Dear Friends and Family, I Have a Confession: We Don’t Vaccinate (Yet) |
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Dear Friends and Family, I Have a Confession: We Don’t Vaccinate (Yet)

admin April 14, 2014

Dear Friends and Family,

I have a confession to make.  It’s really important to me that you hear me out on this one.  I love you and value your friendship and your support.  This is a really hot topic right now, and I face a lot of judgment for it.  It’s scary to talk about sometimes.  I usually don’t.  I get called names an awful lot, and it can be really stressful.  There are a lot of misconceptions about me, and why I make the choices I make.  That’s why I’m coming to you today: I need to know the people I care about are in my corner.

Please listen with an open mind.  Don’t assume anything when you hear my confession.  Let me tell you in my own words why I do what I do.  I’d love to answer your honest questions if you have any.  And I appreciate and understand you may not agree.  Just please remember that I love my children and I really want what’s best for them — I know you’re concerned for them, too.

So here it is: I don’t vaccinate (yet).

You Don’t Vaccinate?!

I know, it’s a hard confession to make.  At this time, we feel it’s best for our family if we don’t vaccinate.  We may be planning a selective or delayed schedule.  Or we may never get them.  Our decision will be continually evaluated as new scientific evidence comes out, or as our family needs change.  This is just where we are right now.

I know you may have some strong feelings about this.  There are a lot of scary stories out there about babies who have died of whooping cough, or children who have come down with measles or mumps.  I know that you can’t imagine someone you love going through these things.  It’s hard for us to think about sometimes, too.

But the thing is, we know that vaccines come with risks too.  And not just that Jenny McCarthy said they cause autism — we’ve read lots and lots (and lots) of medical journals about the risks.  And we’ve read a lot of books.  We’re still reading everything we can find, to learn as much as possible about vaccines, and the risks and benefits that come with them.  There’s a lot of information out there, and I’d be happy to share it with you if you’re interested.

Believe me, this isn’t a decision we’ve made lightly.  It’s one we’re constantly thinking about, reading about, learning about.  It’s one we feel that we’re very informed about (and none of that information came from the media).  Honestly?  It’s really, really hard to take the shaming that is so prevalent in the media these days.  They don’t understand how we feel or why we made the decisions that we did, and it feels like they don’t care, either.

That’s why I’m telling you this today.  I need you to understand that it’s hard to walk a different path when it feels like people are so violently against you.  I’m hoping you’re close enough to me to understand that I’m doing what I believe is best.

we don't vaccinate yet

Agree to Disagree?

I don’t expect you to see eye-to-eye with me on this.  I don’t expect you to avoid, or even delay or selectively choose vaccines.  I respect your right to choose to fully vaccinate, or whatever choice you make.  I know you love your children and want them to be healthy and safe — just like I want for mine.

All I want is the same respect.

If you ever have a question, or ever wonder about something you’ve heard in the media, please ask.  And give me the benefit of the doubt.  I’m not trying to ride on the coattails of society’s herd immunity (many of us don’t believe in it), I’m not interested in what the ‘cool’ celebrities are doing with their children (I take medical decisions much too seriously to be swayed by that), and I don’t google random websites for information (I like to search the CDC, pubmed, and other scientific sources).

In fact, I might even have a vaccine-injured child.  That’s something that our society doesn’t talk about very much.  We talk a lot about children who die from pertussis, but not about the children who are damaged or killed by the DTaP.  And it happens.  I don’t say that to scare you, but to let you know that this worries me.  That it’s a reality for me, in some way.

Let’s agree to disagree.  We can each choose what is best for our children, and not have to fight about it.

Can I just ask one more thing?

Can we please stop trying to prove who is really “right?”  Everyone is different.  Vaccines are a medical procedure.  They can be right for some, and not right for others.  And that’s okay.  It’s hard to see people saying that everyone must vaccinate fully “or else.”  That just isn’t true.  We truly are all different.   And even if you can’t agree on this point…please just remember how much I love my children, and that I’d never make a choice that would harm them.

I really hope that we can preserve our relationship, and not let our differing opinions come between us.  Your friendship is important to me, and I don’t want to fight.

