I don’t know. My other two children were not vaccinated. The reason I chose not to vaccinate them is because my third daughter was born in 1985. In 1985 hundreds of babies all around the US ended up in hospitals in NICU’s and many of them died. The ones that didn’t die, were severely damaged. My friend’s son was born about a month before my daughter was. He was one of the babies that was affected after his very first vaccination. He had grand mal seizures repeatedly, ran very high fevers, and was in the NICU for three months. A perfectly normal baby boy, prior to the vaccination, came home with brain damage, completely deaf, and with cerebral palsy. He will never grow past a four year old’s level.This was not just an isolated case. This happened, as mentioned, to hundreds of babies all over the country. The pharmaceutical, after a couple of years of denying that it was due to the vaccine, finally admitted that they had done something differently in the production of the vaccines. There was a HUGE lawsuit on behalf of all of those parents and their children against the pharmaceutical. What the pharmaceutical was finally ordered to pay the parents, once divided up, was not even enough to cover one week’s worth of medical expenses. There were many children who required life long support just to remain alive and the amount that each parent got in the settlement was a pittance compared to their overall medical costs and the medical costs that many were going to be paying for far into the future. I was not about to risk my baby daughter’s life and well being to those vaccines. Not after witnessing first hand what happened to my friend’s baby and then finding out that there were so many babies and parents whose lives were completely altered. There were several more babies in the NICU with my friend’s baby, with the same symptoms, after they each received the vaccine. Only two of those babies made it home. The doctors caring for those infants in that particular NICU stated that it was due to the vaccine. The vaccine issue of 1985 is not well known now, but there are still records out there that can be found.

    Are there valid concerns on both sides of the fence? Yes, emphatically, yes. I respect those who choose to vaccinate their children. I don’t think they are bad, uneducated, or irresponsible parents. I am a very conscientious parent too. I do everything I can to take good care of my family. From making my own laundry soap to making shampoo to purchasing as much organic food as I can to reduce the amount of chemicals we are exposed to. For me, the visual of my friend’s baby before and after vaccination, the heartbreak that her family suffered, will never, ever leave my memory.

  104. My daughter was immune compromised when she was fighting leukemia, they told her no vaccines and to stay away from those that have recently received them. Do you want to know why? Because those that receive the vaccines carry AND SHED the virus…yes shed the virus. They didn’t say stay away from unvaccinated. Because unless clearly carrying the illness and unvaccinated child cannot spread it. But the vaccinated were the ones who could spread the illness to my immune compromised daughter and kill her. Everyone is always throwing that gals statement out there without doing true research. I’m tired of it. But guess what….I didn’t tell someone that they had to play Russian roulette with their child’s life and vaccinate them to keep my child safe. My child is MY responsibility. I kept my child home, I kept my child safe and ways from those that were vaccinated(as best I could) so she didn’t get sick. JUST LIKE THE DOCTORS TOLD ME TOO! You make your choice for your children and I will make my choice for mine. Your children are not my responsibility, just like mine is not yours.

  105. I think it’s a scandal that this lawsuit isn’t being reported. I think it’s also important that people realize that vaccine companies have legal immunity to reactions.

  106. That must have been what caused the govt in the 1980s to give vaccine makers immunity from lawsuits with vaccines. That’s why they created the so-called vaccine court. Which is insane, because if you can sue a drug company over any other drug that has bad side effects, why shouldn’t you be able to sue over a vaccine? The fact that drug companies demanded exemptions from lawsuits over vaccines should tell everybody that the drug companies themselves know they aren’t guaranteed safe or effective.

  107. Very well written, especially since it is my way of thinking to a T!!!!! :). We also did some and declined others. Because I am a nurse I am often asked to give an opinion, I try to support which ever way the parent seems to be leaning. Here’s what we refused. Chicken Pox, it just doesn’t have the fear factor, like getting mumps as a man and possibly being unable to have children as a result! Hepatitis B. This is primarily contacted through illicit drug use, and promiscuous sex activity. However, there are jobs that put you at risk, and when 2 of my children took jobs like that, they made the decision for themselves to be vaccinated. Human papilloma virus, this contracted only by sexual activity, so just don’t have sex until you are married and then if by chance you find that you need to be immunized, because people do make mistakes, you as an adult can decide on that. The flu shot, I have worked in an ER in which the whole place is filled with the blue smoke of influenza and I just never get it, I’m pretty sure that my body has built up its own immunities, or else God is just gracious! This is one of those subjects along with how you choose to educate your children, that unless someone asks for your opinion or advice, you need to keep it to yourself. I try to operate under the assumption that the majority of parents love their children and are trying to do their best by them.

  108. Is anyone addressing the issue of preservative? Much research seems to indicate the preservative (often containing heavy metals, namely thermasol) is the potentially dangerous substance in vaccines, rather than antigens. Perhaps if preservative-free vaccine were more readily available (and not cost prohibitive for the majority) most, or all, parents would feel safer having them administered to their children. There are preservative-free vaccines. I’ve had one. But they are very expensive($100+ flu shot).

  109. The statement is made that babies die of disease and they die from vaccines too. Facts would help here. How many from the disease. How many from vaccines.

    I believe here is where facts should over ride emotion. Intellect should over ride feelings. Not every argument is valid. And some are more valid than others. To equate a high school education with a P.hD. Or MD is illogical. A peer reviewed paper should not hold the same weight with random observation. Should one look for bias or conflict of interest, of course. But subscription to conspiracy theories are just silly.

  110. Respectfully, not everyone who is afraid of autism is referring to the debunked MMR-Autism study. I wish people would just stop thinking that is why people either delay or refuse vaccination! What I would like to know is what you would say to the parents who have commented whose children have been severely disable by a vaccination. I am glad we have vaccines. I am glad that they are effective and safe for a huge part of the population. You ask: “How do I explain nicely. . .” Honestly, learn to not get “profusely angry” and listen. Don’t assume. Ask questions. Just nod. Ask follow up questions. Don’t folll0ow every comment with a rebuttle or study. Just listen. You can say your peace at the end, but realize noe everyone wil change their mind, at least not at that moment. IMO, you need to make peace with that before engaging in any sort of communication about vaccines with a parent. Good luck.

  111. I wish more parents would respond to stories like yours .I am so, so sorry about what you went through. We see all these stories about immune-compromised kids that are at risk from us non vaxers, but no one ever responds to the anguish of a mother whose child has been vax injured. Again, I am so sorry.

  112. You blah-di-blah so-and-so… Wait! No! That was NOT what I wanted to say. 😛

    I think to me, you saved the “most important aspect” for (near?) last.

    Possibly the most important aspect of this WHOLE ISSUE, is that parents are “in the boat” because they CHOSE TO bring children into and keep children in the world.

    We want what’s best for our children. The decision is NOT an easy on (I have done the vaccination thing on a regular schedule with ALL of my children, but DO NOT assume all others will do likewise).

    What’s Important? That parents are RESPONSIBLE for their children and should largely (if not SOLELY) have AUTHORITY commensurate with that RESPONSIBILITY.

    Generally good post on a difficult subject.

  113. I believe in vaccines also but feel the old guidelines that were followed before 1985 are the ones that should be followed. I do not believe a child should be given 6 or seven shots at a time . That is way too much overload on their little bodies. The old guidelines covered all major diseases with out all the extras that doctors try to push today.

  114. I agree with this post for sure. And I’ve also been thinking about delaying shots, and only having a few each time. I am a trypanophobic ( fear medical needles) and it very likely stemed from bad experience as a child and the phobia in general has been on the rise with the amount of shots kids get between 1 and 6. ( TED talk by Amy Baxter called pain, empathy and healthcare is a great video in my opinion that shows the increase in immunizations etc, ps she is a doctor) and even tho i’m afraid I don’t plan to just not vaccinate my children. I do plan to try and space them out the best I can so they wont be overwhelmed by so many at once, I will try to find a doctor who is more understanding and “owns up” to the fact they hurt and is caring in that matter, and I will do whatever else I can to make the experiences they have are not dreadful.

  115. Yes ^ this!! Exactly!

    My father contracted
    Polio in 1933 at the age of 4. He lived his entire life with the effects of
    this horrible disease. Technically speaking I am a miracle as he was told he
    would never have children…would never live past his 30’s… would never hold a
    job….. Truth is he lived until he was 84! But, BUT, it was not an easy life. He
    fought every single day- Yes EVERY day-to walk, breath, circulation issues,
    overall nervous system issues from post-polio syndrome. He is my inspiration
    every day because of his infallible spirit, but also, and to the point, to do
    EVERYTHING I can, medically, to prevent these preventable diseases! He did all
    he could to be sure we had proper medical coverage and that we faithfully
    received all our vaccinations. He counted his blessings everyday to include the
    fact that he had healthy children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

    Need more? Spend on
    hour on Hulu watching “London Hospital” and you will be convinced the small
    risks from vaccination far outweighs the very real risk of infection.

    I respect everyone has a right to choose. However I recently saw a post that really spoke to me, “If my kid can’t bring peanut butter to school, your shouldn’t be able to bring preventable diseases.”

  116. As mentioned above I watched my father deal with the effects,both physically, and emotionally. I understand. Thank you for sharing.

  117. So I’m to not vaccinate, but then my child looses the right to leave their home? How is that free, exactly?

  118. My daughter was one when she contracted measles from an out of the country trip. She became symptomatic several days after our return. We had gone on the trip before she was old enough for the MMR. Our experience at the hospital was far worse than the disease itself. We were treated like criminals and I’m imbeciles. They threatened calling CPS. Her temp went through the roof, with meds, while we were there. I was undecided about vaccinating at the time. I asked the infectious disease doctor to give me info to help educate me. She must not have read the material she gave me because it convinced me to not vaccinate. Along with the fact that all the people that were exposed to my daughter, who were alreadya vaccinated, were required to get booster shots because their previous ones might not be effective still. My daughter recovered beautifully at home with no complications. We kept her away from others until she was no longer contagious. My observation was the cure was far worse than the illness, and that those whom we are told to trust to take care of us, seriously abuse their power. I read, I trust God. A doctor who thinks she is god isn’t trustworthy. I appreciate a great doctor who will humbly help me discover what is best for my child.

  119. Thank you!

  120. Well said. Vaccinate or don’t, but it should be the parents’ decision, just like any medical treatment.

  121. A couple of thoughts/comments:
    1. Having gone through the measles, wouldn’t you have wanted (if it was possible at the time) to instead have had your daughter vaccinated prior to going on your out-of-country trip? Wouldn’t that have given you the possibility of preventing that bad hospital visit?

    2. Speaking of the hospital visit, too bad that they didn’t treat you well. However, would you let that bad hospital visit prevent you from taking your child to a hospital to get stitches? to have an operation? If you would take your child to the hospital, why wouldn’t you consider getting them vaccinated?

    3. The boosters are given because every person’s immune system is slightly different. Therefore, there is no way to insure that the MMR shots given years ago are effective for every person who received them.

    4. I trust God too, I trust God to give wisdom and guidance to the medical professionals I deal with. I trust God to provide for me what I need. I trust God to given me the wisdom to make sound decisions for my family.

  122. Just like a wild caught virus can spread, a “weak” LIVE virus can spread. Contagious is contagious. Shedding is contagious. Read the warnings on the vaccine inserts and they will tell you the length of time the recently vaccinated are contagious.

  123. There is no conclusive evidence that vaccines in any way contribute to infant deaths. There is no credible debate on this. Your premise is flawed.

    That isn’t hateful, it’s simply the facts.

  124. Statistics show that since 2000 no one has died from the measles, but at least 100 have died from the vaccine. Whose life did the vaccine save? Those that caught it are all here. 100 of those that took it aren’t. Vaccines also take lives and cause permanent disability. Besides, America already has herd immunity. With over 90% vaccine compliance we have reached herd immunity. Why isn’t it working?

  125. You can still get a MILD case of the disease if u are vaccinated. If you were not vaccinated, the disease could do a lot more harm to your body.

  126. According to the CDC there have been 0 deaths causes by measles and 69 deaths caused by the measles vaccine in the last ten years.
    Over the past decade, most years have had less than 100 reported cases of measles. In 2014, the number multiplied with 644 cases. Still there have been no deaths caused by measles thanks to modern day medicine.
    But there are still the deaths caused by the vaccine ( and other vaccines) and not to mention drastic side effects including disabilities and paralysis.
    Personally knowing people who have lost their child due to a vaccine or had their baby hospitalized due to a vaccine makes the decision to vaccinate very difficult. I do not know anyone who has ever contracted a serious disease but a few that have suffered due to vaccines.
    Our family chose to vaccinate on an alternative schedule and we have opted out of a few. It is a HARD decision.

    Point is, the risks are there. You rarely hear about the deaths/suffering caused by vaccines. The information is out there, you just have to do your research. The media only discusses what it wants to.

  127. Yes , thank you! I’m increasingly concerned about the hate spewing about, particularly toward “anti-vax” people. How often does hate actually change anyone’s mind?

    We are pro-vaccination, but delayed and extended due to autoimmune issues. I started researching, and I understand why some people don’t want to give vaccines.

    What I would like to see however, is a nice conversation about making people who are worried about the regular schedule of vaccines, feel comfortable with an alternative schedule. Because a safe alternative schedule is better than not getting vaccinated at all.

    I would like to see some answers to anti-vax questions that are NOT directed to autism. Like, can vaccines lower an immune system of someone who has immune problems already (eczema, allergies, etc). Are sufficient studies being done to ensure we aren’t leading ourselves into a superbug in the future?

    Reading the GAPS diet book, which addresses vaccines in one chapter, I think they’ve put it the best way I’ve heard yet. Vaccines help people, but if you have immune problems, they might need to be delayed, and it’s a good idea to screen children for potential immune issues before saying that one schedule is right for everyone.

    If we don’t work together, we are going to loose a bunch of people who feel like they’re being attacked, and who have spent a lot of time researching and thinking about their decisions.

    Our culture makes us choose sides. Republican or democrat, pro-life or pro-choice, climate change activist or denier. We would do so much better as a society if we learned to listen to each other and find ways we can agree, and focus on building those pieces up.

  128. “Statistics show that since 2000 no one has died from the measles, but at least 100 have died from the vaccine. Whose life did the vaccine save? Those that caught it are all here. 100 of those that took it aren’t. Vaccines also take lives and cause permanent disability.”

    That’s a fallacy argument (and also not true worldwide – “Worldwide, an estimated 20 million people get measles and 146,000 people die from the disease each year—that equals about 440 deaths every day or about 17 deaths every hour.” from the CDC). There’s no way of knowing how many people would have died from the measles if they didn’t have the vaccine. According to the WHO (World Health Organization) “During 2000-2013, measles vaccination prevented an estimated 15.6 million deaths making measles vaccine one of the best buys in public health.”

    I firmly believe in vaccines for MOST issues – MMR is one of them, Meningitis if you are part of a risk group (like communal or dorm living as a college student) – but I’m not going to tell people what they have to do. Personally, as an educated woman, I look further than blog posts about what people and moms should or should not do for their kids (no offence meant to blogs in general or Life Your Way in particular). It is, in the end, a medical decision, and you should talk with your doctor, your pediatrician, and pay attention to sites like the CDC or the WHO – they really do know what they’re talking about.

    If you do have sensitivities to some vaccines, there is usually another underlying cause – personally, I can’t do flu vaccines (they actually give me a full version of the flu), and my doctor believes it could be related to other issues. The thing is, though, science and medicine take huge strides daily, and we may be able to figure out why some have bad reactions and others don’t in the near future. So basically, stay current, and pay attention to what the professionals say. Again, they know what they are talking about.

