Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Vaccine Question

In response to my post yesterday of Little Bear getting his first shots, one of my readers posted her thoughts about vaccines. She suggested a book and that we space out the vaccines rather than have them grouped together. I wonder how many more individual needle pricks that would involve. I'm not opposed to it if it would be healthier for my baby, I just wonder.

My mother even asked about how I was dealing with the vaccines due to all of the publicity surrounding Jenny McArthy and her belief that vaccines caused her son's autism.

My response- I just don't know! 

It is one of those things that is so hard. My main goal is the health of my child so that is why this question of vaccines is so frustrating. 

Our pediatrician says he spends hours explaining to people why they must vaccinate their children, putting him behind schedule. He says that other pediatricians just have the parents sign a waiver and are done with them, but that he cannot in good conscience do that. He believes that all children should be vaccinated. These children are his patients and he is responsible for them. 

I know that there are studies on both sides that have different results. I have to tell you though that I have difficulty trusting any study, on either side. It just seems that if you are looking for a certain result, you can gear the study to end up with that result.

What is the truth? I don't think we know yet.

So, I listen to my child's pediatrician and I then fearfully let them give my child vaccines. I stand by my baby, doing what I think is best for him, but then wonder in the back of my mind if I am letting a substance be injected into him that could cause him harm.

I will look into the book suggested as another alternative to protect my child because that is what the giving of vaccines is all about- protecting my child.

I know there are many opinions involving this issue and I welcome them.


Anonymous said...

you know Brigetta you are actually the only new momma who has given my comment on vaccines any time at all. Usually I dont say as much as I did yesterday because people dont want to hear it. I have some reasons to believe vaccines cause SOME children autism or certain autistic like problems so I am CAUTIOUS with vaccines now that I know a few things. I have not done gardasil on my girls nor do I plan to, or any flu vaccines. To me less is more, and I just think separating vaccines is the least I can demand. I have 2 autistic nephews and a niece and MANY friends with autistic kids. I can appreciate a pediatrician's frustration, but when they tell us what DOES cause autism, that will be when their job gets easier. There needs to be more research.

Anonymous said...

I've read Jenny McArthy's books on Autism and she doesn't believe that it's ONLY the vaccinations that caused her sons Autism, but does believe that in these kinds of cases that it's a combination of the vaccines along with an already weak immune system. Another theory that is on the rise is the use of ultrasounds too often during pregnancy. A co worker of mine has a son with Aspberger's Autism. He was never vaccinated but because she was a high risk pregnancy she had at least 2 ultrasounds a month during her whole pregnancy. And there is also talk of genetic predisposition, as well as environmental factors. The fact is, we just don't know, and for that reason alone, I think that it doesn't hurt to take precautions. That said, all three of my children have been fully vaccinated and I felt safe and confident at the time I had them vaccinated. However, if I were to have any children now I would probably avoid them.

Whatever the cause, however, the rate of children who are being diagnosed is frighteningly alarming. 1 in 150 births are later diagnosed with Autism and it is the fastest growing developmental disability. That is just way too many.

ashley singh said...

I think the benefits out weigh the risk! i know it sounds crazy but I tend to trust the person with a PHD ;) There will be mothers who vaccinate and mothers who dont, mothers who use cloth diapers and mothers who use disposable, mothers who breastfeed and mothers who formula feed (i could go on forever) and there will ALWAYS be someone telling you that you are doing the wrong thing! You have to do what right for you and YOUR family! I think you are doing a wonderful job momma!! With all the conflicting information in the news and on the internet its hard to choose to vaccinate or not...but when it comes down to it we are all just mothers doing what we think is best for our children!

Anonymous said...

Hey Brigetta,
We've been discussing this issue in my nursing classes and although there have been some studies that claim a link between vaccinations and autism, those studies' methods have been discredited. That said, I have worked with a lot of kids with autism, and their parents swear that it was caused by vaccinations. So there is some anecdotal evidence, although the jury's still out on whether I personally agree.

There really is no scientific way to prove a link definitively exists, and most experts agree that whatever causes autism is probably related to multiple interacting factors.

However, there is a link between NOT vaccinating and increased incidence of communicable diseases, which can be extremely dangerous. When I have my own babies, they'll be vaccinated according to the recommended schedule unless there is scientific proof of a link with autism. I agree with ashley, the benefits do outweigh the risks!

Thank you for asking such thought-provoking questions, cousin! :) 'Can't wait to meet Vance!