july 27- the big V question- i'm sure to take some heat

i have to admit, having a preemie definitely makes me re-evaluate our decision not to vaccinate. particularly with the risk of RSV. (we can get synagis for free, so luckily that's not an issue for us.) what to do, what to do?? we'll be deciding on that in the next few months.

i think at this point, living in the US, we're pretty set on not giving any of the normal childhood vaccines. if we change our minds, we'll just take them to get current on their shots right before the school year... there's much less chance of side effects at that age, mostly because they say that they've "outgrown" several of the vaccines that have the worst effects. (the pertussis one is notorious, and i think they only give that one until 4 or something.) many of my family and friends balked when i told them. but after hearing much of the information that i learned, they were at least bearable on the subject. now, since wren is so small... i think they're actually in agreement with me whole-heartedly. (to at least let her get bigger.)

i'm not getting my info from jenny mccarthy. and i'm not only worried about autism either. there are TONS of side effects. i'm sure most of you have experienced a baby after their shots.... not a happy camper. sickly, fussy, feverish, with a rash or swelling at the injection site. and that is not even considered an adverse reaction. that is the best of cases. here's some information that i came across in my research last year. (and most of it is not from crazy militia home schooling nutballs either...most of it. :)
  • the only active cases of polio in the last 10 years in the US have been in vaccinated people. polio was on the decline in the US approximately 5 years before the mass vaccinations started. despite the astronomical numbers of vaccinations in places declared "polio free" by WHO in the 90s, outbreaks have occurred in several.
  • in the measles outbreaks of the late 90s, 85% of the kids had been fully vaccinated (all 3 sets of mmrs), the next 10% had 2, and the next 4% had 1... only 1% of all the kids in the outbreak hadn't been vaccinated!
  • the measles and chickenpox are some of the only diseases vaccinated for that is are still active in developed countries.
  • one of my favorite things i hear, on msg boards and from some friends and family, is "you're endangering the rest of the kids by not vaccinating!" either the vaccines work and your kids can't catch chickenpox or measles or polio from mine, or they don't work, and i'm just keeping my kid a little healthier.
  • the FDA says that most vaccines are only good for 5-10 yrs. so i'm not going to let my kids get these childhood illnesses, measles ad chickenpox when they're kids like they were intended to. i'm going to make them wait and catch it as teenagers or adults when its so serious as to be life threatening in some cases. hellllloooo shingles!
  • japan had a comparable rate to the US in SIDS cases. in the 70s japan upped the starting age for their vaccines to age 2. (from the normal 2 months.) japan now has basically no instances of SIDS.(.4% per 1000 births.)
  • the vaccine adverse effects reporting system (VAERS) for the FDA reports that 1% of the reported adverse reactions are death. (most of these from the pertussis, or whooping cough vaccine. the -p in DPT) the FDA also reports that they estimate only 10% of adverse reactions are reported.
  • the CDC reports that among school age children measles outbreaks have occurred in schools with higher than 98% vaccination. some even at 100%.
  • i think it was november 2007 when the government conceded a court case that linked the 18month shots, where a little girl recieved 9 shots, 2 containing thimerosal (mercury), to her progression into autism. they said her shots aggravated a pre-existing mitochondrial disorder, which "presents as autism". as of 2008 there were about 5k cases in "vaccine court".
anyway, i could ramble on forever! if you ask around you probably know more people that don't vaccinate than you think. we found out 6 people we knew (all from different areas of our lives, different backgrounds, and different geographical locations) all had personal negative experiences with vaccines. these ranged from bad reactions, like illness for several days to autism. we talked 2 two separate moms just where we live now that regretted vaccinating and noticed a difference in their (now teenage) kids when they did it. i've talked to many people who just vaccinated without questioning... they're more open minded about options. but some people think its all a bunch of baloney and that we should just do what the dr./FDA says no matter what some contradicting research says.
just an aside: did you know that the FDA does no research of their own on anything? anything! they rely on research provided to them by the pharmaceutical companies selling the vaccine. the advisory boards that decide what is approved not only consists of doctors but of shareholders to pharmaceutical companies and representatives of the companies themselves. most disturbingly, frankly, there is no way to guarantee the safety of a vaccine in the human population without injecting it into large quantities of people and seeing what happens. the vaccine manufacturers are not even liable for any negative consequences of their products-damages are paid out through a fund which is maintained through a portion of proceeds paid for by consumers of vaccines.
i guess i just always question the assumption that nature needs our help. that seems to be the common thread today in most of our thinking, especially medically. at the risk of sounding a little crunchy, i'll admit i take d-mannose for my UTI, not antibiotics. i take grapefruit seed extract for infections. i also eat handfuls of granola, and plan on wearing my baby. :) people place all their trust in doctors, hospital beds, tons of medications, formula, cribs, and fast food to get them through the day. but i'd like to think that herbs, homeopathics, breastmilk, arms and healthy foods are better choices.
i suppose i can't get by without a caveat- since it seems i have a track record of requiring medical intervention to LIVE the past few years! haha.. i do appreciate antibiotics, blood transfusions, our doctors that work so hard to be knowledgeable... we are thankful for things like the RSV vaccine, synagis, that could lower wren's risk for illness. i know that a person could drive themselves crazy making an issue out of every little thing. (for instance, we eat brownie mix. it has partially hydrogenated oils in it. TERRIBLE for us. but it tastes good, and we have decided we're going to let it slide. and fast food ..sometimes the drive thru is just a sin of convenience.) we know that we are so amazingly blessed to have medical care, to have medical coverage, but also to have options most of the time.
all i would say is do your research. at least know that you're making an educated decision when it comes not only to things like vaccines, but healthcare in general. do your research on foods, on toys, on cars, on cleaning supplies, on anything you can. know your options... if you are blessed enough to have them.