  129. The peanut butter analogy doesn’t make sense to me. Refraining from bringing peanut butter to school does no harm to those who can’t bring it but vaccinations have a chance to harm anyone receiving them.

  130. I like this a lot. “If my kid can’t bring peanut butter, yours shouldn’t bring preventable diseases.” That’s awesome.

    Also, herd immunity doesn’t work if not enough kids are vaccinated. That’s why there’s 200+ cases of measles connected to Disneyland right now.

  131. You don’t understand. Teaching you in this forum would be hard but you should educate yourself more on the subject.

  132. Because many communities of families are choosing not to vaccinate so “herd immunity” is no long effective. Some communities in CA are 80% or less compliance which is opening the door for outbreaks to occur.

  133. I could have written this, verbatim. I’ve stayed out of the debate because I simply do not have the energy to argue, so thank you for stating what so many of us out there feel. It’s not a cut and dry, one size fits all thing. It was refreshing to read your thoughts, and nice to know we are not the only ones who try to make the best choice for our family, while trying to be part of a functioning society.

  134. I have never been asked to give my baby 6 shots at a time. Is this somewhere in the US? The most my children have ever been given is 2 as they now combine most of the vaccines into a single booster. I’d be interested in learning more about this.

  135. It is about consideration. When a parent chooses not to vaccinate their child, they take a risk not only with their own child’s life, but the life of every child or adult their child comes in contact with. They are, essentially, saying that their fear of an infinitesimal risk to their child outweighs the risk of their child a) contracting a horrible, fatal illness and b) their child causing others to become infected with a horrible, fatal illness.

    Do I worry that my child may have a reaction to a vaccine? Yes, there is nothing certain in this life. But the benefit of my child being immunized against fatal diseases far outweighs that fear.

    I think the bigger point that the peanut butter analogy makes is that a nut allergy may only affect one child in that classroom but the measles could kill them all if herd immunity is compromised.

  136. The minute we start labeling people on either side of a issue, rational discussion ceases! It quickly disintegrates in to a mud slinging match, mouths get louder & ears stop functioning – nothing constructive is achieved!

    I am 44 & grew up in India – I have seen people die of disease, but not in Armageddon like proportions like we’re sometimes led to believe. My whole life I’ve only known 1 person personally (an uncle born in the 30’s) who had childhood polio. While it did cause some physical limitations, he grew up to live a full life, had kids, traveled the world & is now in his 70’s. I understand that this isn’t so in every single case. I also had a number of friends who contracted 1 or more of the following : chicken pox, mumps, measles & even German measles – not 1 case was fatal. I had mumps, one of my sisters had measles & the other had chicken pox – amazingly neither of us got what the other had. We were immunized, but the vaccination schedule was very different then. As a young adult, I was totally pro-vaccination but had never researched the issue.

    In 3rd world countries disease sometimes becomes epidemic because of lack of hygiene among the masses as was made evident by the recent Ebola crisis in West Africa. The once rampant disease, has now for the most part been brought under control, not through vaccination, but by educating people not to handle dead bodies, belongings of the diseased & allowing the sick to receive medical care.

    Coming to the recent measles episodes in the U.S: the last time I checked in to this, patient “zero” had not been identified, we don’t even know if that child is a resident of this country. Disney draws a huge number of foreign tourists – when I was there in 2013, 1/2 or more of the visitors were from other countries. There are a myriad of ways measles could have been present: unvaccinated residents/non-residents, recently vaccinated children, immune compromised children. Then there are always people who fall in to the vaccine failure percentage & some who might just be carriers & yet never contract the disease.

    Now, I am of above average intelligence, an avid reader & researcher and when presented with anti-vaccine info many years ago, labeled that crowd as “ignorant”! I have since eaten “humble pie” & actually researched their claims & have come to see many of them as legitimate. There are people who won’t vaccinate for many reasons, one being ethical concerns over material from aborted babies being utilized in some vaccs, risks of adverse reactions, certain dangerous chemicals present, use of proteins from known allergens (which may have caused one of my kids a life threatening allergy) & so on.

    How is it that in a country as hygienic & as immunized as this one, kids are sicker on an on-going basis than the 3rd world country I was raised in? I have never seen as many viruses, stomach bugs, strep, ear infection, ears tubes, food allergies Lyme’s disease & diabetes diagnosis in kids as in the U.S. When I asked our very “pro-vaccination” pediatrician 7-8 years ago, he told me that we are such a vaccinated & hygienic society, that our immune systems haven’t had a chance to develop enough natural immunities, to ward off the common cold & flu. How could they? Our kids are pumped with “shot cocktails” from day 1 of their existence outside the womb!

    My friends in India tell me that the only kids they know of with serious food allergies are the ones who were born and or raised in North America & certain parts of Europe – should we not be outraged at the sources for these silent epidemics?

    Then look at those of us in our 30’s, 40’s & 50’s – my minimally vaccinated, 90+ year old grandparents can put us to shame with the vibrant lives they’re living. The number of aches & pains, diabetes, auto-immune diseases & infertility diagnosis we have are alarming. Look at the rate of Alzheimer’s & dementia cases. Why aren’t we out screening for jail sentences for those in the food industry putting Round Up & other pesticides in our food supply (and our baby formula)? Why are we not outraged?

    Some of the solutions being offered up for dealing with the issue of vaccinations are horrific, even Hitler-like. Are we really prepared as a culture to head down that slippery slope? First unvaccinated children will be segregated, then their parents will be fined & jailed! Then those with compromised immune systems (they’re a threat to the vaccinated kids too) will be segregated. What if their parents take them out in public, will they be jailed too? Then what about an adult with cancer who can’t get a flu vaccine or a kid with a food allergy, who can’t take certain shots? What about that family of foreign tourists who wants to visit Disney? What about that fully vaccinated American family who may be transferred to a job overseas or God forbid is called to the mission field in the African Bush – should they stay home in their little plastic bubbles? Where does this all end? What other liberties are we willing to lay down on the altar of convenience & for the sake of following the “majority”? Slavery in America was supported by the “majority” at one time. In Germany, Hitler was also supported by the majority…..

    For the record: I fall somewhere toward the middle of the road on vaccines. We started out vaccinating our kids & have slowed it down drastically. So my kids are vaccinated (some more than others) but not on the same schedule as prescribed & not for silly things like chicken pox from which I personally haven’t known anyone to die. When they’re older, if they haven’t had chicken pox, they are welcome to get the shot. I had it in my 20’s which wasn’t very pleasant or convenient, but sickness rarely is!

    My intent isn’t to belittle anyone, but to really think through our point of view & to root them in solid fact versus what the “experts” feed us on both sides of any debate.

  137. We homeschool, but not because we choose not to vaccinate. And not all homeschooled families make the choice to not vaccinate. There are plenty of them that do follow the regular schedule. Isn’t that unfair to those children to be exposed to all the other nonvaccinated homeschool children? What about the immune compromised? Do you believe they should they should homeschool too? What about those children with severe food allergies? The ones that prevent the entire school from ever having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Should they also homeschool? I’m not trying to argue, but just trying to show that isolation from one side or another is not the answer between people who don’t agree.

  138. Janna , my middle daughter “caught” whooping cough from the then dtp(has since been changed to dtap) I still continued her schedule of vaccines as well as her younger sister. I view it like this: I put my children and grand children in a proper car seat although there are documented incidents of deaths in car seats because the benefit out weigh the risks to me.I sent my children to public school although there are documented incidents of death in public school. again the benefit out weighs the risk. Everything in life is a gamble especially when you are responsible for the life of another. The simple answer is educate yourself and choose wisely.

  139. Just playing devils advocate here….couldn’t you say that kids that don’t get vaccinated are also innocent victims? They are not the ones choosing to vaccinate themselves. Their parents are. And let’s face it not everyone’s parents make the best decisions. Just food for thought.

  140. I stand pretty much where you do on this issue. What i find most enjoyable about your article is your call for respectful conversation instead of the non-productive hate fest that almost all controversial issues devolve into. Imagine what we could resolve in this world if we could stay above the fray of hateful, useless, back and forth on matters such as these. Thanks for being someone that can see both sides of an issue while still taking their own stance on it.

  141. Very well written! Couldn’t agree more.

  142. But those two contain strains for six diseases… That could be a lot for a 4 month old baby to handle at once.

  143. The MMR was on the list of vaccinations that my children couldn’t have and be around her. Just because it is a weak virus doesn’t mean that it can’t be spread to the immunocompromised. The FluMist was also on that list. This information was coming from her oncologist and there is tons of research out there on the subject as well.

  144. As far as I know from reading package inserts there are three currently administered vaccines that use live virus: MMR, tDap, and the FLu shot.

  145. Elizabeth, are we reading the same post? Mandi clearly stated that 1. she vaccinates her kids. 2. it’s not up for debate. 3. the post is about having a calm conversation about it without the hate.
    Here you are perpetuating hate with finger pointing and mentioning herd immunity. There you are practically name calling saying she is not a medical professional and should not be discussing medical issues.
    Hipocritically you speak about saving lives, people who can’t vaccinate and the community. Are you a doctor? should you be talking about these things as you scold Mandi for it?
    How can you say vaccines is only for medical professionals to speak about when they and the decision or choice to use them is a very societal cruciality. The people need to make these choices and hopefully vote. But as mandi mentions in the post that I read, both sides need to be adequetly represented in a debate.

  146. Lol!!! Thanks Kevin! Love your assumption!!!!

  147. I do understand that “babies die from preventable diseases, and babies die from vaccines”, but so many more babies and toddlers and children and adults die from the diseases. Looking at the outbreak at Disney shows how easily the diseases can be passed around, and how all it takes is one to start it, but then everyone susceptible just spreads the disease, creating a widespread problem.

    Mel….90% effective? This seems like a skewed statistic to me, considering polio was eradicated while vaccines were being used by everyone, but the antivavaccine movement made the disease numbers rise. Not attacking you, just saying that sounds like a data point skewed to reach a certain agenda.

    Allana, if you were not to vaccinate, keeping your child home seems to make more sense to me. Otherwise you are exposing your nonvaccinated child to the dangers that you are not protecting them from, and once your child has contracted the disease you’re exposing every other nonvaccinated person they come in contact with. It would not be society denying your child freedoms, but you, by not protecting them.

    Risa, again, the unvaccinated child is at risk by the unvaccinated child.

    “Herd immunity” only works for the immuno-compromised if those not compromised take the vaccines. When the “herd” shuns the vaccine it opens up all in the “herd” unvaccinated to the effects of the disease, leaving the vaccinated free to mingle with less fear of the disease.

  148. THANK YOU!! This is exactly the way I have been feeling as my facebook news feed has suffered bombardment of vaccine articles, all with negative tones and insulting undertones. Thank you for putting into words what I have been trying to figure out how to say to all my friends, that I love, that keep posting all these arguments.

  149. I understand where your coming from, but I don’t think you understand what vaccines are. Vaccines give a little itty bitty part of the dead virus to a person. That way, the immune system can learn how to fight it before they get the actual virus. The reason you had to stay away from the recently vaccinated is because of that reason. The vaccinated people, after that, will never be able to pass the disease on to your daughter. However, when the unvaccinated catch it, they could spread it to your daughter just by being in the same room as her. Those children who are not vaccinated are not helping your daughter, they are hurting her.

  150. Thank you! A very nice and thought out post.

  151. Most schools do not have a no peanut butter rule. Many parents bring their children to school knowing they are sick with colds and flu’s. I don’t appreciate my kid getting sick from negligent parents. Parents do not knowingly bring their children to school with measles. The media just scares you because you think your child will get measles from school, when most likely they never stepped foot in school while sick. No body is bringing you measles. Your kid is more likely to die from the flu that some mother sent her child to school with than measles. They have reported that no body has died from measles after visiting Disneyland.

  152. “I believe parents should have the right to make those decisions for their children. I don’t want the government telling me how to raise my kids, and I think other parents deserve that same respect.”

    You said it! I totally agree with this. Thank you.

  153. I couldn’t have put it better myself. I find it hurtful and ugly the way even friends will respond to each others decisions vaccinations when it does not line up with their decision. We all love our kids and want to do what is right for our kids and we really struggle when making these decisions. Remember what is right for you and your family may not be right for someone else and their family. Be kind, compassionate and understanding with one another.

  154. Totally agree why get your kids shots if it doesn’t protect them from getting the disease their getting the shot for.

  155. “I believe parents should have the right to make those decisions for their children.” Period. Full stop. Can we make that the biggest printed period ever?

  156. Well said, Mandi!

  157. This has been the best blog/article/argument/whatever is being seen and read regarding this at this time. I am a Physician Assistant and do vaccinate my kids but I do try to spread them out and feel like I have been respected with that decision. I have seen horrible reactions to vaccines but I have also seen horrible reactions to the diseases that these vaccines prevent. I feel that the points you made were spot on and I thank you for this honest read.

  158. Actually in the last 14 years no one has died from measles, but 100 have died from the vaccine. Babies do die from vaccines.

  159. With a great deal of respect for your comment, what would you say to the parent who loses their child or whose child is harmed because of an adverse event due to a vaccination? That it’s for the greater good? Parents who choose not to vaccinate are also trying to protect their children from potential harm. They should have that choice and not have a choice forced upon them.

  160. Mandi..I think Elizabeths point is that you present the choice to vaccinate as equal on both sides and you are absolutely wrong per the overwhelming scientific and medical community across the world over the course of 5 decades. There are people who cannot vaccinate..maybe due to adverse reactions or chemo or immunocomprimised. I’ve been a nurse long enough to see kids die from now preventable diseases…and not just a few…ALOT. The lack of science being spread on this blog is astounding. Please research contact with newly vaccinated people..Please research herd immunity..Please research it all. Stop presenting it as two correct views. It is not. That’s like saying the choice to consume vegetables is your right and both sides are valid. It’s your legal right to not consume a vegetable but science has proven you are wrong. You know what I’m sick of…not the disresprct..I can deal with disrespect. I’m tired of wrapping babies in sheets and carrying them to the morgue because their parents were stupid and had a legal right to be.

  161. Love the alternative schedule! Bookmarked for future reference

  162. Just reading this post and these comments gives me such high anxiety about having children that each day that passes I am more and more determined never to have them. Moms are brave on all sides of the argument. I don’t know how any of you make a decision that has the potential to forever alter someone else’s life. I know I couldn’t do it.

  163. I just have one question that I am trying to figure out scientifically. I thought vaccines were to keep my children protected from the various diseases, so that if and when we travel overseas to a country that still has these diseases then my children and I should be safe because we are vaccinated, right? If an unvaccinated child in this country is a threat to a vaccinated child, then why do they tell us when we travel that we should be fine if we are vaccinated?

  164. Very well said! I completely agree.

  165. Measles is contagious 4 days before symptoms appear. So if a child has the measles, it is highly likely that he/she WILL walk into their school while contagious. This is likely to cause an epidemic just as we have seen from Disney Land.

  166. I would love to hear any evidence that babies die from vaccines. To date, I have sought and never found a single piece of scientific evidence to that effect. Would you mind providing a source for that piece of information?

