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Dear Vaccine Pushers: I Don’t Vaccinate and You Can’t Make Me

admin March 15, 2014

don't vaccinate

Image by USACE European District

Okay, the title is childish.  I know.

It’s just that every time a few people catch a simple disease (like measles or pertussis) — from which the vast, vast majority recover with no issues — we have to start the media circus.  And the media uses the opportunity to shame, bash, and belittle parents who don’t vaccinate.  Those parents then go in and try to be reasonable, try to explain their position, and basically defend themselves.  They’re heaped on by a majority who think they are crazy, tin-foil-hat-wearing loons (yes, that word was used recently) who shouldn’t have a choice in the matter…and maybe shouldn’t even have children at all.

I’m over it.

I’m not going to defend myself against the bullies.  I’m not going to throw facts and statistics at you, showing how reasonable my position actually is.  (My position, by the way, is that every parent should have the right to choose if they want to vaccinate or not.  If you want to, that’s fine.)  I’m not going to try to mount an actual logical argument.  Because these people are bullies.  They are not interested in facts.  They are not interested in logic.  They are only interested in forcing people to accept their will.

So here you go, vaccine-pushers: I don’t vaccinate, and you can’t make me.

Herd Immunity: Who Cares

The biggest reason people want me, and everyone, to vaccinate is herd immunity.  They claim that unless 95% or greater of the population is vaccinated, that we all risk these diseases beginning to circulate again wildly — and that the elderly, infants, and immunocompromised will be at serious risk.

Let’s ignore that:

  • Most of the adult population isn’t up to date on boosters and/or never received certain vaccines in the first place
  • Over 95% of children ARE up to date on their vaccines
  • We’ve had major advances in medical science that allow us to treat diseases differently so they’re NOT deadly anymore

But, sure, ignoring all that.  Oh no!  We might have an uncomfortable week!  (And yeah — if your child is immunocompromised, I understand that you want to take extra precautions.  I know that nothing in life is simple for you and I’m not trying to make light of that.)

Bottom line, though?  I make the decisions that are right for my child.  do.  With no input from you or anyone else, unless I choose to consult them.  And I’m not asking right now.  I’m not willing to put my children at risk on the tiny chance that it might someday prevent another child from getting a disease (that most likely won’t harm him or her).

No, I don’t think it’s selfish to say that.  In fact, I think it’s selfish for people to ask me to vaccinate when I’ve made a decision not to.  That’s right — you’re being selfish to try to force your will onto me.   Vaccines are not without risk.  In fact, there are thousands of reports of children who have died or been permanently damaged by vaccines.  But vaccine pushers are going to tell me that that doesn’t really happen that often, and it doesn’t really matter, that it’s “worth it” to “save” some other children.  (Never mind that vaccine reactions are much more common than most people know, and that severe complications from the disease themselves are quite rare….)

I’m sorry, but having my own child dead or damaged isn’t worth it to me, to possibly save another child from an uncomfortable week.  Not by a long shot.

I will not be bullied into vaccinating.  I won’t place my child at risk to possibly help someone else’s child.  I.will.not.  And don’t ask me to, either.  You don’t have that right.

Responsibility to Society

Some of you say, okay, fine — don’t vaccinate.  But then don’t ever come out in public.  Don’t go to libraries, to public schools, to anywhere that your child might “infect” someone else.

I say, do you know how silly that is?

First, unvaccinated children are not disease carriers.  Under normal circumstances, they’re as likely as anyone else to catch something.  Most of what they’re likely to catch, we don’t vaccinate for anyway.  The norovirus (stomach flu) that’s been going around this year is truly nasty…but we don’t vaccinate for it.  I don’t see this as being any worse or different than measles.  Yet if my family inadvertently gave it to someone else, they would just say “It happens.”  But if my family somehow gave someone measles?  They might flip out.

It’s not different, people.  These illnesses are pretty equally bad.  And pretty equally “fine,” in the sense that you will recover with no lasting damage.

“They” say that people like me aren’t scared enough about these diseases, that we don’t really remember what they are like.  I say, the opposite side is too scared.  Good job, media!  They’ve made people think that if you get polio, you will end up paralyzed and in need of an iron lung (not even remotely close), that if you get mumps you will end up sterile (almost no chance), that if you get measles you will go blind (this wasn’t even reported as a complication in any case in the last 30+ years in the U.S.).

Our responsibility to society is simple: don’t go out in public if you are sick.

Yeah!  That’s it!

There’s no reason to keep healthy people out of the public sphere just because they haven’t had a vaccine.  It’s ridiculous.  It’s paranoid.  It’s bordering on obsession and insanity.  And I’m honestly not blaming most who think this — it goes back to the media.  They’ve done a great job of scaring people into vaccinating, and against those who choose not to.

I Don’t Care About Jenny McCarthy

Just a few more things.  If you honestly are curious about why I don’t vaccinate, I’d be happy to tell you.  And if you leave the conversation saying, “Thanks for sharing, I’m still vaccinating my children,” then that’s just fine with me.

But if you want to know why I do what I do, do not say any of these things:

  • “You’re putting your kids at risk.”
  • “You don’t really love your kids.”
  • “You’re just doing this because Jenny McCarthy said vaccines were bad.”
  • “All the science is conclusive, vaccines are safe and effective.”
  • “The only issue was that paper from that Wakefield guy and it was retracted and debunked.”
  • “Everyone who actually understands science believes in vaccines.”

These statements are untrue and infuriating.  I don’t care a bit about what Jenny McCarthy does and know very little about her personal beliefs surrounding vaccines.  I’m well-educated and capable of understanding science and thinking for myself (as are many, many others, including several with medical degrees who think the way I do).  I certainly love my kids and want what is best for them, and would never knowingly put them at risk.

Honestly, when people say these things, the conversation is over.  Anyone who says them is not interested in learning any information that isn’t available in the mainstream media.  They’re not interested in understanding why people think differently than they do.  They only want to bully.

And you know, I believe in people.  I believe that whether parents vaccinate or don’t, that they are capable of making the choice for themselves.  I believe they are smart enough to understand the information that’s out there.  I believe they love their children and want what is best for them.  I have no problems with people who say “Vaccinating works for us.”

