I get this a lot in regards to vaccines. My friend from high school just emailed me to tell me that his wife is due to deliver their first baby in a couple of weeks and he is very concerned about vaccines. He has done some of his own research, but wanted my thoughts on the subject. As you can imagine, I wrote a mini-novel with my thoughts--poor guy. Since many of you have asked me what I would do differently, I am going to paste my response to him here.
Sunny Hammonds Hall March 16 at 3:04pm
hey. congrats on the baby. you are worlds ahead of the game already. dr. Sears book is liberal in my opinion but a LOT better than the current schedule. my recommendation is to find a different doctor. Consider a family practitioner rather than a pedi as family docs tend to be more lenient. Unfortunately vaccines are a huge money maker. US companies sell them all over the world and its about $7 Billion in profits year. To complicate matters, there are people like Dr. Paul Offitt. (http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/05/washington---fa.html) he gets on Tv saying that kids can withstand thousands of shots at once, and b/c he has M.D. behind his name and he works at a children's hospital, people believe him. the problem? he owns the patent for the rototeq vaccine and is on Merck's payroll. Interestingly enough, he is also on the committee that decides which shots are mandatory for our kids. Nice, huh? SO unfortunately, you are dead on about the money issue. I am not anti-vaccine. I am anti-the current vaccine schedule and anti-the crap that are in our kids shots.
Go to this page at the CDC's website: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/B/excipient-table-2.pdf that tells you what ingredients are in each vaccine.
***Note*** aluminum, aborted fetal cells, formaldehyde, etc. the irony here, is that if you are pregnant, and trying to become a nurse, colleges will not allow you to take anatomy & physiology b/c the formaldehyde used to embalm the cadavers can be harmful to your baby in utero, but it is ok to inject it into a baby's bloodstream, repeatedly. ??? (my friend kelly is taking A & P and her preggo friend was forced to drop the class. they also can not chew gum in the class b/c that exposes them to formaldehyde and is dangerous for adults. nice, huh?
my issue with the schedule is that it is way too many WAY too soon. The hepatitis B shot is given at birth to all babies unless parents sign a refusal at the hospital/ Hep B is a STD. Unless mom is positive, or baby is having sex or shooting up drugs, there is NO risk for the baby. So why give it? why not give it before middle school? It is not even a reduced thimerisol shot, as far as I know. my mom found my shot record and when I compared it to today's, it is scary. Here is a link with alternative shot schedules AND things you can do to help reduce the risk of a reaction for your baby:
My advice is to research the illnesses these shots are supposed to prevent, and see what treatment for them is. Talk to your parents and grandparents. Most of them probably had chicken pox, measles, mumps, rubella and whooping cough. Whooping cough is scary in newborns, but after 2 months of age, the risk goes down. AND you are getting out of the rough season for that as far as I know. Problem is that pertussis isn't offered separately, only with diphtheria and tetanus, both of which are pretty useless. Even fully vaccinated kids will be given at tetanus shot at the ER if they step on a nail. AND the Dtap has a high rate of negative reaction. I can't tell you what to do, but of the shots my kids got that day, I suspect this was our trigger. that and the cumulative effects of all of the shots, combined with family history of auto-immune disease. just a perfect storm.polio--has not been a wild case in US since 1970ish. Since then ALL cases have been caused by that vaccine.
