With the news of the vaccines-autism study being discredited all over the place lately, I knew it was only a matter of time before someone I knew and respected came out and said something that frustrated me. Now, I'm not going to argue whether or not the study should have been discredited or whether it was a good study to begin with (for those who don't know, it was discredited for a possible conflict of interests, although science could never replicate the results anyway), but I am going to take offense at the suggestion that parents who do not follow the government-sanctioned vaccination schedules are idiots who buy into sensationalist theories by celebrities like Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey. Here is the comment I left on this person's blog:
Avery and I had a childhood friend who developed seizures after her 2-year-old vaccines. Those seizures eventually killed her when she was 13. Just the fact that things like that CAN happen (the doctors agreed that she did happen to have an adverse reaction to the shots) gives me pause before I say yes unconditionally to all vaccines. I know vaccines have a purpose and I know some are necessary. My kids have had the DPT shots (primarily for the pertussis vaccine), pneumococcal, and meningitis vaccines. However, we have decided that the others are merely superfluous. The MMR vaccine is created using aborted fetuses and none of those three diseases is dangerous for an otherwise healthy child. Chicken pox is also harmless to children (although if my kids haven't had it by their teenage years I will probably suggest they get the shot) and I see no need for my babies to get the Hepatitis B vaccine when they will not be sexually active for many years (and it's efficacy wears off after 6-10 years anyway). We also don't follow the prescribed timing for vaccines either and feel more comfortable spacing them out so the child isn't getting large doses of chemicals injected into their tiny bodies at one time.
I do NOT believe that autism is directly caused by vaccines. I do, however, believe that many childhood ailments, such as autism, ADD, ADHD, extreme allergies, mental illnesses, etc. are caused partly by a combination of several factors: lack of a healthy diet (including overuse of artificial infant formulas), overexposure to chemicals and unnatural substances (through vaccines, hormones additives in foods, hormones in our water, hormonal birth control, etc.), artificial and chemically engineered foods (artificial sweeteners, preservatives, over-processed foods, etc.), and the overall weakness of the body's immune system. For example, some autistic children have found their symptoms drastically reduced when they changed to all-natural diets.
(I'm going to interject here and say that my point in talking about my theories of the causes of childhood ailments was not to say that it's a parent's fault if their child is diagnosed with autism or bi-polar disorder [obviously random genetics have something to do with it too], but to point out that there are quite possibly external factors that might have contributed to those ailments and we as parents shouldn't throw up our hands and say "oh well, so sad.")
Anyway, my point is to say that I (and many others like me) are not believers in the "all vaccines are EVIL" theory. However, every time a doctor tells me I should give my child a measles vaccine, I must consider this: am I willing to to inject my child with harsh chemicals (mercury or aluminum [which has been proven to increase the risk for Alzheimer's btw], and formaldehyde), antibiotics, and a killed measles virus that will lower their immune system for several days making them susceptible to any disease-bearing germ they may come in contact with...all to protect them against a disease that has a 1 in 10,000 chance of killing them IF they contract it?
Please tell me my thought process AT LEAST makes sense to you. Of all people, you should be sympathetic to what it's like to be a concerned parent who wants to do best by their children. You don't believe in being brainwashed by the government or anyone else in telling us what's right for our kids.
(Forgive any typos...it's late and past my bedtime.)
I know we've been over this issue time and time again, but I wish more people (parents and non-parents alike) would be understanding towards views different from their own. I may disagree with you over a certain issue, but I'm not going to call you a moron behind your back and think you're an awful parent for believing what you do! If you have weighed the risks of vaccinating versus not vaccinating and made the decision to get all the vaccines, more power to you, at least you made an informed decision. But telling me I am "willfully ignorant" and following sensationalized myths is liable to get me a little ticked off.