It’s the pushers.  The pushers who tell me I don’t get it.  The pushers who will comment on this post, patting me on the head for my “attempt” at “understanding” but who irritatingly, condescendingly, explain to me why I just don’t have the intelligence or scientific background to make a conscious choice for myself.  Who tell me that I ought not to have a choice.

This post was written for those people.  You want to be condescending and ignore the actual evidence I share?  Fine.  But understand this: I don’t vaccinate, and you can’t make me.

How do you feel about the vaccine debate and parents who don’t vaccinate?

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  1. As a nurse, I am an “on the fence” vaccine pusher. However, I fully, 100% support, agree with, and understand the reasons behind not vaccinating.

    Just as I wouldn’t dare go up to a mom in mcdonalds and give her a list of reasons why she shouldn’t feed her child that nutritionally devoid junk, I don’t have a right to tell ANYONE how to raise a child.

    I vaccinated my children because I felt it was the right thing to do…given another chance, I’m not sure I would do it again though. I will certainly do more research before I vaccinate again.

    Keep standing uo for your right to raise your children, Katie (not that you need or want my permission, lol!). We need more people like you!

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  2. I LOVE this article! Thank you! You just summed up every statement I find myself repeating ad nauseum….
    *no, my unvaccinated child cannot spread any disease he or she has not been exposed to.
    *yes, your vaccinated child CAN spread disease from the vaccination or from everyday exposure
    *no, I’m not uneducated, in fact, this is my field of expertise
    *I happen to think Jenny McCarthy is funny as all get out, but I stopped vaccinating before her kid was even vaccine injured. She was never a part of my thought process on the issue.
    * and don’t even get me started on the Wakefield thing. I was actually paying attention to the issue when Wakefield was publishing, and you can’t debunk a statement he DIDN’T MAKE! (that one really annoys me)
    *I really don’t give a rat’s patootie about autism (even though I have a vaccine injured ASD son)… I am FAR more concerned with the rise in severe auto immune disorders in my patient population, including eczema, asthma, cancers, juvenile diabetes, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, the sharp rise in anaphylactic allergies, etc. (Funny how they are only prepared to “debunk” the autism “thing” and have no idea what I’m talking about in regards to the rest…)

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  3. An uncomfortable week?
    It’s statements like that that make me feel like people who don’t vaccinate don’t have a good grasp on any kind of medical science. Measles, just to take one example, is a highly contagious illness. It can, and frequently does, lead to deafness, encephalitis, and even death. 1 measles patient in every 1,000 will get encephalitis (swelling of the brain). One to three cases in every 1,000 in the United States leads to death. Mumps, to give another example, can lead to sterility in men and miscarriage in pregnant women, as well as encephalitis. Rubella can cause encephalitis as well, as well as birth defects if contracted by a pregnant women.
    How can you say it’s not selfish to rely on other people’s immunizations to protect your child? Your choice not to vaccinate will only work if other people do vaccinate. So your expectation is that other people’s children will take the (extremely low) risk of an adverse post-vaccine event so that yours don’t have to.
    I will not judge any parenting decision made by someone else for their kid…except when it puts my kids directly at risk. My four-month-old is too young to be vaccinated and your decision could have a direct impact on her and other infants, the elderly, and the immunocompromised. It’s your choice to put your own child at risk — but I have a problem with you putting my child at risk.

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  4. I would also refer you to these thoughts about the work of Neil Z. Miller, whose book you refer people to:
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/vaccine-schedules-and-infant-mortality-a-false-relationship-promoted-by-the-anti-vaccine-movement/

    Please note that when you type “neil z miller” into Google the first suggestions it has are “neil z. miller critics” and “neil z. miller quack.”

    Be careful whom you listen to.

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  5. You go girl! You inspire me!

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  6. Dear Militant Anti Vaccination Person,
    in your article you keep referring to the sane people as vaccine pushers, well your tone in this article makes you sound like a militant InSaNe person, along the same lines as the anti climate change people who seem to think they are smarter than scientists. Maybe I think this way because I was born with a life threatening birth defect and think people who do not vaccinate their children are bordering on child abuse! I I wish I was born not EVER going into a hospital, or getting a staph infection in my head and living through it, but having to repeat 1st grade because I had to stay in the hospital for 6 months and relearning how to walk. just hope you don’t kill your kids if they do get one of the PREVENTABLE diseases that you chose to let you child get because your militant anti vaccination stance. SMDH! I wish you knew how precious good health and KEEPING good health is!

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  7. Thank you!

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  8. Thank you!!! This was great!!! And love the other comments as well… Its a hard habit to break, feeling you have to stand up for yourself, but I have turned to this as well. Love it!!! Makes people’s true colors come out, that’s for sure.

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  9. Then how do they go to school?

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  10. BRILLIANT! I stand with you. I do not vaccinate and no one can make me. My kids are healthier than most and I am ridiculously well versed on vaccine science (or lack of). I could go toe to toe with any DR. but I find myself shying away from the battle or downplaying my knowledge just to avoid offending. Yet my friends and family post endless mainstream BULLSHIT articles calling me, and those like me, 1) ignorant 2) flat earthers 3) child killers 4) McCarthy Morons 5) disease spreaders and worse. I am SICK OF IT.

    Thank you for writing this!

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  11. LOVE LOVE LOVE this! You took all the words right out of my mouth and the summed them up better than i ever could have! You got to the point. I most like your “do not say any of these” section. Thank you for taking the time to write this and share it!

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  12. October 7, 2013
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267086.php
    “Norovirus vaccine reduces symptoms by half”

    January 8, 2014
    http://www.cdc.gov/features/norovirus/?mobile=nocontent
    “There is no vaccine to prevent norovirus infection. Also, there is no drug to treat people who get sick from the virus.”

    Both are accurate yet contradictory. 😉 (Since the vaccine is only being tested it doesn’t exist)

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  13. I’m going to bookmark this post and read it every time I read the stupid people in the media and comments. I need to remember this – “These people are bullies. They are not interested in facts.”

    Word!

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  14. I. Love. You. I am so tired of the wars with people who don’t even read the facts I put out there, but nevertheless, try to argue against them. So very tired.. I think I may just link this article or copy and paste it next time.. or maybe just copy paste the headline ;). I recently unfriended someone I knew from a state I used to live in because they kept posting pro-vaccine propaganda.. why can’t the pushers just do the same for me if they don’t like my stance instead of harassing? Ugh..