  167. I am about to be a Grandma for the first time and I am scared for all the things that could go wrong. I think the trust from my children’s childhood to now is different. Our government wasn’t perfect then but today it seems irresponsible. I blindly followed vaccines until the HPV. The nurse looked at me like I was the worst mother. There was no history in my family of cervical cancer and I said no. Now young ladies are finding out they are infertile. If my daughter ended up with cervical cancer, I would forever blame myself but if not and she gives me grandchildren I will be glad. Either way I was able to trust my instincts as a mother and do what I felt was in my child’s best interest. This is no place for the government. We as parents have to be able to raise our children in our best ability. Otherwise why are we having children? For the government to raise? Until we can trust what is being administered is pure we must be able to say no.

  168. The idea that measles could kill all the children in a classroom is WAY over the top. In my day (elementary school, 1954-62) I got measles and so did most of my classmates. no one died, and no one developed lifelong problems from measles. We did all develop lifelong immunity to measles. No vaccine gives you that. It’s not a simple black-and-white choice. A mild disease in childhood can give you lifelong immunity with a very low risk of complications, vs. (to over-simplify) a shot can give you immunity for an unknown period of time, also with a low risk of complications. The idea of measles being a “deadly” disease comes from very malnourished populations, not typical US communities.

  169. I agree that most parents would not knowingly bring their kids to school with the measles. The fallacy of your argument is that people with measles are contagious for up to 72 hours before any symptoms appear, and the first symptoms often seem like a cold. The rash must appear to confirm a diagnosis of measles and by the time it appears an infected person may have been spreading the virus for 5 days. This is why measles spread so quickly through an unassisted population.

  170. Well said. It’s been nearly 22 years since we faced this decision but even back then, based on reading and consulting with pros we decided (as home-schoolers) to delay, to about 5yo (???). One thing was certain: we didn’t want to see our 30-day old start getting injected with such serious substances. What was the point of 9 months of care, not to mention 48+hours of unmedicated labor to subject her to such an onslought.

  171. From what I understand, and someone correct me if I am wrong, those getting sick even with being vaccinated already have a weakened immune system, or they had their first dose without boosters. The booster shots make the immunity higher. Without it you are still at risk, though not as high as going without vaccinations. This was one of my questions as well. Like I said, if I am wrong, someone please correct me because I am most definitely not an expert.

  172. I agree completely with you. If my child has a compromised immune system, I would never depend on others to keep my child healthy.

  173. See my link above to the CDC vaccination Pink Sheets. You are correct, there is a reference for you.

  174. Because, quite simply vaccines do not offer 100% protection, and some children are not able to be vaccinated, because they are either still too young, or have compromised immune systems (a child with leukemia, or undergoing chemotherapy for instance).

  175. So, the argument is, parents are scared that their vaccinated children will catch a disease that their child is vaccinated against? What if your child catches the flu, discovers he/she has cancer, gets hit by a car. I don’t understand why people are fighting against the parents who decides not to vaccinate THEIR children because you don’t want your vaccinated child to get a disease that they are vaccinated against. Btw, my children are vaccinated but I refuse to live in fear and tell other parents what to do with their kids…. It’s crazy how the government says it’s okay to go to other countries whom doesn’t vaccinate their kids, because you have vaccinations that protect you against the virus!!!

  176. Well, the doctor should have also told you to keep your child away from unvacinated kids too, as they are more likely to be sick.

  177. There are many reports of babies dying suddenly within days of a vaccine in the VAERS database as well as having allergic reactions. Correlation does not equal causation, but this is not a scientific article, does not purport to be a scientific article, and focusing on that part rather than the call for respect in the conversation distracts from the point.

  178. actually only vaccines containing Live attenuated viruses can be shed/spread and create a danger to immune compromised individuals. I’m a Public Health Nurse Specialist (RN), so I have to know this info. Also, I have a friend whose child is currently undergoing chemo currently and this is what her specialist out of ATL has told them as well- to avoid anyone that has received MMR or VZV (the live vaccines) for 30 days following their vaccination.
    I’m not wanting to enter a debate- only empower the public by sharing correct information.

  179. I have a question that is purely to help me understand and I have no intentions of offending others:
    If an unvaccinated child contracts a disease that there is a vaccine for and ends up bringing it to school, wouldn’t vaccinated children be safe from the disease? Is there really reason to be worried that there are unvaccinated children around my vaccinated child?

  180. When the advantages are so overwhelming, like wearing seat belts, using car seats, or getting vacines, it does help some people to do the right thing if there are rules.

  181. My 2 daughters are fully immunised but when I had my son I had a strong feeling not to fully vaccinate him. Call it mothers instinct. At 12 months he was supposed to have two combined shots, one in each arm. My husband and I chose for him to have one shot that was not a combination vaccine and he had a reaction to that one shot. I shudder to think what could have happened if he had had the full set of shots as per the Auatralian schedule.

    I understand why people fully vaccinate and I understand why some people choose differently and do so with a lot of thought and research into it. People just want to be respected for making the choice they feel is right for their child and no-one knows a child better than their own parents.

  182. Thank You for a very good article. I so agree with what you said. It seems as the thing now is to preach tolerence, it is tolerence as long as you agree with my opinion. And we are no longer taught basic manners of dealing with others. Probably just a bad side affect of the internet and thinking we are experts on all the subjects that come to us at 100 miles per hour.

  183. Well i am glad your class did not have deaths or long term effects, but a lot of kids did die. Due to severe reactions of siblings my Sister and I were not vacinated. We both got measles. I have lasting vision problems and my sister is physically handicap for the rest of her life. Had those around us been vacinated amd had their booster shots we may never have gotten it.

  184. Where as my child who is allergic to vaccines goes to school. Does that make me a bad parent? I also know a person who died from the flu vaccine, another child that is little more then a vegetable from MMR, a good friend of mine contracted the mumps he was fully vaccinated. Nothing is for sure. My son is also allergic to milk do you think any parent in his school gives a flip. I can tell you in five years only one parent has made sure he has a birthday treat he can eat.
    Consideration has nothing to do with it. Personal experience does!

  185. Well said! It is such a personal decision wrought with fear and pressure. We should realize we are all on the same side, trying to wade through the information, and make the best decision we can for our children based on what we believe to be true. So very hard when there is so much conflicting information coming from both sides.

  186. I do not agree with homeschooling because of no shots. If everyone is properly vacinated and 1 child has none that 1 child is at less risk. Due to family allergies, I was not vacinated and went to public school. There was an outbreak of measles when i was in 3rd grade. I was kept home to protect me, but 28 kids/teachers in the school of just under 500 got sick (myself snd 2 sisters included). 3 kids died from complications. Beside my family 4 other students that got sick were not vacinated, do not know the reason. Most that got sick had been vacinated, but boosters were out of date. It was found out that it was brought into the school by substitute teacher that did not know she had it and had not had a booster in more then 10yrs. So while we talk about vacinating kids, parents should be staying current on their different vacinations.

  187. herd immunity can not be applied to vaccinations.. if you do the research, herd immunity refers to groups of individuals that all naturally contract a disease, that herd is then immune for life from that disease.. vaccinations cant and dont equal immunizations.. they create an immune response to the dead or live virus being injected but the percentage of “protection” is actually much less than what the CDC states..thats why boosters are needed.. alot of very healthy individuals still contract these diseases after having vaccinations.. i know several personally.. and just fyi.. unvaccinated children do NOT carry diseases around waiting to infect others.. unvaccinated children are actually more likely to get a disease from a vaccinated child because most of these vaccines are live viruses and children shed the virus for up to 10 days after vaccinations.. there is alot of great research (real research) out there, ive been researching for 8 years.. i have 2 children that have had adverse reactions to vaccines, and 2 unvaccinated (extremely healthy btw) and non have had any childhood diseases (which i contribute to our extremely healthy lifestyle) i have friends whose children and family members who have died from vaccines, i have other close personal friends whose children have severe vaccine injuries including daily seizures and brain surgeries.. and what i wouldnt give to go back and take away the pain and the specialists, and the uncontrollable crying, the procedures, the swelling of the brain of my own children, had someone given me all the information first…. the risks are real.. so please do the research.. whatever you decide, just be informed.. and i agree with writer.. HATE HAS to STOP.. even in these comments, people are still a spewing.. so sad.. respect others decisions, and know that the decisions are absolutely not easy, and for myself and everyone i know that chooses to opt out, has been based on personal issues with it, tons of research, sleepless nights, struggles, ect…

  188. Living in the US, and yes, I’ve been told that my child is due for x, y, z at today’s well-baby visit… and that could have easily been 5 or 6 different diseases.

  189. Also, my pediatrician informed me that MMR is no longer available as separate shots, due to lack of demand. 😛

  190. I love this! I agree vaccinations are such a tough issue and it is hard for most parents to come to a decision they feel comfortable with. We did vaccinate, but choose to only do 2 sticks per visit. Also we don’t do flu shots due to reactions and an egg allergy. People don’t agree with our decision, but it’s what’s right for our family. And I strongly believe everyone has to make the best decision for their family and it’s no one else’s business.

  191. thats absolutely not true.. i am in complete shock at all these
    comments…. can i ask where you all get your information from????
    example…. a close friend of mine who had all of her children fully
    vaccinated and in a community of nearly 100% vaccinated individuals all
    of her children contracted measles, and mumps and chicken pox… my
    unvaccinated children have never had any form of childhood disease.. i
    am absolutely appalled at the lack of education on the subject spewing
    from people…

  192. When my grandfather had cancer, I was told to stay away from him for 3 months because I had just received thee MMR. You can actually shed the virus for up to 6 months. Could it possibly be that the vaccinated are shedding these viruses and causing the unaccounted to get these viruses?? Absolutely!!

  193. Unvaccinated*

  194. People who have been vaccinated shed the virus and are contagious from a few weeks to a few months after they have been immunized. It is VERY possible that the measles has been spread by those who have recently been immunized as well as those who haven’t been immunized. I would surmise that many that have contracted measles were vaccinated.

  195. I was vaccinated as a child for the Measles, but came down with them TWICE as an adult, the first time at age 19 when I was pregnant with my first child. That child was vaccine injured as a toddler (age 4) and now has Aspberger’s. He didn’t before. I see the value in a delayed scheduled, but honestly it is the parent’s decision, not the government’s or someone else’s.

  196. Actually there have been reported cases of deaths. VAERS does not independently verify reactions. We don’t know why they died. it was just reported that they died.

  197. This is great! As a mom of 5, I fall on both sides of the issue and often feel tormented each way. Instead of making a loving, responsible choice for my child I feel pressured by the world. Thanks for sharing this. It’s nice to hear others struggle with the issue and don’t just see this in black and white.

  198. Thank you for your article. Every parent has their child’s best interest in mind. If they do not agree with you (or do not serve your interests) that is fine. We all have our reasons for our choices and that should be respected.

  199. We’ll said and so true. When you have a vaccine injured child like I do then you will dig deeper….research more about vaccines and health. I’ve had many years to research. You are spot on about herd immunity.

  200. And for the vaccine injured child? What of them. They fit into both sides of the argument.

  201. While I feel for those kids with medical conditions-who probably have to be careful around people with colds etc. let’s not forgot all the kids that have been greatly injured from vaccines. Their lives are just as worthy.

  202. Do you trust Gods design….. The human body……the immune system that He designed. Keep your child’s immune system strong with good nutrition, rest, etc. Gods design is best. (he didn’t make a mistake and forgot vaccines )

  203. Did she get better from whooping cough? Last time I checked my child still has a permanent brain injury from his vaccines. Lifelong disability…… Everyday 24/7. He isn’t alone. Check the vaers site where injuries/deaths from vaccines are reported. You don’t get another chance when your child has been damaged.

  204. Yes I guess you have a point….. It’s like the ones that get vaccinated and have permanent damage like a brain injury are also innocent victims!

  205. Thank you for your post. I myself have had issues with this. I had my children vaccinated and I feel like I get judged because I did, mostly from church going people who say I dont have enough faith in christ so I get my kids vaccinated to be safe. Hard to go through, but as there parent I made the choice to have them vaccinated, to be safe and be on the side of caution. I really dont think we should be judged either way. So your post was really helpful and exactly how I feel. Again thank you!

  206. My first son, who is now 26 and healthy had an adverse reaction to his first vaccinations at age 1. It took years for him to recover. I am blessed that my doctor believed me that something was wrong and asked me to come in to look at him and we avoided an ER visit. It made me mad that I felt pressured by a health care worker to do something I wasn’t comfortable with. But, I learned a valuable lesson as a mom. No matter what, follow what I am hearing inside not outside. We did continue our vaccines but on an alternate schedule. I delayed vaccines because nursing can cancel them out. But, as a nation we have less disease because of vaccines. They have made a difference. If my son had not been given multiple vaccines he would not have had the adverse reaction. He did not have the adverse reactions when they were given individually.

  207. Unvaccinated children also pose a huge threat to children with cancer, or other illnesses, that can not be vaccinated at the correct or recommened ages.
    It is a very hard decision for parents.

  208. Your post is sensitive, well thought out and correct. Appreciate a calm voice in this debate.

  209. Beautifully said and very true, we choose not to vaccinate with all of the same fears. We don’t want to make the wrong decision and it’s truly been a challenging decision, one we feel is best for our family. No judgement and there are open discussions between myself and husband on picking a few that we should consider. We go back and forth, thank you for this! I needed it.

  210. I agree Mandi. Well said.

    I’ve worked with kids with autism for 18 years. I have heard numerous stories. Like you implied, not everyone is evil with their point of view.

    However, we should be allowed to be parents without being judged. Motherly instinct/still small voice is a very real thing.

    Vaccinate if you choose or don’t, but don’t do either as a fad. If you don’t understand it, research it, all of it, multiple viewpoints (and not just on the internet nor from other parents testimonials…. Every child is unique). A lot (not all nor most) of kids with autism get very far behind in skills and out of control behaviorally because parents either don’t know what to expect or don’t set clear boundaries and expectations to provide stability and consistency for the child.

    I am NOT saying parents cause autism…. My children both were slightly delayed in meeting milestones, but because I knew how to provide consistency and follow through from the beginning, I don’t even see “typical” child behaviors.

    Back to the original point, I follow a schedule similar to yours. If my baby is feverish and cranky for two days with two shots, think what he’d be with the recommended five. My opinion. Take it or leave it.

  211. Measles are contagious for up to four days before symptoms manifest themselves. People send their sick kids to school all the time figuring it’s just a cold. Measles start out looking like a cold until the rash appears. I worked in schools and saw it all the time. ‘Child care is hard to come by and expensive, it’s only a cold, there’s no reason they shouldn’t go to school.’ Half the kindergarten class came down with chickenpox because one mom couldn’t take afford to take off work and sent her unwell child to school figuring she wasn’t that sick. One of the other kids had a respiratory reaction to the pox and had to be hospitalized. And you think that can’t happen with measles?

  212. Unfortunately, those who say they are choosing for their child have no concern that they are also choosing for mine. It’s like smokers saying they have their rights though their rights can kill others too. My child is not your responsibility nor your concern?

  213. My entire generation was unvaccinated. We got Tetanus Shots if we had a serious cut otherwise only Small Pox. My sisters had Scarlet Fever. I did not. We played together while they were quarantined. Others in the family got Mumps. Not me though I was exposed often. I had a blasted case of Measles handled very carefully. Neighborhood kids did die of appendicitis, getting hit by a car, and of accidents. But no one died of complications of childhood diseases. Penecillin had been invented and they used it ….liberally. Never did vaccinate my kids and they survived Chicken Pox, the Mumps and that was it.

  214. Thank you for this posting. It is well thought out and well put without insulting anyone personally. I think this is one reason I can get all worked up about the issue. People just assume they know why we are doing what we chose to do and take to name calling before they ask why we are doing what we are doing.

