April 7, 2008
Vaccines are not One Size Fits All
I was hesitant to touch on this topic because for some unknown reason, it is so "taboo" in our society. But because I am tentative to discuss it, is all the more reason that I should. As parents, we need to be more aware of the dangers and risks of childhood vaccinations.
*Note: there are countless parenting blogs on the web, including this one, that are screaming (rightly so) about the dangers of toxins in toys, plastics, baby bottles, formula, lotions and shampoos, but when I visited these same blogs for their takes on vaccines, the search was fruitless. I truly believe people are afraid to take a stand on the immunization front, and that needs to change.
I could go on for pages and pages here, but suffice it to say, when I interviewed pediatricians before Olivia's birth, one of my questions was whether or not I'd have to strictly adhere to the immunization schedule set forth by the CDC, or whether I could tailor it for my daughter and never give her more than 1 to 2 vaccinations per visit. I can't begin to tell you how badly I angered doctors with this simple request. I got read many a riot act, and I am surprised they didn't literally pat me on the head. I was demoralized, patronized, and told how "naive" I was. Doctors shook their heads at me and sent me on my way with pamphlets, brochures and fact sheets about different vaccines, all written by the pharmaceutical companies that manufactured each shot being touted, so of course their harmful attributes weren't included. Pediatricians dropped like flies off my list as each told me I would have absolutely no say in how, when, or why my daughter would be immunized. Some told me they wouldn't even consider having my daughter as a patient. I thought this was America. What happened to our freedom?
*Thank goodness we DID find a pediatrician who respects our rights and our wishes and has supported our decision to veer from the one size fits all schedule.*
Before everyone freaks out, let me say, I DO believe in immunizing our children. I know that vaccines are helpful in disease control. But the facts that have been brought to light by those courageous enough to speak out against the current schedule are downright appalling and I'll be frank: if you're not questioning the methodology behind which shots you are giving your baby, their ingredients, the quantity of shots you're giving them at once, and whether they are totally necessary for their age and stage of life, than you are doing your child a huge disservice. You are your child's only advocate, act accordingly.
Jenny McCarthy is on the front lines of the heated issue that vaccines are linked to Autism. From the reaction she is getting from the public and doctors, you would think she was out there trying to stop vaccinations altogether. She believes her son was injured by the MMR vaccine and descended into Autism, and that very hard work, determination, and a gluten/casein free diet have helped him emerge from Autism. McCarthy still backs the advantages of immunizations, she simply wants the schedule changed so that children aren't receiving a boatload of shots in such a short amount of time. She also wants to know why doctors aren't beating down her door to ask her how, as a mother, using intuition and the Internet, she healed her son. I want to know why doctors aren't lining up to speak with her as well.
Please read one of her latest articles here. Two facts alone make this topic worth your time: 1 in every 150 children in the United States suffers from Autism, and in the 1980's, children received 10 vaccines by the age of 5, and today children are given 36 vaccines, most by age 2. THIS IS NOT OKAY, and parents need to take a stand. McCarthy's book on these matters headlines this post if you're interested in reading it.
Thank you Ms. McCarthy for your courage and your wisdom and for putting a face and voice on this highly sidelined topic.
For those of you willing to walk the road less traveled, your journey will be more difficult, but more rewarding as well. I wish you every success. I saw a gentleman wearing a T-shirt the other day that read: "Question Authority. Jesus Did." I think that's an inspirational launching pad. Dare to be bold.