June 25, 2005

Where I Stand on Vaccines

Are you anti-vaccine and should I worry about getting my kids vaccinated?

No I am not anti-vaccine; and Yes I think you should worry about getting your kids vaccinated. A little bit.

We stopped vaccinating our boys after we found about Chandler’s autism so that we could learn everything we could about vaccines and any risk they might pose to our Autistic son and his high risk brother. We have chosen to send our older NT son to a private school next year that requires that all attendees be fully vaccinated so we will be starting up his vaccinations again this year, spacing them out while we make sure to boost his immune system so he can handle them well. I also plan on learning the history and risks of each vaccine before it is administered.

If a vaccine injury were to occur in the future with Webster, I couldn’t forgive myself unless I had educated myself as best I could on everything I was giving him and avoided the injury as wisely as I could.

Chandler is a different problem all together. Has research even been done on vaccinating autistic children? What is the recommendation on vaccinating children with compromised immune systems like HIV? Do recommendations on vaccinating autistic children even take into account the immune problems that they have seeing as mainstream medicine may not even widely recognize that the autistics have immune problems?

I have not even started looking for these answers questions yet. I will you all know when I get there.

In the mean time, when I say be a “little” worried about vaccinations, I mean educate yourself as best you can, talk to your doctor about them and if he is annoyed with answering your questions, talk to another doctor and get reading. Most importantly, make sure your kids are healthy before they are vaccinated and ask to see the box so you can be sure you are not getting one of the few left over mercury vaccines. If it says “Thimerosal” on the box, call it to the attention of your doc and ask for a mercury free vaccine.

If you are really, really worried about vaccines, have a high risk child and are rich; take your child in and get him tested for immunity problems before getting vaccinated. That may sound a bit overboard, but I think it is important to try to vaccinate if you can.

When I have talked to people who are considering not vaccinating at all, here is what I have challenged them with:

Don’t make the decision not to vaccinate your child unless you believe the risk of him contracting a seizure disorder or a developmental disorder outweighs the risk of him dieing from a disease that could have been prevented had he gotten his shots.
The bottom line is that only you and your family are going to have to live with the consequences of the decisions you make, so make the best ones you can and don’t let other people make those decisions for you.

There is no controversy about whether or not vaccine injury exists. All vaccines are a calculated risk. The CDC freely admits that a small percentage of the population will be harmed by them.

The controversy enters into just what disorders are result of vaccine injuries and what ones are not.

When a child gets a shot and immediately starts seizing on the table, it is quite easy to see that a vaccine injury has taken place. But what if the injury is a slow one that takes several days, weeks or months? Causality becomes harder to establish.

In my opinion, the CDC is looking at the mercury problem with a hand over one eye, three fingers over the other eye while squinting. Therefore, their assertion that Thimerosal plays no role in the development of Autism should be questioned.

Not rejected, questioned. Heavily.

So no, I am not anti-vaccine, I think it would be better to describe me as “vaccine resistant”. I want to believe that they are a good bet for my kids, but at this point, you are gonna have to prove it to me.

The CDC’s vaccine policy is based on the principle that the good done for the many outweighs the harm to the few. And that is fine if you are making vaccine policy for 300 million people. But I am not responsible for holding back another Rubella epidemic; I am responsible for two little boys who just may fall into that sliver of the population that the CDC considers an acceptable loss.

6 comments:

Zed said...

I share your concern over vaccinations and have erred on the side of caution to a certain degree.

My son was 2 and a half when he was diagnosed as autistic and had already had the first MMR and so had his brother (who is one year older). He and his brother has not had the boosters and I was (unofficially) advised by his NHS (UK) paedatrician that it was probably for the best that he didn't have the booster.

Ginger said...

Zed,

Chandler never had the MMR. I was behind in his vaccines when he was diagnosed at 2 because he had had a cold during one of his well baby check ups, and his doc made the smart decision to hold off on his shots that day.

So I don't really have anything to add to the MMR/Autism relationship discussion except to say that my son is autistic and never had the MMR.

I do wonder if his autism would be worse, or if he would have the lack of corrdination that many autistic kids present with if he had gotten the MMR, but that is all just specualtion and 'what ifs'.

Anonymous said...

I am an adult autist- an Asbergers. I am 24 years old and I believe that although I was clearly born this way (I displayed severe autistic symptoms as of the day I was born), my condition was aggravated by vaccines, specifically MMR. When I was vaccinated, I contracted all three diseases- measles, mumps and rubella. To the pro-vacciners, now I can't answer a telephone or get my own mail. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Mega-pharms, I'd give anything to introduce you to my world for a day or two, to make you walk a mile in my shoes.

Anonymous said...

"The CDC’s vaccine policy is based on the principle that the good done for the many outweighs the harm to the few. And that is fine if you are making vaccine policy for 300 million people. But I am not responsible for holding back another Rubella epidemic; I am responsible for two little boys who just may fall into that sliver of the population that the CDC considers an acceptable loss.

