Top 5 Reasons Not to Vaccinate Your Children

by Ann Marie Michaels on November 5, 2013

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5-reasons-not-to-vaccinate

Should you vaccinate your children? Or not? Making the decision whether or not to vaccinate your child is difficult, especially for those who are on the fence. It’s not a choice that should be made lightly. It’s important to cut through the heat of the controversy and discover what the real issues are and make an informed decision.

I only decided not to vaccinate my daughter after researching the subject on my own and concluding that the benefits of vaccination do not outweigh the risks. And the risks can be extremely serious.

Here are five succinct reasons not to vaccinate your children. This is not an exhaustive list. If you are on the fence, you can use it as a starting point to dig deeper. If you already made the decision not to vaccinate, you can pass this along to friends and family who may have questions.

1. Vaccines can cause injuries to children.

This is the central issue for me and for most parents who choose not to vaccinate and it’s pretty simple. Vaccines are not safe and children get hurt. Vaccine advocates repeatedly claim that vaccines are safe, despite the fact that you can find numerous stories about children who suffered from vaccine injuries both anecdotal and in the scientific literature. (I detailed a few specific stories here.)

Vaccines have adverse effects. Dr. Joseph Mercola writes about how the U.S. government admits this:

As I have long stated, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) now admits:

“Vaccines are not free from side effects, or “adverse effects””

This admission came after a review of more than 1,000 vaccine studies, which was intended to assess the scientific evidence in the medical literature about specific adverse events associated with eight vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella (MMR); varicella (chickenpox); influenza; hepatitis A; hepatitis B; HPV; diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (DtaP); and meningococcal. The adverse events selected for IOM review were ones for which people had submitted vaccine injury claims to the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). A convincing causal relationship was found for 14 adverse events and certain vaccines.

(Source)

For most vaccines, the same drug companies and medical professionals and government agencies who claim that vaccines are safe also admit that they do not know what the side effects are. A vaccine may be thought to be safe if it does not cause any obvious injury to a specific child, or even a majority of children. That’s like saying playing Russian Roulette is safe when you pull the trigger and nothing happens because there wasn’t a bullet in the chamber. Five players escape and one player suffers a fatality. It only takes one bullet to make it a dangerous game.

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation program has paid the parents of victims multiple millions of dollars in damages since 1986 for deaths caused by vaccines. How many children have to die or suffer from permanent, life-debilitating injury before we stop calling it safe?

2. Vaccines do not accomplish what they claim.

vaccinegraph

The above graphic speaks for itself.

Most people think that vaccines stopped the prevalence of major diseases, such as polio. The history of the effectiveness of vaccines, such as the one for polio, is compelling. Incidences of polio dropped radically before the vaccine was introduced in the years ranging from 1953 to 1957. The vaccine, introduced in 1957, was not licensed until 1962. [source]

Graphs for whooping cough show a surprisingly similar trend, as well as for other major diseases. The notion that vaccines cured pertussis (whooping cough) or polio doesn’t follow from the facts. These major diseases were declining before vaccines were introduced.

Recently, we have started to see outbreaks of these diseases (whooping cough, measles, polio, etc.) and they are most commonly occurring (a) among vaccinated children (b) in agricultural areas and (c) during the summer when pesticides are sprayed.

According to Jim West:

In June, 2010, pertussis spiked in California. June-Aug is the season for pertussis epidemics, which is also the season for pesticide spray programs, quarantines, and peak outdoor air pollution. [source]

3. Vaccines contain numerous toxic poisons.

Vaccines contain toxins such as formaldehyde, which is used for embalming and has been shown to possibly cause cancer; MSG, phenol, antifreeze, agents that cause damage to internal organs such as kidneys and liver (glycerin), and more.

Lead, cadmium, acetone, and mercury can still be found in many vaccines. Potentially more dangerous than mercury, thimersol can also be found in several vaccines. It is an ingredient that can cause autoimmune disease as well as neurological damage.

These poisons are not detoxified through digestion. They are injected directly into the bloodstream.

4. Vaccinated children are more prone to disease.

Several studies have shown a trend that seems to indicate that rather than building up immunity overall, vaccinated children tend to be at more risk for some diseases than children who have built up their immunity naturally without injecting diseases and poison into their blood.

Richard Moskowitz, M.D., writes, “Thirty-five years of medical practice have convinced me that all vaccines carry an important risk of chronic disease that is inherent in the vaccination process and indeed central to how they work.”

The following chart shows the preliminary results of a survey, which indicates that further research and studies should be conducted in order to find out if the obvious hypothesis is true: vaccines distort immune functions and lead to children who are unhealthier overall and more prone to disease than those who have not been vaccinated.

mercola
Image Source

Another study has shown that vaccinated children are five times as prone to disease as unvaccinated children.