Thanks for listening,

Your Friend

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12 Comments

  1. Thank you! So well said. I am so tired of being attacked as if I am a lunatic intending harm for my children. I would just like the same respect I have for others who make a choice that differs from mine and maybe even the credit that I have a good reason for my decision. I am not a moron. I am a college educated, research-a-holic mama whose questions about vaccines are not being given satisfactory answers. I feel that is a very valid reason for hesitating to join the “herd”.

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  2. My grandmother had 7 children back during the depression. She didn’t vaccinate any of them, “I would never put that poison in my babies’ bodies!” My mom vaccinated us since my dad was a doctor, but they gave very few vaccinations back in the 60’s. We didn’t vaccinate any of our 4 children who are now in late 20’s after a lot of research about it. It is very concerning that 1 in 63 children are now being diagnosed with autism. When I was growing up, I didn’t know anyone with allergies, asthma, or autism…Now, it is so prevalent. Something is going terribly wrong and I contribute it to all the chemicals and toxins in our environment.

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  3. I’d be interested in the research you have? As I’ve yet to find any (credible) studies that show an actual link between autism and vaccination. And while I’m always respectful and considerate of everyone’s right to decide what’s best for them, choosing to not immunize doesn’t just impact you and your family. It impacts everyone you come into contact with. So while I agree everyone should be treated with respect I disagree when people say it is just a personal choice.

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  4. Hi Kate,

    I read this post after reading every other post you wrote about vaccination. I have to say I am relieved and grateful that you did all the work I felt like I was going to have to do in order to address all the “fear mongering” and “conspiracy theories” on both sides of this sensitive debate. Honestly, I had recently begun to doubt our decision to not vaccinate our babies when three of our children came down with whooping cough. Yet, after a LOT of research I realized it was much better for them to go through it naturally and come out stronger on the other side. I have also realized after reading your posts it is the best thing for my daughter’s future children. I believe I was falling prey to all the name-calling and pressure from FB “friends” and really needed to distance myself from it all while reminding myself why we chose to delay vaccinations.
    I have a BA in Social Sciences, Human development and a MA in Psychology/Mental Health Counseling and it was in my many years of research and study of peer-reviewed journals that led me to my belief that there was just not enough known (or not enough reported) about the side-effects of vaccines for me to subject my tiny babies’ brains to them.
    After reading your posts I believe my concern may have shifted to the effects of so-called “herd immunity” on my older children. Although they are not vaccinated they have not contracted the majority of these childhood diseases while they were young and strong and I have the ability to support their immune systems (exceptions: 4 out of 5 have had chicken pox & 3 out of 5 had whooping cough). Due to the lack of exposure I am considering selective vaccination of my older children. Developmentally I believe they will be ok. Do you foresee the need to do this for my kids and if so which vaccines would you consider important to protect them as adults?
    Thanks so much!

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  5. I totally respect your decision. Your the mom and you need to do what you feel is right for your family. But a question-why exactly don’t you? I mean I have heard rumors of this and that about vaccines but what is the information that you have and where can I find it? My son is vaccinated but we plan on having more children and I would like to be informed as well. Thank you for sharing your life with us. 🙂

