Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Vaccine Decision

I just finished reading a very good book by Dr. Sears called The Vaccine Book.  I have heard some scary things about vaccines and growing up my family had the philosophy of going natural as much as possible before seeking medical intervention.  I don't want to overreact and not protect Desmond from diseases, but I also don't want to blindly accept everything the doctor wants to inject into his body.  I want to know the actual risks so I can make an informed decision.  This is such an emotional topic for most people that it's hard to find objective information.  Dr. Sears did a great job of researching and presenting the facts on both sides.  It's worth the $12 to get this book.

The main question I want to know is, "Does the risk of getting the disease and then having a serious complication outweigh the risk of a serious vaccine side effect?"  The answer is that no one knows for sure, and it varies depending on which disease we're talking about.  I have a lot of thinking to do, and I'm going to give Davin a good book to read on his commute to work.


Some of the things I learned:

  • All vaccines contain something strange and/or toxic like cow, monkey, or chicken tissue, formaldehyde, and aluminum.
  • Mercury still remains in a few vaccines, and certain brands have a better ingredient list that others.
  • Based on FDA guidelines, 30 micrograms of aluminum is the minimum amount a healthy 12 lb baby could safely process in one day.  They haven't reported a maximum amount, but even so, on the recommended vaccine schedule a baby could get as much as 1225 micrograms of aluminum in one day.
  • There is a reporting system for vaccine side effects, and serious side effects include seizures, Guillain-Barre syndrome, brain damage, nerve dysfunction, diabetes, encephalitis, paralysis, and the list goes on.
  • There hasn't been a case of wild polio in the US since 1979, so the chance of getting polio is pretty much zero.  You immunize in this case for the good of society and public health rather than to prevent yourself from getting polio.


Anonymous said...

a friend of mine just reccomended that book to me last week. i am in the same thought process too. but my kids have already had some of their shots, and i am not sure if continuing is necessary. i was also curious if they are required for entering public school... i need to read that book!

Melissa said...

Yes, public school requires most of the vaccines. However, there are medical and religious exemptions. Washington also allows for a philosophical exemption. You should definitely read this book. It has tons of helpful info.