4. Kids can naturally build up their immune systems.

The immune system can be built-up naturally, and many of the diseases that kids get vaccinated for help to do the job. A reliance upon initial vaccinations and repeated booster shots doesn’t seem to create a stronger immune system, even if the individual is protected against specific strains of disease.

Unhealthy foods, pollution and pesticides and play time that is dedicated to sedentary behavior all contribute to poor health and effect the immune system’s ability to function well. But the research so far suggests that immunity built through natural means is far healthier than what is offered by vaccines.

5. The benefits of vaccination do not outweigh the risks.

My final conclusion is that the risks of vaccination do not provide enough benefit to expose children to that kind of danger. Many others feel the same way. There are many resources to investigate for those who want to learn more about the dangers of vaccines before making your own decision, or understanding the choices that others have made.

What’s Your Take?

Did you vaccinate your children? Or are you someone who chose not to do so? What influenced your decision? What has your experience been as a result of your decision? I’d like to hear from you and others. Comment below and be sure to share this with a friend.

Image credit: Kids Playing at Edwin Pratt Park, 2002

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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

Jinni November 5, 2013 at 1:51 PM

I don’t vaccinate. Fortunately, I live in Los Angeles, and have found a community of like-minded, non-judgmental people. My son’s (private) school has the highest percentage of non-vaccinated children in Los Angeles. I was born in the 1970s and fully vaccinated. Fortunately I have all my medical records and know that my vaccination schedule was short compared to what’s recommended today.

For the reasons, you stated, I don’t vaccinate. I only wish science reporting in this country was more about facts than innuendo and scare mongering, but . . . .

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Susan Brown November 5, 2013 at 5:15 PM

My kids are grown now. I vaccinated, but wished I had known then what I know now and done things differently. My daughter developed two unusual autoimmune diseases (with absolutely no family history) by the time she was 12, and I was advised at that point not to let her get anymore vaccines, because they may have caused them and/or they might cause her to get additional problems.

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Laura P November 13, 2013 at 8:28 AM

Wow, Susan. I’m so sorry to hear that your daughter was injured. Who advised you that the vaccines may have caused the injuries?

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jaime February 19, 2014 at 12:23 PM

i also have two autoimmune diseases with no family history. The only problem is that you can’t blame vaccines for this unless it can be proven. And really, there are so many toxins in our world these days that who knows what REALLY caused it.
(side note: i have a 6 week old boy and do not plan on vaccinating him. This was not a pro-vacs reply whatsoever)

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JR November 5, 2013 at 6:23 PM

My firstborn only got one set of vaccines at 2 months, and had a bad reaction to them, crying, fussing and screaming, vomiting and diarrhea for 10 days. It was awful. No more after that! And our second born is vaccine-free. I don’t want that crap in my kids’ bodies! Vaccinating is a great idea (as in the way Lister discovered it, cow pox protecting people from smallpox), but the way it’s carried out now is just wrong.

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Jessie November 6, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Jenner

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Chrissy @ Muse of the Morning November 5, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Hi Ann Marie!
Of all the parenting decisions that I have to make, the one that I struggle with the most is whether or not to vaccinate. This article has probably done the most of any that I’ve read to set my mind at ease, that our choices are the right ones.
In particular, the chart in #2 does a ton to make me feel secure in our choice. I didn’t notice a source for the graphic. Would you mind sharing the source, so I can follow that information?
Thank you so much for this post! It’s been a great read!
Chrissy

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Jaime November 5, 2013 at 8:13 PM

+1 Would love to see the source

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Brittany November 5, 2013 at 8:34 PM

I would love to see a source as well. I will probably use it in a powerpoint for my research paper in the college writing class I am taking. My research paper is on why vaccinations should not be mandatory. (Neither of my children are vaxed at all.)

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Mike Drake November 6, 2013 at 3:14 PM

The graphic in #2 was created to be purposefully misleading (which is why they haven’t and probably won’t put a source here). It was created by opponents of vaccines and uses a skewed view of the data (and specific data points which intentiaonally avoid certain years) to make it look as if vaccines were ineffective in wiping out certain diseases, while if one searches out and looks at a more unbiased version of the same data, the difference is unambiguous.

All of the points here are founded on faulty logic and presuppositions, but #2 may be the worst.

