Monday Health & Wellness: Why the Anti-Vaccine Movement Exists - Modern Alternative Mama
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Monday Health & Wellness: Why the Anti-Vaccine Movement Exists

admin August 26, 2013

You should know right up front that this isn’t a research-based post.  I’m not trying to sway anyone to believe anything in particular about vaccines.  What I’m trying to do is explain to those who believe strongly in vaccines why there is an anti-vaccine movement in the first place.  It’s often believed that only crackpots and nutjobs who are anti-science could possibly refuse to vaccinate, or even look at a delayed/alternative schedule.  This assumption pretty much destroys any attempt at rational conversation.

I want to encourage rational conversation on this very important issue.  It is not one-sided, as the media has led us to believe.  There are strong reasons why this movement exists.

If you are pro-vaccine, please read this with an open mind.  I don’t expect that you will believe any differently after reading it, but I hope you will have more understanding and compassion for those who have made a different choice than you have.

The “Anti-Vaccine” Crowd

Let’s talk about this notion that there is an “anti-vaccine” crowd.  This implies that the people who identify with this movement are actively against vaccines in general, and do not want vaccines to be used or available.  The vast majority of people in the so-called anti-vaccine crowd actually believe that people should have a choice on whether or not they want to accept vaccines, and which ones they want to get.  They do not believe in forcing people to vaccinate, nor in preventing them from doing so.

Additionally, a lot of people in the “anti-vaccine” crowd are actually somewhat or even very pro-vaccine, but they question the number of shots, the timing of shots, or the necessity of certain vaccines.  Some of these people will actually get most or all vaccines, on a delayed schedule.  Some actually speak out and say they think vaccines are important, but they have a few safety concerns.  These days, anyone who does not accept the full CDC schedule without question is labeled “anti-vaccine.”

Labeling the entire group of people — from the extremists who do want vaccines completely gone, to those who have minor questions but get most vaccines — as “anti-vaccine” really muddies the conversational waters.  We need to acknowledge that there is a very wide range of people out there, with a wide range of opinions and needs.  We can’t say “You’re for us or you’re against us, and if you don’t accept the status quo without question, you’re against us.”

It’s really important to understand those two points — people have a wide range of opinions, and most of them aren’t actually against vaccines (except, possibly, for their own families).

Why Are People “Anti-Vaccine?”

The popular media thinks that people are against vaccines for a few reasons:

  • They heard of that old study that linked vaccines and autism and they are scared of their kids getting autism
  • They heard Jenny McCarthy say vaccines were bad
  • They are generally ignorant
  • It’s “trendy” to question vaccines

I asked a bunch of people their reasons for not vaccinating.  Not a single one of them said any of those reasons above.  Not one person.  Nobody makes a serious medical decision (yes, it is a medical decision) based on what’s cool.  Do you choose whether or not to give antibiotics or if your child needs surgery based on what’s cool?  Or do you research, get opinions from multiple doctors (if it’s serious) and make a careful decision that’s right for your family?

It’s pretty insulting to assume that parents make the decision not to vaccinate for the reasons above.  Parents feel angry and misunderstood when others say these things.  Let’s look at some of the real reasons parents don’t vaccinate.

  • Their child or someone they know had a serious vaccine reaction, and they don’t want it to happen again/to them
  • They are concerned about the ingredients in vaccines when used in an injectable form (aluminum, monkey kidney cells, chicken embryos, aborted fetal tissue, antibiotics, formaldehyde, etc. — and yes, it’s very different when injected vs. ingested orally)
  • They are concerned that vaccines don’t work as advertised or that the full risk/benefit is not in favor of vaccines
  • They are concerned about the lack of research proving safety and efficacy, especially of the full CDC schedule
  • …and many more

Most research shows that parents who don’t vaccinate tend to be educated, upper-middle-class white parents.  This puzzles researchers.  It shouldn’t.  People who don’t vaccinate are likely to have done quite a lot of research and if you ask, can probably cite dozens of published studies to support their opinion.  They are just rarely asked because so many assume they are stupid.

Remember that everyone just wants what is best for their families and that they love their children more than anything.  No one would do anything that they felt would cause or allow harm to their child.

What Makes a Source Credible?

During the vaccine discussion, most people go in assuming the other side is uneducated and they throw around words like “quack,” “woo,” “sheeple,” and so on.  This shuts down the discussion.

It’s really a mistake to assume that just because someone has made a particular decision — on either side — that they haven’t done any research and don’t know anything.  But it’s done all the time.

The next step is then sharing mountains of evidence, while the “other side” criticizes that evidence.  “The study was poorly designed, that researcher has financial ties/is an idiot/etc.”  This is sometimes true but the heart of the issue is that everyone has made up their minds and will not accept evidence that goes against it.

