May 8, 2008

wonderings continued...

I borrowed this book from the library to continue my research. The author breaks down each vaccine, explaining the disease, its risks, the vaccine and its risks. Very easy to read and understand.

What struck me as I was reading through the diseases we vaccinate against is that these were not terrible, life-threatening diseases. They (for the most part) were childhood illnesses, requiring care and rest. (Except for Hepatitis B which is basically an STD. Why this is on the vaccine schedule for low-risk babies I do not understand.) Many of the diseases have declined greatly as sanitation and personal hygiene has improved. The common denominator in many of these diseases? Time. They all take time to recover from, some take a lot of time. If both parents are working outside the home, this would put a strain on the family, the place of employment and it would trickle on from there. An outbreak of the measles, like the ones seen in our grandparents generation, would shut down our society. Who would care for all those sick children? Their mothers are no longer home each day to care for them. I can remember as a school-age child (I'm not that old, we're talking mid-80's) when there was a flu outbreak, school attendance would drop off so dramatically school would sometimes be cancelled because so many teachers and children were sick. Would such a thing be possible now? Where would all those kids go? A majority of them have mothers who work outside the home.

I guess the conspiracy theorist in me wonders if these vaccines have been heavily pushed on parents for more selfish reasons than we know. With the Varicella (Chicken Pox) vaccine, the CDC admits that the main reason behind pushing the vaccine is the amount of time a parent misses work to care for the child. There are very few severe reactions from chicken pox. This vaccine was created so that parents would miss less days of work. Are they looking out for the health of the child? Obviously not, since chicken pox is hardly life-threatening when contracted as a child.

If I had to work outside the home, would I vaccinate my children? Yes I would. Day care or public school situations create more challenges than I, as a stay at home homeschooling mother, have to deal with. Would I be vaccinating out of concern for my kids or out of concern for the potential sick days? I don't know.

I do know that I am more thankful today than ever for a husband who works hard so that I can stay home.

11 comments:

  1. I'm with you on being thankful for a husband who works hard.. and that the expectation is that I AM to stay home with the children, not I AM to contribute to the household income. There are many husbands who work just as hard as mine and make as much or more and yet still expect contributions from their wives. I am thankful to not be married to a man like that!!!

    I never thought about vaccines from that angle and think you have to be right on. The other reason they're so pushed and promoted, and creating a constant influx of new ones is that it's a HUGE industry. We're talking big money.

    And I don't know about your doctor, but both of the doctors we've ever taken our children to (one family doctor and now a pediatrician) talk about the horrors of the diseases the vaccines prevent. And how awful and life threatening it would be if my children caught them and what risk I'm putting them at.

    My 2 babies (21 months and 4 months) are both still (proudly) vaccine free and by far the healthiest kids I've had yet.

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  2. @ Katie - Last week I caught some of a news story about the Measles outbreak and how terrible it was. With drama and big graphics, NBC annouced that sixty-five children have had the measles. Huh. 65 kids in all of the USA have been sick. No deaths. Just sick kids. The cause, according to this story? People who don't vaccinate their kids. These diseases we vaccinate against are not life threatening, especially when combined with proper sanitation and hygiene. I'm so saddened at what I've put my girls through prior to this.

    Here's a link to the report I heard: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24408430

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  3. The conspiracy theorist in me laughs when people defend vaccines by saying, "The government does this for our own good." Call me cynical or whatever.... :)

    Isn't it an interesting subject? I have to try and stay a little, ah, balanced, or I start to get funny looks from Ryan (who is wondering when I'm going to suggest we somehow disappear off the government's radar screen or something!), but there are just so many questions to be asked about the mtoives in all this. And I don't trust anyone behind this. Benefit of the doubt: maybe at first, there was a bit of nobility. Polio, for instance, was debilitating, and finding a vaccine for that must have been like finding a cure for AIDS. But at this point, with politicians and big drug companies... It just smells fishy. :)

    I've always wondered about HepB, too. I wanted to proudly announce to my doctor that, "Actually, we've discussed this with my son, and he will not be using drugs or practicing promiscuity, unlike the other babies I assume you deal with."

    K. I'll be done now. :)

    And woo-hoo! Bring on the two-week sick stints of chicken pocks! (Just kidding. :))

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  4. HepB is sounds silly to some, but in the unfortunate case of child rape, at least the child would be protected from HepB, I guess. That's all I can think of as to why it's good for children to get this shot.

    Jackie, you said above that you are sad about what you put your girls through. What do you mean?

    Me and my family are completely vaccinated and we are just fine! In fact, I never got chicken pox as a child so vaccination is important to me so that my children are less likely to get it so I don't get it since shingles is more common in adults and can be life threatening and very painful.