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Mike Drake November 6, 2013 at 3:25 PM

For some reading on exactly what is wrong with point #2, hopefully my link will show up:
http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/vaccines-didnt-save-us-intellectual-dishonesty-at-its-most-naked/

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Andrew November 8, 2013 at 12:46 AM

Thank you for that info. For those not wanting to read through the link, the biggest take-home message for me was that death rates are not a good measure of a vaccine’s effectiveness. Death rates across the board were declining because medicine and healthcare in general was improving, so less people were dying even when they got these diseases. Number of cases is more to the point and can be seen to drop sharply after some vaccinations’ introduction: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Measles_incidence-cdc.gif from http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/6mishome.htm#Diseaseshadalready

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Melinda November 9, 2013 at 7:07 AM

Thank you for the link. It’s always good to hear the other side especially when it’s based on science.

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CKitson November 5, 2013 at 8:09 PM

I vaccinated both my kids and would do it again. Neither seem to get sick much, or had any side effects. I think most of the problems listed as being connected with imunization are in fact caused by the drastic unhealthy changes in our foods and sources of foods over the past 20-30 years. I don’t have any issues with people who choose not to however and am not trying to convince anyone that my way of thinking is the only right way. It’s a personal choice.

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Greg Madison November 5, 2013 at 8:35 PM

Hey, thanks a whole bunch all you non-vaccinators for being a big part of the reason 10 infants too young to be vaccinated died from pertussis in the 2010 California whooping cough outbreak. You can read all about how you helped allow this explosive outbreak at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/132/4/624.full.html . Your decision not to vaccinate directly affects public health.

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JR November 5, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Greg, next time you think about 10 infants dying from pertussis, remember the number of deaths and injuries caused by the vaccines themselves each year.
In this article,
http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-05-29/india/29596453_1_vaccine-deaths-aefi-deaths-public-sector-vaccine-units
it says that in India in 2010, 128 kids died after being vaccinated. And that’s just in one country. Who knows how many deaths are caused worldwide each year by vaccines, nor how many more neurological and other diseases are acquired as a result of vaccines.
The medical field has made many astounding advances over the years, and while vaccines are a great idea, the fact is that they are not risk free. I would ask that you keep this in mind the next time you think about ridiculing those that choose not to vaccinate their children.

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greg madison January 2, 2014 at 4:45 AM

The problem, of course, is that you nonscientific morons sit here in your “survival of the fittest” assh*le mode like the pure hypocrites you are. Pure 100% sh*t smelling hypocrites because I guarantee when you have have your heart attack or stroke or whatever your first major illness is, you’ll go to the ER instead of dying at home like would be best for society since you were clearly an unfit POS if you died.

Screw you all.

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Gurubobbo January 2, 2014 at 10:02 AM

Greg, you are a di$@head!

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JR November 6, 2013 at 7:09 AM

And something else to think about: even vaccinated people can get pertussis.
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/02/06/some-whooping-cough-strains-now-outsmarting-vaccine

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Vicki November 6, 2013 at 2:30 PM

JR,

The article that you pointed out does not prove that the kids died due to the vaccination. I also want to point out that those deaths occured not in the US. In India, there are many other factors to consider that may be related to those deaths.

Also, the point that even vaccinated people CAN get pertussis I think is an even greater reason why people SHOULD get the vaccine. Please see this article from the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/about/faqs.html#booster

“There is a lot of diversity in strains causing pertussis in the US. While strains have changed over time, strain changes do not seem to be the cause of the increase in pertussis we’ve been seeing. And there’s no direct evidence that strain changes have reduced the effectiveness of the vaccines. It’s more likely that waning immunity is the driving force behind the increase in cases.”

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Kat November 26, 2013 at 7:11 AM

Greg,
You can be vaccinated and still spread pertussis and other diseases. As well as get them yourself.
“A government study offers a new theory on why the whooping cough vaccine doesn’t seem to be working as well as expected. The research suggests that while the vaccine may keep people from getting sick, it doesn’t prevent them from spreading whooping cough — also known as pertussis — to others.”
http://www.tribtown.com/view/story/fa392c1b780b44148d7eb7282564fdd2/US-MED–Whooping-Cough-Vaccine

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Kristina November 5, 2013 at 11:47 PM

Pertussis? watch this. No matter you vaccinate or not, vaccines in weak people (weakness cmec from civilization, chemocarcy) cause mutations. Here is a pertussis bacteria (2) which denies vaccination. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/whooping-cough-strain-now-immune-to-vaccine/story-e6freuy9-1225828959714
Maxwell A. Witt, 2012, Unexpectedly Limited Durability of Immunity Following Acellular Pertussis Vaccination in Pre-Adolescents in a North American Outbreak, Clinical Infectious Diseases, 54 (12): 1730-1735. http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/54/12/1730.full.pdf+html
this is whole cell P: we are the ones who pass the disease:
Srugo, I.,2010, Pertussis infection in fully vaccinated children in day-care centers, Israel, Emerging Infectious Disease, Vol.6. No.5. http://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/15025/

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Gurubobbo November 6, 2013 at 4:35 AM

The human species evolved, survived and thrived for over 100,000 years plus before vaccinations were invented……..
No need to screw with a system that works!