This phenomenon is so exaggerated that I have seen people praise people like Amanda Peet (an actress who is pro-vaccine) as a ‘good’ source of information, while they refuse to believe a word that someone like Dr. Mercola, Dr. Stephanie Cave, or Dr. Sears have to say.  I’m no expert…but I’m pretty sure anyone with a medical degree has probably done more research than an actress, especially if they’re writing books on the subject.  If Jenny McCarthy doesn’t count, then neither does Amanda Peet.

(Not that I think you should take any one person’s word for it.  I’m just pointing out a silly inconsistency.)

Why the Anti-Vaccine Movement Exists

Why The Anti-Vaccine Movement Exists

There is such a strong resistance to anything perceived as ‘anti-vaccine’ right now.  It’s being shut down as foolishness.  “Vaccines are safe and the greatest gift of modern medicine, end of story,” is how it goes.

Those on the “anti-vaccine” side would just like to tell a different story.  They would like to share the mountains of research to the contrary that gets ignored.  They would like to share the stories of their vaccine-injured (or even killed) children.  They would like you to know that you have a choice.  They will not tell you what to do with your family.  They will encourage you to do your own research, to educate yourself, to find a medical professional that you trust to advise you.

(No shots = no school?  NOT TRUE!  There are exemptions in 48 states.)

This isn’t being done in the mainstream.  People are being encouraged, there, to shut up, stop asking questions, and “Do what your doctor says because he went to medical school and you didn’t.”  In an age where people do have access to good information and many have been to college and know how to research and read scholarly publications, we should be encouraging them to research, not blindly follow!  This is sad.

(In another post I’ll be sharing a medical student’s answers to what his vaccine training was like.  Hint: not much.  That being the case, it is extra important for parents to be informed!)

As always, I am not telling you what to do.  I am not telling you not to vaccinate.  I am telling you to be informed, to do your own research.  I believe my readers are smart and capable of making their own decisions.  You all don’t need someone to tell you what to do.

So that’s why the “anti-vaccine” movement is really out there.  They’re informed, educated, passionate people who want you to know there’s another side to the story and get all the information you need to make the decision that is right for you.

Are you part of the “anti-vaccine” movement?  Did you know this information?

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51 Comments

  1. What a timely post. My husband and I share different views of vaccination, and I have been prayerfully submitting to his leadership in this area. However, my 13 month old daughter is currently healing from a measles-like reaction to her MMRV vaccination. You can read about her situation on my blog and see photos of her awful rash.

    Reply

    • The CDC website states that 1 in 20 kids will get a rash from the vaccine. My doctor even told me about it – much less harmful than the real disease. And your child is now immune! This is good in light of the cases reported in Texas and the fact that this disease is gaining ground right now.

      Reply

      • Liz,
        This is what the above article describes. Have you checked on the actual stats on immunity from the vaccine or have you researched INDEPENDENT studies on the vaccine and its efficacy? She’s not looking to persuade you and stated in the article that minds cannot be changed. If you ask for evidence take it or leave it and maybe try and do your own open-minded research on the subject instead of condemning someone else’s? There are risks with every decision-we weigh those risks and make a choice…every day: driving, eating, walking across the street. Split-second decisions maybe we should also give more thought too as well?

        Reply

      • My daughter got extremely ill and was sick for 4 months after the MMR. It changed her personality overnight, enough for all of our family member (in-laws, parents, aunts, etc. ) to notice. She also got sensory disorder at that time and didn’t like the way certain clothes and shoes felt.
        My husband got the mumps as a child right after the mumps vaccine and is now deaf in one ear. The mumps killed the nerve in his ear. It cannot be repaired and affects him every day.
        Also, antibiotics are in a lot of the vaccines to try to mask the symptoms and adverse reactions that the shots cause.

        Reply

      • If you had really researched, Liz, you would find that “much less harmful than the real disease” and “your child is now immune!” are simply not true… and that “the cases reported in Texas” & “this disease is gaining ground right now” are not what you’re making it out to be. Take a look at the national measles outbreak map. And learn the facts about measles… The percentage of population that gets them each year & the number of deaths of those that do get them. (It’s laughable)… Compare that to the number of vaccine injuries/adverse reactions from that vaccine (mind you the FDA has stated that only somewhere between 1-10% of all adverse reactions are even reported to VAERS…) Then study up on herd immunity a little bit. Or rather “the myth” of herd immunity. Just my 2 cents.

        Reply

      • Liz,
        Hundreds of thousands of children just in the U.S. have developed autism and bowel disease within days of the MMR. Many others developed the dozens of reported side effects listed on the package insert. Measles is not a dangerous disease for previously healthy, well-nourished children, and having it confers permanent immunity and a stronger immune system for facing future challenges, the ability to protect future babies in their first year, and resistance to several kinds of cancer and degenerative diseases as adults. Having measles is beneficial to the vast majority. So getting artificial, temporary immunity to it from a dangerous vaccine is an extremely questionable gift, and a temporary rash caused by the vaccine really isn’t a big deal one way or the other.

