How long can you write a blog on natural living and children and avoid the vaccine issue? As long as you want, I guess!
In my opinion, the issue of vaccination is not cut and dry by any means. That's why my favorite vaccine to discuss with folks who get up in arms when anyone questions vaccine at all, is the chicken pox vaccine. (And btw, this information is not esoteric, repressed, or secret in any way. There are a number of places you can look it up. One of my favorite, balanced books on vaccines is What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About(TM) Children's Vaccinations . It is on sale right now for $6- a serious bargain- and I can't recommend it highly enough.)
Let's start with what the chicken pox vaccine does for your child. Does it prevent your child from getting the pox? Many parents think it does.
The vaccine, simply put, decreases the amount of time your child is contagious during the chicken pox.
(Editing to add: This info is based on the old recommendation of a single dose- now children get 2 doses which supposedly "fixes" this problem and gives better- but never 100%- immunity. It is up to you to read the info from various- aleays conflicting- sources and make decisions based on your knowledge!!!)
Interestingly, your child will receive this vaccination AFTER the extreme 'danger zone' for chicken pox is past. Why? Because your infant's immune system is too immature to handle the vaccine before.
Why then, does your child receive the chicken pox vaccine?
Well, Merck went to the federal government and said, hey, did you know that the economy loses about 5 billion dollars a year due to parental time off for chicken pox? If we develop this vaccine, parents in 2 parent working homes or single parent homes will only need to take off 1/2 to 1 days versus 4-5 days of work for each incidence of chicken pox.
And our government said "COOL! Go ahead!" and now your child receives the vaccine, even if you stay at home and the time-off-work thing wouldn't affect you at all.
THEREFORE, in the case of the chicken pox vaccine, if one parent stays at home already, the chicken pox vaccine carries 100% risk (medications always carry some risk) because as designed, the vaccine benefits you 0%.
So, let's see here. A vaccine was developed to save us all money? Hmm. (How much of that 5 billion saved is funneled directly into the pockets of pharmeceutical giants like Merck?) I thought vaccines were developed to safeguard the health of our children and the population at large? Well, many were, but not all.
(Obviously, the posters on the doctor's office wall aren't advertising the history of each vaccine! You have to dig, but just a little, to find some of this info out.)
This is how I personally like to get informed about different vaccinations:
The first question is WHY was this vaccine developed? You might find that question especially pertinent to any vaccine developed in the last 10-15 years, (ahem), and very especially in cases of vaccines like HepB, Hib, HPV, and HepA. (You really might want to ask yourself if vaccinating against sexually-transmitted diseases is appropriate for newborns as opposed to, say, 20 year olds. Then you might want to ask yourself if you find it appropriate to vaccinate against sexually-transmitted diseases if you are opposed to handing out condoms on college campuses and such... see the connection? It's part of the same mindset.)
The second question is, when is the vaccine administered as opposed to when is the danger zone for the disease? In the case of chicken pox, your child is already mature enough to handle the disease (assuming you are a loving, responsible, and reasonably-informed parent with competent healthcare) by the time the vaccine is generally administered. Is there a more appropriate time to vaccinate against this disease?
The third is a more difficult to answer question, because many health care providers don't know or won't want to tell you- if I delay this vaccination, will the whole series be required? Is there a more appropriate time to vaccinate against this disease, when my child is older and a single dose will be as effective as a 3 or 4 dose series now? (Remember, most vaccines are the same dosage whether your child weighs 12 or 50 lbs, so vaccinating 3 times on an infant is exponentially more foreign material in his system than 1 dose at age 3 or 4!) For instance, my John Paul recently nearly severed his big toe when a very dirty bench fell over on it. I wanted a single-strain tetanus vaccine, but it couldn't be gotten in time. So I agreed to the DTaP. I asked both the ER nurse and doctor several times about the need for boosters and both very clearly explained that boosters were unnecessary. I asked why infants receive several doses of the shot, then? (The doctor thought the shot wasn't absolutely necessary, but the nurse kept emphasizing it was hospital policy.) No one was willing to answer me on that!
The fourth is what does this disease do, how common is it, and what risks will it incur for my child if he or she contracts it naturally? Is there any documentation of factors that increase natural resistance or better ability to withstand the disease? (I'm forgetting where this came from, forgive me, but in the case of polio, it was noticed that many people had the virus but no symptoms. Their common factor seemed to be a diet especially low in sugar.) Your children or child may have particular issues that make it sensible to vaccinate against certain diseases.
One big criticism of non- or selective-vaccination is that the more people who do not vaccinate, the more some diseases now rare will reoccur. However, there have always been large pockets of the population who have never vaccinated. Think some Christian sects like
I could probably write more on this topic, volumes and volumes more, but I hear little people stirring upstairs.
Happy reading-up and have a great day!
"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
~World Health Organization, 1948
"The... patient should be made to understand that he or she must take charge of his own life. Don't take your body to the doctor as if he were a repair shop."