I've researched it....I didn't vaccinate mine. But I'm not here to convince anyone or defend my decision. Good luck researching the issue for yourselves. I would never tell anyone that their choice (either way) was incorrect as long as they have done the leg work to try and understand the issues and come to their best educated decision.
I have to laugh at those who think that unvaccinated children are a "risk" to others, especially to the others that are vaccinated.
If you have vaccinated your child against whooping cough, how can they get whooping cough?
I have chosen to vaccinate all my children, and I also have a child on the autism spectrum who started off just fine and regressed as he got older. Was it the vaccine? I don't know. But what I do know is that I don't want to take a chance of my children getting polio, tetanus, or whooping cough.
It's a family choice. I support those that choose not to vaccinate.
For my own part, it is a simply reasoned process.
I do believe in and/or understand vaccine theory. I do think that it has both validity and efficacy, but it is not absolute.
First, there is actually very little science around it, particularly in regards to dosing and children. As such, there is an unknown risk of injury as well as the many known risks of injury (which is in the packaging and easy to get ahold of if you ask your HCP).
When there is an injury, the common medical practice is to no longer vaccinate that person. The trouble here is that you don't know whether or not to vaccinate the person -- whether or not they are at risk for injury until they are already injured. I see a logical break down in this, don't you?
For most pro-vaccine people, this is the only "good reason" to no longer vaccinate: my child was injured.
But reasonably, I would prefer that my child not be injured at all, and perhaps not even be at risk for injury from a vaccine -- as I would with any medication. Wouldn't any *reasonable* person?
On the other side of this equation is the risk of the disease itself. it is true with any medication that I would give to my child -- what is the risk of the medication vs it's benefits to my child? This is a basic cost-benefit analysis. It's perfectly rational.
So, I look at the risk of disease. Polio is a great example. Polio is currently non-active where we live. As such, it is off the vaccination schedule for children. When it is active (and where it is active), it is on the schedule for children. It is still on the schedule here in NZ because of the large immigrant populations from areas where the disease is still active. But, the risk here is so low as to be nil. According to our government web site:
[quote]Until polio is eradicated worldwide there remains a risk of polio returning to “polio free countries”, including New Zealand.
Since 1962 there have been seven cases of polio reported in New Zealand, the most recent was in 1998. [B]Four cases were laboratory confirmed as vaccine associated. Two were classified as probably vaccine related.[/B] One case was wild polio (not vaccine related), acquired in Tonga and imported into New Zealand. ([URL="http://www.immune.org.nz/diseases/poliomyelitis"]source[/URL])[/quote]
As such, this brings us to another issue. Notice what i bolded. In addition to injury, the vaccine may not provide protection against the disease and/or may even cause the disease in that individual. Another example of this is what we are seeing with whooping cough.
According to some CDC research from 2010, when outbreaks occur, 81% of the population in which it occurs are fully vaccinated while only 8% of those with the disease were wholly unvaccinated. ([URL="http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/04/17/pertussis-vaccine-for-whooping-cough-effects.aspx"]source[/URL]). This means that the vaccine lacks efficacy (apparently both in the beginning and in particular three years after dosing), doesn't prevent outbreaks (the public health question), and that the more protected individuals in an outbreak were those who were not vaccinated and/or who were only partially vaccinated.
From there, you also have to look at who is truly at risk. In the case of measles, mumps, and rubella (or MMR), if you compare the risk of disease to the risk of vaccines, the risk of the disease is *lesser* than the risk of injury *for children* ([URL="http://www.immune.org.nz/diseases/rubella"]source[/URL]). But, for an unborn child, measles, mumps, and rubella are a very high risk indeed. As such, it makes more sense to vaccinate mothers -- assuming there is adequate efficacy of the vaccine -- than to vaccinate infants and children.
Now, to get to the public health argument.
It cannot be denied that vaccination has helped decrease the incidence of disease throughout our population. But, there are other things that decrease the presence of disease in communities -- hygiene, clean water, clean air, adequate food sources, and overall healthy lifestyles shared across the population makes a big difference as well. This is partly why these diseases -- even though there are broad-based population vaccination programs -- are still more prevalent in developing nations than developed ones. So, part of the equation is not just vaccines, but overall quality of life in the environment.
But, to look at the public health argument altogether, the basic idea is herd immunity -- and that without immunizing, those families are putting the herd at risk of the disease.
So, we need to look a bit at herd immunity.
The first place to look is at the process of cacooning. Cacooning is where individuals who live with and/or work around at-risk individuals who cannot be vaccinated are vaccinated to prevent spread of the disease to the at-risk community. Essentially, herd immunity. Yet, research has demonstrated that cacooning is ineffective for protecting at-risk individuals, as the vaccine is often ineffective for preventing the disease in the vaccinated individual ([URL="http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/states-ending-free-parent-whooping-vaccine/story-e6frfku0-1226350174856"]source[/URL] and mercola article linked above).