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Hannah November 6, 2013 at 6:52 AM

To be fair the natural environment we evolved in was not supportive of epidemic infections because we lived in small groups and we moved from place to place decreasing the opportunity for pathogens to get out of hand. After the neolithic when we settled in increasingly large populations and lived in close contact with our waste and our animals waste we start to see all these infectious diseases get the upper hand. There is no doubt that our close conditions and heavy population increase the likelihood of epidemics. However, this does not mean vaccines are a safe and good answer. We need better alternatives which I hope are being researched. I think we need to start from scratch and think about infectious disease prevention in a new way. Vaccines as they exist now are just not the answer. As I see it they don’t work with the immune system but too often very much against it.

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Gurubobbo November 6, 2013 at 6:26 PM

The point is, sooner or later we have to stop screwing with nature. As hard as it may be for us to swallow, this may mean mass epidemics and a vast loss of lives.
While we as individual human beings value ourselves as being more important than the whole, we will continue to develop a band-aid fix for a band-aid fix, etc….
Sometimes in order to progress we need to just stops and let things be.

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Alicia November 7, 2013 at 6:41 PM

Just because the species survived doesn’t mean that there weren’t a lot of individuals who died of things they didn’t need to.
It’s like saying “We didn’t have seat belts when I was a kid and we all survived fine.” Well, yeah. The people who are alive now lived fine through not having seat belts. The ones who died are dead.

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Gurubobbo November 8, 2013 at 1:35 AM

That’s quite correct Alicia. Every species does what it needs to survive and thrive, and seat belts are indeed a great thing :)
However we need to use both our intelligence AND wisdom to determine if the solution to a man made problem is actually creating another problem potentially worse than the original problem it was designed to remedy.
For example, the use of antibiotics………. sure we have probably saved many lives, but if it’s meant that more powerful super bugs are now resistant to antibiotics, have we really progressed? How many more people will die in the long run?
IVF is another example. What if being unable to have a child was mother natures way of ensuring only the strongest gene pools could re-produce? Instead, we now see it as our right to have a child. Admittedly it’s hard to look at the bigger picture when it’s your OWN life experience that’s being affected. My wife and I can’t have children……. and yes it hurts, but we have had to look at the bigger picture.
Let’s face it, if humans were locusts we would be classified as a plague!

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Suzy November 6, 2013 at 6:17 AM

I thought this blog was about the love of cheese, not some conspiracy theory nest. Formaldehyde? MSG? Really? Both present in residual amounts, less than what a baby’s body already has. Anti-freeze? Now that’s laughable to anyone who knows basic chemistry. Citing Mercola? That’s credible. A PRIMARILY SURVEY “study” that was not randomized conducted by and alternative remedies group that “proves” vaccinated children got sick more… I don’t even feel like going on about this.., I’m just glad I live in a place where vaccination is mandatory and my children won’t be sharing a classroom with unvaccinated children whose poor parents fell into the trap of scary sounding science-y words.

Unsubscribed

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Jen November 6, 2013 at 6:33 AM
Susan November 6, 2013 at 6:56 AM

Bye bye, Suzy!!

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Hannah November 6, 2013 at 7:11 AM

I wish before making such inflammatory remarks people would do their own non-emotionally biased research. There are facts out there if you want them, then you can draw a conclusion based on those facts. The CDC’s Pink Book includes the excipients in vaccines. Yes, they include formaldehyde as a preservative, phenol, 2-phenoxyethanol, antibiotics, disodium phosphatem glutaraldehyde, sodium borate, and aluminum. Are these harmful? I personally think the burden of proof is on the side of those claiming they are not harmful.
There is no nest of conspiracy theorists. Why is it hard to understand that parents want to be careful and thorough before they blindly follow the doctors orders. i wish there was more friendly scientific open debate on this topic instead of putting down and implying non-vax families are so dumb to be taken in by a bunch of “scary sounding science-y words.” Comments like these show a lack of critical thinking.

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Mike Drake November 6, 2013 at 3:19 PM

“Yes, they include formaldehyde as a preservative, phenol, 2-phenoxyethanol, antibiotics, disodium phosphatem glutaraldehyde, sodium borate, and aluminum. Are these harmful? I personally think the burden of proof is on the side of those claiming they are not harmful.”

Then you’re in luck, because vaccines have been researched over and again and none of these trace chemicals in vaccines has been found to cause any issues. As suzy correctly pointed out, most of these are already abundantly present in our bodies and/or food already, in quantities greater than what is found in vaccines. This makes it clear that the “toxic chemicals” gambit played so often by antivaxxers is intended as a scare tactic to snare the easily-influenced, as they have yet to actually show any research supporting their hazy claims.