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  15. seriously. thank you. omg…. thank you. i don’t go around telling people not to vaccinate their kids. stop f*cking tell me how to make decisions for mine. also, maybe, don’t believe everything you’re told by a trillion dollar industry? eh? maybe?

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  16. Thank you so much for this. I have been fighting for years to try and get people to understand and have actually gotten through to a few. Yeah me!!! I also have a vaccine injured son and the vaccine was forced on us when he was attacked by a dog at the age of two. At that time I was not nearly as educated on vaccines as I am now or I would have refused that vaccine, but not knowing the things I do now, plus being in the hospital with a child who was attacked by a dog and the paper work that went with that alone was bad enough. People just don’t get what it is like to raise a child with a vaccine injury or they just don’t care or deny the fact that the injury was caused by the vaccine. I hope that before I die that I can save a few more children from this nightmare.

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  17. You’ll excuse my saying so, but the childish tone your statement “you can’t make me” exudes is really quite off-putting, and illustrative of the childish nature of your position.

    Here are a few reasons you should consider vaccinating, which are entirely selfish, and don’t involve you needing to have empathy of any kind for the society which is largely responsible for keeping you and your kids healthy via that 95% heard immunity.
    1) It is beneficial to you, and your children to vaccinate.
    Side-effects from vaccines, while not tremendously uncommon, are milder, and statistically rarer than life-threatening, or crippling side effects of the diseases prevented by them. If you need one specific example, please research Polio, and what happens to people who get it. Now look up the specific side effects reported from the vaccine, and the probabilities of that happening. Multiply by 100 or so to account for under-reporting biases. If you’re looking at it rationally, you’ll get your child immunised.
    2) Heard Immunity REALLY DOES depend on you.
    You note that 95% are immunised, so heard immunity isn’t threatened by you not vaccinating. In a vacuum, that’s true, but as more and more people choose not to immunise, that breaks down, and frankly those who are being rational about the situation are terrified of reaching that threshold. You’re right that we’re not there, but if people like you continue to choose not to immunise, we’ll get there, and then it’s not just your kids at risk (see #1) but all of us.
    You’re right, not everyone gets boosters regularly, and not everyone who gets the vaccine is immune. That’s why it’s so critical to maintain heard immunity, something you seem hell bent on washing your hands of. When that happens, your children will be some of the first to get these diseases, and given the severity and number of them out there… I need to be honest with you, your children will most likely DIE.
    3) You haven’t presented a single rational reason not to immunise.
    Vauge claims of “side effects from vaccines are more common than commonly known” is not a reason, it’s an excuse, especially when faced with the cold, hard truth that contracting Polio will either kill or permanently paralyse a large % of the people who contract it. It’s not as if the result of these diseases re-emerging is unknown, it’s just not present in your experience, largely, thanks to Vaccines.
    Unless you have some REALLY COMPELLING REASON not to vaccinate, that historical fact frankly, wins the argument.
    4) Not all diseases having vaccines does not mean vaccines are useless.
    Any number of common illnesses aren’t preventable by vaccine, but doesn’t it make sense to reduce the number of possible illnesses out there, especially ones which cause life threatening conditions, and CAN be prevented? This is the cautionary principle at it’s root, the same principle anti-vaxers use to justify NOT immunising, however, given the alternative of a larger list of life threatening diseases vs a shorter list, why wouldn’t you choose the shorter list? That doesn’t seem rational to me.

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  18. Thank you for your reasoned article.

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  19. You took the exact words right out of my mouth. The pushers are the ones who will never get it. I mean, when you can tell me you’d rather have a child with autism from the vaccine than that child have the measles (measles, not complications or death, just the sickness!), a conversation with reason and logic is pretty much out of question.

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  20. For myself, it’s a simple question of ethics. I will not allow my child to be jabbed with a needle when he does not have a say in what kind of disease matter goes into his body. He can make that decision for himself when he is an adult. Treat others as THEY THEMSELVES would like to be treated. Peace.

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  21. I want to start off with some positives… I’ve seen posts in the same vein as this one, and they aren’t usually so articulate. In fact, this is the first one I’ve ever read that is articulate. You give me hope that there is some intelligence on the AV side (but surely you look at some of your compatriots from time to time and hang your head at the blistering stupidity exhibited by the most visible, vocal portion of the group). These same posts also restrict the comments section so that anyone with something critical to say will get moderated and silenced, and only the “Yeah, me too!” and the “Preach it! This is why I don’t vaccinate!” comments are allowed to be seen. So, kudos to you for having the courage to stand behind your position and allow the criticisms to be voiced.

    Having said that, your viewpoint endangers children. Children have died, and more will continue to do. For now, you’re correct, we can’t make you vaccinate your kids. But that’s what people used to think about education. The day will come where it will not be up to you, and vaccine denial will count as neglectful child abuse. Information is a tool in the hands of those who are qualified to make use of it, but a dangerous weapon in the hands of those who aren’t. Guess which group makes up the AV movement?

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  22. My kids are vax free and it took instincts to question them and 4 years research to find out they are medically exempt.
    As a result people think I should support vaccines because I can’t vax my kids. No, I do not want that responsibility on me if someone vaccinates their child to protect mine and their child becomes vaccine injured.
    I am responsible for the health of my children and others are responsible for the health of their children.

    I admit herd immunity is a funny thing. I have read that over 80% need to be vaccinated for it to work, seems the definition has changed to over 95%.

    We had a measles “outbreak” in the fall in Alberta. 42 infected, not a single hospitalization or severe side effect. The media went nuts and hospital set up vaccination stations. Told everyone it was poor vaccine rates and that rural Alberta needs higher vaccine rates.
    In 2008, we had an “outbreak” in our city. 8 people infected, all but 1 were vaccinated.

    I am tired of vaccine debates and being told I’m a terrible mom. I have 2 healthy kids, who have never had high fevers or been sick over a week and never required antibiotics.

    Thank you for this post. I won’t be bullied any longer.

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  23. Thank you! So sick of cdc propaganda spouting!