Likewise, there is science that asserts that herd immunity may not truly exist, or that vaccines don't necessarily create that herd immunity. It's more of a "sound bite" rather than a rational look at the evidence that both supports and does not support vaccination. [URL="http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/2012/07/05/herd-immunity-the-flawed-science-and-failures-of-mass-vaccination-suzanne-humphries-md-3/"]Here is a great article[/URL] that explains the science and information across several disease from small pox to whooping cough.
For my own part, I did vaccinate my son for whooping cough (DTaP) when he was 5 months old or so because our community had an outbreak in the vaccinated community. With the vaccine -- having read the literature and weighed the risks/benefits -- I concluded that the vaccine was unlikely to injure him (it did not), and that the risk of the disease and it's risks to him if he were to get it at that age were extremely high (death), and that the vaccine itself often dramatically decreases the severity of the symptoms in infants should he get it even if vaccinated (more likely to survive if he should get it). Both vaccinated and unvaccinated children of his age, exposed to whooping cough, had a greater risk of getting the disease and also dying from that disease.
He received the whole schedule by age 3.5, all spread out based on research that my doctor and I did together. He got the last booster after a nasty accident involving a bicycle (he was hit by a cyclist), and it was an advantagous time to get the last booster and also prevent tetanus. I may have him get tetanus again when he is 10 (when they boost here), and if we travel abroad to a developing nation, I'll have him get the hep. schedule. I'll also boost my own hep schedule, and my husband will get it as well.
For me, I choose to select vaccinations based on the risk/benefit analysis for me and my family, since I do not think that "herd immunity" holds a lot of valid science. But, I do think vaccines -- like other medications -- can have benefit when utilized with care.
[QUOTE=Neckhammer;1053354]I've researched it....I didn't vaccinate mine. But I'm not here to convince anyone or defend my decision. Good luck researching the issue for yourselves. I would never tell anyone that their choice (either way) was incorrect as long as they have done the leg work to try and understand the issues and come to their best educated decision.[/QUOTE]
The problem that I often run into is that those in the pro-vaccine camp have rarely done the leg work, which is why they attack those who choose to select/delay and/or not vaccinate.
My ILs, for example, want us to be "fully informed" and so they constantly give us pro-vaccine articles from the newspaper. these articles are often completely false or just extremely unbalanced. One article even asserted that the only reason people choose not to vaccinate is ignorance about how vaccines work and an irrational fear of autism!
I pointed this out to my ILs -- wht the article said -- and I asked them if they truly believed that we were ignorant and irrational. They didn't know how to answer that. They just "wanted us to be FULLY informed!" And I said, "Ok, what does that mean?" And they said that we "looked at all of the sides." And I pointed out how we did that.
First, I showed them this amazing book on how the immune system develops over time. It was written by an immunologist, and it explains why vaccines are helpful in the process of developing the immune system. It is definitely pro-vaccine. it is the most reasoned pro-vaccine argument I have ever read. It also talks about nutrition and immune function and immune function in general (over the lifetime, how it changes), so the book goes *far* beyond vaccine theory. It's really a beautiful book.
Second, I showed them the different parts of the CDC and similar web sites that demonstrate the *science* regarding the vaccines as well as the information from various journals going through what the actual efficacy, risks, and benefits of each vaccine were and are. I then went through and looked at the "high risk groups" -- and my son doesn't qualify for most of those groups. Likewise, our location doesn't qualify as a high-risk location. And, I pointed out how that works.
In the end, they decided to 'drop it' -- but I said "but you must agree that I am, in fact, "fully" informed, yes? That I don't need newspaper articles or pressures to vaccinate my child if I feel it's unnecessary?" And they said "well, it's up to you." (resigned sigh).
Yes, yes it is.
It's up to any family. I find that most who just follow the schedule don't even know what the vaccines are when they get them for their children (ie, polio is not on most schedules in the US, for example, but people think their kids are still vaccinated for polio), but again, it's their choice, and I don't attack them for not being fully informed about it.
[QUOTE=Drumroll;1053332]It's your decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate your child, but what infuriates ME is when people blame their own troubles ("my child has autism!") on the actions of a well meaning doctor or something we do not fully understand yet.[/quote]
To be specific, no one is blaming doctors or "society." Instead, this person believes that her child was injured by a vaccine.
Likewise, when a person gets another kind of injury from a vaccine, we are not blaming the doctor or society. We blame the vaccine. The same is true if the medicine a person takes causes an injury.
And once we know, we can act accordingly. This mother chose to no longer vaccinate her children. I think it's a reasonable response.