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KA November 24, 2013 at 8:21 PM

They may be present in our bodies via food, but they are able to be disposed of in the body through the digestive process. What is seemingly ignored is what happens when these toxins are directly injected into the blood stream. Maybe small amounts for some people are tolerable. But who has done studies about the combined effects of the entire vaccine schedule on toxin levels in the bloodstream? No one. Big Pharma are selling products here, they are not so interested in our actual long term health.

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Janelle November 6, 2013 at 7:11 AM

I think the biggest issue with problems for getting vaccinated is our children’s innate abilities to fight off anything that attacks their immune system. If we were brought up on homemade, highly nutritious foods made traditionally, with fermented and probiotics in our diet, and so were our parents, and likewise our children, our children’s systems would be better prepared to have a fighting chance to deal with whatever toxins are in the vaccinations. But, because many of us were part of the convenience food era and their parents were part of the latest and greatest in the “food revolution” of store bought pre-packaged convenience foods, we have inherited a “lesser than ideal” immunity. Allergies, ADD, ADHD, Autism, etc. are so prevelant. I’m not saying vaccines cause them, but it could be that our immune systems are simply not what they ought to be, therefore, the toxins in the vaccines are more likely to have the chance of triggering a negative response in our systems, leading to the ultimate outcome of allergies, ADD, ADHD, etc.

There’s good, better, and best for all things. It’s shades. Shades of what is best. It is awesome we have the choice and we get to make those choices. I chose not to vaccinate my two youngest children, but my three eldest children had some vaccines. My two boys who had vaccines both have asthma. Yes, probably pre-disposed, but maybe there was a trigger, maybe not. I chose not to vaccinate my youngest two.

My five year old (youngest) has Down syndrome. I would choose rather to pump him full of high quality foods than to vaccinate. As I would now do with the others. Loads of healing, nutritious, homemade foods, and those without toxins, as much as possible.

Our bodies have an amazing ability to care for themselves when well cared for. It’s not rocket science. It’s not complicated. The best choices are not always the easiest ones when you fly in the face of what is “typical”. Many times the right choice is not the most popular and fear-mongering on all sides can take a nasty turn.

To vaccinate because it’s suggested, and because most people choose to do so reminds me of my mom’s warnings when she wouldn’t let me do what I wanted to when all my friends were doing it. What did she say? “Well, you wouldn’t jump off a cliff if everyone was doing it, would you?”

Thanks for sharing this information. I’m glad to see it all in one location, since I’ve researched and would have to do so again to support my own choices to others.

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jaime February 19, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Thank you for a thoughtful reply.
I’ve often wondered if anyone who didn’t vaccinate regretted it. But haven’t heard such a story.
Part of the reason i believe in this “hocus pocus- bad parenting- non vaccers” is the way to go is because every one who is pro-vacs replies so emotionally, and attacks; while the non-vacs replies are often so calm and direct, without attacking. Which shows confidence! And that makes me happy.

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bev November 6, 2013 at 7:56 AM

My son got the first batch of MMR in 1976. He & another little boy almost died. I did my research, thanking God all the way I wasn’t planning a funeral. After he was out of the woods, the doc also told me that another side effect was TB. Five years later my daughter was born. NO immunizations. Now, he’s had minor ongoing health issues his whole life. My daughter has been the picture of health other than 1 bout of chicken pox when she was 12. When it happens to YOUR child, the decision is very simple.

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Heather November 6, 2013 at 8:46 AM

All three of mine were vaccinated — it never even occurred to me not to vaccinate them. I think I appreciate all sides of the argument. Yes, there is a public health risk, primarily to those who are neo-nates and the imnunocompromised. And yes, there’s a personal risk of getting the vaccines. I think you’d be fooling yourself if you believed that the drug companies and the government are entirely forthcoming about all the risks. I have never seen the correlation between allergies/asthma and vaccines before and would hesitate to place too much stock in it because the “study” was in fact a survey and therefore not controlled for bias. Two of my kids have allergies, but we have a long history of family allergies going back to generations before most vaccines even existed. Does that prove anything? No. But it doesn’t disprove it either. It leaves me undecided, frankly, because I think there’s more to all of this than initially meets the eye.