  215. Thank you. My first baby arrives in May and I’m SOOO tired of the fear-mongering…on all sides. Being a scientist myself, I just want data. It is so unhelpful to blindly take a side on this issue.

  216. the US doesn’t have a vaccine for TB, other countries do for babies however it isn’t that effective

  217. Doesn’t it bring into question the effectiveness of a vaccine if it only works if everyone gets it? If your child has been inoculated against the disease then you should have no fear of contracting it.

    The herd immunity idea makes no logical sense when sold with vaccine/technology which is meant to trigger the immune system into building antibodies to effectively fight the disease and give the recipient “immunity”.

  218. Measles and Vitamin C

    Dr. Klenner the Great as discussed for
    years did amazing work with vitamin C. He cured Polio yeasr before the
    vaccine at 100%. He cured mumps, chickenpox…actually every virus he
    ever came in contact with thousands of patients with measles being no
    different. Nearly all of which were done in days, not weeks.

    His methods were completely safe and non-toxic as always. He used
    intramuscular injections, like he did with Polio, eliminating 300 of 300
    cases within 72 hours and he also used
    I.V. form. He didn’t have the incredible power and ease of today’s
    Lipisomal C as our friend Dr. Thomas Levy has so intelligently used and
    written about time and again, but we do.

    He had complete control of measles in 24 to 36 hours via vitamin C in
    proper mega doses, which would be like about 5 packets (divided through
    the day) of LivOn Labs Lipisomal Vitamin C today. His patients developed
    complete immunity from recurrence of the disease after his treatment.

    As it has been, they scare the hell out of people almost on a daily
    bases here in the USA with virus, all while its all been cured time and
    time again at a rate of near 100% when the proper dosages, all non-toxic
    and safe, have been smartly used.

    I have read hundreds and
    hundreds of studies on the facts of vitamin C from Pauling to Cathart
    and from Klenner to Levy and simply put, I will always have Lipisomal C
    at the ready as long as I can afford it from snake bites to virus and
    from chemical ingestion to cancer, its electron donation (vitamin C) has
    done wonders since the beginning of time while scientifically and
    clinically has been proven 1000’s of times beyond compare for at least 7

    If in doubt, please start with Curing the Incurable by Dr. Thomas Levy. This man gives references like few do. smile emoticon


  219. I think this is the best article I have seen on the topic. It is not easy, and too many people expect it to be a clear cut issue. A friend’s son had a routine vaccination, and a hopefully rare experience. Three days later, the now lethargic child was back in the doctor’s office. After asking the mom if her baby had recently been vaccinated, the nurses exchanged a knowing look, and the child was admitted to the hospital with meningitis. The vaccine was contaminated.

  220. Actually the science is not settled. There is currently a federal court case against Merck where a whistleblower revealed evidence that Merck lied to the govt about how effective the MMR vaccine really is, and they hid data showing it does increase the risk of autism in certain groups. (Just FYI drug companies have covered up evidence before, like how dangerous antidepressants can be.)

    Google an article called “mass measles hysteria outbreak” on a website called wellbeyondmedicine. The study that supposedly proved vaccines don’t cause autism (the one always quoted by the media) was itself a faulty study. Most vaccine studies are paid for by drug companies & only cover a short period of time & overlook long term side effects.

  221. Considering how many quality control issues there have been in recent years, I don’t know why so many Drs & hospitals have such blind faith in the safety of vaccines. (The Johnson & Johnson recalls, other factories that were shut down by the FDA for dirty inspection results etc).

    Google an article on the WSJ Journal called “Counterfeit Avastin Took Murky Path to the US”. It explains how fake Avastin was imported into the US from a drug wholesaler in the UK, via another fake wholesaler based in Egypt and Turkey. About 80% of raw ingredients in our drugs now come from other countries.

    Back around in 2006, a major drug company had a US warehouse broken into, drugs stolen & sold on the black market. Some un-refrigerated insulin got distributed to chain drugstores in the US & it made people sick. There was an article in Fortune magazine about this years ago. There is no way we can guarantee the safety of all drugs & vaccines, counterfeit drugs are a big business worldwide.

  222. You, of all need to thank the rest of us (not really, just saying) who vaccinate because we are helping you keep your babes free from horrific disease. You CAN’T, whereas other’s DON’T.

  223. This is a unique story in regards to vaccinations… You don’t know what each individual is basing their decisions on whether to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. My grandson is a perfect example – He has a disorder called MCADD. Because he lacks the enzymes that brake down carbohydrates, he has to eat multiple times a day or he could die. Therefore, anytime he gets sick and won’t or can’t eat, he has to go to the hospital to get an IV. Thankfully, he has only had to go twice. His first immunization caused him to be very ill and that was the first time he was really sick and had to go to the doctor. After doing extensive research, they chose to wait until he was older to get him vaccinated and only allowed certain ones. He did not go to daycare or even the store. So I guess in this case – you could say they are on both sides of the fence.

  224. Reba although your comment makes some sense it’s also selfish …”If everyone is properly vacinated and 1 child has none that 1 child is at less risk.” I would LOVE for my babies not to get poked and prodded but why would everyone else want to immunize their kids so I don’t have to immunize mine? They wouldn’t. And I, and the majority of Americans, don’t appreciate having to pay doctor bills for visits to safeguard their children with immunizations while the anti-immunizers sit and hope that their kids don’t get sick ……. and I hope they worry about infecting others. To each his own but I promise you will soon see law suits launched at those that don’t immunize when they infect others. Nobody likes getting hit by a non-insured motorist right? It’s kind of the same thing.

  225. Pharmaceuticals or no pharmaceuticals. That is the question. Life is terminal and it will get us all in the end, no matter which we choose.

  226. Well here, answer that question yourself ….”If your child ONLY ate PB&J’s should your child have to stay home so as not to pose a threat to those ‘few’ that have peanut allergies?” Would that be fair? Of course not, but that’s what is being pushed. This country is based on a democracy where “majority” rules and that’s the way it should be. I didn’t vote for Obama but the “majority” did. That’s typically the way of life.

  227. This still turned into a hate-fest, just couched in polite language. SMH…

  228. Your child, whom is allergic to vaccines, is exactly who herd immunity is meant to protect. There are risks in everything and vaccines are no exception. My child, who can be vaccinated, and whom I’ve chose to vaccinate because the benefits simply out weigh the risks to me. Hypothetically, If he we in your child’s class, make no mistake, it was considerate for me to weigh the benefits and risks and choose to protect not only my child from fatal diseases like polio, but also protect your child from them too.

  229. Thank you for this article. I agree, why are we so uncompassionate about other people’s beliefs and ideas? Why are we putting each other down? Why are we saying there is only one side that can be right? This is not a black and white issue. We are parents, who love our children more than anything in the world. Our children mean everything to us…they are our WHOLE world. We are only trying to do what’s best for our children. Both sides are passionate about their beliefs…this doesn’t mean we have the right to tell other people/parents what their beliefs should be. I hope that we can be more compassionate to others and respect each other.

  230. That is not what’s being pushed. And I don’t recall the parents voting on the no PB issue. Just saying, by your logic, besides the non-vaccinated, the children with compromised immune systems and those with severe food allergies should have to stay home too. Since they are the minority.

  231. you bring up an interesting point. When my daughter was born, we asked about getting the Oral Polio Vaccine – this is a live virus vaccine, mild version, but it does provide herd immunity, vs. the killed virus vaccine which constitutes most vaccines and which only provides individual immunity (it was not available, with reserves being held by WHO which was using it in third world countries to provide vaccines and herd immunity). What today’s vaccination does is prevent epidemic outbreaks. What has become problematic in the current time period is that whole communities are in essence opting not to vaccinate, not always on good authority, and this is allowing certain diseases to gain a foothold and spread more rapidly. So, while you might have had isolated cases of a disease in the past 1/2 century or so, now you get whole regions with people coming down with a disease. And, it spreads more easily the more people there are carrying it. It’s a complicated issue. But, I’d like to throw this in the mix – vaccination has been going on for hundreds of years. The idea for the smallpox vaccine in the West came from a woman in the 1700s visiting Turkey (Ottoman Empire), who saw the locals doing it (but essentially with a live version of the virus). She shared this with Jenner and others, and they started doing it then.

  232. Sure it is. My child’s preschool did not allow PB&J ….. not even if she ate it in another room, because 3 out of 50 kids had peanut allergies. She went without eating lunch because she didn’t like the typical lunch meat sandwiches, hot dogs, cheese, etc. All she ate was the goldfish they’d get as snacks (and sometimes apples). Again, she coudn’t even eat in another room. I understand the whole peanut allergy issue because the child of a friend of mine has it but SHE makes sure HE always keeps himself imformed of his surroundings and she asks for guidance from the teachers. She did not demand the other students adjust their life to suit her son. So yes, the minority should stay home. My child will soon be going through chemo and a transplant, she will be the minority and she WILL stay HOME for a full year!! I’d be an idiot to send her to school. Hmmm, what’s more important, the normalcy of being out in society or her life …. HER LIFE!! Should I ask the school to make sure ALL KIDS are up to date on vaccines and free of sniffles??? NO. This is all about common sense and taking EVERYONE into consideration, not just oneself. And it’s not “my” logic, it’s the logic of an intelligent person ….. so yes, I guess it is my logic =)

  233. I’m sorry your daughter is sick. I hope her treatment is successful.

  234. No your child is not my responsibility or concern. I don’t care what you feed your child, when you put them to bed, what school they attend, or what doctor you take them to. Its not my business. I don’t pay your bills either..not my concern. The moment you feel that your children are any of my concern then you can pay me for that responsibility. When you sew someone light up a cigarette, do you yell at them for compromising your child’s health? No, you walk away. You can’t tell them they can’t smoke…but you can control what you do. Keep your kids away if you are so scared. Just like I did mine. I didn’t ask other people to worry about my daughter…she isn’t their child to care for or their business in any way. I took care of my daughter and protected her…MY JOB!! I do recall being the only one who gave birth. You share no rights to my choices for my children.
    And to biomedical student…you are so very misinformed. How do you explain how people who have just received the chicken pocks vaccine get the chicken pocks….and spread it? And those that are vaccinated for measles are spreading that too. And they were vaccinated!!! Wow…those vaccines work really well don’t they? Yet now, you’ve damaged your child’s God given healthy immune system with unimaginable toxins on top of it. Who knows what damage has been done that may take years to show its ugly face? Way to use your children as guinea pigs.

  235. The thing is, if everyone decided to not immunize their kids because of a small chance of a bad reaction, and measles, polio and small pox were to rise and become rampant, everyone would rush to vaccinate their kids from a FAR greater threat. But… because those who choose not to immunize can rely on the fact that the vast majority do, they can feel safe that their kids won’t be infected. That’s not right.

  236. And don’t get me wrong, I do not wish any child to hurt or come to harm at all. But I will NOT throw my child in front of a bullet for someone else’s. Vaccines come with risks, and I will NOT risk my child’s health and life for yours. And btw…you wouldn’t risk the life of your child for mine either, don’t fool yourself.

  237. It is not protecting when the live virus sheds up to six weeks or longer after being vaccinated. At least two of the children with Measles at Disneyland were vaccinated. My child has not been sick with anything and she will be 2 on Monday, has not been vaccinated. She eats super healthy, very little sugar, all home cooked meals. She has been around lots of sick babies as we have her in a class a few days a week that I go to her with. I feel we need to take responsibility for what we put in our children mouths, as it plays a huge role in the immune system. Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. I see kids eating McDonalds and Oreos. Shall I shove my beliefs/parenting about nutrition down those parents’ throat ? Just as I don’t want parents who believe I should vaccinate do the sam to me. (Not saying you are doing this). I would like to start a conversation about health and prevention from a perspective that doesn’t have to include vaccines to be healthy,well and alive. Herd immunity is a fallicy…

  238. Perfect, I so wish many could step back, take a breath and look at this issue in exactly this way

  239. I choose not to vaccinate because of the extensive research I have done and it’s ultimately the only decision I’m absolutely comfortable with. What I don’t like most about the vaccine debate is how people attack people’s character on the both sides. I completely understand why and don’t blame people for wanting to vaccinate and push others to. Do I agree with them or their reasons? No, I don’t. But that doesn’t give me the right to bash them! I will respect their choice if they can respect mine. Unfortunately, where things get really ugly, is that because pro vaxers believe in herd immunity (and again I don’t agree with this but I dont blame them for believing this either when this is all were told is true) they bash non-vaxers for endangering their children and don’t think we deserve to have a choice in the matter. Both sides want what they feel is best for their children and society as a whole. But often times we fail to see the intent of others hearts when what they say goes against everything you have learned to be true and that ultimately directly affects our lives. It’s sad how messed up our world is…

  240. JJ, you’re being snarky, exactly what the author asked us not to do. There are a lot of logical reasons why one would avoid some or all vaccines.

  241. Science is not generally done by “consensus” Is there a consensus that the world is round . . . no, it has been proven to be fact. There may have been consensus leading up to the proof, but until there was proof, it was still theory. The problem is, people are just repeating a lot of what they hear from the media, their friends, the doctors, the government. If you really start researching the topic, you will find so much of what is written below in the comments is not fact at all. No vaccines have ever been studied doing double blind studies– the gold standard for studying safety and efficacy of medicine. Herd Immunity is a myth, and applies only to those who get the disease naturally and receive life-long immunity. Unvaccinated children are not less healthy as a group. There is no global consensus as many countries have pulled certain vaccines from their schedules. While I don’t think the medical community is trying to harm children with vaccines, they are also just repeating what they are taught. Very few physicians are studying the issue themselves, they are just giving advice based on their initial training, and then their continuing medical education (which is often, if not always, sponsored by pharmaceutical companies). By the way, pharmaceutical companies are in it for the money people– they are big business. That doesn’t mean all pharmaceuticals are bad, many can be life changing/saving . . . but you do have to keep in mind they are not some benevolent entity in it for the soul purpose of good. Why do we have the vaccine compensation fund, where the drug companies are held completely blameless for any adverse outcomes? Listen, this venue isn’t big enough to share the research . . my belief is people should be able to decide for themselves and their children. But if you really want to start understand what you are talking about, and not just repeat what you’ve been told . . . you really need to read the research for yourself (and there is plenty) for both sides and come up with an educated decision. I would start with the package inserts, and then read the “other side”– then go from there.

  242. How is the disease preventable if it is being spread by those who are vaccinated and are shedding the virus in some cases? Or those who contract it, but have been vaccinated? Again, I’m thinking a TV show is not the best place to learn about medical decisions. Read the complete package inserts. and do the research yourself before making statements that you “think” are facts. You are making decisions based on emotional family history and not facts. Polio and many other diseases we have vaccinations for were on the great decline, death rates had plunged well before the vaccines were introduced. Google it and see the charts

  243. I understand why you and most people feel that way, but I have not seen any research or studies to support the “theory” of herd immunity. I have actually seen studies proove that the vaccinated can still contract and spread the very diesease they have been vaccinated against, which proves the theory has no weight. It’s not a matter of my children’s welfare over yours or society as a whole in my eyes. It’s everyone for themselves. If you want to vaccinate your children that’s fine. But please don’t tell me I’m “harming” others by my choice to “protect” my family. I think we are both doing what we think is best from our understanding and point of view.

  244. More emotion and lack of facts. For example, measles is not a “horrible, fatal illness”, but a mild cold like illness. I had it as a child. You cannot state that vaccine risks are infinitesimal and that the diseases are horrible and fatal . . . those are extreme words, based on your emotion, not facts.