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  6. I’m not here to name-call or attack you on a personal level. I just want to say this:
    You say you researched this topic extensively. You even cited scientific sources that you “searched”. But you also mentioned that argument about vaccines causing autism without admitting that there is absolutely no evidence to support that and that it is a false claim that an angry parent made in order to point the finger somewhere for having an autistic child. Either you neglected to mention that autism because of vaccines is completely false, or your research you have been doing is very questionable.
    Aside this, the amount of deaths by vaccine are extremely extremely rare and assuming your child will be one of them seems a bit paranoid. If you’ve done proper scientific research, you would know (but again, probably not care to admit) that severe diseases such as measles, which is vaccine preventable, can be carried in unvaccinated people without showing it. This means that people can appear to be healthy but be carrying the measles and are highly contagious. You will also have found, if your research was unbiased and you didn’t just search ” why not to vaccinate”, that if a person infected by measles enters a room, the disease stays in the room up to four hours after they have left. So if you take your kids to a restaurant or a store or any public place, they could just catch it.
    I understand that you think vaccinations are a lifestyle choice, equivalent to what religion you practice or whether or not to colour your hair, but it’s really a lot more serious than that. This is a life or death situation, especially with the recent outbreaks of measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, etc. All due to people that neglect fully don’t vaccinate their children.
    So, as a medical science student currently in university, I urge you to do some proper unbiased research using only peer-reviewed scientific journals rather than magazines written by “moms” that are not scientifically educated in that field. You will most definitely find that it is in your children’s best interest to be vaccinated, and you need to be open to admit that rather than continuously digging for stats like deaths by vaccine. If one of them needed a surgery for an illness and you were told it had a 97% success rate, would you refuse it because some people still die from the surgery? I doubt it. Please, be smart and rational. The odds are in your favour.

    Reply

    • Oh Kate, you are so silly.

      I’m sorry, but I think it is YOU who needs to do some real research. Search those medical journal databases and don’t believe just what your textbooks tell you. They cherry-pick data pretty well because their position is that there is no controversy surrounding vaccines — they’re cut-and-dried amazing.

      You say you don’t want to name-call, then you said “All due to people that neglect fully don’t vaccinate their children.” Uh, so wait, calling me a neglectful parent isn’t name-calling?

      There is a lot of support in medical journals for the idea that vaccines are tied to autism in some form. Not necessarily causal, but there’s a link. If you did some independent research and didn’t rely on the propaganda in the media or from your professors, you would know this.

      You’ve clearly never read any of my other posts on vaccines (this one wasn’t intended to be a researched post…) but you say “I urge you to do some proper unbiased research using only peer-reviewed scientific journals rather than magazines written by “moms” that are not scientifically educated in that field.” Seriously? So without looking at my sources you’re just assuming I only read magazines? Have you READ a parenting magazine recently? They’re strongly PRO vaccine!

      So, since you seem incapable of looking at the real data for yourself, here you go:

      *http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9949325 (gelatin allergy caused by DTaP)
      *http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2951028/ (mumps infection is protective against ovarian cancer)
      *The Development of Rheumatoid Arthritis After Hepatitis B Vaccination. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9733447
      Mechanisms of Aluminum Adjuvant Toxicity and Autoimmunity. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22235057
      Do aluminum vaccine adjuvants contribute to the rising prevalence of autism? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22099159
      Aluminum adjuvant linked to Gulf War Illness induces motor neuron death in mice. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17114826
      Hepatitis B vaccination in male neonates and autism diagnosis, NHIS, 1997 – 2002. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21058170
      A positive association found between autism prevalence and childhood vaccination uptake across the U.S. population. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21623535
      Abnormal measles-mumps-rubella antibodies and CNS autoimmunity in children with autism. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12145534
      Serological association of measles virus and human herpesvirus-6 with brain autoantibodies in autism. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9756729
      Hypothesis: conjugate vaccines may predispose children to autism spectrum disorders. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21993250
      Effects of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis or tetanus vaccination on allergies and allergy-related respiratory symptoms among children and adolescents in the United States. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10714532
      Aluminum vaccine adjuvants: are they safe? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21568886
      Neurodevelopmental disorders following thimerosal-containing childhood immunizations: a follow-up analysis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15764492
      Neonatal administration of thimerosal causes persistent changes in mu opioid receptors in the rat brain. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20803069
      Autoimmune diseases and vaccinations. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15196997

      Any more questions??

      Reply

      • Yes.
        What is your educational background in this field of study, and who are you to tell me not to listen to my educators and what my textbooks say?
        It’s funny how most all of the people that counter this vaccination argument have not studied this field in an institute of higher education.
        Oh wait, you’ve published a book so I forgot that now you’ve got an honourary degree in the medical field…

        If you must know, in university we are always encouraged to research and educate ourselves on both sides of an argument. They don’t teach us from a biased perspective; that would be outright irresponsible, especially when it pertains to people’s health. Can you imagine if our doctors and nurses didn’t know of the risks of any sort of treatment? Maybe knowing risks is why when I had kidney stones last year, I was refused a CT scan because of the exposure to radiation at a young age. Radiation is another matter that still is being researched everyday because the long-term effects are still not solidified. I think them refusing me that procedure was responsible because they truthfully believed that was not something I absolutely needed…just as healthcare professionals should be trusted when making a call whether or not to vaccine.