I think we all exist in a perfect storm, if you will. We have been industrially fed for multiple generations, we have abandoned traditional foods and traditional means of preparation, we have lost nutrients not just in the food itself but also in the soil it grows from, we’ve been bombarded with chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, you name it, in our water and on our food. We’ve increased our sugar consumption to an average of 152 lbs per person per year and for multiple generations we replaced traditional fats like butter and lard with demonstrably dangerous fats like margarine and Crisco. We’ve processed foods to the point of nutrient death and decreased our consumption of fresh fruits and veggies to just a fraction of what people once ate. We’ve sanitized ourselves and our environment to the point where we are bacterially deficient. All of this is manifesting itself in ways no one ever anticipated — celiac, allergies, asthma, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, ADD/ADHD, autism…the list goes on. I don’t think you can lay all our issues at the door of the vaccine — there are just too many tangled threads here, any one of which or any combination of which could be at least partly to blame.

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Isabella November 6, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Very well-said, Heather. I too appreciate both sides of the argument and acknowledge that there is risk associated with just about any action we take in life. We simply have to determine what risks with which we’re more comfortable. I agree that blaming vaccines for all modern maladies seems very illogical and one-sided to me. In this modern age, most of us have not had the experience of losing friends and loved ones to epidemic illnesses that ripped through communities and devastated entire generations. Whether you vaccinate or not, there is significant risk involved with either decision.

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Magda November 6, 2013 at 9:53 AM

This was a very, very hard decision to make. After years of researching, I have decided not to vaccinate my children – they are now almost 4 and 9 years old. I have to say I have seen nothing in the last 9 years that has convinced me to change my mind. In fact, with every year I get more confident that what I did was right. This is not an easy decision and must be made by the parents after a careful consideration of the data available. There is not much unbiased info out there, but some things you just cannot explain away. And no, do not make your decision based on fear: either fear of the disease or the vaccine. This is such a hot topic and I’m always amazed how much hate and fear comes out when all we’re trying to do is the best for our children… Love those graphs by the way – I found some of them by Googling the topic of vaccines not eradicating disease.

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A. November 6, 2013 at 11:16 PM

I was only vaccinated for tetanus, as were my children, as was my father (who also had the polio vaccine because he lived at a time when it was mandatory)… My two older sons have both had Lyme’s and developed stronger antibodies (literally – the one who was over 18 at the time was paid to give plasma so they could study it). We have less issues with seasonal allergies than other families, we had less in the way of ear infections and other things that it seems everyone else is always complaining of (one child had one bad ear infection, was treated homeopathically, recovered in three days and never had another one)…. BUT… I still have a child on the autistic spectrum.

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George Henderson November 7, 2013 at 5:47 PM

A good question to ask is, “If I was going to central Africa, would I vaccinate against tropical diseases? Or will this just make me more likely to catch them?”
Because, the principle is the same.

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Cyndee November 7, 2013 at 6:18 PM

I did not have my Polio shot and got Polio at age 10 months.. initially being paralyzed from the waist down. Ten years of surgeries and daily physical therapy me to get rid of my full leg brace at age ten. My legs and feet are two different sizes. My shoes are sizes 6 and 10. As I aged I got worse because the muscles that seemed to get better are not as sturdy as what you are born with.
EVERY SINGLE DAY IS VERY, VERY HARD … and as I continue to age I am now facing constant muscle pain and spasms … all because I wasn’t protected against Polio.
If you truly knew what my daily life has been, you would not hesitate to vaccinate you children. ANY risk is worth it to avoid my struggles and suffering.

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Alicia November 7, 2013 at 6:49 PM

I have two fewer aunts than I ought to because they died of whooping cough as babies. My mother came out of a bad bout of flu (in her fifties) with auto immune diabetes type 1. My family believes in vaccines, although if I had kids I would probably have them administered on a modified schedule.
I read an article a couple years ago that said that a lot of the kids who “get autism” “after vaccines” turn out to have a genetic disorder that is triggered by the child’s first good fever. Since a lot of kids get their first good fever from a vaccine, it looks like the vaccine caused the problem, but really the kid was a ticking time bomb that was going to go “autistic” somewhere along the line no matter what.

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KB November 7, 2013 at 8:54 PM

Cyndee–Thanks for sharing your story…I’m so sorry you have been in so much pain. My grandmother also got polio as a child and has one leg shorter than the other. They told her as a child that she wouldn’t walk but she ended up becoming a professional ballerina out of spite. She struggles constantly as well and told my mom that if she didn’t vaccinate us children against polio, she’d disown her as a daughter! My mom thought she might be kidding, but decided not to push her luck. (But that was the later 1970′s, so the schedule looked a bit different than today.)

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A. November 8, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Whooping cough is a harder one to discuss because for babies it is perhaps the vaccination most likely to cause an immediate problem. Likewise, it is not necessarily long term effective. One shelter I worked at had an outbreak of whooping cough but it took a long time to get an accurate diagnosis because most doctors didn’t think to look for that because most of the people infected HAD been vaccinated. I guess there is a way to test for whooping cough early on but the window of opportunity is small? I didn’t follow up on that very well at the time, I only know that it was what it was in the final diagnosis.

