Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vaccines 2

Anyone who has ever started to study vaccines knows what a scary decision it becomes when you start to question their safety. There is a lot of propaganda and scare-tactics used on *both* sides and it makes it hard to seperate fact from fiction.

The most important thing is to go in with your eyes wide open. If you are reading this then you can no longer be naive to the fact that vaccines DO damage millions of children. Do they help prevent disease? Yes. Is it as wonderful as "they" say it is? Maybe, maybe not. Is it worth the risk? You'll have to decide for yourself.

Ive heard the argument several times that vaccines benefit the masses. Its a "herd immunity" idea. I find it unbelievable as a mother that some moms are fine that some are sacraficed for the masses. I guess it seems ok until its your child.

And the thing about vaccines and autism is its like proving something causes cancer. The truth is MANY things cause cancer and there are A LOT of things that play a role in our growing autism rate. Its a very complex issue.

My opinion - reached after hearing the stories of many mothers of autistic children - is some children are predisposed genetically to have weak immune systems and for some of those children *something* can "tip the scales" and result in autism. For some, an inherited weakened immune system means food allergies, asthma, etc. but for some it means a more devasting breakdown in the bodies ability to function and process attacks. Many mothers of autistic children believe vaccines were the "straw that broke the camels back" for their child/children.

When a vaccine enters the body its job is to make the body think it has contracted that disease so that it produces antibodies resulting in immunity. This can take up to 2 weeks and several doses of the vaccine. But whether a live vaccine (chickenpox, MMR and some flu vaccines) or a "dead"/inactive vaccine, its designed so that the child doesnt actually get sick. The body of a child who's immune system isnt working propery may get confused and 'malfunction' to put it in simple terms and this can wreak havoc in the body and brain.

On the other side of things, we dont live in a culture that is healthy to begin with. A child who eats fruit loops for breakfast, goes to the Dr. and gets 6 vaccines at one time and then has McDonalds on the way home isnt healthier than an unvaccinated child who eats no sugar or processed foods and eats lots of meat, fruits and vegetables. We can do things to strengthen our childrens immune systems so that they can fight off viruses/bacteria on their own (vaccinated or not) and it will also help them to recover more quickly when they do get sick. Breastfeeding is the first step, but as they get older, feeding them healthy whole-food diets, limiting processed food and sugar/white flour, getting them exercise, etc. will help.

Some things to remember before I get into each vaccine:

- just because a child is vaccinated does NOT mean they are immune to a disease. Some vaccines have rates as low as 70% even after a 3-dose series (pertussis/whooping cough)
- its not all or nothing. you as a parent have the right to choose some and refuse others
- the CDC's schedule is a recommendation and it is designed to make it more likely for people to get their children vaccinated (e.g. when they are infants) not on how beneficial it is to the child to vaccinate at that age
- "Preservative free" or even "Mercury free" vaccines sometimes still contain mercury. Some just replaced mercury with other preservatives like aluminum or formaldehyde.

My next post will be about the Hep B vaccine which is one of the ones I feel most strongly about. We will build from there, getting more controversial as we go ;)

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