[quote]I'm not discrediting the possibility that vaccines caused his issues, they might have. But I think it's a bad message to send when you tell them "the vaccines your doctor gave you made you who you are." You teach them to blame society and never take any responsibility for themselves and their own actions. You teach them to respond with things like "oh, it's ok, vaccines made me this way, society is at fault, not me."[/quote]
The vaccine and society are separate.
Vaccines (may have) caused the injury. No big deal. You take that in stride. If an automobile accident took the child's leg, we wouldn't say that it's "blaming society" because most everyone drives automobiles. We'd just get on with life with one leg, wouldn't we?
1) Your undying love and support. They do not need to mistakenly think "oh, I was normal until the vaccines. And then I started causing mommy trouble." As an autistic child, he is more likely to make this assumption through the misinterpretation of your intent.
2) He needs to be taught to take responsibility for his actions. He needs to realize that autistic or not, if he does something inappropriate or wrong, he still has to pay the consequences. He can't always blame his issues on other people or society. And what do you think telling him "your doctor made you who you are," is going to teach him? To blame others and never take responsibility.
3) He needs a strong support network. But if you've a) made him think he's causing you trouble ("I was normal and easy until that DAY that I became different and difficult") and b) to blame society for his actions and issues and not himself, he will never learn to cultivate the trust he needs to build the support networks he will need as he grows older.[/quote]
Where in her statements does it say that she isn't doing these things?
You are making a really weird inference/logical leap that I cannot follow.
To me, it doesn't follow "vaccines caused injury/autism, therefore it was a big problem for mommy" or "vaccines caused injury, therefore you are not responsible for the consequences of your actions" or "vaccines caused injury, therefore there's no support network."
Truly, I can see whatever anger or frustration you may have, but I do not see the connection to it and/or vaccines.
[quote]I've been through all of these issues and they're not easy to come to grips with. But you will have to decide how best to navigate them with your own child and I urge you, for his sake, to focus on HIM and not the "evil society/medical establishment/doctors" or whatever "gave him these issues." He NEEDS to know that, in reality, there is nothing wrong with him! Concentrating on what "gave" him his autism puts the emphasis on there being a real problem with him and he will constantly question himself and never build true confidence.[/quote]
Ok, I see this one.
But the reality is context. This is a forum thread wherein a mother is justifying her reasons for choosing not to vaccinate her children and/or not to continue to vaccinate her children. Her reasoning is valid: I believe that vaccines injured my child, causing his autism.
That is the whole of the statement. The rest of this is just your conjecture of "what that means!" in his life. My guess is that she is a loving parent, providing everything that you advocate, and not at all "focused on the injury/cause" or what have you, thereby leaving the poor child as a lump.
As she asserted, he is a happy, healthy 12 yr old now. She's well connected with how to care for this child -- her child -- and it is naturally difficult for her as it is for her child. But, that doesn't mean it's not without triumphs and joys and all the wonderful good.
Most people whom I know hwo have children on the spectrum are extremely versed in all of these materials and groups. Since I have so many friends with children on the spectrum -- even I am familiar with them.
It's a massive logical leap to assume htat the mother here is 'focusing on blame' as opposed to getting on with her life and enjoying her child and helping him to grow into a confident, healthy person.
This cdc schedule shows polio on the list for 2012 [url]http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/downloads/parent-ver-sch-0-6yrs.pdf[/url]
That's interesting. It wasn't on the schedule when I talked about it with our doctor in 08, though it was on a couple of individual state schedules (most of whom follow CDC). I note that PA now follows CDC, whereas it might not have before.
We also have a large, unvaccinated amish population there.
Zoebird, she's very welcome to choose not to vaccinate her kids. Probably a good thing in the long run. I just don't want to see her get wrapped up in the cause when the solution is what is really important here. You can blame the vaccines all you want, but it's a little late to change what happened. If you assume that's what happened.
And really, solution is a poor choice of words. Makes us autistics sound like we're so broken and incapable only a cure can fix us.
And YES, that's a potshot at YOU Autism Speaks. :rolleyes:
Wow you guys have given me a lot to think about, we are about to have our 3rd kid in a few weeks and this stuff all makes me twitchy.
We do no immunise mainly because of the risk of the possible side affects. Yes they might be rare, but I am not willing to risk my children. You can't undo the vaccine once they have it.
I would rather deal with each thing as it comes up, as well as keep my children healthy, so they are unlikely to get these things anyway.
And vaccinations are not 100% protection anyway, I know plenty of things that get illnesses they are vaccinated against.
Things like chicken pox id rather they get the natural immunity from it anyway.
Do not vaccinate my pets either. Stopped doing all vaccines, and other chemical treatments for fleas etc, after one of my dogs got a tumor on his ear (treated this herbally, and homoeopathically. He is still 100% fine 5 years later)