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  24. THANK YOU SO MUCH for this (and to my dear friend for sharing it with me). I’m ALWAYS being bullied, especially by our family members and they act like my youngest, now 5 months, is diseased because she’s not vaccinated! Our oldest is almost 4 and is “current” on her vaccines but we are no longer vaccinating her. I’m just SO tired of dealing with those people. I don’t care what they have to say because most of them come at me with NO knowledge about vaccines at all and this article is just simply put – they’re BULLIES! I’m so happy to have this as part of my research arsenal! 😉

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  25. Great article… I have it bookmarked for future reference.

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  26. Thank you for your logical, well-considered post. I am so tired of the completely illogical, rabid backlash against anyone who questions vaccinations or doesn’t vaccinate their children, and often wonder if the pharmaceutical companies are paying shills to denigrate anyone online who poses questions. I have yet to see any mainstream media journalists take on the vaccine issue in an intelligent way and research the facts. Every time anything is posted, a flock of people (again, are they really people, or are they just paid shills?) rush online to defend vaccinations and attack anyone who questions them. I am so tired of hearing things like “parents who don’t vaccinate should be shot” “you are making everyone sick” and “but … SCIENCE!”

    The more I read, the less inclined I am to vaccinate my children. They are happier and healthier for it – they hardly ever get sick and rarely miss school. It takes gumption to take a stand and I thank you for it. Now if everyone who feels the same way would get out there on social media and comment, send feedback, and ask questions, maybe we would get somewhere in this crazy world.

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  27. Greetings,

    Since you’re not really open to reasoning with people, here’s an appeal of a different kind.

    Imagine this person is your unvaccinated child, because they are someone’s:
    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/family/2014/01/growing_up_unvaccinated_a_healthy_lifestyle_couldn_t_prevent_many_childhood.html

    We “pro-vaxers” aren’t out to get anyone, we just know the fact that there’s no conspiracy surrounding vaccines, which aren’t even a profitable treatment for the pharmaceutical industry.

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  28. Thank you Kate. Keep up the good work. Vaccinations are an insult to the human immune system. They are not a part of my recipe for creating a strong immune system .They are pharmaceutical drugs with devastating consequences.

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  29. Thanks for this! I’m so tired of people whose “research” consists of mainstream media and doctors who can’t be bothered to do actual research and just say what they’re told by the companies who make the product. I said it somewhere about Monsanto and I’ll say it about vaccines, trusting what the manufacturers say about a product they are trying to sell is like trusting tobacco companies in the 50s. And it’s going to end up the same way eventually. Too bad thousands will be hurt and killed before then. Pharma is running scared right now, they know their product kills and maims and that more and more parents and doctors are asking questions they can’t answer. I think pretty soon now there will be no choice but to do the true vaxed/unvaxed study so many have been pushing for for decades. And the vaccine house of cards will come tumbling down.

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  30. I have been saying the same things for so long now!! Those of us who choose not to vaccinate are vilified, while we try to desperately make people just understand, not necessarily agree- and for our troubles we are called names, threatened etc. wonderful, amazing post.

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  31. Feel free not to vaccinate but you damn well better keep your germ buckets out of public schools -_- you have no right to engage my kids. None

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  32. Also? The term “herd immunity” was coined decades ago in regards to ONE VACCINE and it was never intended to describe all vaccinations (it was also soon after discredited by the same scientists involved in said study). I don’t care what people choose to do, but I just wish that people bashing the non-vaxing community took the time to ACTUALLY RESEARCH our side instead of spouting off secondhand information gleaned from someone that likely heard it from yet another person unversed it the dangers of vaccines. I heavily researched both sides of the debate before making my decision. This doesn’t mean I listened to one friend that vaccinates tell me why she did, then listen to another that refrains tell me why she didn’t. I mean I READ LITERATURE BASED IN FACT WITH ANNOTATABLE RESOURCES. People research more when buying a new car or a fancy stroller than they do about whether to vaccinate their children. It’s disheartening.

    Whatever you choose to do, please properly research both sides of the debate before making a decision.

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  33. I applaud you writing this. Thank.You. I have 3 kiddos, my last being completely unvaxxed. It’s nearly impossible to find a doctor who will take her on as a patient. I can get my older kids to see a fam doc but most only accept patients who are over 7. My daughter is 18m and every ped I call says I can’t be a patient because I don’t vax. Really?!? Who is the bully now? You will let a child who is sick die because we can’t agree on an issue? Wow. I finally found a vax friendly one close to us an will stick with her. But the fact that an industry, which is supposedly pro-choice, is so admittedly anti-choice is disturbing to me. Again, thank you. You had the guts to write what I feel.

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  34. Hi there,
    I just wondered whether or not you could provide any information relating to this claim: “I make the decisions that are right for my child’? You seem to be conflating the ideas that, because no one else can in practice tell you how to bring up your kids, that the decisions you make for them are necessarily the best choices for them/

    Thanks,
    Cam

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  35. I am required by law to vaccinate my son fully, whether I want to or not, by the legal clauses in the paperwork I signed when I adopted him. That said, I would have vaccinated him anyway, against most diseases. There are a few vaccines that I would have liked to skip, because I believe the vaccine is worse than the illness itself (like varicella) – but I was not legally able to make this decision for him. My son did have a “minor” reaction to one of his vaccines; enough so that he is now on a delayed, one-vaccine-at-a-time schedule that our pediatrician both suggested and approved (and that fulfills my legal obligation under his adoption ppw).

    What I especially appreciate about this article, though, is the discussion of freedom of choice. A parent who understands both the benefits/risks of vaccine vs no vaccine should absolutely have that choice. We all want what is ultimately best and healthiest for our children. It’s natural that opinions will differ, but personal freedom with regard to vaccines is currently limited – and I firmly believe that this is unjust. I am becoming increasingly weary of watching people try to limit the personal freedom of others.

    I also, however, understand possible concerns of doctors/public health personnel about the health of people who are severely undereducated about vaccination and self care. As a public school teacher, I see parents who insist on blaming others for their own shortcomings. Suppose a parent requests no vaccine, the doctor complies with the parent, then the child gets extremely ill with whatever virus the vaccine was to prevent. The doctor gets blamed because “he/she should know better” and faces possible legal recourse – and will probably lose the battle, since the parent was undereducated. It is easier for many doctors to vaccinate and avoid this entire situation.