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Alicia November 12, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Ironically* we once had an effective whooping cough vaccine, but the anti-vaccine crowd decided, using the usual non-evidence, that it was hurting kids, so the vaccine manufacturers came up with a new form of vaccine that didn’t have whatever feature the antis were being hysterical about. The only, very small, problem was that it doesn’t do much to confer immunity. And now the same people who got us this ineffective vaccine (and corresponding resurgence of an awful awful, baby-killing, disease) are using the ineffectiveness of the vaccine to prove that vaccines are pointless. Thanks a lot, guys. Please. Don’t do us any more favors.
*as I read somewhere a while ago, but which I will not swear on my mother’s grave is true.

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George Henderson November 12, 2013 at 12:56 PM

That is true. But A. is right – whooping cough (pertussis) diagnosis is shockingly poor today because of vaccine false security and because protocols for identification are too restrictive. Proper early diagnosis would stop spread better than the current vaccine can.
One of the better arguments of early anti-vaccinationists was that vaccines are a cheap substitute for good sanitation, decent housing, proper nutrition, and universal healthcare. This is still true today.

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Mel November 9, 2013 at 7:14 AM

If you show up at a hospital with a sick child, with an infection there is a vaccine for, and you have not vaccinated you will be harassed. You will be given dirty looks and raised eyebrows from doctors and nurses. Your child will be given medicine that may have long term side effects (just like the vaccines you are worried about). You’ll be separated from your child. They will be kept for numerous days and maybe even transferred to a hospital far away. You will have to pump and spends hours and hours separated from your child. It’s just not a chance I want to take. Having a sick kid in the hospital sucks.

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Anna S November 9, 2013 at 7:41 AM

While I am wary of vaccines, one of your links for polio takes me to Wikipedia.org. College freshman are taught that while Wikipedia can be a great starting point, not to quote it directly as a source. It would be better if you cited a good source, or sources found within the Wikipedia article.

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George Henderson November 9, 2013 at 3:09 PM

If the sources are listed in the Wiki article, what’s to stop you opening them?
It’s a great starting point. Are you saying if proper references are supplied you needn’t bother checking them?
Wikipedia often supplies basic information about a subject (e.g polio is caused by a virus not a bacteria) that you will not necessarily get easily from Pubmed papers.

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Teri November 10, 2013 at 11:11 AM

My son has autism and he is fully vaccinated. I have done a lot of research and read both sides, but ultimately, science has vindicated vaccinations and I believe we have a moral and social obligation to vaccinate. Herd immunity is meant to protect those who truly cannot vaccinate because they are immunocompromised or are at high risk, not the children of upper-middle-class crunchy moms who think Mercola and such are legit source of medical information.

And herd immunity is not a myth. It takes a lot of intellectual dishonesty to be unable to admit that vaccines are, at best, a trade-off. The claim that vaccines are not only poisonous but completely ineffective and herd immunity is a myth is… well, insane. I don’t respect that position at all. I have greater respect for people who can objectively admit that vaccines are good at doing what they are meant to do, but perhaps they have some unintended side effects that outweigh the benefits, even though I still do not agree with that point of view.

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George Henderson November 10, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Well said Terri.
The position I would take is that vaccines are worth using if the disease is any kind of serious threat. They are not perfectly effective or perfectly safe, and agitation to improve them is justified. There are too many of them, smaller schedules with better uptake would be (were) productive of healthier communities.

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Gurubobbo November 10, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Each to their own.
Herd mentality is just a concept which has not been definitively proven.
When decisions are made based out of fear (which underlies the argument of all those for herd immunity), wisdom and clear thinking is generally put to the side.
Remember, ‘the herd’ used to think the world was flat until clear thought and wisdom proved otherwise………….
Make your own decisions, but don’t lose all credibility by bagging others with a different perspective.

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Alicia November 12, 2013 at 9:35 AM

The way I figure it, vaccines are “dangerous” the same way seat belts are “dangerous.” A lot of kids have mild symptoms for a few days, the same way a lot of people are bruised by seat belts. A few times a year a kid has more serious problems, same as there are a few people a year who are saved from drowning or being burned alive by being thrown out of their vehicle during a crash. In the meantime, however, zillions of people are not made seriously sick or killed by entirely preventable diseases, and zillions of people are saved from serious injury. Knowing that millions of people yearly are bruised by seatbelts and two people are saved by avoiding them doesn’t make you stop wearing seatbelts (assuming you have a grain of sense), and knowing that vaccines are owie shouldn’t make you stop getting them either. A lot of those diseases caused major and wide spread suffering. When vaccines became available parents broke down doors to get them for their children. We should trust their judgment that the diseases are worth avoiding, since they lived through the alternative.

