sunday, october 19

ok, so after the first comment about vaccines awhile back i thought about posting with my views but decided against it.  after reading the latest comment on vaccines, i found my face getting flush and the anger building in the back of my throat.  i read the comment to my husband, which by now you have deduced is a physician.  he encouraged me to post knowing how strongly i feel about this particular topic.  i wondered if this was the best avenue though.  this is after all, adali's blog.  ahhh, she's asleep right now and won't know i've hijacked the laptop…here it goes… 

for those of you who don’t remember the post which adali and i briefly mentioned vaccines as a good thing you can read the original post here.

 

recently, a reader responded with the comment, "Hi cutie Adali. My son is also named Adali. Taken from the Hebrew word Adlai–and then made into something special. Interesting take on vaccinations…. You know–OUR son had a SEVERE allergy to eggs and eggwhites and could NOT be vaccinated for several vaccines. Also, our pediatrician, Dr.Jay Gordon, Santa Monica CA–could actually ADVISE Your mother on the importance of some vaccines,and the least amount of importance with others. Still–you sure are cute. Just cannot stand by while yet another mother is a bit pedantic about vaccines. YIKES! Look at EVERYTHING> READ EVERYTHING. What's right for your Adali may not be right for mine. Sincerely, Angela McNally Schell"

 

when jastin and i found out we were going to be parents, we were thrilled.  what a joyous gift from god.  then, i become terrified.  i am a planner and i felt that i would never be ready for the greatest responsibility in life, parenting.  at 28 weeks and 1 day, i found out the hard way that i wasn’t ready in more ways than one.  adali was going to be here in a few days and we were certainly not ready.  that breastfeeding class I had signed up for wasn’t for weeks and i couldn’t remember for the life of me how often you give a baby a bath.  i remember them asking us two questions when we had determined she needed to be delivered.  first, who is your pediatrician and second what kind of car seat do you have.  panic soon struck in, we hadn’t decided on either.

 

after adali was born and snuggled safely in the nicu, we had plenty of time to research what we felt was best for her; the best pediatrician, the safest car seat and if we should vaccinate her or not. 

 

as you know, there is a high profile celebrity hogging the airwaves stating that there is a link between vaccines and autism.  at first glance, her story was frightening.  how could i ever want to vaccinate my precious baby if it meant autism in return?  i have always had issues with celebrities infecting the media with their views political or otherwise.  you get paid to entertain me, please stick to that.  because of this, jastin and i wanted to do our own research on vaccinations and make an informed decision for our daughter and what we felt was best for her.  it soon became clear to us what the answer was.  we needed to vaccinate.  we found zero evidence of any link between vaccines and autism.  the american academy of pediatrics, the american academy of family physicians, american medical association and the centers for disease control and prevention amongst many others all support the findings that there is no link between vaccines and autism.  the two early studies that hypothesize vaccines cause autism have critical flaws of which are too many to mention in this blog post.  the american academy of pediatrics explains it perfectly.  to learn more about the studies and their flaws read here.  (click on MMR and Autism: Responding to Andrew Wakefield's Studies)

 

in saying this, i understand that for medical reasons, some children cannot get certain vaccines or in some cases cannot receive vaccines at all.  it would be irresponsible of me to take issue with parents of these children.  i do however, take issue with parents who have healthy children and chose not to vaccinate because of poor research and hearsay.  why do i take issue?  if you were only putting your child at risk by not vaccinating them, my voice would not be so loud.  however, when you choose not to vaccinate your child, you put my child at risk.  you are a free rider and are taking advantage of those who have been vaccinated.  you can only afford to refuse the vaccine because you are surrounded by people who have fulfilled their obligations to the community.  once the majority of a population is vaccinated, there are few susceptible people the disease can infect, thus lowering the odds of an outbreak of a dangerous disease like measles, mumps and polio.  for this very reason i am astounded that angela is not begging us to get our children vaccinated to help protect her son who cannot be vaccinated. many people of my generation don’t remember these horrific diseases that killed so many.  it is because of the success of vaccines that we don’t remember them.  vaccines have saved millions of lives and those lives are now threatened because of the recent increase of parents choosing not to vaccinate their babies.    

it is important to remember that in our increasingly mobile society, diseases are just a plane ride away. when people lose their commitment to universal vaccinations, regions can experience resurgences of preventable diseases.

