The Vaccination Dilemma
I've written a little about vaccines in Rooney's monthly updates, but never in a full, dedicated post. I've gotten a request to write one, and even though I initially shuttered at the idea, I decided to go ahead and do it. I hope this can be a respectful conversation.
Before Rooney was born, I didn't research vaccinations at all. I just assumed we would vaccinate, because we both were vaccinated as children. I remember shortly after Rooney was born the nurse asked us if we wanted her to have her first dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine. I shrugged and said sure, assuming it couldn't hurt and if they thought it was necessary (or at least wise), then we would go ahead with it. We also both got the Tdap vaccine when Roo was 1 week old to protect her from whopping cough since babies don't get the first dose of the DTaP vaccine until they are 2 months old (and whopping cough was going around the winter she was born).
After we started seeing our chiropractor when Rooney was 2 months old, we learned about all the toxins that are in each shot, so I decided to look into it more. We watched a documentary about vaccines. But the best, most unbiased information I have seen out there is from Mama Natural. She makes it really easy to understand the risks involved with each vaccine, and you can get her info in video or written form. Because she does such a great job, I am just going to link to her site:
As for Rooney, she is fully vaccinated. We have followed the recommended schedule by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Two of the reasons are that we weren't able to breastfeed very long and she goes to day care. And not just any day care, but a day care at a very large church (public setting) and may come into contact with kids or adults who travel on mission trips internationally. However, now that she is 17 months we have realized that she has a great immune system so that is less of a worry.
Even though we have chosen to vaccinate doesn't mean I always feel good about giving them to Rooney or all the ingredients involved. I don't regret it or feel guilty but I do wonder a lot if it was the right decision. Before Rooney gets shots, we pray for her protection and that if we are making the wrong choice that the vaccine would be null and void.
Every single person I have talked to in the medical field (at least seven people I can think of who feel very strongly) says we should most definitely vaccinate our child(ren). I think it's really hard to find unbiased research and studies on this, which is hard as a parent to feel like I am making the right choice. I do think it's strange the amount of mercury in the shots. I think it's strange that we vaccinate against some diseases that certainly aren't pleasant but also aren't fatal.
What I Believe
- I believe every family should make the decision that is right for them. If your family travels internationally or if your child is is in day care, it may affect your decision.
- I believe vaccinating is a complex decision and often there is no easy answer.
- I believe most vaccines work (I'm not talking about the flu shot or Gardasil* vaccine, by the way, just the baby ones). I think they do what they are supposed to. I believe that vaccines have helped to nearly eliminate these diseases from our country.
- I personally feel there is a moral/ethical issue to vaccinate. I think if the majority of people stopped vaccinating, that we would see these diseases come back. I don't like hearing that other people don't vaccinate because most other people around them do, protecting their child.
I will say it feels totally wrong to take your child to a well-baby checkup and then inject them with toxins (especially when zero cases of polio have been reported since 1985). I hate most of the ingredients (some of which are known to cause cancer). Monkey liver cells? Baby cow blood serum? Formaldehyde?
On the other hand, I have heard that although there are more vaccines recommended now than when I was a baby (I was born in 1983), there are actually less toxins in the shots. But, I have trouble knowing what is true and what is not.
To be honest, I can't say with certainty that our next child will be fully vaccinated. If I was a stay-at-home mom, I do not think we would vaccinate our children. I've just found there are so many bumps in the road we're on currently (day care rules, pediatrician office rules) that make it so much easier to stick to the status quo.
Vaccination is an ongoing conversation between me and Eric and something I don't think I'll ever feel 100% comfortable with our decision on. I really see both sides. I also see the benefit of vaccination but maybe waiting til age 5 or something. I am terrible and I leave the room when Rooney gets her shots (Eric is super dad and stays with her).
How are you intentional about vaccinations for your children?
P.S. Has anyone been to a chicken pox party?
*I would totally forge a doctor's signature to keep Rooney from getting the Gardasil vaccine if it ever became required. That shot is super scary to me! I am so strongly against it, it should probably be noted in my will.