    And while I admit, I have not researched PB allergies, there is no risk to my child to NOT eat or have PB around another child. If someone knows the comparative risk of dying from the measles vs dying from a life-threatening PB allergy, I’d like to hear it. Personally, I’d be far more concerned about the child with the PB allergy, then any other children getting the measles. I picked measles, because that is what stirred all this up. PB and Vaccines are apples and oranges– not comparable in my book.

  245. If your child is in school and fully vaccinated why would you be nervous about her getting measles…unless vaccines dont work?

  246. “Science is not generally done by “consensus” Is there a consensus that
    the world is round . . . no, it has been proven to be fact. There
    may have been consensus leading up to the proof, but until there was
    proof, it was still theory.”

    A theory is when something is already supported by proof/facts.

    A hypothesis is an educated guess that has yet to be proven.

    There is a consensus in the global scientific community over the safety and efficacy of vaccination. There was no consensus until there was proof.

  247. If it’s not practical for the parents to research what is being injected into their kids then I think they should think twice before having kids. The government pushes the Gardasil vaccine which is pretty much useless on most strains of HPV. This is a sexually transmitted, why is the government so concerned with young girls getting cancer from HPV? Simply because they are making $ from it. There are plenty of things that cause cancer that the government isn’t “protecting” us from. Quite the opposite. One has to conclude the same for the scheduled vaccines pushed on young children. Parents need to do their research.

  248. Biomedical student, you need to study some more to get your facts correct.

  249. I’m not sure I’d agree with that. I’ve deleted a few hateful comments, but I don’t think respecting other people’s opinions means not sharing your own. And I think it’s okay to have STRONG opinions. There are a few comments that are borderline, but for the most part, I think people are being really respectful on both sides of the argument.

  250. Actually that’s not true, my son was in kindergarten with a boy so allergic to peanuts that being in the same room with them cause anaphylaxis! The teacher had to run with him in her arms to the nurse and they had to administer an epi pen. All of us parents were informed at the beginning of the school year.

  251. It’s not just about *my* child, which is what people don’t seem to get. It’s about the children out there who are immunocompromised and cannot be vaccinated. It’s about the elderly, it’s about newborns, it’s about my friend’s 6 week old baby who has been fighting for his life for almost a year after he was exposed to whooping cough by an unvaxxed child and though he thankfully survived, he will have respiratory problems the rest of his life. Vaccines work, as evidenced by every medical study that has ever been done on the efficacy of vaccines. As evidenced by the fact that polio cases are ZERO in America and most other developed nations. Denying that vaccines work is like saying our lungs don’t help us breathe.

    If you don’t vaccinate your child and your child infects another child who subsequently dies, you deserve to be brought up on charges. You have committed manslaughter. If you don’t vaccinate and your own child dies, you deserve to be brought up on charges. You have committed murder, knowingly and willfully denying a life-saving vaccine to a child under your care.

  252. Again, vaccines don’t eradicate disease, they help minimize the affect of it. However, each time it gets to play in an unvaccinated child’s immune system it has the potential to mutate. Geesh people do a bit of research first.

  253. I’m sorry, but measles is not a ‘mild’ illness. Measles can kill you, and I would be happy to provide links to the hundreds, even thousands, of sites where you can find that out. Just because it wasn’t fatal for you, doesn’t mean it isn’t fatal for everyone.

  254. And yet nobody has died in the scary measles outbreak.

  255. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! As someone who has been on the receiving end of some of the most vile names imaginable, I so appreciate this. I do not want to tell other people what to do. I do not want to get into unproductive arguments about a topic that is not my area of expertise. I just want to tell people my son’s story just so they can understand why I have some concerns, why I think more research needs to be done to ensure vaccine safety, and why I believe SCOTUS has done significant damage to the American medical system by shielding pharma from liability. Yes, the timing of the onset of my son’s autism may have been a horrible coincidence as irrelevant as the alignment of the stars on the day he got them (not attacking astrology followers here, but just trying to make an analogy of how my opinion may come across to people) but it sure seems suspicious.

    If we keep calling people names and telling people to STFU and “I hope you and your child die” we will never make any progress and we will never get anywhere in finding a solution that meets everyone’s needs.

    JSYK, I will not respond to negative posts other than report abusive ones.

  256. Why is “herd immunity” even a thing? If the medical establishment wants our respect, then they need to give us some and quit treating us like we’re a bunch of cows!

  257. I just have one question. Do you think that the government should force people to vaccinate themselves and their children?
    I vaccinate but with fear, but it’s my choice. I don’t feel that should ever be taken away from anyone. Yet me just saying that has gotten me in a lot of trouble. I wish I knew why.

  258. Well said.

  259. My 2 oldest daughters had severe reactions to the pertussis vaccine. High fevers, swollen legs, and daughter #2 had muscle spasms as well. Our pediatrician said NO MORE pertussis vaccines for them! He also told me that if I had any more children, that they should not get the pertussis vaccine. I had 2 more and they have never gotten that vaccine. I also delayed the vaccines with my 2 youngest. They started at 6 months instead of 2 months. I wanted their immune system to get stronger before they got the vaccines. It worked for us. No more severe side effects. Every child, every parent, every family is different. To point fingers and call names is not only wrong, it is disrespectful and judgmental. We don’t know what another family has experienced, so it is best to keep our mouths shut and let families do their own research and make their own decisions.

  260. Are you aware that those statistics are worldwide, which naturally includes many poverty stricken malnutritioned countries that do not have access to good medical care care. The statistics for first world countries are very different. In fact, despite the media hoopla, there have been zero deaths from the measles in the us in 10 years. There have been, however more than 100 deaths from the measles vaccine in the same period of time.

  261. Thx Mandy! My thoughts exactly. People are so heated over this issue. I understand the passion, but not the need to attack each other.

  262. Hasn’t there bee cases of vaccinated children carrying the disease for days or whatever and spreading it around? I agree that vaccinating children can help those who don’t vaccinate through heard immunity but not if these children become carriers (even just for a few days) and spreads the illness onto others.

  263. You are putting fromeldahyde into your child- a TOXIN

  264. The pertussis vaccine has been notoriously hit or miss. How do you or anyone know if the person who had the virus was a vaccinated or unvaccinated child? Pertussis effects adults as well, and those who have been vaccinated. A hospital or doctor’s office cannot divulge this information due to privacy laws.

    If my child dies, like my niece did, or has a permanent disability, like my mother did, from a vaccine – who gets brought up on murder charges then?

    Vaccines, like all medical care, are an issue to be discussed with a patient (a patient’s parents in the case of a minor) and their physician. Personal and family history as well as other factors need to be taken into consideration for any medical plan, including a vaccination plan. The people involved in this decision are the parents of the child and the physician that the parents have selected for the child. Not the government, not the school board, and not you.

  265. You are wrong. The fact that your friend’s child cannot tolerate vaccines should make you feel passionate that all children who can should be vaccinated. Your friend’s child’s life is in danger because of “ho hum” people like you who feel it is a parent’s “right.” Not vaccinating is more than selfish, it’s criminal.

  266. And babies don’t “die” from vaccines. At least not anywhere near the rate they die from the diseases. Sheesh.

  267. Patricia Neal’s child died of measles in 1962. Before the vaccine. She was 8. It can be deadly.

  268. You obviously don’t know anything about immunology.

  269. You didn’t have Rubeola. You had Rubella. Big difference.

  270. 150,000 people died of measles last year.

  271. Because they have the vaccine, duh. Nutrition means zilch to a respiratory virus.

  272. No.

  273. My daughter had very bad reactions and has had 3 strokes and has brain damage from the shots she got. We did not do our research we did them cause everyone we know did them, and the dr’s said to. We did our research and now do not do them after her 15m and now 3 kids 2 have never had 1 and they have never had an ear infection, strep throat none of that tho my daughter who was Vaccinated has had them so many times. I heard this from another mom and I will always share it with others she said, would you eat the ingredients of the shots on a spoon? If not why would you put them in a shot and give them that way. It is just something to think about, and also if your pro life you should be against them cause there is abortion baby cells in shots something I did not know till I did my research, so if you choose to do them please look into them and not just do them cause your mom did or your best friend did, but make sure there what you want to do. Many people you know probably do not do them, and we can not hurt you if your shots work we would be the ones at risk.

  274. Herd immunity is not proven and there are studies that prove it. The very few studies that have been done actually point to the opposite. Stop listening to the media and learn facts that are proven not hypotheses.

  275. And there are NO studies to prove it I mean

  276. Why has no one on here brought up quarantine. It should be everyones duty to pay attention to symptoms of illness and quarantine their families to prevent spreading illness. Every Friday my 2.5 yr old daughter goes to dance and then gym class for 1.5 hours of fun she has been doing this for 14 months and in her young life she has been sick about 4-5 times everytime she has come up sick on a Monday after dance. I find it rather RUDE that people don’t prevent the spread of illness by staying home if they are not well. Without contact others don’t contract the illness. If you are sheding a virus stay home dam it be considerate of others. Controlling the spread of these things could be rather simple if people were more considerate and didn’t expose others to what they have. Going around sick putting other people in jeopardy is self centered. Saying you didn’t know your kid was sick is so lame by the time they are coughing and booger monsters they have usually been sick for several hours or more. I can always tell the day before when my daughter is going to come up sick her eyes get glassy and her skin gets more translucent parents who pay attention can see it coming on before symptoms really wind up.

  277. Yes why has no one discussed the issue of quarantine. Sick people should be responsible and stay home. Stop speeding this crap all around.

  278. In the 1950s I suspect that children who were maimed or died from diseases like polio or measles simply disappeared from classrooms. Children were kept naive and handicapped children did not come to school with us.

  279. I have seen reports that the strain of measles that has been spread is a strain that is not covered by the vaccination. Let’s take something else into consideration. Our borders have been recently opened and people from other countries are pouring into our country. Does anyone really believe that there is no connection here? An onslaught of immigrants, different strain and then sudden outbreaks. Many people in this country have chosen not to vaccinate for many years and we have not had outbreaks. Open borders are going to bring more than just people. It will bring their diseases, too. Remember ebola?

  280. what epidemic? Out of the 84 cases reported only 9 have been diagnosed! Media and social media propaganda at its finest. Parents do what they feel best for THEIR children and not one other person has the right to interject.

  281. Do you actually believe non vaccinated kids are loaded with these illnesses just ready to pass them along? I just don’t get that statement ‘keep your unvaccinated kids away from mine’ listen to yourself scare monger

  282. why are they more likely to be sick?

  283. Very Well Written! Love your heart and your approach. I too did vaccinate our children, but I also believe in a longer schedule. I also believe in optional vaccines. I had the flu,measles, chicken pox and mumps as I was born before 1965! What did all of the children born before this time do. Did they die, become paralyzed, blind,deaf etc. MOST of us lived without complication. I don’t even have any scars from the pox. These, unlike polio are not horrific deadly diseases. They feel very much like the flu and you get over them. They, like all other illnesses can have complications, but so do vaccines. I don’t like how this has become overblown. Measles, mumps, chicken and even whooping cough (which can have more frequent side effects under the age of 2) are not Ebola. Before the vaccines they were seen as common childhood illnesses. I lived the time and my mother was a registered nurse, so I am telling the truth to you. Moreover, if you have been vaccinated, why are you afraid of other people not vaccinated? I believe vaccines take your child out of risk. What I do believe is that parents should have the choice in this. Unvaccinated children are only a risk to other unvaccinated children. So if a parent chooses to have their child go through the illness rather that be vaccinated, that should be their option. If it were me, I would have a polio vaccine. If I was male I would have mumps (mumps cause sterility). If I did not have measles by the time I am sexually active I would have that one (measles can cause still borns). Tetanus shots are probably a good idea. Diptheria seems to be not talked about, so I am not really up on that one. But please stop treating the measles and chicken pox as a life and death disease. It is not, nor should it be required of parents to vaccinate for it.

  284. I have a different metaphor for vaccines. Imagine that I decide to carry an umbrella. When it rains (potentially crippling diseases), I’m going to get less wet than someone who isn’t carrying an umbrella. That doesn’t mean I can’t get wet, I just have an added shield against the rain, and in the event that I do get wet, I will be less likely to become severely wet. Now imagine that I take my umbrella down a crowded sidewalk where most other people are also carrying an umbrella, there are now enough umbrellas relative to the number of people exposed to the rain that those without umbrellas can seek protection from the rain under the umbrellas of those around them. Is it fool proof? No. Is there still potential to get wet? Definitely. Does that mean we should stop using umbrellas? I don’t think so. That being said, umbrellas can also be dangerous. You can pinch your fingers in them, get poked in the eye, or have the misfortune of running into some punk wielding it like a sword. So some people are choosing to risk getting more wet than deal with the risks of the umbrella. That would be ok, but the fewer umbrellas, the greater the risk of wetness or even just more severe wetness to everyone on the sidewalk…. Especially those who can’t carry their own umbrella because they are too weak, too young, or otherwise disabled.

  285. I am a registered nurse. I spent the first 18 years of my career specializing in critical care. I took care of many, many patients with infectious diseases for which there are no preventative vaccines….Vancomycin resistant enterococci, MRSA, clostridium difficile, necrotizing fasciitis (aka ‘flesh eating bacteria), multi drug resistant tuberculosis, to name a few. Like thousands upon thousands of healthcare professionals, I put on gowns, masks, gloves, etc and put myself in harm’s way to take care of extremely ill patients. However, thanks to the immunizations available in this country, I never saw even a single case of measles, mumps, diphtheria, pertussis, polio or smallpox. Not one.

    Now, I am a school nurse. Fortunately, the majority of students on my campus are fully immunized. Rarely I will have a student with a temporary medical exemption. However, there is a growing population of parents deciding, for personal, ideological, philosophical, conscientious or religious reasons to not vaccinate their children. It has become seemingly trendy or fashionable, like crocodile purses and infinity scarves. “Its our decision how to raise our kids, and we don’t want the government telling us what to do. I’m concerned about my family, not the greater good.”

    The reality is, those same people not concerned with the greater good will most certainly, at some point, expect to benefit from the greater goodness of others. If their child becomes seriously ill with a preventable disease such as measles, they will probably immediately take that child to a hospital where they will expect other people to take care of him or her. Fortunately, there will be responsible healthcare workers available to do just that. Can you imagine what would happen if a child with measles was taken to the hospital only to be told that no one could take care of him because all the healthcare workers had decided they didn’t want to be vaccinated themselves?

    I don’t particularly like to be told what do do, either. But sometimes, the directive is for the good, and for the best. I care about the health and well-being of my family, but I care about others as well.

    Every day, I make countless, seemingly small decisions that may impact not only my family, but possibly the families of many others as well. I do feel responsible to others in society. I don’t want to get sick, and I don’t want to pass illness on to anyone else. The decision to vaccinate myself and my kids isn’t just about me.

    For those parents who choose not to vaccinate…. I wish you the very best. I sincerely hope your children do not experience any illnesses caused by diseases that can be prevented by safe, readily available vaccines. I hope they are surrounded by an immunized population, because I don’t want you to experience the pain and grief caused by either losing a child to, or having a child permanently disabled by a preventable disease. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

    ” Its not just because I love my kids that I vaccinated them – it’s because I love your kids as well” – Dr. Sanjay Gupta

  286. Yes very true , even chicken pox I had it as a child, my mom had mumps and measles , we made it thru those big deal so why is it such a big deal the shots are much more dangerous then when I was little we didn’t need as many and putting 3 vaccines together to make just one shot is dangerous like MMR

  287. I think a majority of people should get vaccines. Most of us are healthy and can deal with the mild reactions that most vaccines cause. The problem arises when there are children with compromised immune systems, or allergic reactions to certain serums. I think then, all must be done to help the child be protected as possible from these diseases by alternative therapies (from the medical community) or possibly even through quarantine measures. But have the child’s best interest at heart, don’t refuse vaccines because “it would line pharmaceutical companies’ big pockets”.