Meningicoccal--meningitis scares the crap out of me. I would probably give it. but not before 2 yrs.
flu shots--no way on earth. my kids got both flus this year and recovered fine AND they are immuno-compromised. the flu sucks, but I wouldn't vaccinate for it. Swine flu was a bunch of hype. people died WITH it, but not from it. they had other issues like asthma, emphysema, etc that was always a footnote to the swine flu hot story.
rotavirus--no way on earth. rotavirus SUCKS. we used to call it stomach flu when we were little. it is horrible and your kid will get it at some point, BUT kids don't die from rotavirus, they die from dehydration. in the US, there is no excuse for that. get them to the hospital. this shot was pulled off the market when my kids were born b/c it caused intussusception of bowel. basically an obstruction, which can kill children. Google the term. I can't explain it well, but it's like the intestine closes in on itself like a telescope would. So, flash forward, Dr. Offtt revamps his vaccine and its back in the schedule. My friends child is hospitalized last year for bowel problems ( he was 1 and 1/2 yrs) and doc immediately says, "It was probably causes from the rotavirus vaccine". turns out the child has a birth defect, BUT the doc immediately assumed that was the cause and the child definitely had received the *new* vaccine. not good.
MMR-- would never give it combined like this. used to be available separately and if people keep calling Merck and demanding it, they will start again. my kids didn't get the MMR. we didn't get that far thank God. talk to your family about these illnesses. grandparents, parents, aunts uncles. probably all had these illnesses and survived without problem. They are nasty but rarely life threatening.
chicken pox--what a joke. AAP recommends getting this shot b/c chicken pox can be "expensive and inconvenient for parents" see the info here--http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/chickenpox.pdf you can die from chicken pox. it can happen, but you can die from a paper cut too. I wouldn't give this shot to my kids.
Check out this link:http://www.generationrescue.org/vaccine_information/vaccine-ingredients-possible-adverse.htm
this shows the actual inserts from certain vaccines and the side effects the vaccine-maker admits to. you will note that Autism is an admitted side effect for DTaP.
Finally--sorry this is so long. People say that there is proof that vaccines do not cause autism. the truth is, they don't know. there had NEVER been a large study of vaccinated vs. non-vaxed kids to compare rates of autism or other auto-immune diseases such as ADHD, Asthma, allergies--which tend to be co-morbid with autism. SO how can they prove any of this? in addition thimerisol and 1 other ingredient (which escapes me now) are the only ingredients that have been tested for a correlation with autism. Not even the whole shot, much less all of them combined. When a shot is approved, it simply means that it has been tested *by itself* for a matter of weeks, not months or years. So, it is not tested for long-term safety or for how it might interact with any other single vaccine or virus, much less the other 3-5 that your child might get in the same sitting. That testing isn't done. Scientists argue the point, but most agree that there is no known safe level of mercury for humans, so when a doc says that the amount of thimerisol in a vax is trace, keep in mind that there is no safe amount and that mercury LOVES fatty tissue like the brain and it can hang out in the body for years. here's an interesting article:http://www.alternet.org/environment/19903
If it was me, I would try to keep my baby out of daycare. I would try to wait until 2 years of age to give any shots as that is when the blood brain barrier forms and this helps protect the brain from toxins. encourage kim to breastfeed at all costs. plan on visiting the lactation consultant until she and baby get it right. encourage her to breastfeed for at least 1 year. try to hold off on solids for baby until after 6 months--and yes, this means rice cereal too. tell kim to take a good probiotic every day and give the baby one daily. feed baby organic food once he/she gets into solids--at least dairy, meats and produce. if you give vaccines, follow those suggestions from generation rescue on how to reduce the risk of a reaction.(http://www.generationrescue.org/vaccines.html)
Also- only give one shot at a time and give a month in between. that way if baby reacts, you know for sure which shot causes it. (we do this for baby food, why not vaccines?) Viral overload is not commonly discussed mainstream in regards to vaccines but there is good research that indicates that the autoimmune system may overreact and basically get stuck in high gear when the body receives to many viruses in an unnatural way (via bloodstream as opposed to touching an infected area, touching one's nose and being infected naturally). this "being stuck" business may explain all of the food allergies, eczema, reflux, autism, adhd, diabetes issues that have gone through the roof in kids.
so, sorry this is a novel. find a good doc and stick to your guns. you can't un-ring the bell.
*disclaimer* I am not an M.D. this is simply what I would do if I had it to do all over again.