To Vaccinate, or Not to Vaccinate: That is the question – Series

It’s September 14th, 2013.  I thought I’d write a series of articles on vaccinations (“vax”) for 2 reasons: to force me to do an even deeper dive into the topic myself, and to open this topic up for open and friendly discussion among our friends and to the public.  Here are the only rules I will put forth for this online discussion: (1) Be kind, (2) Only share information if you can cite your source.  

Disclaimer and digression:  I am not trying to start a wildfire debate.  I’m being investigative, not argumentative.  I’m being open-minded, not biased.  I’m not a healthcare professional.  If you believe that only healthcare professionals can correctly understand published data, and will therefore dispose of my reported findings, then you may as well stop reading this blog post.  I feel, in order to accurately and fairly assess whether I should or shouldn’t vaccinate, the data should come from published 3rd-party peer-reviewed research studies.  At the end of this investigation, don’t fret over our choice to vax or not to vax.  My husband, a physical chemist, will also scrutinize whatever I show him.  He’s been trained to do exactly that.  The point being, the choice regarding each vaccination will be thoroughly dissected from all sides.  Capisce?  By the way, I posted a date at the top of this article just to create my own timestamp for me.

What I want to explore:

  1. The current vaccine schedule vs what I received as a child of the 80’s
  2. The difference in non-vax vs vax kids pertaining to (a) the rate of contracted illness and severity of its symptoms, (b) rate of morbidity, (c) rate of contracted disease and severity of its symptoms
  3. The impact of the various vax ingredients
  4. How the immune system works and it’s efficacy when stimulated naturally vs unnaturally

Today’s Topic: 1. The current vaccine schedule vs what I received as a child of the 80’s

Now let’s break down each topic one at a time.  Firstly, what is the current vaccination schedule?  See here for The CDC’s full MMWR supplement (birth-18 years, catch-up, adult, adult medical and other indications, adult contraindications and precautions) (for healthcare professionals) [1MB, 21 pages].

I counted a minimum of 35 different doses given in the above cited 2013 CDC-recommended schedule.  How does this differ over time in America’s history?  Source for the info below (also, see this timeline from the same site).

  • In the 40’s: “A combined vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough)… [plus] smallpox” (though smallpox is no longer recommended because “the risks from complication of vaccination became less acceptable to the medical establishment and to the public”)
  • In the 50’s: add polio. “The specific vaccine used has changed since then, but polio vaccine remains on the current schedule”
  • In the 70’s: add “The combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine”
  • In the 80’s: add “The Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) vaccine”
  • In the 90’s: add “A vaccine for hepatitis B”
  • Since ’95, add “chickenpox (varicella) and hepatitis A”.  “The first rotavirus vaccine added to the schedule was removed because of an association between the vaccine and intussusception, a type of bowel obstruction. It was later replaced with a different rotavirus vaccine that has no association with the condition.”
  • In the 2010’s: add Meningococcal, Influenza, Rotavirus, Pneumococcal, Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

As of today, September 14, 2013, the CDC cites 28 different vaccine-preventable illnesses/ diseases.  It made me curious about how many infectious diseases exist – Some sources listed over 100 infectious diseases, and other sources cite over 200.  Here’s a list of emerging diseases from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Share your thoughts in comments below. I’ll write posts on the other 3 topics as I address them.

Love, Robyn

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4 thoughts on “To Vaccinate, or Not to Vaccinate: That is the question – Series

  1. Wow, brave girl! But knowing you, you’ll knock it out of the park. I know that we differ on this topic. I’m very clear on why we should vax, but can you (or someone) reply with a simple explanation of why people choose not to?

  2. Thanks Judith! For a simplified answer, I have chosen not to vax in the past because I’m weary of the additives, the way the disease/illness is introduced to the body, combining vaccinations in one shot, how the immune system responds (i.e. the side effects the vaccinations have in some children). I’m unconvinced the impact from one generation to the next generation is harmless as well. Like I said in the entry above though, these feelings are based on basic research I’ve done, not on the deep dive I’d like to do now. My goal is to be totally unbiased, but fetter out the hype from the well-founded studies.

  3. I confess ignorance on those concerns. Can you be more specific? What are you worried the additives will do? What is the generational impact? What about the risk of your child getting some of these illnesses? Asking in the spirit of curiosity and friendship 🙂

    • Like about additives: I’ve read some additives cause neurological or nervous system problems

      About generational impact: my concern is if they cause birth defects, increase rates of learning disabilities or physical disabilities in future generations, or a lessened ability for the body to develop normal immune responses

      About the risk of contracting an illness: for std’s like hep b, I’d hope teaching kids about how to live safely would take care of that. For other illnesses like whooping cough, that’s a concern of mine and also why I’m spending the time to do this research. :). Don’t worry, I realize even if I teach safe behavior doesn’t mean I have control over kid’s behavior 😉

      Of course I realize u ask out if friendship

      XO!

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