        Reply

  2. As an example, in Pennsylvania where I live you can only get an exemption for school for religious or philosophical reasons and that must be for all vaccines so if you would prefer to selectively vaccinate your child (like I would) you have to either chose all the vaccines or none. It would be lovely to be able to really have a choice in the matter. Thanks for posting this. I appreciate it.

    Reply

  3. Kate,

    I love your passion for respectful dialogue. It’s one of the things we need to learn most of all right now. They should teach it in school! Thanks for this post.

    Reply

  4. Please reply with a well-designed study from the mountain of evidence. I’ve genuinely tried looking for one, but have yet to find anything with adequate controls.

    Reply

    • I shared 13 with another commenter, please see those.

      Reply

      • The research that was posted to my comment lists a good many things that are not even issues concerning the shots. And some that has been easily disproved. Thermisol is no longer a part of any shot except for the flu shot and there is no research that says a shot directly caused autism. I can’t sort thru all that “research” in 2 seconds, but I think my initial problem with this article is that it clearly makes anti vaccination people seem well educated and pro vaccination people are just people who haven’t done their research. To form a bridge between the two groups, you have to acknowledge the information and valid points on both sides.

        Reply

        • Really? Because I read this and assumed by “either side” she was acknowledging both the Pro & Anti side.
          “It’s really a mistake to assume that just because someone has made a particular decision — on either side — that they haven’t done any research and don’t know anything. But it’s done all the time.”

          If you read an article on Yahoo about the latest Measles outbreak, there is a lot of assumptions made about parents who forego vaccination. No one is calling the pro-vaccine parents quacks who fell for Jenny McCarthy’s junk science. My major in college was research. Yet if I post anything questioning the CDC schedule or aluminum toxicity someone always chimes in with “You know that Dr who said the MMR caused Autism was thrown in jail for fraud. Jenny McCarthy too.” Oy Vey!

          Reply

        • Sorry but wrong again, Liz… Mercury/Thimerosal is still in several vaccines in full, part, and trace amounts. Currently at least 4 (and I believe more now) flu vaccines as well as the Meningococcal vaccine have the full 25mcg of thimerosal. In addition to that, Japanese Encephalitis has higher than trace amounts. What are trace amounts? Trace is .3mcg. Which vaccines have trace amounts?

          DTaP
          DTaP+Hib
          DT
          Td

          Are so called “trace amounts dangerous? Take a look at this:

          0.5 parts per billion (ppb) mercury has been shown to kill human neuroblastoma cells (Parran et al., Toxicol Sci 2005; 86:132–40).
          2 ppb mercury is the U.S. EPA limit for drinking water ( http://www.epa.gov/safewater/contaminants/index.html#mcls).
          20 ppb mercury destroys neurite membrane structures (Leong et al., Neuroreport 2001:12733–7).
          200 ppb mercury is the level in liquid that the EPA classifies as hazardous waste
          2000 ppb – “TRACE” is 2000 parts per billion!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          That’s 10 X’s higher than hazardous waste classification.
          That’s 100 X’s higher than destroying neurite membrane structures.
          That’s 1000 X’s higher than the safe drinking water limit.
          That’s 4000 X’s higher than what kills human neuroblastoma cells.

          In addition to that, there ARE studies to support the vaccine-autism link. Many families have actually been awarded millions of compensation dollars in vaccine-autism court for their childs’ injuries! PS: Do a google search for “vaccine autism studies that support Wakefield’s findings”. You can also read this article, which cites several references, so you’re not just taking a look at some opinionated lady’s blog jibberish: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/01/24/new-evidence-refutes-fraud-findings-in-dr-wakefield-case.aspx

          Reply

    • Well, as I have done more looking at your “research” I have noticed some flaws – several of the articles have nothing to do with childhood vaccines – articles. 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,10,11, and 13 do not even mention childhood vaccines. Also some of your “research” is over 20 years old. And you provided me with not one article from the last 5 years that directly states shots cause autism. I think you had better do research without your biases involved.

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  5. Great article and very good points!!! Excellent! Thank you!

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  6. THANK YOU!!

    We haven’t vaccinated our daughter (20m) and I have gotten into some heated debates over the issue. I don’t try to shove it down people’s throats, I just let them know what we do, and tell them that they have a choice. I’m all about doing research and basing your decision off of that. If you make an informed decision to vaccinate, then fine, as long as you did the research.

    And seriously, we aren’t against vaccines. There’s a chance we might even vaccinate our daughter with a few shots, once she’s older. We just don’t want to do it now. We aren’t crazy, we are just doing what we feel is right for our child.