in early 2008, more than 127 cases of measles were reported in the U.S., scattered across 15 states. outbreaks that required massive control efforts in arizona, california and elsewhere were traced to travel to and from western europe. only six of the people in the U.S. who became infected with measles during this outbreak had been vaccinated, all the others were either below the recommended vaccination age, or had parents who refused vaccination.

in her comment, angela mentioned her pediatrician, dr. jay gordon.  i did a fair amount of research on dr. gordon as well.  what i found out is that he has appeared on many tv shows, put together a dvd and written a book on various causes including vaccines and his views on their harm based on what he has “seen in his practice.”  what i could not find however, is any research he has done to prove what he has "seen."  in fact, dr. gordon has only written two articles in his entire medical career that have been published in peer-reviewed medical journals, neither of which have anything to do with his causes he speaks of on his website.  i am sure that angela’s pediatrician is a competent doctor.  however, it is unfortunate that he is not practicing the gold standard of medicine; treating patients based on large, well constructed medical studies.  personal experience is valuable in any medical practice, but it should not supersede sound studies.

the more i have gone on and written about this subject, the more proud i become for adali to read this one day.  she will know that i did everything i could to keep her healthy so she could go on to become the fabulous woman i know she will be.  i know not everyone (maybe even family and friends) will agree with what i have to say.  but all i ask is for you to do research of your own.  look at the facts that are backed up by research not at what some celebrity is saying.  as angela said, "YIKES!  Look at Everything Read Everything."  the informed conclusion is only one: vaccines save lives.

much vaccinated baby love,

 

mommy a, doctor a and baby a

 

 

 

12 Comments ( Reply )

  1. 1. OK, so first I have de-lurk. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, since my mom sent me the link when Adali was tiny. She’s adorable, and I’m so glad that she’s doing so well.

    2. I completely understand how overwhelming it can be to write something that you think might be controversial when you feel so strongly about it…and I know when I write something that is potentially inflammatory, I like to get comments! Which leads me to point #3…

    3. Thank you SO MUCH for this post. I could not agree with you more. We’ve vaccinated our boys on schedule because with everything I’ve read, I think it’s the only choice. I especially appreciated that you cited the AAP’s explanation as to why autism and the MMR vaccine are not linked. I worked with a child with autism, and I know how devastating and overwhelming it is, especially without knowing the cause. But I really get irritated when faulty research is cited as the reason people don’t vaccinate their children, thus putting mine at risk.

    Thanks again!
    Nicole (Pals) Diehl

  2. Tiffani says:

    Hi Jamie, Jastin and Adali,
    I am a good friend of Jastin’s cousin Tracy from Stockton and I have been following this blog since Adali made her “debut” she is a beautiful little girl and I am glad she is getting her issues straightened out. I agree with you Jamie on getting vaccinated, I believe it is good for children. My kids have been vaccinateed since the day they were born and we are just fine! Some people have a bad experience with a doctor that may not have all the facts and then they scare the world with their experience. CRAZY! I appreciate you posting this post about vaccinations because with Jastin being a doctor then hopefully it will show that you guys made an informed decision and decide to vaccinate your precious girl! I hope you guys have a wonderful Holiday Season with Adali I know having kids makes the Holidays all the more fun!
    Much Love and Prayers,
    Tiffani Baugher

  3. Natalie Carver says:

    Jamie,

    Hi. I am a friend of Micala and Sari’s here in Louisburg and I too have been watching Adali grow from the beginning. My son Landen, who is 4 days older than Adali, has even posted a few times about how beautiful he thinks she is. :)

    I just wanted to commend you for taking a stand and actually providing research to back up your passion about vaccinating our children. I am a Developmental Psychology student at KU and after I found out I was pregnant I decided to use my research assignments to inform myself about the future decisions I knew I would be making for Landen, one of which would obviously be whether or not to vaccinate. I have copy and pasted a paper I wrote this summer for a Developmental Psychopathology class regarding the link between the “increase” in Autism and vaccines. It is lengthy but I have cited MANY studies and feel it may be helpful for some moms who are still on the fence.

    Again, thank you for not just jumping on the celebrity-fueled bandwagon. Adali and Landen thank you!