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  36. Well It’s never going to end is it. You can write a logical honest and accurate article and people still don’t seem to understand. This article is what I have said time and time again to people who just can’t grasp the concept of free thinking. I am not sure if they were raised that way or became that way, but what I do know is that there are many who just can’t let it go. They say we aren’t scientists but they themselves are? The majority of the people who do not vaccinate are very educated people. They aren’t stupid people. They are of the middle class if not higher and they do a lot of research before they make their decisions. They don’t or don’t anymore do it just because it’s what the doctors say to do. I do what I want to do when it come to my children. I can’t be trusted to do that? I can’t be trusted to tend to them properly if they contract the flu, chicken pox, measles etc….? What kind of a mother am I if I can’t do that? The fact is, is that everyone’s lifestyle is different sometimes it comes down to not having the time to care for your children properly when they or if they got these diseases and that is the real reason you vaccinate, so you can still go to work. Hey that is a valid reason it’s just not mine. Also you send your kids to school sick because they can’t stay home, because you have to go to work. Well at least yours are vaccinated so they won’t get sick. You turn it around on me, one who actually has to teach my children how to prevent disease, like washing hands, covering your mouth, and staying home when sick, just really being courteous and thoughtful of others, however I am the selfish one? We are two opposing forces people who push vaccines and people who say it’s your own choice. You have your agenda and I really have none. I just want to have a healthy family and if I have to vaccinate my kids so you can not live a healthy lifestyle and you don’t get sick, sorry not my responsibility.

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  37. BRAVO! BRAVO!!

    I know from first hand personal experience with my oldest child how dangerous vaccines can be. He was 18mos old when I was BULLIED into them and he suffered an adverse reaction that almost killed him. It was a very hard road to recovery, and it was not thanks to mainstream doctors he has gotten as far as he has. (Their solution? Drugs, drugs, and yet more drugs!! No thanks.) He’s 27yrs old now with ongoing vaccine-related health issues despite the fact he’s NEVER had another vaccine since that fateful day. We ended up with an extremely rare medical exemption for him (even then, I had to fight with the schools and new doctors over it) and a hard won settlement from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

    http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/index.html

    My youngest is 11yrs old and 100% vaccine free. We have taken a philosophical exemption for him to attend school. He rarely misses school due to illness – prime example: he’s missed exactly ONE DAY this past school year and only ‘cuz he ran a slight fever on Sunday and I followed the “24-hour fever free” rule before I’d send him in. By comparison, he’s had several (ironically enough) vaccinated friends out for a week or more at a time this past year (as well as years past). My child is on ZERO medications. All his friends are on two or more. We see his pediatrician once a year (for school) and even he’s impressed with our son’s health.

    Outside of my personal experience tho’, I’d still question any corporation and their product that had blanket protection under the law from potential lawsuits via a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in October 2010. (see link below) I’d still question “why” the CONSUMER of their products is 100% responsible for paying out for the damages created by the corporation via an excise tax attached to that product (see National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program link above). If their product is so “safe”, as the corporations claim, why the need for these smoke and mirrors? Own up.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/22/AR2011022206008.html

    Reply

  38. […] many of us THINKING MOTHERS feel. Originally published on her site, you can find the FULL article (HERE). Great post […]

    Reply

  39. Great article!! I. LOVE. IT. You made my day! My son is almost 6, 100% vaccine-free, 100% healthy, our paediatrician sees him only once a year for the mandatory well-check visits (and she never remembers him, she always asks “What is wrong with our little boy?” and my son replies “Nothing, the little boy is completely healthy!”); she respects my decision not to vaccinate, which is a great thing… but hey, in Germany vaccines are only recommended; there is also manipulation and mainstream fear mongering BUT no such horrible pressure and aggressive brainwashing like in the US… sorry for you, guys!
    All the best!

    Reply

  40. I appreciate this article. I am a father of 8, 6 boys and 2 girls. My first two children were vaccinated per schedule, we stopped after the first two. A friend of mine had a child that reacted terribly to the MMR vaccine. After doing some research, it wasn’t hard to find many parents of children who had horrid reactions to MMR. Shortly after, my Father N Law got Guillain-Barré after a flu vaccine.

    Both cases, the medical professionals involved dismissed links to the vaccines they had just taken. To the patients however, the link was obvious. And this seems to be a common reaction by the medical profession to adverse vaccine reactions, even when the general population can make a common sense link to the vaccine they just took.

    After doing a lot of research, we found a lot of half truths and hype surrounding vaccines. And everyone wants to dismiss the idea that it is linked to Autism, nobody can argue, that something we are doing in modern times is causing Autism, it is not some mystery appearing disease that has no source. I personally believe vaccines, are at least partly to blame, along with chemical laden foods and formulas, pollution, over exposure to communism (had to take a shot), have all combined to create these new, previously unheard of diseases. Depending on where you get the research, as many as 1 in 88 children will be diagnosed with Autism in our modern era. 1970 you were looking at 1 in 250.

    The decision not to vaccinate my children, is a part of a broader campaign my wife and I are doing to keep our family healthy. Choosing to stay away from GMO’s, home growing vegetables and meats, and overall trying to remove the chemicals from our lives. We are not “green” extremists or earth worshipers, but rather turning back to God’s creation for our survival, and becoming less reliant on medications, vaccines, chemical laden food for our health. The more progress we make, the more healthy my family seems, and I will continue to remove these things from our lives as much as I can afford to.

    One thing that I have really learned over the years, officials lie. ALOT. I determine for myself what seems to be true, because I don’t believe that medical “professionals”, FDA, EPA, CDC, or any other politician truly has my best interest in mind. Sometimes the other story makes more sense given the circumstances, and I choose to believe them. Since we don’t live in 1984 quite yet, though we are close…. I’m still allowed to think that most officials lie to me about vaccines and their effectiveness. When you truly do the research on how these things are made, what is put in them, what their true effective rates are, what the true reactions and reaction rates are, you can decide that the risk of harming my children with vaccines outweighs the risk of protecting them from the disease they are supposedly protected from.