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  7. I have to say that you maybe should make this a bit more scholarly. You mention “mountains” of research for anti vaccination but honestly there is very little credible research for this. If you could give me at least 3 scientific and medically based links to true scholarly research, I would say you had a point. But there is very little about written about the pros of being against vaccinations because the claims made against are disproved time and again! In Japan, they eliminated the MMR shot and autism rates continued to climb. There have been over 1100 deaths of children whose parents refused the shots for their children. It is possible that some deaths have occurred from shots, but do you realize that 200 or so years ago, there was rarely a family without a dead child. Children died from the diseases we treat so cavalierly today. Often families had as many as 15 children with only 3 or 4 reaching adulthood. We don’t know how bad it was – we have forgotten why the shots were created in the first place. I think you make a nice offering of telling people to do research and that you aren’t trying to change their minds, but in that same frame of mind, you should present some sources at the bottom of your article and make this a true discussion of the pros and cons of both sides. Your article is very clearly anti vaccine. You seem to indicate that by doing “true” research, that we will all come to think as you do. If you can give me three solid medical sources, I will listen to your side of the story. Otherwise, I think you are simply founding your thoughts on hearsay and the fact that you haven’t researched our children’s medical history and life expectancy before shots came to be a part of American life.

    Reply

    • To address your later “concerns,” I have not had a chance to moderate comments yet. I do have a life and I don’t have time to approve/reply to everything instantly. It’s been less than 24 hours since you commented, have some patience please. In the future if you try to bully me that way, I will not publish any of your comments. I won’t be publishing the rude, impatient later ones.

      I am in no way telling people what they should do — I’ve stated that clearly. If you didn’t get that, well…sorry. But I said what I meant and I meant what I said.

      As for research…here you go. Originally compiled by Ginger Taylor of The Thinking Moms’ Revolution.

      1. Metabolic biomarkers of increased oxidative stress and impaired methylation capacity in children with autism
      American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 80, No. 6, 1611-1617, December 2004
      Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute

      2. Porphyrinuria in childhood autistic disorder: Implications for environmental toxicity
      Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 2006
      Robert Natafa, Corinne Skorupkab, Lorene Ametb, Alain Lama, Anthea Springbettc and Richard Lathed, aLaboratoire Philippe Auguste, Paris, France, Association ARIANE, Clichy, France, Department of Statistics, Roslin Institute, Roslin, UK, Pieta Research

      3. Uncoupling of ATP-mediated Calcium Signaling and Dysregulated IL-6 Secretion in Dendritic Cells by Nanomolar Thimerosal
      Environmental Health Perspectives, July 2006.
      Samuel R. Goth, Ruth A. Chu Jeffrey P. Gregg

      4. Comparison of Blood and Brain Mercury Levels in Infant Monkeys Exposed to Methylmercury or Vaccines Containing Thimerosal
      Environmental Health Perspectives, Aug 2005.
      Thomas Burbacher, PhD [University of Washington].

      5. Autism: A Brain Disorder, or A Disorder That Affects the Brain?
      Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 2005
      Martha R. Herbert M.D., Ph.D., Harvard University

      6. Activation of Methionine Synthase by Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 and Dopamine: a Target for Neurodevelopmental Toxins and Thimerosal
      Molecular Psychiatry, July 2004.

      7. Validation of the Phenomenon of Autistic Regression Using Home Videotapes
      Archives of General Psychiatry, 2005
      Emily Werner, PhD; Geraldine Dawson, PhD, University of Washington

      8. Blood Levels of Mercury Are Related to Diagnosis of Autism: A Reanalysis of an Important Data Set
      Journal of Child Neurology, Vol. 22, No. 11, 1308-1311 (2007)
      M. Catherine DeSoto, PhD, Robert T. Hitlan, PhD -Department of Psychology, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa

      9. Mumps and ovarian cancer: modern interpretation of an historic association
      Cancer Causes Control, (2010)
      Cramer DW, Vitonis AF, Pinheiro SP, McKolanis JR, Fichorova RN, Brown KE, Hatchette TF, Finn OJ

      10. The toxicology of aluminum in the brain: a review
      Neurotoxicology (2000)
      Yokel RA

      11. Blood-brain barrier flux of aluminum, manganese, iron and other metals suspected to contribute to metal-induced neurodegeneration
      Journal of Alzheimer’s (2006)
      Yokel RA

      12. Aluminium-adjuvanted vaccines transiently increase aluminium levels in murine brain tissue
      Pharmicology Toxicology (1992)
      Redhead K, Quinlan GJ, Das RG, Gutteridge JM

      13. Aluminum hydroxide injections lead to motor deficits and motor neuron degeneration
      Journal of Inorganic Chemistry (2007)
      Shaw CA, Petrik MS

      Should I go on? I could list another 60 or 70 studies, but I think you get the point.

      Reply

      • Thank you for trying to post research. You should realize thermisol is no longer a part of vaccinations – it is only in the flu vaccine now. Also, the article on autism doesn’t even mention vaccines. To address you other comments – I was not rude, but I noticed that several people who posted after me had their comments approved when I did not. I am glad you are willing to post my comments and have a real discussion about this. I also didn’t dispute that shots can have side effects but those are small in comparison to the good they end up doing for the majority of the population. It is unfortunate that there are some side effects but autism is NOT one of them and the greater good in lowering the incidence of these deadly diseases is far more important. I just wish you hadn’t taken the tone that I am an uneducated person because both sides are allowed to have their viewpoints and make their own decision. I think if this article is to be a “bridge” between both sides, you will have to rewrite it to validate the education and research of the “other” side.