    Sincerely, Natalie Carver

    Autism and Vaccines:
    The Role of MMR and Thimerosal
    Natalie Carver
    University of Kansas

    In the last several years, the media has been abuzz about the new epidemic effecting America’s children. You can’t avoid hearing about it. It’s on television, in magazines, and in newspapers. Talking about it is all the rage and to hear the news outlets tell it, our kids are under siege.
    What is this new epidemic? It’s autism. The problem – it’s not new and it’s not an epidemic. But the intense media scrutiny has well-meaning parents scared senseless. They are scared because news reports are linking autism with childhood vaccines.
    In September 2007, as part of a promotional tour for the release of her book, Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism, actress Jenny McCarthy appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show with some strong opinions. She discussed her son’s diagnosis of autism, treatments she had tried, and what she believed had caused her son’s autism. Her theory was that her son, Evan, developed autism immediately after receiving his MMR shot. McCarthy said that she is not the only mother who feels this way, stating that for years mothers have been saying, “We vaccinated our baby and something happened” (Winfrey). She went on to describe her feelings of apprehension prior to Evan receiving the “autism shot” and how, very soon afterwards, it was like “boom – the soul was gone from his eyes” (Winfrey).
    During this same episode, Oprah stated that, “In recent years, the number of children diagnosed with autism has risen from 1 in every 500 children to 1 in 150 – and science has not discovered a reason why” (Winfrey). What an alarming statement to make! Basically, the gist of the show was that there is an autism epidemic and doctors and scientists don’t know why – or won’t admit that they do. But Jenny McCarthy offered her opinion – it was the MMR vaccine. Considering that 7.4 million Americans watch The Oprah Show daily, one would think that Oprah’s production staff would do more research prior to disseminating such ill-informed and unbalanced data to millions of viewers (Anburajan).
    But it’s not just Oprah and Jenny McCarthy who are to blame. Talk of an autism epidemic and possible links to vaccines have been featured in Time Magazine, Newsweek, on CNN, the NBC Nightly News, and MSNBC, all fueling the fire just a little bit more. Most of the reports focus on two main possible causes for the increase in autism: the MMR vaccine and thimerosal, which is a mercury preservative used in some vaccines to ward off bacterial contamination. But where did these ideas come from? And what information is there to support these claims?
    In the early 1990’s, after several reports indicated that the prevalence of autism was on the rise, researchers were pushed to find a cause. The first major paper to postulate a link between vaccines and autism was published 10 years ago. In their 1998 paper, Wakefield et al. explored 12 case studies of children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders whose first behavioral symptoms were noted within 1-14 days of receiving the MMR vaccination. This paper, along with another follow up study, pointed to the live measles virus found within the MMR vaccine as a possible culprit in the onset of autism. Even though 10 of the 13 authors of the original paper later recanted their positions that there is a link between autism and the MMR vaccine, the damage was already done (Angold). Media reports to this day still discuss this possible association.
    The next theory that there is a link between thimerosal and autism started a few years later with research that seemed to show a possible correlation. However, as countries have started to discontinue the use of thimerosal-containing vaccines, the prevalence of autism has not declined. Denmark has not administered vaccines with thimerosal since 1992 and it was phased out of American vaccines by 2001 (Angold). Yet children in both countries are still being diagnosed with autism and other PDDs. Despite this, many advocacy groups and parents still believe there is a link between the two. So there is still a flurry of ongoing research surrounding vaccines and autism and the following is a review of many of them.
    In 2008, Schecter and Grether published a study in which they analyzed the records of California’s Department of Developmental Services to determine if thimerosal could be singled out as the primary cause of autism. In order to do this, they reviewed “time trends in the prevalence by age and birth cohort of children with autism who were active status clients of the DDS from January 1, 1995, through March 31, 2007” with their outcome measure being the prevalence of autism in these children.
    Schecter and Grether found that, although use of thimerosal rapidly declined in the U.S. between 1999 and 2001, children’s diagnoses of autism did not follow this same trend. In fact, it was found that “the estimated prevalence of autism for children at each year of age from 3 to 12 years increased throughout the study period” and that “the estimated prevalence of DDS clients aged 3 to 5 years with autism increased for each quarter from January 1995 through March 2007.” They also discovered that, since 2004, the DDS clients that were between 3 to 5 years old had the largest increase in autism diagnosis then children in the other age ranges. This is despite the fact that these children were much more likely to have been immunized with vaccines that did not contain thimerosal. Because of this, Schecter and Grether concluded that the California DDS data does not point to thimerosal exposure as the primary cause of autism.
    This study very plainly points out the fact that although thimerosal is no longer being used in vaccines, autism is still prevalent. Although the study cannot take into account the other possible reasons for the increasing prevalence of autism (i.e. expanding DSM definitions, increased educational services that push parents to seek out diagnostic label, and decreased stigma), it clearly shows that despite these factors, thimerosal cannot be the culprit.
    A 2002 study by Taylor et al. published in Molecular Psychiatry, using the self-control case-series method to re-examine the 1999 population-based epidemiological study they originally conducted which investigated any possible causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism. In the original study, they identified 498 children with autism born since 1979. They used special needs/disability registers and special schools in eight health districts in North East London to identify the participants.
