Expecting our Little Brother in November!

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

What We Do With Vaccines, and Why

I would list us under "moderate" in terms of our stance on vaccinations.

For the most part, in my opinion, most vaccines are harmless for most kids, and mostly protect most of us from most of the deadliest and most crippling diseases!

However . . . some vaccines are also deadly for some kids some of the time. Some of the ingredients in vaccines are "poisonous" to the body some of the time. Some vaccines are also unnecessary for some kids in some situations. In fact, some vaccines are unnecessary for most kids in most situations!

And some of the diseases we are mostly protected against? Are mostly harmless to most people most of the time. But, some of the diseases we are mostly protected against are really awful for most kids most of the time, too!

So, James and I make the following decision about vaccines: One at a time. We do not make broad statements like:

-Let's receive all vaccines blindly without researching.
-We will not receive any vaccines on principle.
-All vaccines are important and necessary.
-All vaccines are poisonous, harmful, and dangerous.

For what it's worth, we have done the following so far:

-Chosen not to get Hep B at Birth or One month. There is no reason why he would get this, and at such a young age, we had no reason to put those chemicals in his body without a real risk.

The reason Hep B is given to infants is if the Mom has it already, could have gotten it during her pregnancy because one of the parents is cheating, or if the infant needs a blood tranfusion, it can sneak through a screen 1 in 65,000 times.

However, if there is any risk that the infant could catch it, it is worth getting . . . 90% of infants who catch it during birth have it forever.

-At 2 months received Pneumoccal--Pc (common, deadly 20-30% of the time for infants) and Hib (Used to be common, deadly to 5%, disabling to 25%).

Both these diseases can lead to meningitis, one of the top killers of newborns. Furthermore, James' family has a history of weakness to meningitis. It was a priority for us to protect him against this. When he was 2 months old he was 12.5 lbs! We decided he was ready to handle the side effects and risks because the risks of not doing it were higher at that point.

Furthermore, both of these vaccines have been around for along time, and the amount of times it has led to serious complications in a small child is extremely rare.

-At 4 months received a combo shot of Dtap and Polio. There is evidence that a combo shot means that less ("poisonous") ingredients are needed with the vaccines.

DTap is protection against Diphtheria (rare, but deadly to 10%, but also treatable), Tetanus (rare, but deadly to 15%, and really severely awful to recover from), Pertussis (Whooping Cough, common, occasionally deadly--to 1% under 6 months).

We also received a 2nd dose of Hib.

-At 6 months we decided to receive nothing because James had not been feeling well (I forget if it was a cold or fever, teething related or not, but he had been sick the previous week). Commonly when reactions to vaccines occur, it is if the vaccine is given while the immune system is compromised, IE, when the child is sick or has recently been sick.

-But we rescheduled for 7 months, and then received a second dose of Pc and a third dose of Hib.

-We have chosen not to get Rotavirus . . . but now in researching to write this, LOL, I think I might reconsider . . .

Well, it is originally given at 2, 4, 6, months but it was totally un-necessary then (for us). While Rotavirus is a common disease that can lead to a somewhat serious risk of dehydration often needing a hospital stay to recover from . . . the risk of a baby who is not in daycare catching it is pretty low. And when James was that little I was barely even leaving the house, so there was no reason to get it then.

Plus, he was allergic to everything then and this is an oral vaccine, so he was at somewhat of a risk for developing a reaction because of that.

But now that his system is stronger, he's bigger, and we are being more social with other kids, he's at a SLIGHTLY higher risk of catching it. Though, then again, the odds of a tot who is still breastfeeding getting dehydrated and more seriously sick is fairly low . . .

I guess I'm still deciding! But this is a good example of what we try to consider when making each decision about each vaccine for each of our children at each visit.

Obviously there is a lot more to the full vaccine series but this is just what we've done so far. Who knows what we'll end up doing, we haven't really researched the rest yet, hehe. However, I will say without adding any more detail that we will put off the MMR for his 12 month visit, and probably just catch him up on one of the other ones instead.

A few more important things to add . . .

I believe it is a parent's right, for whatever reason, to decide that no vaccines are right for her/his child for some reason. But with this said. There is one more important point that I must add:

It is very important for most of the people to get vaccinated against some of the deadliest diseases, most of the time. Otherwise we face a situation where most of the people are somewhat at risk, and that isn't fair to anyone.

*We got most of our information from the Dr. Sears Vaccine Book. I would consider it to be a very fair and balanced book that presents all the information without telling you what to think or adding unnecessary fear-mongering. Unfortunately, it is one of few resources that I can say this about! I would highly recommend it.


mpence said...

I really like Dr. Sears' vaccine book and other info he has put together on vaccines. He has the ONLY NONBIASED info I have seen anywhere. Everything is either really pro or really anti when it comes to vaccines!

Anonymous said...

You say most vaccines are unnecessary to most kids in most situations. Is this because most other kids have had the vaccines and thus the disease is unlikely to be going around? Maybe a bit of a free-rider problem.

Anonymous said...

Anon, we are more of the attitude that for a healthy baby, without asthma or other complications and that is not in day care with tons of other kids, the annual flu vaccine is not necessary.
Also, "necessary" includes timing and where we live. Most American children are not exposed to the diseases we vaccinate them against until they are older, like when they travel abroad.

justadrienne said...

Anon, I said most vaccines are HARMLESS, not unnecessary. Re-read.

justadrienne said...

I also said that SOME vaccines are un-necessary to some kids (or even to most kids) . . . as a good example, the Hep B is unnecessary for us since neither me or my husband is cheating and he has no reason to need a blood transfusion or any other reason why he would be exposed to it.

An example of a vaccine I would consider to be un-necessary for MOST kids might be like chicken pox.

DNineMoons said...

My ped doesn't even do the rotavirus since he doesn't think the risk profile is worth it. One of the girls in my bfing support group, her daughter had a horrible reaction the 2 times she got it - extreme diarrhea, horrible diaper rash with blisters, and her doc said it was the vaccine that did it. Needless to say they won't be getting the 3rd dose. Trevor feels very strongly pro-vaccine so we've gotten all the others, and the flu and I even got it when I never had before. Still not sure how I feel about this lol.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm late to the game, but I wanted to add that Aisling had no reaction what so ever to the rotovirus vaccine. She has had all vaccines on the recommended schedule, but we are in a unique situation. Ed is working on his PhD in immunology and he is horrified by the images he has seen. For him even the slightest chance of her getting one of the diseases is worth the risk a vaccine might pose. I reach for Dr. Sears's books and website just after the advice of my pediatrician. He has saved my sanity on more then one occasion.

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