        Reply

        • It’s not true that mercury has been removed. It’s used in the manufacturing process, so it’s still in there but just referred to as “trace amounts.”

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        • Well, as I have done more looking at your “research” I have noticed some flaws – several of the articles have nothing to do with childhood vaccines – articles. 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,10,11, and 13 do not even mention childhood vaccines. Also some of your “research” is over 20 years old. And you provided me with not one article from the last 5 years that directly states shots cause autism. I think you had better do research without your biases involved.

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          • Your silence tells me I am spot on…

          • Hey lady,

            I think you need to read and reread when you go over articles. Not once did she mention autism being the reason to not use vaccines (she said that’s a reason some people THINK OTHER people are anti-vaccine, not that she, herself, believes that). But you’re hooked on that being your main argument. Clearly your skimming (since you’re clearly not reading, let alone processing) skills need some work, especially before you try to make an argument.

            Also, the article title makes clear that she’s talking about the anti-vaccine side, not the pro-vaccine side. It’s typically anti-vaccine believers that are chastised for their beliefs, not the other way around (and you made this point by being extremely arrogant and rude). This was written to explain why people feel the need to do their own research, and trying to explain to those who are pro-vaccine, and also to those who don’t do any research, why on earth they would choose to make their own decision rather than being herded like cattle.

            Please try to be more patient, as that’s clearly an area you’re lacking. Kate has 4 young kids, does home-schooling, does a ton of preserving (which is in full-season right now), has a relationship with her husband and God, AND does this blog. I don’t even know her, but I can get all of this by READING. If I had a blog like this I wouldn’t try to respond to any comments, let alone rude ones, so bless her for trying.

            *By the way, the points you listed about how bad the epidemics were before vaccines are valid, but the issue is not always the disease that we could possibly get, but if the vaccine actually works, and if it does more harm than good.

          • I very much appreciate your help, but we do need to be kind even when people are not so kind to us. 🙂

          • How about 81 studies?

            Ok. Debunk every one of them – go!

            FYI just because a study is a certain number of years old doesn’t prove it’s invalid. Show the study that disproved one that’s over 5 years old, and then you may have some ground to stand on.

            https://www.facebook.com/notes/ginger-taylor/67-research-papers-showing-that-vaccines-can-cause-autism/10151550806568920

        • Liz –

          Kate has tried being polite and patient with you; however, I will say what she chooses not to say. For your future credibility, questioning someone’s views or research ability (and correlating intelligence) while failing to maintain proper grammar is not a great idea. Additionally, continually parroting things you have heard elsewhere that ‘officially debunk’ so-called conspiracy theories does not give the perception of independent critical thinking or true intellect. It merely gives the perception of one who tends to blindly follow the status quo (whether that is the case or not) and thereby discredits much of the point you try to get across to others.

          Your antagonizing tone throughout your comments has considerably irritated me and it was not even aimed in my direction. Fortunately, Kate has displayed the grace not to stoop down to your level and senselessly bicker while politely providing supporting evidence for her views.

          Kate –

          As for the article, excellent job explaining many of the arguments for a view that is often dismissed in the mainstream. It is easy to become defensive (and subsequently offensive) when discussing such a hot-button personal issue. However, you provided your views to the audience very gracefully, which is to be admired. Well done!

          Reply

  8. Thank you so much for this post! I am personally part of the “anti-vaccine” group and am constantly frustrated when people refuse to listen. I’ve even told most that my deciding factor was the CDC’s own website! I feel like research isn’t being done properly or is being ignored because people don’t want to believe that our government would do this to us! One other point though, VAERS and where the payments for the vaccine injured plus the fact that vaccine manufacturers cannot be held liable for any problems that arise. Those are also issues that we have.

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  9. Thank you! I think this needs to be printed out & kept on hand for times of need. Again thank you for finding words that aren’t confrontational, but give us “all” dignity in our beliefs.
    So many time both sides of an issue are reduced to quips & degradation of the opposing view instead of people trying to see another point of view. “Seeing someone else’s point of view doesn’t mean we have to give up our own.”

    Again I say, Thank You for the beautifully said words.

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  10. Good article! I’m glad you posted such an article. There are a ton of misconceptions out there about people/families that don’t vaccinate. There are so many misconceptions in some areas it is *extremely* difficult to find a practitioner (if you want one) that will even consider the notion of seeing a family/child that doesn’t adhere to vaccinations. Even then, it may be that the topic of vaccinations are brought up at every.single.visit. Either way, people/families do have choices, yet it can be difficult, time-consuming, and frustrating to “go against the grain” and sometimes that is why people don’t act or research their options. To me, this is also a sad reality…

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  11. Great article! I find myself, having researched thousands of hours over the past 14 years, debating people on my anti-vaccination stance vs pamphlets readers and those that just listen to profit driven medical society that prefers you stay sick. I work as a medical biller so what would I know, right? I get them paid!