    Taylor et al. scoured clinical records and independently recorded immunization information from a regional child health computer registry. They found “no evidence of a change in trend in incidence or age at diagnosis associated with the introduction of MMR vaccination.” In the original study, they also found no significant relationships between age when parents first showed concern with the development of their child, age of diagnosis of autism, or (when applicable) age at regression of development within a “defined post-vaccination period up to 2 years.”
    In their follow-up study in 2002, Taylor et al. was interested in determining if there was evidence to support a claim by Wakefield of a new autism variant that he called “MMR-induced ‘regressive autism.’” Wakefield postulated that this new autism form was induced by a combination of receiving the MMR vaccine and, in addition, requires “co-factors such as an intercurrent infection, the child receiving antibiotics, atopy in the child, a strong family history of autoimmune disease, or maternal MMR or rubella immunization shortly before, during, or after pregnancy.” In response to this hypothesis, Taylor et al. noted:
    However, whatever the postulated induction interval or trends in incidence of autism, the present hypothesis requires that the proportion of autistic children with regression and bowel symptoms be higher in cases given MMR vaccine before parents became concerned about their child’s development and that the pattern of bowel problems and regression in autism should have changed after MMR was introduced.
    In order to study this new idea, Taylor et al. reviewed the cases of 278 children with childhood autism and 195 with atypical autism who were born between 1979 and 1998, which accounted for five of the original eight health districts from their original study conducted in 1999. They used similar methods during the re-examination but also starting collecting details about bowel problems, as well as, more exact information about regression. The 20 year period studied was significant because the introduction of the MMR vaccination in the UK falls almost exactly halfway in between 1979 and 1998 – in October 1988. This allowed Taylor et al. to compare data from children and parents of children who had and had not received the MMR vaccine and to study the differences and similarities of their autism onset.
    After scrutinizing all the data, it was concluded that the results “provide no support for a ‘new-variant’ form of autism associated with bowel problems or regression and further evidence against any involvement of MMR vaccination in the initiation of autism.” This is because there was no significant differences found for parental reporting of concern for development, diagnosis of autism, or regression of behavior between the group who did not receive the MMR vaccine and the group that did.
    Just as the Schecter and Grether study did not support the hypothesis of a causal relationship between autism and thimerosal, Taylor et al.’s study showed nothing scientific to support the hypothesis of a causal relationship between the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine and autism.
    Following these two studies, Taylor also published an exhaustive review of literature in 2006. In this paper, Taylor discusses reported prevalence and incidence rates of autism and possible causes of autism. He also looks deeply at the vilification of the MMR vaccine and thimerosal, discussing the history behind the research, the flaws in the initial studies, the hysteria caused by the media which resulted in decreases in MMR vaccine uptake, and what has been learned and can be gained from all of this. In the end, Taylor concluded that there is “no scientific evidence that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine or the mercury preservative used in some vaccines plays any part in the aetiology or triggering of autism, even in a subgroup of children with the condition.”
    In a 2004 publication of the Journal of Child Neurology, Ip, Wong, Ho, Lee, and Wong authored a study that looked at mercury levels of children with and without autism. To do this, Ip et al. performed a cross-sectional study between April and September of 2000. They recruited 82 children with autism, all meeting DSM-IV criteria for autism and all having mild to moderate mental retardation. The control group consisted of 55 “normal” children who were recruited from within the pediatric ward of a local hospital, having been there for mild viral illnesses. All children were from China and the groups were controlled for risk factors of environmental mercury exposure, including sociodemographic data and dietary habits, as well as other factors and for age, sex, and social class. Ip et al. tested mercury levels in these children by collecting hair and blood samples and having these samples analyzed for mercury. Although the hair and blood mercury levels for the group of children with autism was elevated, this was also true of the control group.
    The study found no statistically significant difference in the tissue levels of the experimental or control groups. They accounted for the overall elevation of mercury levels across the board by stating that “this study is limited by the sample size and the culture because Hong Kong Chinese are famous for eating seafood; therefore, the source of mercury in seafood might be higher.” Ip et al. suggest that a larger study be conducted with children from a variety of cultures and with different eating habits in order to put this hypothesis of mercury exposure and autism to rest. Although somewhat flawed because of the distinct sampling, this study still found no scientific evidence that supports the hypothesis that the mercury in thimerosal (or any other environmental source of mercury) is directly responsible for the onset of autism.
    There are many, many more studies that could be cited in this paper but every one that I found all have the same conclusion – there has been no recent, credible study that has causally linked either the MMR vaccine or thimerosal exposure with the onset of autism. Most of the authors of the studies I read, as well as many autism specialists, now feel sure that there is a genetic component involved with autism and that the likelihood of post-natal influences is slim.
    So although all the media exposure and scares about the MMR vaccines, thimerosal, and an autism epidemic are scientifically unfounded, it has still brought needed attention to a misunderstood disorder. Determined parents and advocacy groups will undoubtedly continue to push for more research in the hopes of discovering causes and cures for autism. The previous research done has all but ruled out vaccines and the vaccine preservative thimerosal as a cause, so now future research will be able to investigate other possible culprits, especially the genetic component that many are confident will help crack the mystery of the autism spectrum of disorders.