    One good thing, though is that the children don't have to do through needless diseases. I mean who wants mumps if you don't have to have it? Plus, if you go to ther couuntries on missions its nice to be vaccinated if you haven't been sick with those illnesses. Who wants to be ill on a missions trip?!

    But, nonetheless, those are just my positive additions. I know this is all a personal choice. I'm glad that you are informing yourself about this all! Thanks!

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  5. @ Randi - I'm saddened by what I've allowed my daughters to be injected with. Most shots contain poisons such as mercury, aluminum hydroxide (which has likes to Alzheimer’s), EDTA (which is toxic to the kidney, liver and lungs), Formaldehyde (toxic), hydrochloric acid (extremely corrosive to the organs), not to mention the use of human embryos and parts of organs from other animals. There has yet to be conclusive evidence about what crossing species has done.

    These vaccines contain are substances that we wouldn't drink or put on our food. Why should I allow them to be injected into my daughters? My two older daughters received their shots through age 18months and Lauren through 6 months. Apart from Alyssa’s food allergies, they are very healthy. For me its more about finding the best way. I could drive down the street with my daughters not buckled into their car seats. Will they die? Probably not. But is it the best way? No.

    I see your point that these are needless diseases but many studies have shown that these diseases did serve a purpose. They built a child’s immunity. Illnesses such as eczema, asthma, allergies and behavioral problems like ADHD have increased dramatically over the last 10-15 years. Why? Those 10-15 years are also when the number of vaccines skyrocketed from less than 10 to nearly 30. Are we sabotaging our bodies by taking away a necessary part of childhood? Did those diseases build immunity and strength that is no longer present in children? I'm not sure. But I know for us, until I see clear answers to my concerns we won't vaccinate.

    (Oh and if my children ever choose to go overseas they will be vaccinated first. I'm not talking about that, I'm talking more about the Childhood Immunization Schedule.)

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  6. @ Danica - When we get fed up and finally go off-grid, we'll let you know. ;-)

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  7. Thanks Jackie for all the discussion. You and Danica are way too funny. We've decided to also stop vaccines. I don't know why it's taken me this long to ask whether they are the best thing for my children? Probably my family full of doctors and nurses.

    My husband grew up with NO vaccines on a dirty, yucky pig farm.
    He DID NOT have any of the diseases typically prevented from vaccines as a child, but did get chicken pox as an adult (he lived, by the way).
    When he began missions work and started college (mandatory), he just got the vaccines he needed. I figure we'll use this approach as well with our kids.

    Please post more links and book titles as you find them. Coming from a family loaded with "medical professionals", I have a lot of sorting to do concerning vaccinations :)
    Thanks,
    Sarah

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  8. I have to tell you how much I appreciate reading your thoughts. I have been "anti-vaccine" for my children from the get-go, but I must confess that these past 8 months with Aubrey have been wearing on me-- the medical community is so involved in her life that I am asked/pushed about vaccines at least once a month. Recently, I've been wondering if I'm just a crazy loony who needs to get off my soap-box. :)

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's nice to know there are others who find vaccines disconcerting, too. I feel strengthened in my decision to wait. :)

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  9. Thanks so much for all the helpful information. I'm also starting to research this topic since Hannah goes for her next check-up on June 12th and I KNOW they will be pushing shots at us at that point! I wish I would have been more informed before Caleb received all the vaccines he's had over the past 18 months! It's definitely something to think about, that's for sure! Thanks again!:-)

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  10. You know something else I heard, jackie...this is a little off topic but I was thinking about how since vaccines have increased, problems like autism and adhd have increased. I heard another possible reason a month ago. Because of the over farming of farm land and all the fertilizers and the farmers lack of giving land a "sabbath rest" and they have failed to put nutrients back in the soil...we are producing fruits and veggies with little nutritional value! Isn't that awful? So we're also starving our kids of nutrients. This bothers me, but the only solution is to go all organic. But, with the price of food skyrocketing, what can one do? Just thought I'd pass the info along!

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  11. How do you find out what each vaccine contains (without it being written in pharmaceutical jargon?) Tim and I have only avoided a couple of vaccines, but have been trying to learn more lately (though our research has not been as extensive as it probably should be). And I guess our overarching conclusion, no matter what we ultimately deem is the best decision about vaccination, is that God is in control. We have had moments of being tormented about what a "good" parent would do, only to realize that somewhere we crossed the line between being conscientious and being fearful. I know that line is in a different place for everyone, so I just find rest in the fact that, at the end of the day (and at the beginning and middle), God "has our back". He knows our heart and our desire to be "good stewards" of the children he has given us, and I think that heart-attitude is just as important in this decision as anything else.

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