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  12. Wonderful post! We too are in the no vac crowd and our daughter is thriving, almost never ill. We entered into the no vac category only because our genuine questions about the contents of the vaccines and their links to autism and immune issues were not only ignored by our MD but by anyone we spoke to. This sent a red flag to us, as we had just assumed she was willing to talk about this but no, it was you MUST vaccinate and when I tell you to. The questions, no answers. So we spent about a year researching to try and find out why. In this time period our friend’s daughter died from SIDS, and after watching Vaccine Nation I believe that it may have been delayed vaccine reaction disorder. Now, we never intend on vaccinating our kids at all after the years of research ( and for critics reading this, just do your own research, begin by watching Vaccine Nation and The Greater Good) we have chosen not to.

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  13. Thank you for that well thought out post. I couldn’t have explained it better. You could give research and site studies all the live long day and someone who has made up their mind will find fault with it. I don’t even post articles any more. When I started questioning vaccines I did the digging myself. Anyone who is serious will do the same.

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  14. […] Monday Health & Wellness: Why the Anti-Vaccine Movement Exists @ Modern Alternative Mama […]

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  15. You know, I can see both sides of this. I have chosen to vaccinate and we haven’t had any major problems of which I am aware. My daughter is adopted from overseas and she did already have a few vaccinations when I brought her home. The pediatrician did want to re-vaccinate her which I did not allow. She insisted that the vaccinations would not be good b/c they were not from the U.S. I said that we could do titers, and sure enough, she was plenty vaccinated 🙂

    But lately, there is one person that I know who is extremely anti-vaccine, and she tries to bully the other way by constantly pointing out how, for example, how people in Colorado had gotten the whooping cough and they had already been vaccinated. Any little shred of evidence is posted on Facebook. I don’t get it. Why can’t we just respect each other and our decisions without trying to make the other side feel like less for their particular decision? I know she is justifying her own decisions, but still. The angry tirades are not helpful 🙂

    Anyway, I appreciate your info and the way that you would like both sides to come to the table and discuss.

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  16. Liz, you are missing the whole point of Kate’s post. She said from the beginning that she’s not trying to get into a debate over vaccination. She merely wanted to point out that there are assumptions about non-vaxers and that there are many points in between, as well as many reasons why some choose not to vax. AND that we should all have a choice, and make an informed decision.

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  17. I’ve been thinking of writing a post like this for some time. You nailed it, Kate. Thank you.

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  18. The same can be said of just about any movement, on both sides. I have heard some pretty silly claims from people who are anti-home birth. I’ve heard silly claims from those who are both pro- and anti-vaccine. This does not just apply to the people you disagree with; it can apply to anyone. Please remember that.

    Reply

  19. My brother died of a vaccine reaction so of course I was afraid of vaccinating my children. My husband wanted to and I asked him to read some of my books. In the end, his decision was based on discovering that after the CDC annually composes a list of suggested mandated vaccines, each state has a committee that then recommends to legislators. To a state my husband found that 99% of the people on these committees were being paid by drug manufacturers. He said “Merck is not deciding my child’s vaccine schedule.” Also my son did have a vaccine at 5. I found a DT (without pertussis, special ordered) and within a week we discovered he was NOW allergic to his favorite food – shellfish. This is because they use fish oil in small enough amounts that it’s not listed as adjutants and when you put a protein into the bloodstream the body creates antigens. Are these few facts alone enough to make you distrust the people making these decisions? Proceed with Caution Parents.

    Reply

  20. I stumbled upon this post, and am amazed at how well written it is. However, despite being well written, articles can be wrong. Unfortunately for parents who choose not to vaccinate their children, they are making the wrong choice.

    As adults, we don’t like to be told we are wrong (that is something we tell children). Try to look past why you feel upset about being told you are wrong, and try to learn why.

    Look up herd immunity to learn why vaccination works best if everyone is vaccinated.

    Also, keep in mind that the moments of pain your child will endure while getting vaccinated is much better than being physically debilitated for life from a preventable disease you chose not to prevent.

    If you choose not to vaccinate, and your child becomes debilitated for life, that he/she will forgive your wrong decision, and not resent you for preventing their disability all because you have fringe beliefs spurned by people who are unscrupulous.

    Reply

    • Thanks for your response and generally respectful tone.

      Those who choose not to vaccinate are well aware of the theory of herd immunity and do not believe in it. Go read what Dr. Russell Blaylock has to say about it.

      Choosing not to vaccinate isn’t something to choose lightly. It’s something to choose based on careful research. There have been several studies posted, which you can read if you’re interested. I suspect you are not.

