Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Vaccines, Schmaccines

At the suggestion of a fellow mom, I just finished reading The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears. It provides impartial information concerning the immunizations recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, informing readers about the vaccines, what they protect against, the risks of not vaccinating, risks and rates of adverse reactions, ingredients used to produce them, why some choose and others choose not to vaccinate, and, lastly, Dr. Sears gives his perspective (the only bias found in the book and meant to help the indecisive).

It was really helpful to read about why we're even told to vaccinate our children and what our options are as parents, and it feels good to be more proactive in my son's health care decisions. I do very little these days without first doing some research so why shouldn't I also research something so crucial to my son's well being?

For Moses, he will be getting the DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis) and Pc (pneumococcal) vaccines this Thursday. HIB (haemophilus influenzae type B) was on my okay list too, but they are experiencing a shortage and not giving that vaccine now. I feel like the ability for a doctor to decline certain vaccines during times of shortage shows how inconsistent the whole pro-vaccination argument is, but that's my opinion. Don't think I'm anti-vaccine, I'm just anti-doctor-knows-best.

As for other vaccines, we're delaying Polio and Hep A until he's at least two, the MMR until he's four (with a second dose of measles two years later), and declining the Chickenpox and Flu vaccines. Even though the State of Texas requires children to have certain vaccines before they enter day care and/or kindergarten, it allows parents to object to vaccinations based on philosophical beliefs as long as they file a waiver with their child's school. Since we're delaying and declining some of the vaccines, I've already requested an exemption waiver for Moses so I won't have to worry about child care objections. I was appalled to learn that Mississippi and West Virginia require that parents vaccinate their children or the state can take the children from them! Sounds like we won't be moving there any time soon.

I'm still trying to figure out the best schedule for "Chuck" but figure I have a few more months to decide.

Sorry to be on a soap box with this post, but I can't help but feel passionate about immunizations and the government's involvement in our role as parents.

Questions? Comments? I'll be glad to share what I've learned.



Mrs. B. said...

Love it. I feel completely the same about anti "doctor-knows-best." as well.
We won't be on our Dr.'s Best Friend list, but at least we know what we're putting into our kids.
I'm getting the Vaccine Book now! :)

Megan said...

Be careful in the hospital! I did NOT sign for Memphis to receive the hepatits shot that they give less than 24 hours after birth, and they gave it to him anyway. I guess they just didn't pay attention to the fact that I had not consented. I'm with you on the point that I'm not anti-vaccine, I just think they get an awful lot of shots in the first year. It seems overwhelming for their tiny bodies. I have an autistic little brother and so, even though I don't believe his autism was caused by vaccines, I am wary of the effects of so many in such a small time frame.