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Andrea November 10, 2013 at 4:39 PM

I agree with Guru, to each their own. There really is no right or wrong here as it’s such a complex issue. I would be very interested to hear more about the research you have done that makes you think herd immunity theory is real (from non pharma funded sources). This has been a sticking point for me while sitting on the fence. My issues with so called herd immunity are:
1. As Russell Blaylock points out, there’s a whole bunch of people walking around (I think baby boomers mostly) who haven’t had boosters shots before scientists figured out the the vaccines do not confer life long immunity as previously thought. And this did not seem to result in worldwide epidemics. I realise that this may be mostly for infections and not necessarily for contagious viral infections
2. There are many studies I have read from around the world where contagious infections are passed on to vulnerable from people who HAVE been vaccinated, not from the unvaccinated population. E.g. An adult is vaccinated against measles but gets a mild case of measles and therefore can pass this on to babies, etc. So saying that everyone (or 95% of the population) must be vaccinated is not going to fix the problem.

So this is why I am not sure if all vaccines are worth the risk…

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B November 14, 2013 at 11:57 AM

My kids are grown now but I wish I had had more information on potential vaccine injuries. While neither had severe reactions, both struggle with autoimmune issues. My concern now is that so many vaccines are given at such an early age and for some illnesses that aren’t that dangerous, just inconvenient. I’ve heard from many parents about doctors bullying them into following the recommended vaccine schedules.

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Folkklore November 28, 2013 at 12:44 AM

My son has only had a vitamin K shot after a traumatic birth (I was cajoled) but nothing else.
My decision was made when I was 7 weeks pregnant at a forum on behavioural and spectrum disorders and parent’s recounts of vaccine damage were countless. I heard everything I needed to there.

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Stephanie April 29, 2014 at 9:24 AM
George Henderson February 19, 2014 at 11:20 PM

An excellent discussion of vaccine adverse events and why they might not be reported properly under guidelines designed to reduce reporting to a minimum.
Any adverse event you suffer while taking a drug should be recorded WITHOUT attributing cause so the rate of that event can be compared with that in the untreated population, otherwise no-one will know whether causality even needs investigating, but this process, it seems, is not followed for vaccines.
Making it unnecessarily hard to separate safe and useful new vaccines from dangerous ones.

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George Henderson February 19, 2014 at 11:21 PM

Here, that is: read the comments below the abstract.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24021304/#comments

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Stephanie April 29, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Hi,
Just thought I would let you know that I actually did MY research on YOUR research; the actual researchers with any credentials in all of your sources (and I do commend you for having sources; most anti-vaccine folks do not) are Dr. Mercola and Dr Richard Moskowitz. I have checked Mercola’s background which is sound, but his use of sourcing is not. He took a piece of a document which was simply to look at the injuries that may or may not have been caused by vaccines, not the effectiveness of the vaccines. Here is the actual quote:
“Vaccines are not free from side effects, or “adverse effects,” but most are
very rare or very mild. Importantly, some adverse health problems following a
vaccine may be due to coincidence and are not caused by the vaccine. As part
of the evaluation of vaccines over time, researchers assess evidence to determine
if adverse events following vaccination are causally linked to a specific
vaccine, and if so, they are referred to as adverse effects.” They found that they could not even conclude that the vaccines caused any of the injuries.
Dr Moskowitz seems (in my opinion) to question the compulsory aspect of immunization, and give anecdotal stories rather than give clear peer reviewed research to back up his reasoning for questioning. Further, this paper was written in 2008, before the ‘Jenny MaCarthy Effect’ which has since be debunked, and found to be deliberately misleading.
Let’s talk about what we agree on…vaccines can cause harmful side effects. But you must look at the bigger picture. The ‘side effects’ to these illnesses is disastrous, and that is why researches worked so hard to find a way to stop children and their parents from having to experience them. I truly believe you are a loving mother who took time and energy to make this decision; unfortunately, what you were fed could amount to fear mongering and finding patterns where none exists.
No medicine is 100% safe…NONE. What we have to do when weighing the options is to make sure we have actual, peer reviewed research. And correlation (two things that seem to happen at the same time) is not CAUSATION (one caused the other). Right now there are outbreaks of illnesses that we should not have in North America; they are here and are being spread through children like yours. And if my medically vulerable child, who was immunized, did not get a strong enough dose, or missed a follow-up, your child could kill my child. Instead of reading the conspiracies, look at the damage measles, mumps, polio, rubella, meningitis, and believe it or not chicken pox. Please vaccinate your children, I don’t want to lose mine.

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