      Reply

      • Tried looking up Dr. Blaylock. I’ve got to say the only positive things I read came from his personal websites. Every other website had something negative to say about him. Even on his website I struggled to find evidence to support his opinions. When I did try to look up his references they were coming from other people’s opinions.

        Reply

    • Dr. Young,
      Measles and pertussis are the only diseases usually referred to in discussions of herd immunity, and neither of them is any longer a dangerous disease. Pertussis kills maybe one in 200 very young infants who gets it, but they cannot be protected by the pertussis vaccine (DTaP), because their immune systems have not developed enough to respond appropriately to the vaccine, and giving it at that age more than doubles the risk of asthma at seven compared to starting the series later (Manitoba study 1998). Not giving it at all results in escaping the risk of asthma almost completely. The new acellular vaccine used is very ineffective. More than 42,000 Americans were diagnosed with pertussis last year in the upsurge of pertussis that occurs naturally every three or four years; many more were undiatgnosed. About 85% of them had been vaccinated appropriately, but got it anyway. Pharma pushers are now trying to guilt Americans into getting another Tdap every three years for endless rounds of vaccine roulette, in recognition of the ephemeral nature of any protection which may sometimes be given. It may be that the vaccine never prevents at least subclinical infection, and never prevents transmission. My baby got the DTaP at 2, 4, and 6 months (I wish I had known then what I know now), but got pertussis anyway at 8 months, and gave it to me. Fortunately it’s no longer considered a dangerous disease in those over four or five months old, and it wasn’t for us, just long-lasting and fatiguing. She had started saying two words by 18 months (brain-damaged from the hep-B vaccine), but both words were erased forever when she got the DTaP booster at that time, and she was diagnosed with autism two months later. There is no herd immunity to pertussis because the vaccine is so ineffective, while still causing a lot of asthma, allergies, seizure disorders, autism, and SIDS. Young babies should be kept at home for their protection in the first months, and given Dr. Suzanne Humphries’ high-dose vitamin C protocol if they get pertussis anyway.
      Measles is a beneficial disease to get, so herd immunity is irrelevant here as well. The MMR is an extremely dangerous vaccine. Royal Health statistics for the UK show that thirty years ago the death rate from measles was one or two in every ten thousand with the disease, most of them with preexisting health conditions. People must know that the patient with measles must stay in bed throughout the illness, plus stay at home for two weeks recuperation time since the virus depresses the immune system for a few weeks after the rash appears. Giving vitamin A reduces complications, giving Tylenol or any other fever reducer increases the risk and should not be given. The patient must stay well-hydrated and avoid chills. The illness is unpleasant, but is the best possible experience for the overall future health of the individual, its permanent immunity and education of the immune system are of incomparable value. At this time we have considerable herd immunity to measles in the U.S., but given the extremely dangerous nature of the MMR and the beneficial nature of the disease, I think measles is going to come back. It’s also excellent for children to get mumps and rubella. Women without immunity may consider the rubella vaccine before getting pregnant if they think the considerable risks of the vaccine are worth it.

      It is not respecful to say your child may never forgive you if you don’t vaccinate him and he gets a vaccine-preventable disease. I have MS from a vaccine reaction, my daughter has autism and bowel disease from vaccine reactions. My father was paralyzed the last three years of his life from a reaction to a flu vaccine. Should I be angry at my parents, should my daughter be angry with me if she recovers enough from autism to understand the issue (and I had said I didn’t want her to get the hep-B vax at the hospital, it was given against my wishes, but I permitted the DTaPs which damaged her).?

      Reply

  21. cochrane.org has a library of published studies on health care issues. It claims to be independent. You can search for studies and read summaries for free and pay for the full studies. It is a medical database and does not try to sway the reader one way or the other. It is worth a look if you are questions the safety or effectiveness of vaccinations. They also tell you who funded the studies.

    For example, I was researching the flu vaccine and discovered that only one study has been conducted on the effectiveness for the inactivated vaccine given to children under two years of age as of November 2011.

    Reply

  22. Thank you for a well written article about the “great debate”. I switched from our initial pediatric office (after spending 4 years in a good relationship) after our middle son was diagnosed with a life-threatening cow protein allergy. When I informed the pediatrician that I needed to know the ingredients for each possible vaccine because they could potentially cause an anaphylactic reaction, the Dr. became visibly angry, labeled me “one of those” parents and told me that I was over-reacting – the benefits would outweigh any potential risk of a reaction because “no child has ever died” from an allergic reaction to the ingredients. Thankfully, our new pediatrician is very educated about vaccines, will pull up the ingredient list for each shot and uses a very, very delayed schedule for those we can have. Our new pediatrician has also alerted us to the fact that vaccine makers often will alter ingredients with different batches. What is “safe” one batch, may not be “safe” the next batch.

