Vaccinations are scary.
Instead of being comforted by them, I am scared.
There are polar opposite opinions on which ones are necessary and safe versus which ones are unsafe and never necessary.
There is the NO-VAX camp that opposes vaccinations because of the additives, preservatives and in short, scary stuff they contain. Some agree that vaccines (if they were safe) would be smart to prevent disease but others believe in natural immunity.
There is the PRO-VAX camp which is made of up many doctors, vaccine companies, large organizations, etc. They push vaccines on parents (and the general public) because they do believe in their efficacy and safety and also because they frankly make a LOT of money on them.
Then there are concerned citizens such as myself stuck in between. Do I not vaccinate Noah because I'm scared of the risks the vaccines present? Or do I give him all his vaccines because I'm scared of the diseases the vaccines (supposedly) prevent?
The decision to vaccinate or not to vaccinate shouldn't be based on fear or pressure.
One book I found very helpful is The Vaccine Book by Dr. Robert Sears. (I know, I know..I really love those Sears men).
He lays out each vaccine in a clear and concise way. What is the disease it claims to protect from? What are the risks of the disease if caught? What does the vaccine contain? What are the risks of the vaccine contents? He also presents his take at the end of each chapter or vaccine presentation.
I appreciated this SO much. I have been unable to find much unbiased info about vaccinations online. The sites that are pro-vax are usually monetarily connected to vaccine companies and the sites that are anti-vax seem over the top extremist. He may not be *truly* unbiased because he does believe that vaccines prevent disease and ideally feels that all children should be vaccinated BUT he does feel that parents should have choices and options and that vaccinated by the CDC schedule is NOT always the smartest plan especially for families with histories of vaccine reactions, etc.
Before I read this book, I had started Noah's vaccines as normal but then switched to an alternative more spaced out schedule.
Now that I have read the book, I would probably delay all vaccines until 2 years of age and then begin from there avoiding live virus vaccines as well as any containing mercury spread apart by 6 months each.
Another good resource is mothering.com - they have a lot of research-based unbiased info that I wasn't able to find elsewhere such as the monthly VAERS reports (vaccine reactions database the government runs). Keep in mind that a small percentage of reactions are reported because parents aren't told to report reactions unless of course they are major and even then, many ER's and doctors will just treat them and not report them. :-/
I wish that doctors would not push parents so much. My pediatrician isn't even that pushy but I feel really intimated by her and saying no to certain vaccinations certainly makes her agitated even though she was willing to work with us.
I am considering switching to a Naturopathic doctor - simply because I know they are just as educated but more willing to consider alternative routes of doing things. They also treat the whole person. I'm a big believer in the "whole person"... we aren't just a blood pressure reading or weight or temperature. There are other things going on in how we take care of ourselves (eating, exercise, etc) that affect our health and too many doctors skip those steps.
The one I am considering is also a midwife so she would provide whole care for our family which would be great. www.drkatinamartin.com
One of things I've learned as a mom is to question everything. You have to advocate for your child's health from Day 1 of your pregnancy. I regret not being informed about different things before Noah was born but now I know more. I wish someone had told me that "What to Expect When You're Expecting" is a bunch of mainstream thoughtless crap.
*** If you have already started to vaccinate your baby and want to switch to an alternative schedule such as Dr. Sears, you can. Check out his blog for more info.
Ultimately, we are responsible for the decisions we make on behalf of our children. I want to be as informed as possible so I don't have to say, "I didn't know". Our health care system *should* look out for us and our children but unfortunately, its a corrupt system just like many others and there is a lot of monetary influence that occurs; not to say it is all bad but again, be cautious!