Information for parents of disabled children

Friday, December 4, 2009

Vaccines and The Crisis of Faith

Brunswick Church (Presbyterian), known locally...Image via Wikipedia

The blog quoted below Age of Autism contains some objectionable content akin to hate speech. I do feel however that the information quoted by them here has validity and can be looked at objectively by a reader.

AUTISM AND VACCINES AROUND THE WORLD: Vaccine Schedules, Autism Rates, and Under 5 Mortality View the entire study HERE. Generation Rescue, Inc. April 2009 The United States has the highest number of mandated vaccines for children under 5 in the world (36, double the Western world average of 18), the highest autism rate in the world (1 in 150 children, 10 times or more the rate of some other Western countries), but only places 34th in the world for its children under 5 mortality rate. What's going on?


Our family took a pass on H1N1 this year. It wasn't entirely paranoia that drove our decision, though I admit to being a vaccine skeptic who investigates each shot like I'm interviewing childcare providers. I work in the school my son attends and knew we'd probably already been exposed, so the urgency wasn't there. I was right by the way.  I'm not anti-vaccine, but every parent should do a risk assessment. Will the potential benefit to my child outweigh the risk?

However, from pregnancy, I've wondered at the logic involved in mercury use. I remember getting the pamphlet to avoid fish because of mercury content and thinking, "But it's okay to put in shots?" When I found out that thimerosal was no longer a necessary ingredient, my decision was made. Why do it if you don't have to?  Problem solved.

Now, we decide these things based entirely on our family history and vaccine contra-indications. We also have a family member in the reserve military, and that opens a whole other can of worms with Uncle Sam. Seizure disorder is the primary issue facing us. For instance, Pertussis has a manufacturer's warning against use when the patient has a first-degree relative with seizure disorder - brother, mother, sister, father. Bundling of vaccines makes smart vaccination almost impossible for us. Just try getting the D and the T, without the P. Insurance won't pay for it, and our doctor couldn't order it because of the loss she'd incur. It only comes in bulk. Can't blame her there. We even hit a wall at the local health department.

My point is that everything should be considered logically. There is no either/or on the subject of vaccines, only when/if. But why stigmatize parents who choose to vaccinate intelligently by spreading out a child's vaccine schedule or act on the advice of the makers of the vaccine? See articles below.  My answer is that we've become arrogant in our ability to overcome death and disease. We've decided as a society that we finally know it all, and, well, if we happen to be wrong in a case or two, that's the minority. It's the only explanation I can find for such a rigid mandate that vaccine is sacrosanct.

They (born again vaccinaters) don't seem to understand that the one in a hundred who goes against medical logic and have an injured child thereafter, they don't really worry about the other ninety-nine. Their child is the only one who matters at that moment. This makes vaccine a personal decision, just as much as surgery or antibiotics would be between a family and a doctor. Of course, you can argue that it affects anyone who could become exposed by your family. That's partially true which is why parents should be encouraged to do a risk assessment. Vaccinating when the danger from disease is great and personal risk is low isn't a hardship. Our case illustrates this point.

Did we get MMR? Yes, but when we felt ready and without mercury additives. Did we get pertussis? Not just no, but . . .
Seizures are a very real risk that we see clearly now from watching what they do to our son and knowing our other children are also at risk. 

Here's the thing. Our children look to us to act as their eyes and ears until such time as they can do it for themselves. When looking all the information over, we decided that no one needs a hep shot on their first day on the planet. We decided that seizures are bad, and if Pfizer says it's a bad idea, it probably is. Last but not least, I decided that these were my kids, and I'm going to protect them as much as I can. That may disturb a few people and concern the CDC, but they can do what they want with their own children. My family has a different way of doing things.

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