    Reply

  23. I am struggling to see how this website considers itself unbiased when at the end of each discussion it ends in favor of not vaccinating. You clearly have an opinion and that’s fine. You should own it then, right or wrong. I agree that there is an implication on this website that those who choose to vaccinate are presumed to be just following the status quo. It’s just as offensive to us as it is to you when assumptions are made that you are just following a fad and not making your own decisions.

    In my own research, I have found that when a person has a mild reaction similar to what would happen if they had in fact contracted the disease on their own means that the body is busy building anti-bodies. Meaning the vaccine is doing its job. For example, if you experience a mild measles-like rash after receiving the measles vaccine, that means your body has successfully accepted the virus and is busy building those anti-bodies. It’s just much more mild. The serious side-effects of those vaccines are rare. And yes, some people on this site may know someone that has happened to. I’ve known people to have had horrible reactions to alternative and natural remedies, however I’m not opposed to using them. I’m just vigilant about watching reactions when using them.

    We do have to keep in mind that modern medicine has save numerous lives and that includes using vaccines. Which means it’s no longer the survival of the fittest. Those that have survived because of modern medicine have now passed along weaker genes. It’s just what happens. And as those with weaker genes reproduce with others who also have weaker genes you are going to continue to compromise the ongoing health of the species. It’s called evolution. I know that many on this website are Christians and so am I. And they have probably just cringed reading that, but if you truly know what evolution means you would agree. You actually talk about one example of it right here on this website. It’s called antibiotic resistant bacteria.

    I believe many things contribute to our illnesses, however I’m not writing a book here. I just cringe when I see someone just copy and paste someone else’s work without truly doing their own research into the matter. And re-posting someone else’s research is not doing research. Unless I go and personally read and verify Ginger Taylor’s work and read each article she references I have no idea how accurate it is. Prior to having my first I didn’t think I was going to vaccinate and then I did my own personal research – this was before blogs so I was reading articles and studies conducted here in the U.S. and in other countries, not someone else’s opinions. I chose to vaccinate all of my children. They are remarkably healthy children. I believe it has a lot to do with their diet and surroundings. And a lot of luck. I don’t want any one reading this who has a child with health problems think that it was because they didn’t do something ‘right’. Sometimes you still get hit by a bus even when you look both ways before crossing a street. Life happens.

    I encourage everyone here to stop reading blogs and start doing your own research. Take a biology class or an immunology class. Even if you feel what they are telling you is wrong it’s a starting point. It will lead you to where you need to go.

    And read Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species for yourself! He was a Christian you know. Hence the reason it took him so long to finally publish his work. He struggled with the evidence he found. But don’t take my word for it.

    Reply

    • Moa K,
      The case against vaccines is uncontroversial. They are all very dangerous and, in the opinion of many, any protection they may offer against usually mild or rare diseases is not worth the danger of severe and permanant damage or death from them. If you read this or other blogs like regardingcaroline.com, adventuresinautism.blogspot.com, ageofautism.com, therefusers.com, vaxtruth.com, any book by Neil Miller (thousands of published, peer-reviewed studies indicting vaccines in the bibliographies), Dr. Mayer Eisenstein, Randall Neustaedter, and many more, you’ll see the proof, the studies. Vaccines cause a heightened state of iinflammation to force the production of antibodies, but the inflammation often involves the brain (encephalitis), as in my daughter. Vaccines skew the immune system to an autoimmune Th-2 reaction from an appropriate development toward a Th-1 immune reaction, causing our modern epidemic of asthma, allergies, diabetes, and bowel disease. Read The Peanut Allergy Epidemic for detailed studies and information on how vaccines, especially the Hib, have caused our modern flood of sometimes fatal peanut allergies, from the peanut oil used to adjuvant many vaccines. The evidence is there, hard though the pharma industry is working to hide it.

      Reply

  24. You know, this is an observation and not a criticism, but I’ve found that a lot of my friends who vaccinate are actually the ones who are (self-professingly) uneducated about vaccinations in general. They just choose to think that if it’s legal and recommended, “they’re probably right”. They feel the same way about GMOs and conventionally-raised food, since it’s FDA-approved. They all love their children dearly, but can’t be bothered to spend all the time it takes to do all the research. So I get called a hippie, and crunchy, or whatever, but it’s really just that I’ve read a LOT about this stuff and it’s made my opinions different than the average Joe’s.

    Reply

  25. Wow! You’ve nailed it. This is the BEST commentary I’ve ever read on this issue, and explains how I’ve always felt, but been unable to put into words (without resorting to words like, “sheeple”, admittedly).

    Especially this:
    “Additionally, a lot of people in the “anti-vaccine” crowd are actually somewhat or even very pro-vaccine, but they question the number of shots, the timing of shots, or the necessity of certain vaccines. Some of these people will actually get most or all vaccines, on a delayed schedule.”

    Thank you so much! I’m bookmarking and saving to share the next time someone puts me down for my extensively-researched and agonized-over choices regarding my children’s vaccination status.

    Reply

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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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