Vaccines: The Never Ending Debate

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I felt the need to pass along this article about “Vaccinations vs. Autism” via BabyCenter.com, as since having a baby, this has been a hot topic of conversation for a lot of people.

It’s funny. I never thought anything about vaccinations until Jackie was born. I received all my shots growing up and everyone around me did the same thing. It wasn’t until several studies started popping up about the autism link, and specifically when The Lancet study was released in 1998, that it caused a huge ruckus in Parentville.

I found myself almost in tears as I headed to my daughter’s two month appointment back in September. I talked to a number of people beforehand, some very close friends. People who were against getting vaccinated early have a lot of their own personal reasons and evidence on why not. I respect that and honor those choices.. but it also got me thinking (and sometimes that can be a bad thing).

Sometimes I find myself between a rock and a hard place. If I have an opinion, but haven’t done a lot of research, I get swayed quite easily–especially from friends that I trust, and especially friends that already have kids. My husband, for example, has no issue with vaccinations and feels that they are a necessity. I thought I was in that camp until I started doing my research.

When it came to Jackie’s two month appointment, I knew I was going to get the shots done (reluctantly) because I didn’t have any research to to back up any thoughts I had and I started the research process to late. I was anxious, but mostly I assert, from being ignorant. Vaccinations weren’t on my radar to research as, well, I was just doing what my parents did when I was a kid and following what her pediatrician’s school of thought was at the moment.

In the end, I did do my research and do feel that vaccinations are important. I’m sure others out there will state otherwise, and honestly, PLEASE POST A COMMENT letting me know! I would love to hear about “the other side” as I’m always wanting to look through other’s eyes.. looking to see if maybe I am missing something. At a bare minimum, at least I will learn something.

Parenting is a scary thing. You want to do what’s right for your kid and don’t want to see them hurt. It was tough for me after that two month appointment when her legs were tender for a day, she seemed more drowsy than normal, etc. I kept saying (along with other moms) that we “did” something to our kids. Well, yeah, I guess we did. It was just a feeling of guilt that I didn’t foresee coming. Luckily, that feeling went away quickly, but honestly, it will be a day I will never forget.

Before and after her shots, I kept asking myself: “What if something happens to Jackie? What if she does show signs of autism? Will you forgive yourself?” I don’t think I ever came up with an answer, but all I did know was keeping her safe from other possible life threatening diseases was worth it. We’ll see in the end if I am right.

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About Kathy G

I’m simple, yet complicated. Music is the Soundtrack of my life. I'm always looking for the next best thing and stuff that I haven't heard. I consider myself: Cool, intense, passionate, love people until they piss me off--then love them again. I'm dedicated, honest and one of the best friends you can have (or I do my best to be). Tap dancing is my newest passion. I love my soulmate and husband, Joe, with everything I am. My dreams? This seems to change from month to month, but I'd like to be the following: A Solid Gold Dancer, Contestant on The Gong Show, Madonna for a day, Dance all night at Studio54 in 1978, Travel around with Motley Crue in 1986, Open a kick ass dance club in NYC, Produce an album at Paisley Park, Cause world peace to be possible, be a millionaire so I can give away a lot of money to causes that need it, and win a Grammy. But most of all, I would like to feel at peace and make a profound difference in the world doing something I love.

3 responses »

  1. Thanks Fred (and Mark). I have found that most parents do ignore the noise, but for those that do choose NOT to vaccinate, I respect as well. We all have our research and some is NOT based on the autism report. I’m all for natural, etc.. but again, there are reasons for the vacs.

    What’s tough now is that we are getting 3X as more vacs as we did when we were kids. I’m not sure if there’s enough research out there to say that it’s 100% OK for 2 month olds to get the combo vac they get.. when Jackie when in for the 6 month, they really pack them on.. including not one, but TWO flu vacs because of the H1N1 now. Common sense would say that there would be a ceiling of how many vacs one baby can get without there being some sort of long term issue.. but that is to be seen.

    I guess I’m not 100% sold on what both of you are saying as, for me, something is telling me that too many of these “dead viruses” must have an effect down the road? I hope not, but I guess we’ll see as our kiddos get older.

    Fred, I’d be interested in your take as your oldest gets into her teens to see what effects there are, if any.

    Thanks!!

  2. Ignore the noise and vaccinate. I’ve researched it too it is DEFINITELY in your kid’s and society’s best interest. Are there risk, yes VERY small one–smaller than the risk of being in a plane or car accident. Yet we decide don’t even think about that one.

    I’m the first in line for any vaccine for myself or my kids. Then again my mother-in-law missed the polio one by only a few months–a lifetime regret she thinks about every day!

  3. I put this in your facebook note, but just to make sure everyone sees it…

    Let’s start with science – the Lancet study has been retracted. The study was unethical junk science and should never have been published. Here’s more info: http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health_medicine/4344963.html

    There is solid science to support vaccines. See: smallpox eradication.

    Having said that, we waited a couple of months on the hep vaccine that they wanted to do in the hospital. Our ped said it was OK to wait and we didn’t want to put PJ through anything extra in her first few days. But we did it later and I fully believe it was the right thing to do.

    Please vaccinate your kids, for my kid and your kid.

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