    And to tell me that I must vaccinate and place my children at risk to protect your children, is an extremely selfish, uneducated position, aside from the fact that I have no Moral obligation to protect your children. I am not heartless, and I would protect your children if I could, but I will not risk the livelihood of my children for yours, for what is ultimately an unproven science. I find vaccine liked to less disease the same as Al Gore inventing the internet. Sorry… not buying it.

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  41. Kate, great post! I couldn’t agree more. I have long given up defending my position because bullies will be bullies no matter what you say.

    I wrote a similar article today
    http://www.livingwhole.org/why-you-should-question-the-vaccine/

    Megan

    Reply

  42. Thank you! This is exactly the kind of sensible article you will never see from the other side. The more you read the more you see what side has done the mist thoughtful, thorough research.

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  43. To mummies and parents everywhere,
    All I have to say is ‘ditto’
    Both sides of the debate can lay claim to much of what you’ve said.
    There are major ‘bullies’ on both sides! And it makes me so sad.
    We all love our children the same, we all want the best for them and we a have the same right to do what we feel is best for them. Even when we don’t agree!
    I am a mummy to 5 beautiful kidletts.
    All fully vaccinated.
    My best friend of 20+ years who happened to post this link, has decided with her younger child not to vaccinate.
    I read what she posts, like I have here today. She is free to read what I post also.
    We both have a right to post articles on what we agree with (like we do on any other topic) and neither of us is a ‘bully’ for doing so, nor should we ever be called that.
    We are both educated, informed and loving mothers. With different opinions. We have discussed these differences many times.
    Why do so many on either side of the debate have to be so hateful. So sad.
    We are still ‘besties’ and always will be.
    Thanks for the article. 🙂

    Reply

  44. Your liberal use of bold to emphasize your points only makes it apparent that your argument is weak. People who don’t have faith in their own words are the ones who use bold, italics and caps to highlight points they feel strongest about. How about just relying on your own words?

    Reply

  45. Thank you! It needed to be said. xo

    Reply

  46. Kate,

    Thank you for your perspective on the vaccination issue, it is good to read/hear a different perspective on the subject. I am one of the parents who has chosen to vaccinate there child, while I respect your stance on this issue, I don’t agree with you. It is not for me to judge you though, and it is not for anyone else to judge you or make you feel guilty for the choice that you have made in regards to your children. Like I said I don’t agree with you, and I personally think that you should vaccinate your children, but that is your choice. No on should ever judge you on the choices that you make for your children. Please don’t take offense to this, or take this as I am judging you. I admire and respect you for sticking to your choice, even though I may not agree and others may not agree with you. Don’t let other people sway you, if you think this is best for your children. In conclusion, for those who feel the need to judge Kate and others that have made this choice, remember we live in a free country where we have the freedom and the right to choose, and make our own choices.

    Reply

  47. Brilliant! Thank you for nailing it.

    I’ll take it one step further. Nobody, NOBODY has the right to demand, mandate, or even encourage healthy individuals to undergo an invasive medical treatment to potentially protect others. Ethically, morally, it’s just WRONG.

    Reply

  48. “They are not interested in facts. They are not interested in logic. They are only interested in forcing people to accept their will.”

    I suppose the same goes for quarantine laws? If you want to know some logical reasons why people might object to you not vaccinating your children you might want to look into some basic epidemiology.

    If only your family could be teleported to a time when they weren’t being protected from disease by all the people who do vaccinate. Things were great prior to vaccinations. No one got sick and infant mortality was unheard of!

    Reply

  49. (WITH WORKING LINKS THIS TIME, SORRY ABOUT THE LAST ONE)

    Wonderful blogs like this one are, I think, our current hope for ending the vaccine bullying.

    I would like to suggest that we link this (and others, like Jessica Gianelloni’s Thanks, Pharma, You Created The “Anti-Vaccine Movement” and Living Whole’s “Why You Should Question The Vaccine” far and wide.

    Post them on FaceBook, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, etc.

    But let’s do even more.

    Let’s print them out.

    Let’s leave copies in the break room at work, in the pediatrician’s waiting room, at the beauty salon, at the library, at the music school, at martial arts, at church or synagogue. Attach them to public bulletin boards. Leave a copy on the bus or train, or at the library.

    Articles like these just might be able to penetrate the years of brain-washing.

    Reply

  50. I appreciate that you’ve made an informed choice for your children, and I respect your right to do so. I do harbor some concern for the effects of anti-vaxers who are making their choices based in fear and ignorance rather than research. If everyone read the studies and armed themselves with facts (and with information about what they can do if they or their children did contract something contagious and/or dangerous), I would applaud them as I do you. But I don’t think most people do that. Call it time famine or maybe just a desire to trust the authorities (whoever those authorities may be), but I don’t think very many who choose not to vaccinate are doing so because they read all the studies in all the medical journals and are deeply familiar with the stats on side effects, risks of complications, etc. I think most people listen to the media and fall into one camp or the other: “I vaccinate because my doctor says I should” is as terrible an argument as “I don’t vaccinate because Kate says the risks are too great.” I know you and I agree on this point, and I know that you’ve encouraged your readers and critics to read the studies for themselves and draw their own conclusions based on the facts presented. I’d even venture to guess that your readers are more inclined to follow those links and do their own research than is the general population. But when the fearful and ignorant masses outweigh the sane and informed niche (as they always do, in everything), you get cases like the one that’s currently sweeping Canadian news: parents brought their unvaccinated child to the Philippines, the child contracted measles, and now the child has exposed countless others while traveling home, going to school, and showing up at the hospital. It’s not a particularly unique story; it’s just the latest one. What’s alarming (to me, anyway) is that it keeps happening, and the media/general public keeps reacting. This particular set of parents is just the most recent representation of how many non-vaxers are making their choices ignorantly and dangerously.

    So where do we go from here? You can’t make people read (and understand) the studies, and we’re so used to getting our information in 140 characters or less that “VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM!” speaks a lot louder than a 4,000+-word essay on the very valid concerns about vaccines and the strategies for natural protection against, and treatments for, disease. I would wager that not vaccinating is more dangerous, on a broader scale, only because most non-vaxers are making their choices based on media sensationalism than on their own fact-based conclusions.