  288. I would homeschool if I were you my youngest has the same issues and he can’t have any vaccines due to a bad reaction twice and I found milk products can make him more sick so I switched to coconut milk and mostly organic fruits vegetables , homemade soups, natural safe medicine and vitamins. His reaction was could not breathe very scary , I have a small group of friends we get together now and then and have the same interests it helps to have someone that supports you and your kids, personal experience makes all the difference or knowing someone that has had vaccine injuries happen to their child , it really changes your opinion and OPENS your eyes all my children except my 4 yr old have had their vaccines, my youngest had the reaction and is doing much better since I became a better parent and looked into what these vaccines are made of and reading all the tragic stories of parents who have lost a child or had injuries due to the vaccines, having 5 kids ,one stepdaughter every child is different in their own way on foods diet and health and when their sick I have learned a lot over the years by no means am I a stupid parent I have had lots of first hand experience and plan to continue to look at all the information I can from now on to protect my children and now I have a grandchild that is healthy and vaccine free) so proud of my daughter for checking into all info on vaccines and going with what is best

  289. How many die from measles now ? And how many die from the vaccine and have reactions? Go from there…… My neighbors children all went thru the measles and our all fine they are vaccine free and very healthy, it opened up my eyes big time and wish my youngest would never have got his shots and then he would be a healthy boy ( he had a bad reaction twice first time they convinced me it was from the flu next time the Er doctor actually admitted it was a reaction to his shots he said don’ t get them anymore it could kill him ( he could not breathe) Until your child has a reaction or dies we obviously can’t change your mind so I’ll quit wasting my time reading your posts. But first hand experience will change you it did me ( mom of 5 children and one stepdaughter)

  290. Really does she know that everyone in her class doesn’t have any side effects.

  291. No, but that is why others that can, should for children like yours. And especially for those that cancer and other health issues as they can’t be vaccinated while under treatment.

  292. ^^ in third world countries, and places with poor nutrition. The U.S. hasn’t had a measles death in ten years. Roughly 100 per year get the measles, and the fatality rate is 1:1,000.

  293. The booster doesn’t technically make immunity stronger. What it does is cover the 5% of people who don’t develop antibodies after the initial MMR. There are also people who never develop the antibodies, so if you want to be sure you’re up to date, you’d need s blood titer to see if you have the antibodies. The vaccine offers temporary “immunity”. The actual disease is the only thing that offers lifelong true immunity.

  294. The MMR is a triple live virus, so the shedding is of concern in this situation. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a rise in the outbreak as people panic and get the vaccine.

  295. MMR is a live vaccine. Research.

  296. One way the MMR passes the diseases is through the nasal cavity- specify cell rubella. You shed the live viruses for weeks, and if you rub your nose and touch someone, or sneeze, you just spread a live virus.

  297. So true! If your child is vaccinated, then you should not have to worry about those who are not. If the vaccine works, then your child is protected. The unvaccinatec child’s sickness will have no bearing on the vaccinated child.

  298. My children are now in their 30s. When my first child was vaccinated, they came out with this great new idea of sticking the needle in the thigh muscle instead of the upper arm. She had a terrible reaction to the shot – high fever, reddened skin that was warm at the injection site, crying for hours. I was terrified. When she was due for her next vaccination, I insisted that it be given in the arm instead of the leg. The doctor reluctantly agreed to do so and my baby had no reaction other than a slightly elevated temperature for one day. From that point forward I had all my 4 children’s vaccinations done in the arm instead of the leg and there were no further reaction episodes.

  299. Thank you

  300. Really? A PB allergy is almost a given that the child WILL DIE if exposed. Unless they get a shot of adrenalin and more in hospital, that’s pretty much the end result. Can’t say the same about diseases, the risk of death is far lower.

  301. You can say that all you like, but you cannoy argue the experience of a parent who has a normal child, vaccinates and the child has a reaction and ends up autistic. All the research in the world doesn’t change that this is someone’s experience.

  302. But your friend’s baby could have just as easily caught an illness from a recently vaccinated child who was shedding the virus. I don’t know anyone who goes into quarantine for two weeks after receiving their vaccines. So how is that helping babies, the elderly, and the immunosuppressed? I’m not threatening to bring you up on charges for allowing your shedding child to infect my newborn. People like you who want to press charges are the reason that people like myself will fight tooth and nail to keep vaccines optional.

  303. Missing a peanut butter sandwich isn’t going to hurt anyone. A vaccine can kill or maim a child. How ignorant.

  304. Hang onto that pediatrician! Finding one who is willing to agree with a non-vaccination decision is like striking gold: it happens much too rarely now…

  305. Sarah,

    If you’re asking whether or not your vaccinated child can still get a disease he or she has been vaccinated for from anyone else on the planet who happens to be ill (and not just unvaccinated children), the answer to that is unfortunately yes.

    This has little to do with whether or not your child rubs shoulders with unvaccinated children, and more to do with

    *your child’s overall state of health,
    *how well his or her immunizations have taken and the level of antibodies produced,
    *whether or not the strain vaccinated for is the strain encountered,
    *how many other ill kids and adults are encountered during their period of contagion, and how closely your child is exposed to them,
    *whether your child is experiencing a period of low immunity (immunity can be compromised temporarily by allergies, sugar, or stress),
    *and how good everyone is at remembering to disinfect door knobs, desk tops, tables, toys, etc., that your child normally touches.

    The chances of your vaccinated child catching an illness from another vaccinated child are statistically quite a bit higher than the chance of him or her catching an illness from an unvaccinated child because of the sheer numbers of vaccinated children.

    With 95%-98% of school children vaccinated, completely vaccine-free children are quite rare.

    Even children like my daughter who don’t have all of their vaccines are quite rare, although they’re growing less so.

    It might help to keep in mind that most of us making this decision to stop vaccinating have made it for reasons of health–because we’ve realized that our children will be much healthier without the vaccines than with them.

    In our case, my daughter had bad reactions to her toddler shots, compounded by bad reactions to three classes of antibiotics (there are only 5 classes of antibiotics; the last two are for resistant infections like MRSA). We’ve had to work very hard to restore her to good health.

    From what I have seen and experienced, those of us who have made the choice not to vaccinate–or to not give all of the vaccinations–try to be intentionally careful about keeping an eye on our children’s welfare.

    If my daughter starts looking sufficiently unwell, I don’t send her to school.

    I know that if I can get her to stop and rest soon enough at the start of an illness, she’ll throw it off and bounce right back with only a day or two of instruction time missed instead of one or more weeks. And yes, this protects other children from catching what she’s caught, although that isn’t my primary concern. Keeping her well and in school is…

    Also, most parents who don’t vaccinate are not just “not vaccinating”.

    For instance, my daughter and I worked with a dually-certified medical specialist to create a set of alternative therapies that we pursue to promote good health and healthy immune systems, and protect us from catching (or passing along) illnesses. This regimen has proved highly effective.

    Just because my daughter doesn’t have all of her immunizations is not a reason to fear her or any other less-than-fully-vaccinated or unvaccinated child. Chances are, if their parents are on top of things and getting the right kind of medical help, those children will be healthier than yours.

    I’d encourage you to talk to their parents, and find out what they’re doing to make a difference for their kids. You might want to borrow a few ideas.

  306. I’m pro-vaccine for sure (also skip the flu shot though) but I totally agree that it needs to be a freedom and not forced. Educate, research, provide evidence that they’re truly safe, but leave it open. Despite the facts that far more lives are saved than lost, or kept healthy than hurt, we need to come to the realization that this is something we lived without for thousands of years and humanity lived onward. Governments taking control for our betterment always make it the first step to overreach, then totalitarianism. Is freedom worth lives lost? I think thousands of soldiers would say yes.

  307. BABIES DO NOT DIE FROM VACCINES. Name one. One. No one has died from vaccinations since they discontinued the original smallpox vaccine before I was born – unless you’re being vaccinated for yellow fever. There’ve been a few deaths reported from thymoma after yellow fever vaccination, but the last time I looked that wasn’t on the US schedule.

    The ONLY potentially life-threatening effect of vaccination is anaphylactic shock from an allergic response: and it turns out that having such a reaction in front of someone qualified to give a vaccination is the only (apparently) guaranteed way to survive it – since absolutely no one has ever died that way. Ever.

    It is NOT an even risk: 1 in 1000 who contract measles will suffer complications resulting in death. That is infinitely more than zero. Congenital rubella syndrome causes spontaneous abortion, still birth, severe heart disorders, blindness, deafness, or other life-threatening organ disorders in the baby in ALL cases of prenatal exposure with an unvaccinated mother. Pertussis only kills infants under one year and individuals with compromised immunity, such as cancer patients, and ONLY about 1% of those. Again, infinitely more than zero; and given that it isn’t going to be your old-enough-to-be-immunized and otherwise healthy child who dies, who cares, right? Polio on the other hand almost never affects anyone – less than 5% of people who “catch” it ever have any symptoms at all. So, again, who cares what happens to the others who never had to be exposed to it if you’d given your child that teaspoon of syrup?

    If every single claim of vaccine related injury or illness were in fact true (and nearly all of them are completely baseless) the risk of vaccinating would STILL be less than the risk of not vaccinating. Because what it comes down to is the sentence in your blog that made me stop and write this response:”Babies die from preventable diseases, and babies die from vaccines.” Because BABIES DO NOT DIE FROM VACCINES.

  308. The correct information that you are sharing is what you are being told by the companies that benefit from it, like someone said in a post earlier, I too don’t believe all that we are being taught, as a nurse myself I am really seeing the medical profession in a different light.

  309. Ok. I keep reading the line herd immunity. We are all part of the herd. Vaccinations last between 7 to 20 years before they wane. That means that as a ‘herd’ over 75% have no immunity because it has worn off. Meaning even if all children are vaccinated you still only have a 25% coverage of the herd.

  310. I meant to say, I don’t believe we are being told everything that is really going on. If you look at the ingredients that are in many of these vaccines, it’s hard not to question this. I have looked at all the inserts of the vaccines that I have had my hands on, and its really disgusting at what they expect us to be okay with putting into as infants. Why i it that so many European countries have revisited their vaccine schedule and removed some or suggested giving at an older age.

  311. polio is a water carried disease. Polio is no more in the first world because of clean water.

  312. So if vaccines are so great why is it that I had to have the MMR every year for 4 years while in nursing school and yet I still don’t hold immunity to it. Also, as a child I was vaccinated against Whooping Cough as was my husband and best friend, yet we all ended up getting whooping cough, I ended up having to be hospitalized. The same with the Chicken Pox, got the vaccine and got the pox.

  313. There will always be those that are for and against vaccines. As long as you do your own PROPER research and you feel comfortable with the decision that you have made for YOUR child, then why should any of this matter to anyone else. I had looked into this subject well before I was even pregnant with my daughter and knew what I wanted for her. Regardless if she is or isn’t vaccinated, it’s none of anyones business. I know that as a parent I would never do anything to harm her intentionally or any other child, but my responsibility is my daughter, not anyone else’s. Oh and when I say proper research I mean…don’t believe the media, everything your doctor says is what they are taught, and yes that is many times funded by the pharmaceutical companies (I work in health care so I have seen it first hand). I started by reading all the inserts for the vaccines and looked up all the ingredients, and really read all the fine print, I looked up different sources online (not government web sites), and read many books, there is a good one by Dr. Sears (a Paediatrician, actually family of pads) and his book is very insightful, he is for vaccines but on a different schedule and he provides you with information about ingredients, what can happen if your child gets the disease and what can happen if they get the vaccine. Bottom line is be comfortable with your decision no matter what it is.

  314. Very well said. I am not against having others come, but this should be looked at as well. Also, viruses, diseases, etc..mutate and those that have been protected may not be against the new strains of the viruses. For instance look at the flu vaccine, it has been proven to be so ineffective this year, yet they are still recommending that people get the flu shot. The strain that is out isn’t even covered by the vaccine. I also think that with all the vaccines that we have out there we are now trying to create super humans, we are relying on external factors to protect our immune system rather than letting our bodies try and develop and strengthen on its own.

  315. Actually a friend of mine has Polio, and she got it from the vaccine.

    Another friend of mine lost their child after it’s 2 month vaccinations.

    And a third friend of mine, her child stopped speaking 4 hours after his MMR shot and didn’t speak again until he was 7. He now has severe autism.

    Another friend of mine, she moved here from Mexico when her child was 3. Her child had never had any vaccines, ever. He had to get caught up when they moved here to attend pre-school and is now 11 with SEVERE autism. He was completely normal, happy, chatty three year old.

    If you read about people who are immunocompromised, they aren’t allowed to be around people who have received any live vaccinations for several weeks, thus making them a danger as well.

  316. Thank you for posting this – it was an insightful look into vaccines that many people in the argument should read.

    The way I see it, this argument is beyond science at this point: it is about taking scientific data that both supports and opposes vaccines and saying…what do I do with this? It’s not so clear cut and well defined as some of the websites seem to make it.

    I do have one question though…is there any compromise possible on the matter? Or is it just really as simple as ‘let them do vaccines if they want’? It just seems like the argument has a lot of emphasis on fear (understandably), and there would be no way to find a middle ground without removing some of the materials in vaccines that are deemed dangerous. Which, I imagine, is easier said then done.

    My apologies if this came across as rude, I am just a humble college student who is not a mother and who is still forming her own opinions and contemplating things. 🙂 I am new to this issue, and find myself focusing on (and struggling with) people’s opinions more then the science of everything. Many have read the science, but the interpretation part of it is all over the place. Many have played this off to me (on the I F****** love science page) as a religion vs. science page, but it seems more like it is a ‘family vs. fear vs. science (maybe) vs. religion vs. just about everything else under the sun. It isn’t as clear cut, I mean. It’s messy and complicated with no one solution because we all have opinions.

    Is the whole ‘just let people do what they want’ a cop out response? Could this harm anyone if we let people do what they want? I think i’m over-thinking this…

  317. I think every parent needs to be well informed for themselves and be allowed to make there own decision about what is best for their child. My son has been diagnosed with Autism and I truly believe it was a reaction to the MMR shot. Research is showing some possible genetic predisposition that combined with the shots may cause Autism. So the shots by themselves don’t cause Autism. This makes it a very hard decision whether to give the shots to your child or not. Knowing what I know now, I would probably choose to delay the shots, at least the MMR shot until they were older, or decide not to get that particular combination, request separate vaccinations instead of the combined. It is a difficult decision because I want my child protected from these deadly diseases but I want him safe from the adverse reactions. You just have to put it in God’s hand no matter what, because my son is an amazing gift from God, and he is wonderful just the way he is right know.

  318. I grew up in a house with two very loving parents who made the decision not to have me vaccinated. I have never received a shot in my life and I am 22 and extremely healthy. As a child I rarely got sick and when I did, it was a speedy recovery and was not full of fearful thinking. My parents prayed for healing or called a Christian Science practitioner to pray, and results were swift and painless. I think there is merit to both sides of the argument, but I respect each parents decision and would never bash a parent for doing what they think is the most loving solution. In my own experience, fear is a major cause of disease and those who truly believe they will get sick, do.