YOU are not responsible, but you do share that responsibility with all of us parents. If enough parents assumed your attitude, pertussis, mennigitis, and perhaps even measles would make a deadly comeback. I'm not saying you must vaccinate, the risks/benefits must be evaluated carefully. But if you choose not to, please acknowledge dropping your share of responsibility for the good of all children for what it is - selfish. Please note that I do not consider selfish anything more than a decision taking only you or your children into account. It does not mean you are an all-bad person. I respect your right to decide as you see fit. Perhaps you'd prefer a third-world country so as not to be thought so little of by the CDC.
-Parent 1ASD, 2NT

dawn said...

To the people that believe that someone should forego the safety and protection of a family member (by choosing not to vaccinate) in order to protect society (taking one for the team so an outbreak of Rubella doesn't happen) is either completely insane or not being truthful. You have to always consider the source and many people believe whatever they hear or whatever the mainstream media tells them. Is there really going to be some major outbreak of deadly diseases if people choose not to vaccinate? Maybe. Or, is that just another unproven scare tactic to get people to conform? Maybe. Now, enter the pharmaceutical company. Hum, who am I going to trust. Most of their claims are based on fear and are completely unfounded. Look at the flu vaccine; it is a worthless vaccine that doesn't even protect against the "scary" flu. When did the flu become so scary? It's the FLU! But boy, if you tune into the local news staions, every year they are talking about how 36,000 people die each year of the flu. Come on...36,000...exaggerated. How many funerals have you gone to where someone has actually died from the flu? I've gone to oh, none! And of the people that do die, those are the same people with compromised immune systems that are probably going to have an adverse effect from the vaccine itself. It's a business people. Without scare tactics,the pharmaceutical companies are not going to make billions of dollars. They might only make millions...poor babies. It is funny how many people put their trust in these big companies and are willing to go the the mat with other mothers/parents, or family and friends in defense of big business. Sad and stupid. When I was young, I believe the pharmaceutical companies were making vaccines in order to stop dangerous and deadly viruses. In fact, I never received the small pox vaccine because they actually stopped giving it because there was no longer a need for it. When is the last time the CDC has pulled a vaccine from the roster because it was not needed anymore? They never remove any, but continue to add. How can that NOT be dangerous to little bodies? Do you think these little bodies can just be injected with an unlimited amount of crap and not be affected? And when is the limit going to be too much? Or, are we just going to pretend that there is no limit and keep adding more vaccines to the roster without any proof that the accumulative effects are indeed harmful? Now, they have a stomach flu vaccine. The stomach flu!! What's next, an acne vaccine! If you don't believe that this is about money and choose to believe that these companies care about you or your children or even erradicating disease nowadays, and would take their word for it without question, then you are probably the same person that would let a complete stranger babysit your child. Get smart, read everything and always consider the source. The fact that you would believe some big business propaganga or even government propaganda...which is one in the same it seems, is mind blowing. Let me leave you with this, when a doctor gives a patient medicine and they have an adverse reaction, the doctor switches meds or tweaks the dosage...it's not uncommon at all. That happens because no two people are the same and therefore, no two people will tolerate the same exact medication in the same manner. Remember Lipitor?? Great medication for some until people started dying and the drug was pulled. How come that can happen everyday and nobody bats an eye, yet where vaccines are concerned, they are good for all, not dangerous in the slightest to anyone and every body can tolerate them in the exact same manner. It's not logical, it does not make sense and anybody that says there is absolutely NO link between vaccines and (insert disorder here) is not a person (or doctor) I would ever listen to. Nobody should or could ever make an unequivocal statement like that. They could say "in my opinion" there is no link, but to act like all people are the same and all immune systems are the same is about the most innane thing I have ever heard yet that is exactly what people are saying when they won't even entertain the thought that vaccines could cause damage. I don't think everybody should stop vaccinating, that's not what I'm saying. It's not an easy decision either way you go, but do your research and always consider the source of your information. You don't know who is publishing pro-vaccine articles with headlines that read "Absolutley no link between vaccines and ....whatever." Yet people see that and say, well it must be true.

Ginger said...

Dawn,

When did the flu become so scary? It's the FLU! But boy, if you tune into the local news staions, every year they are talking about how 36,000 people die each year of the flu. Come on... 36,000... exaggerated.

You are right to be skeptical about this 36,000 number that the CDC throws around.

What they include in this number is people who were in the last days of their life due to terminal illness or the serious health declines found in the elderly. Their immune systems have crashed and they can't fend off any viruses. They were just about to die of something, and the flu virus jumps in and finishes the job. Technical cause of death = The Flu.

But that is not mentioned in the 'News Live at Five' Be Sure To Get Your Flu Shot segment. It makes it sound like 36,000 guys named Joe, age 32 catch the flu after their workout at the gym and drop dead on the way to their jobs at Home Depot.

I have not checked in a few years, but my recollection is that actual healthy people that die from the flu is a few hundred every year.