    I believe quite strongly that we always find the time and money for the things that are important to us (crises excepted). When so many non-vaxers prove again and again that the time they have to invest in not vaccinating safely isn’t important to them, how can we get to the point of keeping communicable diseases (and their rare, but very real, complications) at bay?

    Reply

  51. THANK YOU.
    This article is the rebuttal I wish I could say to everyone and anyone who has ever questioned my decision not to vaccinate my beautiful, healthy girls.

    My decision to not vaccinate my children was not one I made over night…I have been ‘delaying’ vaccinating them for almost 10 years, and still cannot justify in my mind jabbing them in the arm or leg with something that may or may not harm them and may or may not work in the first place. I have what I call my mommy instinct…and that instinct is saying HELL NO TO VACCINES.

    Reply

  52. Well said! I really don’t care what other people do with their children. I am a HUGE health nut when it comes to my kid and I expect others to follow my rules when watching her, but I would NEVER tell another parent what to feed their kid unless asked.

    .

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  53. You call the parents who are immunizing their children bullies…don’t you think acting in such away as this is bullying back? Trying to force your views of not immunizing onto those who wish to? I think you are just trying to get publicity, popularity, and are attempting to keep the debate going. I think no matter what you wish to do you can do so privately and only if asked give your opinion. Posts like this are nothing more than rants and raves. This wave of not immunizing can be viewed as just a radical, posh thing to do. The modern way to “stick it to the man.” There are publications in medical journals supporting both sides. So rather than spend your time writing posts like this, spend time with your children. Get off your smart phone, tablet, or PC and get down on the floor and play with your kids, that’s the best thing for them!

    Reply

  54. I respectfully disagree. There are a number of children in my daughter’s school with compromised immune systems. Some are undergoing chemo. It is a fact that they are in a healthier environment when around vaccinated children as opposed to opposite. Unless you keep you children home and never go anywhere public, your choice doesn’t just impact your children. So in this case of parental choice, I can’t agree.

    Reply

  55. […] myself, I find these statistics very compelling.  Yet, if we listen to some of these anti-vaccine blogs, we should believe that measles is just not that big a deal and herd immunity is a […]

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  56. Coming to this conversation late but thought I’d say this anyway. We’ve all heard about superbugs, about how the overuse of antibiotics has led to the evolution of infectious bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotics we have available. All very true.

    But my husband recently shared a thought with me about viruses. Antibiotics are ineffective against viruses. Vaccines are thus argued to be the best recourse to fight against viral diseases. Suppose we are now witnessing the development of viruses that are resistant to vaccine generated immunity? After all, in most of these outbreaks of measles, mumps, pertussis, the majority of those affected were actually already vaccinated against the disease.

    I think it’s an interesting idea anyway.

    Reply

  57. I am an unvaccinated supporter. My choice was based on hrs and hrs of research! And the medical history of both mine and my wife’s I am not going to base my decision on just what one person says! I feel that both sides can be pushy. We need to be advocates for our children! Because the most important thing that we are missing here, is what is best for our children and not worrying about what other people think about your choice to vaccinate or not. We need to stop wasting time arguing about this issue and start encouraging parents to educate themselves on the choices we make.

    Reply

  58. It is because of parents like you that these diseases are making a comeback, and will continue to. In ten years, it is scary to think of where the world will be with all of these preventable diseases circulating. I am not going to give any facts or evidence. It’s just the plain truth. The side effects of vaccines are there, yes, and it is scary. But when we are all walking around in a disease infested world again, which will be doubly worse because there are so many different cultures coming in and out of the U.S. now and other countries, the old saying “the benefit of vaccines outweighs the risks” comes to mind again. Yes, we all have a right to decide what’s best for our children, but you are putting us at risk and our future at risk. And yes, I read your article. You ARE putting us all at risk, I don’t care what you say about that because it is obvious. Your children will be the first to contract these diseases and good luck with that. I applaud you for making the choice to endanger your children and ours…and the old, the infants, the sick, the ones with immune system disorders…oh, but wait. It most likely won’t harm your children or them. That’s right, I am so misinformed and a bully, right? I’m a pusher because I am scared for our future. You are compromising our future!!!!

    Reply

  59. Kate. You rock girl!
    I think this is a brilliant and refreshing post. You are so right! So many vaccine advocates (I would say 99% of those I have ever confronted) have next to no information, but think their opinion is “the one.” I am so on your page. I am sick and tired of arguing with people with no information who passionately defend their uneducated opinion so that they never have to face the fact that they may have made a bad choice for their child. I respect parents who make an informed decision to vaccinate, and I would enjoy a friendly debate with a pro-vaxer who actually did some research on the matter. But all I ever run into are these emotionally volatile assholes who think that repeating the same five points their equally uniformed pediatrician told them will somehow make their decision the right one.

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  60. I let my daughter’s pediatrician bully me into vaccinating at her 2 month appointment. Thankfully, she didn’t have any side effects. I was a weak mom and let her receive several more shots. She’s about 30% vaccinated if you go by the CDC schedule. Thank God she’s okay, from what I’ve noticed. She’s now 4 years old and hasn’t had a vaccine in over 2 years. The funny thing is that she hasn’t been sick in almost 2 years. I’m not necessarily blaming vaccines, but unnecessary doctor visits. Luckily for us both, I found my courage to just say NO and sign an exemption.

    Thanks for this post!

    Reply

  61. I don’t understand the accusations of the vaccinated and unvaccinated debate. Both sides have statistics and facts. People need to do research and make their own informed decision, you can say I am on both sides, my kids have the basic vaccinations, but I don’t run out every year to get stuff like the flu shot. In the end the decision is the parents and I think both sides bring risk to other peoples children. Vaccines are not 100% and some people react to them. It is scientifically proven that there is an epidemic every 300 years. People who have died in previous ones have been both vaccinated and unvaccinated. I don’t care your choice I just encourage it to be informed and you go with what you understand to be the best course of action. People need to stop with the bullying on both sides.

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  62. THANK YOU for this marvelous post. I am SO infuriated and sick of the pro vaccine bullying, I just can’t stand it. I agee with every one of your statements 100%, and I am grateful for you for being at the forefront of this very, very important issue. I feel like we are getting close to being lined up and persecuted as non-vaxxers, and I appreciate it when anyone comes forward in support as eloquently as you. Bravo!