    The most loving thing we can do for our children is to rid ourselves of fear. That doesn’t mean we should throw precaution or common sense to the wind, but rather, we should have a calm mental state when making decisions.

    Similarly, when a child falls and starts crying it is the parents job to not overreact and to have a calm and loving response. If the parent is fearful and rushes to the child with a worried expression, the child will undoubtedly be more fearful and it will make the situation worse.

    Even when it comes to important medical decisions, the parents should make them with love rather than out of fear. For some, that means praying for health, for others that means turning to doctors for vaccinations. It doesn’t matter which path is chosen, both should be done without fearful thinking.

  319. I don’t think you understand the nature of research. What you are describing is anecdotal evidence. It does not mean anything about a link between vaccines and autism. It just means that someone got a vaccine and got autism at the same time. Research shows whether there is a link. It is just like if my child drank milk as a kid and then developed autism. Just showing it happened once does not show a link, especially if it is something that all kids do (like get vaccines, play outside, drink milk, visit the doctor, and so on).

  320. Thank you. The waiting for a donor and uncertainty of success is the worst part.

  321. My dad had HIB or flu type b as an adult, something we vaccinate for. It was a long two months in the hospital, tubes draining fluid and dr.’s very confused, searching for a diagnosis. This is why I vaccinate. Blindly, no. Because we lived the story. This vaccine was not available to him when he was a child and as an adult it nearly cost him his life. something to think about. Life long prevention…

  322. It is more dangerous to give each shot separetely. The chemicals everyone is afraid of mixed with the vaccine is increased if you give each shot separately versus all three in one shot.

  323. but the vaccines did not cause those problems. People get vaccines frequently. tragedies happen fairly often. Of course, some of them will happen during t the same time period. I got bite by a dog and my grandma was killed in an accident the next day. One did not cause the other.

  324. Firstly, know that my children are vaccinated. I agree – parents should make their own decisions based on the facts. They should also know and take into consideration that the “facts” on adverse reactions are misrepresented as they are often not reported to the CDC by physicians. I know this first-hand.

  325. The government tells us how do to many things with our children such as seat belts and education. I believe is personal freedom but protecting the public and the most vulnerable is more important in this instance.

  326. I disagree. Only because most I know who are anti-vaccine DO NOT call names and vilify the other side. I have rarely come across a vaccine supporter who does ridicule and accuse those who do not vaccinate ,with child abuse ,while communicating with names and sarcasm. I 100% agree with you that every family should be free to make their own decision. I believe, because of the media’s slant, we will lose that freedom. And that is unacceptable.

    There are dozens of well respected doctors and scientists on both sides of the issue. I have found over the 30 years I have had kids that those vaccinate do so, in general, because they have been told to by their doctors. Most who do not vaccinate or who delay the schedule have done their research. One thing is for certain – in this day and age there is NO excuse for being uninformed and many people ARE.

  327. Absolutely false.

  328. Except that herd immunity is a lie and has been thoroughly disproven. Inferred immunity and acquired immunity are two different things.

  329. Thank you!

  330. You are incorrect. Vaccination has only been used widely for less than 100 years. And the fact is, because of hygiene and clean water along with better nutrition, the rates for childhood diseases were down by 98% in some cases before vaccines were even used!

  331. I’M sorry but measles IS a benign disease that benefits a child’s immune system. There are no measles deaths anymore in our country. But there have been over 100 hundred deaths from the vaccine in the last 10 years!!!

    The only reason it is still killing people in the East and third world countries is because of poor hygiene, dirty water and poor nutrition. In those countries, MANY who are vaccinated get the diseases and die.

  332. NONE died in the U.S. in thaelast 13 years. Nutrition, clean water and good hygiene. Those deaths were ALL in third world countries.

  333. BEFORE the measles vaccine began to be used in the 70s, the measles rate had ALREADY declined by 98%. Your facts are incorrect.

  334. You being vaccinated does NOT protect anyone.

  335. Vaccinated children – who shed the virus for a month after being vaccinated – are the biggest threat to those who are not vaccinated.

  336. The biggest threat to children with cancer is chemo and radiation!!!

  337. Great post. Thank you.

  338. I just would love to know, for all those that don’t “believe” in vaccines…what would be your course of action if your child got bit on the leg (or exposed) to a rabid animal? Or if ebola (because that’s something people in this day of age have witness and grasp) becames a huge threat in the US and we had a reliable vaccine for. Do you still hold your anti vaccination stance that they don’t work and just hope your healthy eating will give you the ability to overcome these diseases and give you life long immunity?!

  339. Your sentence beginning with “Had those around us been vaccinated…” Implies that you were totally defenseless. A vaccination is not the only thing that can protect against measles, and you did not have to attend a public school. There are many children in school not vaccinated due to major health issues who have to exercise great cautions to protect themselves against even common colds.

  340. Thank you for your reasoned and balanced approach! So happy to see it amongst all the hatred and nastiness and name calling!!

  341. Shannon, that is why it is so important those who can have the vaccine should, so those vulnerable children, like yours, do not have to have that risk.

  342. I agree with what you posted it should be a parents choice not the gov. I chose to listen to dr and gov and paying the price now so anyone need to do there research before vacs. My disabled adult children will be with me the rest of my life so trust you birth givin ammune system before the dr/gov. And pray for my 23 and 21 year old children.

  343. I too would be interested in a discussion about health and prevention that does not include vaccines. Any suggestions for reading material?

  344. Am curious, does anyone, ever change their minds because of sensible arguments, or just because of fear? I am a strong advocate of vaccination, but I too was worried when it was time for my boy to have his MMR (thank you Andrew ‘I used to be a doctor until I was struck off’ Wakefield for planting those seeds of doubt). Every time someone passes on an inaccurate story about ‘someone who caught this or that and then they died AND they had been vaccinated’ then a worried mum is going to be swayed – no-one is going to think about the necessity of herd immunity when they are dealing with their precious baby, they are just going to rightly worry about their own little one. So, just bear in mind that mass inoculation has been the single biggest life saver in the history of public health care. That is not disputable, it is a fact. If you want to choose, fine, if you can live with the fact that you may be responsible for the fact that an immune challenged child in your child’s class may be irreparably disabled because of your choice then wow, I have no idea how you handle that one. But please, stop passing on fables to frighten new mums, it’s the worse kind of cruelty..other than making kids ill who don’t need to be.

  345. Vaccinate your children if you want to – that is your choice. But then you cannot accuse me of putting your child at risk if I don’t vaccinate mine. If you trust your vaccine, then my child who is not vacccinated shouldn’t pose a problem to your vaccinated kids. The vaccines themselves cause a child to be a danger to children or else they wouldn’t tell you to keep away from babies for a certain period of days following receipt of the vaccine. Just saying…

  346. I really appreciate your post, Mandi. I am currently pregnant with my first child, and I will be choosing not to vaccinate him/her. I won’t give my list of reasons for this, mostly because I think some of them may come across in a negative way towards people who do choose to vaccinate, and I don’t want that.
    What scares me more than diseases and vaccines is the fact that it is getting harder and harder for families to make this choice without scare-tactics from some doctors trying to get you to vaccinate, and in some rare cases, illegal interference from the government. The fact that so much of this is being pushed and made very difficult to get out of is whats scares me. I’m more scared of the government making health choices for my kids and then taking my children away when I don’t follow their protocol.
    If you support good parents doing their best to make good choices for their families, I won’t criticize you for the decisions you make. Perhaps bring up a healthy discussion so I can understand your side better, but I won’t tell you you’re a bad parent for the choices you make.
    Honestly, I’m scared of how quickly in the last decade or two how quickly parents have started loudly declaring how evil people are who don’t vaccinate their kids (especially when only about 5%-10% of the population doesn’t vaccinate). Vaccine-preventable diseases are incredibly low right now, the vaccinated percentage of people in America at an all-time high, and people keep getting more and more intense about not letting anyone not vaccinate their kids. And most of the “outbreaks” you hear about are often connected to people coming in from other countries.
    Though honestly, I’m not surprised with how many people give in to the sensationalism surrounding disease and vaccines. More children die from care accidents than the measles, but I don’t see anyone campaigning to make cars illegal. If we don’t have something to gang up on and someone to yell at for “endangering the children”, well, I guess we’re just not doing our jobs as parents then, are we?

  347. This is the ONLY thing I am going to say about vaccines – if someone is vaccinated against measles. Shouldn’t your kid be safe from those who choose not too?? I don’t get why the vaccinated parents are making such a huge deal about it – if one parent chooses not too – IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! If you vaccinate your kids apparently your kid will be ‘safe’ from the measles so nothing to worry about!

  348. You seem to be mixing 2 types of vaccines. Killed and live vaccines are very different but you are mixing up their effects. Killed vaccines do not shed at all. How could they? Dead is dead. Few boosters are required for live vaccines because they are much more effective at triggering both B and T immune cells whereas killed vaccines only trigger B cells. You don’t even understand why boosters are required. You get boosters to trigger a secondary immune response to ensure that the memory cells that are left behind are as strong as possible. The whole point of a vaccine is to mimic the natural immune response. As long as a live vaccine is used, there is no difference between natural and vaccine immunity. The only difference is that a killed vaccine isn’t as effective because it doesn’t account for T-cells. When injected with live vaccine there is some shedding but it is very small and poses no problem to those that are vaccinated. Think about it, the virus needs enough mutation to revert back to a pathogenic state which is 1 in millions if you knew anything about DNA and RNA you would know that. Unvaccinated children may not carry diseases waiting to infect others but they do shed a lot more when they come into contact with a disease. See, vaccinated children become infected but do not display the disease because their immune systems fight it off before it even gets a chance. For this reason they also shed it much less when they encounter it because they are killing the virus faster than it can replicate and escape their body. Unvaccinated children must build their immune “army” after the enemy is already on their doorstep. This is the basis of herd immunity. There is less opportunity for the virus to get a foothold in somebody that has already “seen” the disease. I am sick of people saying that “oh my family never had that”. Let’s be honest, any sane person cannot attribute the fall of childhood diseases to sanitation alone because vaccination programs in other countries are having miraculous effects without all that sanitation. Our sanitation has also been improving and yet rates of these diseases are going up. People that do their research would attribute that to falling vaccination rates rather than saying increased sanitation makes disease rates go up. That is the kind of logic you are using. People like you have not seen high rates of these diseases and deaths because they haven’t been a huge issue due to vaccination success. .01% may not seem all that high but when applied to millions of people the death tolls look a lot higher. I can tell you that adverse effects from vaccines are much lower because millions of people get vaccines and the injuries number in the hundreds whereas even measles deaths when applied to millions numbered in the thousands. It makes sense that you do not vaccinate due to reactions but do you really want other people to join the “fad” and kill one of your children. As far as I am concerned it is your choice until you affect someone else, and this could kill people. I wouldn’t make it a requirement to vaccinate but I would make it a requirement to thoroughly trace every outbreak and charge the appropriate people with manslaughter if they did not have a medical reason for exemption. If your child dies and you don’t have a medical exemption I would also expect a charge of child abuse that resulted in death because that is what it is. Children are not allowed to make their own decisions. They rely on parents that are competent. If they die their parents should pay the price because they did not do their job. The vaccine harm fund (or whatever it is that anti-vaxxers are always bringing up) pays the price for vaccine damage. Who pays the price for damage that occurs when the science wary choice prevails? I understand why this is happening. We have intelligent people willing to question, but the U.S. does not favor higher education and does not encourage a lot of STEM classes. This is why we are behind every other industrial country. Our citizens do not want to move forward with stuff that they don’t understand. It is a sad state of affairs.

  349. I too have followed a similar alternative schedule with my girls. I am not worried about the safety of the vaccinations, but rather the discomfort that the child experiences during and after 3,4 or 5 shots at one appt. I will only OK 2 or 3 at a time. And I always give at least 2 months between visits because my first pediatrician said that there needs to be a certain amount of a time space between vaccinations (I think she told me 6-8 weeks). She said the immunizations are fully processed by the body during those 6-8 weeks and the body can do this most efficiently when another batch of shots isn’t given during that time. Just wanted to share since I see your schedule has you doing them 4 weeks apart.

  350. One of the best articles I’ve read about the vaccine debate. Thanks for posting!

  351. Such BS. You should live on an island so you don’t infect young babies and sick kids. Do you think 50 years ago we didn’t have “clean water and good hygiene?” Guess why the US hasn’t had a measles death…VACCINE!!!

  352. You are probably too young to remember the real horrors of the disease. And just to give you the benefit of the doubt, you may be thinking of German Measles (aka 3 day measles) which is pretty much a benign disease. Unless a pregnant woman gets it in her first trimester. Then BIRTH DEFECTS. Have you ever known anyone who was malformed because of the birth defects? I have. It’s not a game. Educate yourself, please, with credible data, not the BS floating around on anit vaxer websites. Sheesh.

  353. Google Olivia Dahl. You people are dangerous.

  354. From the CDC:

    Poliovirus only infects humans. It is very contagious and spreads through person-to-person contact. The virus lives in an infected person’s throat and intestines. It enters the body through the mouth and spreads through contact with the feces (poop) of an infected person and, though less common, through droplets from a sneeze or cough. You can get infected with poliovirus if you have feces on your hands and you touch your mouth. Also, you can get infected if you put in your mouth objects like toys that are contaminated with feces (poop).

    An infected person may spread the virus to others immediately before and about 1 to 2 weeks after symptoms appear. The virus can live in an infected person’s feces for many weeks. It can contaminate food and water in unsanitary conditions.

    People who don’t have symptoms can still pass the virus to others and make them sick.

    Person-to-person contact is not the same as “water carried” — at least it wasn’t the same thing when I took senior level microbiology, immunology, virology and parasitology when I was in in college.

  355. Sorry, but you should probably look up the definition of consensus before using it. It’s the agreement of all of a community, not most, and there are plenty of scientists, researchers and doctors out there who disagree with vaccines.

  356. Denise: I remember having [red] measles. 2 weeks, high fever, indoors in a darkened room to try to prevent damage to my eyes. Still, I have worn glasses most of my life, and my eyes are sensitive to light. Best thing about having measles is that I have the benefits of immunization, but virtue of having survived the full blown illness.

    I also remember the misery of have mumps. Guess I’m immunized against that disease as well — having survived it.

    I escaped having the benign German measles. That one I had to get the shot for to make sure I didn’t contract it when I was pregnant.

  357. That is awful! I am sad to hear you have had people say that to you.

  358. Hi Mandi, thank you for writing this piece. Hope you are having a fantastic day ;). Katrina

  359. I’m glad you and your classmates were ok. My mother in law had lost her hearing in one ear and has vision problems due to contracting measles when she was a young girl back in the 1960’s. You never know how someone will come out of it. My daughter is vaccinated so she doesn’t have to take that chance.

  360. I really like the alternative schedules coming out for vaccines. They seem much easier on little bodies.

  361. All three kids were vaccinated. One child is Autistic. Who knows what caused that. The kids didn’t get the chicken pox vaccine because at the time it was optional and they weren’t are how long the protection from the vaccine would last (It was being said it was only 5-7 years at the time) All 3 have had chicken pox. We don’t do flu shots, just don’t think they are all that effective. I take that back I think my son had to get one one year because he was a hospital volunteer. I did make the college kid get one and the meningitis shot. So I guess I’m picker and chooser. Still believe that vaccines are a good thing over all.