Meghan said...

We decided to give Caden vaccines...and haven't had any problems other than him being fussy the day of. But I completely understand your hesitancy to give them to Wren, at least right now. :) I'll be curious to see what the dr.'s say when you talk to them about it!
I got Wren a couple of preemie outfits from Once Upon A Child the other day--no guarantees on how soon I'll get them mailed out though, sorry! Things are crazy right now with being down the last week in AR...I'll try and do it in the next few days.

wrensmommy said...

C Lo- I accidentaly deleted your comment! I'd love it if you could post again. I know what you mean... I've read some really terrible things aimed at non-vaxers. it either works, or it doesn't. if it doesn't, then outbreaks and epidemics are really determined on other things altogether.
the risk is greater to catch rsv, and the effects more serious, those are really the reasons for our contemplation.
I got chickenpox- and turned out just fine. :) I never get the flu shot, and have only gotten the flu once in my life. yay for hand washing and natural immunities. (my husband in the military HAS to get the flu mist every season. and gets sick for 2 weeks afterwards 4 years running.. every time!)

meghan- I think that definitely most kiddos make it through ok. that's just not a risk I can take. :/ (my nephew is just fine for example. :) almost all docs are vehemently pro vaccination. and the literature they provide reflects that. but there was a baby in our nicu born at wren's age, 27 weeks, that was ready to go home, and got her shots, the parents gave her more time too... well she started desats again, and bradys, and had to stay 2 extra weeks. she had been ready to go home! the docs were honest about it- they said sometimes that just happens. (what makes a term baby fussy or a little sick can make a preemie drop their heart rate or quit breathing.) since then, I did some extra research and found other people with similar experiences as well. and documented warning that these things could happen.

wrensmommy said...

oh- thanks for the clothes!!! :) I can't wait to see her in them! :) you can always give them to betty... I think she was sending some stuff too.
you guys have a good move- wish we could help!

Laura said...

Am I a crazy homeschooling nutball? :)

You know I agree with everything you wrote there. It is so REFRESHING to see someone who agrees with me on homeopathy, vaccines, and organic/natural foods. :)

You ROCK! You're a great mom to Wren! And heck yeah, WEAR that baby!! Have you gotten a SleepyWrap yet??

wrensmommy said...

you don't qualify as a nutball yet... you need WAY more kids. :) and you should really, probably, drive a prius...or maybe make all of your own clothes. :)

we're not perfect.. but we do our best! making all these decisions is really hard...

Blue Moon Mama said...

The decision is yours to make, but I do want to point out that of course the FDA doesn't conduct its own research on vaccines. It is not a research organization. It's job is to review and approve (or disapprove). It doesn't conduct original research on any medical products. That is not its role.

wrensmommy said...

blue moon mama- i think there is a common belief by the little people in the country that the fda does insure the safety of foods and medicines. most people that i talk to are surprised to find that they don't do any research. and, i wouldn't mind that they don't do research if they weren't just taking the word of the companies that are trying to sell the drugs. (maybe outsourcing to a 3rd party?) it is a conflict of interest that depends solely on the findings of the pharm companies... who have proven themselves to be less than forthcoming.