        Take a look at the facts and myths published by the World Health Organization (who are looking out for ALL of our best interests)
        http://www.who.int/features/qa/84/en/

        Aside that (which I’m sure you will likely claim to be false or biased, cause that seems to be the go-to argument of non-vaccers), this article is very helpful. Yes, it’s from a periodical, but it is fully cited and linked to other credible sources.

        http://violentmetaphors.com/2014/03/25/parents-you-are-being-lied-to/

        Additionally, I did some quick research of the online databases I have access to from school. Unfortunately, I can’t link directly to them (you need a student ID and password to access the articles for free) so I downloaded PDF versions of them. They all make for interesting reads.
        I uploaded them on zippyshare so you can download the PDFs.
        Please, take a look:

        Autism and Vaccination – The Current Evidence
        http://www77.zippyshare.com/v/5438558/file.html

        Congenital Rubella and Autism prevented by rubella vaccine
        http://www65.zippyshare.com/v/11235726/file.html

        The Globalization of Risk and Risk Perception
        http://www50.zippyshare.com/v/43998873/file.html

        Children missing vaccinations
        http://www31.zippyshare.com/v/77710417/file.html

        I appreciate that you linked me to a bunch of articles, however, some of those are about 15 years old. In school, they tell us not to even bother opening journals that were not published in the past 5 or 6 years (clearly, since one of those articles I just posted for you states that a study done in the 90’s was retracted based on newer research and that those who claimed the information retracted their statements). The oldest article year you will find in what I have posted is 2008.

        Of course, there’s a lot more out there but I don’t have time to sit around researching this no-brainer all day.

        I genuinely hope what I have sent you helps in making the decision to vaccinate your children. Remember, it’s not only them who are at risk of disease, it’s everybody else around them that are also at risk. Make the right choice.

        Reply

        • LOL I can dismiss everything you say based on your first paragraph. It basically says I don’t have a brain, can’t understand science, and shouldn’t be allowed to make a medical decision for my children because I didn’t go to medical school like you. I’m sorry, but college is not the only place to learn to think or comprehend. I don’t need a medical degree (which you don’t even have, yet) to be able to understand what I read. I hear that all the time from people who don’t like my conclusions.

          I’m not impressed by the studies you shared but I’ll read them since I always like new information.

          No, there’s nothing that you can say that will “educate” me and make me decide to vaccinate my children. Sorry. I’m not sure why you think that my thousands upon thousands of hours can be negated by you swooping in here and “setting me straight” but it doesn’t work like that. I encourage you to finish medical school and your residency before you give anyone medical advice…. (And no, I don’t give medical advice. I provide links to resources and encourage people to make their own choices.)

          You might be interested in these rebuttals to that silly blog post you linked (which has about half decent sources, and half crap): http://www.livingwhole.org/dear-parents-are-you-being-lied-to/ and http://gianelloni.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/dear-parents-you-are-being-lied-to/

          Honestly? There’s no bit of propaganda you can share with me that I haven’t heard. There’s no way you can use such propaganda to ‘teach’ me something new or get me to vaccinate my children. I make the medical decisions for my kids, period.

          I sincerely hope that you learn to respect your patients’ rights before you finish your medical training. You’ll run across a lot of people who don’t want to follow your advice, for one reason or another. If you get upset and try to convince them to do things your way, you won’t be a very good doctor. Your job is to provide them with your opinion and information based on your expertise, then support them no matter what choice they make. Informed consent and respect. I really, really hope you learn that before you have your own patients.

          Reply

  7. I could have written this – although, not so eloquently 🙂 I am super thankful for all your research posts and proper citing. Thank you!

    Reply

  8. I love this! Thanks so much for posting.

    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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