    Reply

  63. I love the simple common sense approach to this article! I’ve spent hundreds of hours debating with thousands of hours of research. I’ve linked dozens upon dozens of credible scientific articles even government websites proving the risks to vaccinate are not ones I’m willing to take. And these foot soldiers that market for big pharma are deaf and blind. Glad to see a simple article like this! It makes me smile. And side note to the vaccine pushers McCarthy isn’t anti vax. Derp

    Reply

  64. This is the biggest bunch of crap I’ve ever read. People trying to prevent the spread of communicable diseases aren’t bullying you, they’re speaking the truth to ignorance. If you don’t like being called ignorant, read a science textbook. Not a blog. Not something written by someone like you. Crack open a medical journal. All of the information in the world is at your fingertips. If you’re choosing to be willfully ignorant, you deserve to be told directly and honestly: you are wrong, your ignorance is dangerous to the rest of us, and you’re selfishly freeloading on people who do take the risk and vaccinate.

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  65. Here are some CREDIBLE sources for those who wish to know why they SHOULD vaccinate. Reading angry, misinformed blogs based on emotion and not science does not constitute research.

    MMR Vaccine and Autism: Vaccine Nihilism and Postmodern Science –

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257990/

    Vaccine Refusal, Mandatory Immunization, and the Risks of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases –

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa0806477#t=article%5D

    The Age-Old Struggle Against the Antivaccinationists –

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1010594

    Vaccines and autism:

    Immunizations and Autism: A Review of the Literature –

    Vaccines and Autism: Evidence Does Not Support a Causal Association –

    http://www.miottawa.org/Health/OCHD/pdf/2007_Nature_DeStefano_Vaccines_and_Autism.pdf

    Immunization uptake in younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder –

    http://aut.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/09/23/1362361312459111.abstract

    Influenza vaccination:

    The Efficacy of Live Attenuated, Cold-Adapted, Trivalent, Intranasal Influenzavirus Vaccine in Children –

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199805143382002

    Effectiveness of influenza vaccine for the prevention of asthma exacerbations –

    http://adc.bmj.com/content/89/8/734.full

    Efficacy of Inactivated Vaccine in Preventing Antigenically Drifted Influenza Type A and Well-Matched Type B –

    http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=380464

    Effectiveness and Cost-Benefit of Influenza Vaccination of Healthy Working AdultsA Randomized Controlled Trial –

    http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=193139

    The Japanese Experience with Vaccinating Schoolchildren against Influenza –

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM200103223441204

    Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine:

    Safety and Immunogenicity of a 13-valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine in Healthy Infants and Toddlers Given With Routine Pediatric Vaccinations in Canada –

    http://journals.lww.com/pidj/Abstract/2012/01000/Safety_and_Immunogenicity_of_a_13_valent.19.aspx

    Safety and Immunogenicity of Neonatal Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination in Papua New Guinean Children: A Randomised Controlled Trial –

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0056698

    Efficacy of 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine in preventing pneumonia and improving survival in nursing home residents: double blind, randomised and placebo controlled trial –

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2834887/

    Hepatitis vaccination:

    A 12-year cohort study on the efficacy of plasma-derived hepatitis B vaccine in rural newborns –

    http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/6/381.asp

    Safety of neonatal hepatitis B vaccine administration –

    http://journals.lww.com/pidj/Abstract/2001/11000/Safety_of_neonatal_hepatitis_B_vaccine.9.aspx

    MMR vaccination:

    Using the combined vaccine for protection of children against measles, mumps and rubella –

    http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD004407/using-the-combined-vaccine-for-protection-of-children-against-measles-mumps-and-rubella

    Lack of Association Between Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination and Autism in Children: A Case-Control Study –

    http://journals.lww.com/pidj/Abstract/2010/05000/Lack_of_Association_Between_Measles_Mumps_Rubella.3.aspx

    Autism and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: no epidemiological evidence for a causal association –

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673699012398

    Response to Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders –

    http://iv.iiarjournals.org/content/27/3/377.short

    BMJ and NEJM also have large collections of research on measles epidemics correlating to vaccine refusal. Go to each journals and search. I don’t have time to do it for you right now.

    Tuberculosis:

    Tuberculosis in unvaccinated children, adolescents, and young adults: a city epidemic –

    http://www.bmj.com/content/286/6376/1471

    Reply

  66. I enjoyed your article. I try not get into vaccine arguments but fell into one recently. And the woman wants me to give her my “evidence” she wants studies and reports and they just arent out there. Because those who want you to get vaccinated are the ones who do the studies. and i dont want to argue. Most people tell me i’m endangering others and thats why they dont let it go. Its starting to bug me. I don’t ask someone why they do in their house with their children. They feel righteous and want to tell me how im harming my child and im wrong and what im doing is bad. Have any of them stopped to think that i feel the same way about what they are doing – i just dont say it to them. I don’t tell them feeding their child formula is compromising their thyroid and digestive and immune system. That not picking them up or responding to their toddler will make them less independent when they are older ( while i get told that my child will be spoiled ) its getting out of hand. I dont tell them what to do or say they are poisoning/harming their child why do they feel its okay to say that to me?

    Reply

  67. Your entire argument hinges on your ability to read the evidence suggesting vaccines are not necessary or safe. You fail to cite any of that evidence so that your audience may become further educated. Weird!

    Reply

  68. Thank you for all of this information. Just a side note…our immune system is capable of so much more then most believe IF we take care of our bodies. This includes eating REAL food (try the paleo diet), exercising daily, daily saunas, etc… To the vaccine pushers…look into basic biology. Our immune systems aren’t as pathetic and weak as you all try to make us believe. If you take the time to look at your environment (how can you improve it), what you eat every day that people call “food”, but is actually just chemicals, and do little to no exercise, well your poor immune system wouldn’t/doesn’t stand a chance when it encounters a microorganism it SHOULD be able to handle without any problems. If your immune system is busy ‘fighting’ the junk you consume on a daily basis because it sees the chemicals that are in your so-called food as foreign well…the immune system becomes compromised and can’t do its job of fighting pathogens. Clean up your health and your immune system WILL serve you well. And yes, I speak from experience.

    Reply

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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