  362. Please be considerate to those whose children have anaphylactic allergies. We live in a state of constant fear that my child may come in contact with peanut butter. If he has any type of oral contact with the protein, he WILL die without an Epi and medical care. I have seen him on deaths door and I do not wish that upon any mother or father.

    I love this article and you have expressed my thoughts so eloquently! I do vaccinate but struggle mightily with the decision. I have looked at the ingredients in the vaccinations and have avoided so many of those ingredients in our daily lives due to links with cancer. I think we need to be more respectful and loving to all and assume everyone is doing what they feel is best for their children. No one is ever going to persuade another through hate and disrespect.

  363. So they were wrong about him having children, wrong about his life expectancy, wrong about his physical capability, BUT right about vaccines… Hmmm… (I’m fully vaccinated – probably more than most as I’m an international traveler)

  364. I’m sick of this response. Learn how vaccines work. They take a deadened form of the disease and inject it into you. Your body sends numerous cells to fight off the foreign material. Our body creates many immunity cells in response. Measels outbreak occurs, measels enters vaccinated person. May get sick but body now recognizes foreign body. Can attack and kill it off faster than unvaccinated person. People who are not vaccinated spread around full fledged outbreak which is the basis for herd immunity.

  365. Not true. Mild shedding happens for only a day or two, if at all. And they need to be in a small, enclosed space and share bodily fluids.

  366. Then I hope you don’t feed your child any boxed or packaged food, wash their bodies and hair with soap and shampoo, wash their clothes with laundry detergent or let them play outside. They would get way more toxins that way.

  367. Vaccinated kids are safe though right?

  368. A friend of mine got polio because she did not get the vaccine.

    My cousin died as a baby despite not getting shots.

    Another friend of mine has two unvaccinated kids with autism.

    Another friend of mine got all the shots and had no issues whatsoever. In fact, so did I. I could go on and on.

    I’m sorry your circle of friends is so unusually affected by vaccines. I’d say most people don’t have that kind of luck (finding so many exceptions to the rule in one place) unless they’re in a support group or something. Very strange. I know a lot of people and not one has had any issues with vaccines except the flu vaccine. A few have and they don’t get it anymore. And I’ve worked professionally with autistic kids so you’d think I would have run into more people with stories like those of your friends.

    I’m all for parents doing what they feel is right. I’ve grappled with the decision myself and opted for a different schedule. So far so good. But anecdotal evidence is hardly enough to risk the health of my child on, and frankly the health of other kids as well. I don’t care if you don’t vaccinate, but I might feel differently if my kid had leukemia or some other disease that would put him at risk. You do your thing, I’ll do mine. Hopefully both of our families will remain healthy. There’s no such thing as a sure thing.

  369. I agree with the process of giving vaccinations late/slow and fewer at a time. All of my children are fully vaccinated. But one of my children has a serious immune problem related to getting “caught up” on shots at age 4. Her body could not handle all 6 that they gave her at once. Our last child was in a tricky situation b/c I was on a steriod during pregnancy and nursing and noone was sure how that would affect her immune response. Our doctor told us that we should get the first set of shots one at a time, two weeks apart. After there was no reaction we got the shots two at a time. She said my child could have a shot or two every two weeks for as long as it took to get them all, but no live vaccines until a certain amount of time after her steroid exposure. Her experience with the whole process was much better than my older children. Fewer tears. No reactions (including fever and rash that my older children all experienced after shots.) The worst part was the reaction of health clinic workers who treated us like we were anti-vaxxers. I kept telling them to look at my records. Look at how often I bring my child in. Look at how many shots she’d had. People just didn’t understand! By age 6, she was all “caught up” and on schedule.

    I think that those opposed to shots might be more favorable towards them if there weren’t so many these days. My oldest child was only required to have a hand-ful as a preschooler. My youngest needed more than 2 dozen! It’s hard to make sense of the growing number of needles.

  370. You realize much of the polio reactions your father had autistic children suffer with and deal with each and every day as well…without cognitive abilities to voice. Autism is at an epidemic rise and continuing by 2025 if it continues 1in 2 kids will be autistic! Plus if you look into India – polio has skyrocket BECAUSE of the vaccines! The HEP B vaccines are produced in peanut oil which spurred the deadly peanut allergies everywhere since a baby gets in the first day of life before they can process it so it reacts. Another fail for vaccines! From what I have learned in my years of research in autism (which I had and recovered thanks to YEARS of detox and lifestyle changes) it is a blend of damaged genetics and toxins. Toxins damage genes over time…..the more toxins in the more damaged genes passed generation on etc etc. Vaccines are LOADED with toxins and being pushed an more and more rates. There are currently 200 new vaccines in the works. Would you really feel fine giving 200 vaccines to a child when like the ones used now they have never been tested on how they affect all at once but individualized. I have a damaged MTHFR gene which is in 95% of autistic children. But I am viewed as a “anti vaxxer” (I hate that term as most of the people I know who don’t vaccinate would if they weren’t overloaded with toxins – which is possible to get a vaccine without the toxins and preservatives and use within a 1-2wk period but that costs more money so that’s the reason its not done) I think all parents need to know the ins and outs of vaccinations as this will affect there child without hate and fear thrown at them , but I also believe that we should be able to make the vaccinations without the toxins to eliminate the astronomical damage that it causes. 40% are ineffective 40% have 3-4 virus’ Many have been proven completely ineffective (as this years flu vaccine has) that come about from the processing of them that no one knows how or what these virus’ do to the body. Plus the fact that pharmaceutical companies have sovereignty and cant be sued if what they make damages a child….no drug companies have that and are liable. That to me on top of everything else is just wrong.

  371. Sorry my ignorance but if your child is vaccinated then why would it matter if a non vaccinated child went to the same school??? (We do have our vaccines btw)

  372. Beautiful letter. Thank you. 🙂

  373. I vaccinated my 4 children religiously, to the day they were due for the next dose. ….. until. …. my one daughter had a life changing reaction and is now medicated the rest of her life because of it. We stopped vaccinating ALL 4 children on the advise of their doctor. Now as adults the other 3 can make their own decision to vaccinate or not. Now my grandson is not vaccinated, but we have started slowly, one at a time. I’m scared every time he gets one, but I’m also aware of the advantages of doing it. I have never pushed my thoughts or beliefs on others, it IS an individual’s choice, theirs alone. I respect those who vaccinate, and those who don’t. Whatever you decide, decide on YOUR feelings/beliefs, not another’s. But also in return, respect their decision.

  374. Gardasil is far more effective before children are sexually active because then there is no risk of exposure to the virus up to that point. And the vaccine targets the strands of HPV that cause cervical cancer, and head and neck cancers. So the vaccine targets the strands of the virus that are most dangerous to us.

    For some background info, HPV is a DNA virus that targets cutaneous or mucosal epithelial cells. 70% of cervical cancers are caused by infections from this virus. If you are interested, I can also explain how the virus does this, but it is molecular biology and I know a lot of people don’t care about that much detail. Basically, this vaccine has been huge to reduce the instance of cervical cancers, along with Pap smears which are important for early detection, and have led to a decrease in death rates from cervical cancers.

    Source: we learned about this in medical school biochemistry.

  375. If you read the WHO website, it says to stay well hydrated and 2 large doses of Vit A 24 hrs apart reduces the chance of death by 50%. Im grateful for the more advanced knowledge of this disease as well as the more advanced knowledge of the extent of importance of a well balanced diet high in vegetables and proteins. There are a lot of things you can do to keep your immune system strong and your body healthy. While vitamin supplements are great, they are no substitution for vitamin dense and rich foods that are vital to maintaining your health.

  376. So let me get this straight. the science is up for debate on vaccines, but when it comes to putting your kid in a car seat, its a no brainer? giving your kid copious amounts of alcohol? no don’t do that. why? because the science says so.

    i’m frankly tired of this irrational double standard of science. if you look closely at everything in life, it isn’t black and white, its gray. but way too many people think they fall under the “exception.” news flash, you aren’t that special.

  377. lawsuits…good luck proving where the infection originated as vaccinated children/adults can infect as well…sheesh

  378. not all forms of HPV are transmitted sexually, and the vaccine only targets the strains that can cause cancer. as far as they are pushing it to make money, has a part in it because money is involved in everything. but is the push to eat healthy foods, fresh fruits and veggies a ploy so the farmers can make more money. you need a family doctor you trust that has your family’s best interest in mind and make a life plan on when and what to do or give your self and your kids

  379. You very well may have still gotten then measles.
    Blaming those around you who were not vaccinated is like blaming water running over Niagara Falls. YOU were the one not vaccinated and measles has never gone away. If it had gone away, why would they still need to vaccinate? Btw,,did you get your small pox vaccine?
    This is not an epidemic by any means. A little googling will help your understanding.

  380. My generation was vaccinated and suddenly no polio, no cases of measles, mumps, chicken pox And science has repudiated all of the false claims about the evils of vaccines. As a retired teacher I don’t believe unvaccinated children should be allowed in schools because of what they bring to the table. In short, the good of the many outweigh the good of the few…..and the few are those who deny vaccinations to their children.

  381. Are these deaths of children around the world? In the USA? Were they all healthy individuals or did they have health problems? Did they have other issues they were dealing with that measles aggravated so the death was listed as caused by measles (yes, they do that)? Were these deaths just in 3rd world countries?
    Did you know that 94.5% of all statistics are made up on the spot?

  382. Citations please.

  383. Overgeneralizations prove to be pointless. Vaccines length of effectiveness varies from person to person but I know from personal experience the MMR is often still protective into your 60s and 70s. This depends of course on your overall health and immune health. Saying 7 to 20 years is a broad and silly statistic that is of minimal utility. Dependent factors include the type of vaccine, i.e. toxoid vs live virus versus attenuated virus vs deactivated virus. Some vaccines are against bacteria. Some are against very specific forms and some are very broad.
    Herd immunity is perhaps poorly explained but it is definitely real. Perhaps if we called it the herd protectiveness factor it would be easier to understand.
    I believe every concern has value. But I have to agree with the author that the vitriol that often comes of these discussions serves noone well.
    Do me this favor. Recognize that saying “vaccines” is similar to saying “machines.” DTaP is as similar to MMR as a 747 is to a weedwacker.

  384. Oh boy. She’s the perfect target for germs..

  385. Excellent article. I’m afraid some of your commenters didn’t read it, however, since they are getting a little spiteful. 😉 God bless you!

  386. so in the 1950’s, there wasn’t clean water in the US? Suddenly the water got clean around the time the vaccine was introduced?

  387. I’m doing my best to keep up with them, but a few nasty ones keep slipping by until I can catch up! 🙂

  388. I’m so tired of the rebuttal “you must vaccinate your child bc it’s the socially conscious thing to do.” Really? Like everyone who says that is this self-sacrificing human who lives their entire life for the greater good of all mankind? Malarchy. I’m going to venture to gauge that you live your life to better yourself and your family’s situation. You BELIEVE that 100% vaccination is the best. So it is. FOR YOU. Sorry, not sorry at all about the fact that I choose to take the calculated risk of not vaccinating my healthy, robust children n the off chance that a) they’ll contract an oft times benign childhood malady and 2) to protect the rest of the “herd.” I WILL take full responsibility in practicing good hygeine, keeping myself and my children healthy with diet and nutrition and keeping them home when they have so much as a sniffle bc I deem myself a responsible parent, looking out for the best interests of MY family as well as being a contributing member of this society. Vaccinations are simply not one size fits all. P.s. I’ve worked with children for the last 15 years and I can say, without doubt, that the kiddos who haven’t been vaccinated are the healthiest. That is to say most if not all of the unvax’d failed to suffer with the asthma, excema, food intolerances, hyperactivity, spectrum disorders et all, as their fully vax’d counterparts. This is entirely anecdotal, but this has been blaringly apparent in my line of work. Coincidence? Perhaps. But, this correlation in personal experience, coupled with the absence of purely blind studies pertaining to vaccine affects, have made my descion to not vax an obvious one, FOR MY FAMILY.

  389. I’m not even going to read the comments… I skimmed them and that was enough… I don’t care what side of the debate you are on, I support you. You want to vaccinate with every vaccine that comes down the pipeline, I’m with ya. If you want to keep you child completely vaccine free, I completely support you. I’m so tired of hearing all the name-slinging, fear-mongering, hate-spewing nonsense being flung around. I know we all do need to talk about this issue. I, for one, read all kinds of information, whether it supports my stance or not. But the only thing there is room for in this debate is study results, logical connections, and personal experiences. ALL the rest – insults, hate speech, etc..- needs to go.

  390. Your statement about “mild shedding happening only for only a day or to, if at all” etc., does not match up at all with what is clearly stated in live virus vaccine package inserts. They are very specific with regard to keeping recently vaccinated people away from pregnant and innumocompromised individuals for significantly longer than that because of the risk of viral shedding.

  391. Since they are unvacinated, they are more likely to get the diseases they aren’t vacinated against .

  392. Death from measles had dropped to almost zero about 20 years before the vaccine was created.

  393. Thank you. Too many think modern medicine gives them a license to eat (and give their kids) whatever they want.

  394. I wasn’t anti-vax until the peanut allergy epidemic hit. I was just curious. I mean, I ate and fed my kids peanut butter by the 5 pound pail. Nobody had peanut allergies when I was a kid. Where did they come from? So, I searched the Internet. Spent weeks and weeks. I found the answer and was shaking because I didn’t want it to be true. So I decided to keep searching and maybe I would find things that would prove that what I found wasn’t true. I only found more and more information supporting what I first found.

    Serious food allergies can be directly caused by vaccines. If you buy food, you are entitled to know if there is peanuts in it. Not so with vaccines. Is there food protein in vaccines? I found many patents for adjuvants and culture mediums with food products. No matter how refined an oil can be, there is a trace of food protein. Not every kid gets the food protein in the shot. Just the unlucky ones. How can this be legal? It is. Pharmaceutical companies can “self affirm” GRAS (generally recognized as safe) ingredients. GRAS ingredients do not have to be listed on the package insert. Self affirmed GRAS ingredients don’t even get submitted to the government and they become a protected trade secret, protected by international trade law.

    So the FDA that is supposed to protect us, has no idea what the GRAS ingredients that are being used in products that are injected into our children. So if a problem develops, like a rash of food allergies, they are totally ignorant and won’t be able to link them. And I found the Wyeth memo. Basically it was an internal memo talking about dividing up individual batches of vaccines so adverse reactions will be spread out and harder to trace back to a bad batch of vaccines.

  395. My child had a severe reaction to the dTap vaccine she received at 4 months old (we were planning a delayed schedule) she quit rolling over, smiling, babbling etc. At her 6 mo appt they labeled her failure to thrive and diagnosed her with hypotonia from unknown causes. Aka vaccine damage. She didn’t roll over again until she was 10 months old, after we put her in weekly physical therapy. She never crawled. Her balance is awful. She didn’t walk till she was 18months old. She has very weak core muscles and upper thigh muscles. She had none of these problems before her immunization. She will be three this month. She is just now able to jump with both feet off the ground, holding a hand. She is just now able to do stairs without my hand. She has low balance skills still. She has been in speech therapy for almost a year, and is just starting to speak 3-4 basic word sentences. We have had her tested for every single disease and genetic problem known to man. She’s fine other than the hypotonia which after doing a ton of research I discovered IS a symptom of dTap vaccine damage. Vaccines are not one size fits all. I urge parents to research and choose a delayed schedule if they feel vaccines are the path you want to take. I’ll never allow my child to get another one. It could handicap her for life, the risks are a hard choice either way. I know.

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