  4. Michelle & Addi says:

    Mommy A, Doctor A & Baby A…Hells Yeah! This is what’s so great about blogging, you get to speak your mind and people can either read it or close it down. Big props for sticking by what you believe in – hell of an affirmatin.

    Addison was vaccinated (sounds like a little puppy) and I feel I did the responsible thing as a mommy and a citizen and I plan on the same thing for the new baby! Thanks for reassuring my belief…not that I had any doubt about my decision – but it makes me feel that much better about it. Mad Props Mama A.

    Peace, Love & Immunizations
    The Sweeneys

  5. The Pearsons says:

    Here, Here family A! My John Henry and Alex and I thank you! And are happy to report we are all up-to-date with our shots. Especially considering we recently flew into Heathrow; a practical cross-roads of world germs.

    After much fretting about this issue myself, and all the fear mongering info out there, I agree whole-heartedly. Its the only responsible thing to do as a parent, and as a member of a world community.

  6. Kelli says:

    I’ve never seen your blog until I followed the link from Nie, but continued to read because of your baby. I had twins at 27 weeks and also started a blog shortly after they were born. Your little girl is adorable, btw.

    I also thought I would add that I also have researched the vaccine issue quite a bit. Initially, we just vaccinated because I didn’t really know we could question it. So I can’t honestly say I ever considered NOT vaccinating my children. Recently, though, I have read several articles (through the Harvard Med School) and other various research centers that now say they are done trying to find links between vaccines and autism. There is not enough evidence to even lead someone to believe that there could POSSIBLY be any link in the two. However, Harvard now believes that the cause of autism is something very common, something that is right under our noses. Something along the lines of petroleum, found in all plastics. So although this is a new study and definitely not proven, it proved to me that people were truly grasping at straws with the whole vaccine/autism belief.

    I will add, though, that I believe it is our right as a parent to choose what we are comfortable with in regards to our children. What is right for one may not be right for the other, you know?

  7. Mrs. Fun says:

    man, i wish i wouldn’t of opened this post..hahaha.
    i do not vaccinate my children for every vaccine they say they need,some are just too new and the side effects not listed on the sheet the dr. gives me is alarming. Nothing to do with the link to autism though.
    I do not vaccinate on their schedule either. i do agree that vaccines are important. But i draw the line when they seem to think my 12 year old daughter needs a vaccine that is meant to protect against a virus you get from having sex…that blows my mind. It’s been tested for 7 years and girls died and had life altering seizures (all not mentioned on the sheet the dr. gives you) from it..no thank you.
    so yes, vaccines are good and important but not all of them.

  8. argylesocks says:

    I have to say that I am one of the mothers who chose not to vaccinate my children. Let me tell you why. There is a lot of good that comes from vaccinations. Diseases have been all but wiped out by this forwarding of science. But, sometimes we look at things blindly as a society. Let me explain. I know hundreds of parents who do not research medical things such as vaccines, alternative operations, and so on. They just take their doctors word for it. Now i know that doctors went to many years of school to study medicine, but there is no conceivable way that they know everything. All I am saying is that we should research, as you have done, we should look into things. We should look into alternatives. Now my story. I was not immunized as a child. My mother is a great believer in holistic medicine. An upbringing that I am very grateful for. There are a lot of natural alternatives to medicine that work fantastically. They do not always replace them though. When I was 21 I moved to Scotland for a couple of years. Before going I was advised that I should be immunized. Feeling that it was a good idea i went ahead and got the full treatment, and I mean the FULL TREATMENT. A little over a month after finishing the course of vaccines I moved. After being there several months I got extremely sick. By extremely sick I was so wiped out that I had to sleep upwards of 18 hours a day just to survive activities such as showering and putting on makeup. It was miserable. I went to see a doctor. He drew my blood weekly for six months. Every time saying the same thing. My immune system had crashed. I had a white blood cell count that was 1/4 of normal on a good day. I was so weak that I couldn’t stay awake to eat, which caused more problems because I started to lose weight that I just plain couldn’t afford to lose. I was sent to a hematologist where they tested me for literally everything. All came back negative. Later it was determined that the crash of my immune system was caused by vaccines. Part of this seems to be hereditary, so perhaps you can see why I choose not to immunize my children. Part though, which is the bigger part, is the amount of toxins the body is exposed to at one time. I was given the same dose they give babies. It is just too much at once. I have heard of doctors that have developed a safer immunization schedule so that the bodies of these tiny persons are not so overloaded. I am a big fan and continue to research and consider it. I guess that I am just adding my story to the many out there. And kudos to you for researching. If all of us did that, the collective health of this great nation would be way better off.

  9. Jennifer Frandsen says:

    Hi! I just discovered your blog through NIE. What a beautiful documentation of your Adali’s preemie journey. She looks amazing, healthy, and strong. I’m a previous NICU nurse who is now a SAHM to 3 children. My youngest daughter is seven and has autism. I appreciate where you and your husband are coming from. I too am a member of the allopathic, science-based medical field. However, I urge you to look into this further. All the previous studies are not independently funded. They all have ties to drug manufacturers who produce these vaccines. Please read EVIDENCE OF HARM by David Kirby. This took me a long time to absorb. It was hard for me to face that my science- based medical field was covering-up much of the data. As your husband knows, studies can easily be tweeked either way. I don’t need a study, my own precious evidence of this lives under my roof. This is NOT to say that children should NOT be immunized, but there is clearly a subset of children whose immune systems are vulnerable to these immunizations. These children exhibit warning signs from birth or shortly after that they are vulnerable to immunizations and pediatricians need to look at these and delay vaccines for these children. My daughter showed milk intolerance from birth when I supplemented her, at six months she began wheezing and didn’t grow after her six months shots, by 9 months she was failure to thrive ,anaphylactic to milk, wheat, and soy,and low-tone. Her asthma continued to be difficult to control and she had daily diarrhea. After her 18months flu-shot, which she of course had to have because of her asthma, became violently ill. She was hospitalized and had an NG tube for 3 months and you know the rest of the story. What is most disturbing to me is that my story is not new. In the late 90′s, many desperate parents were urging Congress, AAP,CDC, and NIH to evaluate these same symptoms that their children were experiencing. You can imagine my great sadness as a mother, to learn that my baby could have been “spared” all of this not to mention the “collateral” damage to our family. I have great faith in God and I know it’s not a mistake that my daughter has autism and she has been a blessing in so many ways. However, it’s still hard to know this could have been prevented. The previous director of the NIH was featured on the CBS evening news, stating that there needed to be more research into this subset of vulnerable children. She said the evidence was ignored b/c the establishment was afraid of a health crisis. I now believe we have a “crisis of trust” in our science-based medicine which grieves me.
    I believe a preemie baby is vulnerable and their vaccines need to be delayed. Think of all your daughter’s body has already had to overcome. It appears that she’s not in daycare(I might be wrong), so there is no reason for her to have vaccines now. Please let her body grow and mature without the burden of vaccines until she is bigger. I’m not trying to offend but I wanted to give the personal experience of a mom who’s been there and desires to spare other children from harm.

  10. Meredith says:

    I also came here through NieNie. My sweet nephew was also born very prematurely, weighing in at 1 lb 15 oz. I am happy that things are going so well for sweet Adali.

    I agree with your post. Having formerly worked at a law firm that represented major drug companies in actions brought by parents claiming that vaccinations (specifically, the Thimerosal preservative used in the vaccines) causes autism, I have had the opportunity to see first hand the studies, research, and “proof” offered up in defense of both sides of the issue. Seeing all the facts up close has led me to one conclusion: vaccinations (or Thimerosal) do not, in and of themselves, cause autism. If that were so, then every child who ever had a vaccine would have autism.

    That is not to say that there may be some children in whom the vaccinations react with other factors that contribute to the onset of autism. I don’t know whether or not that is the case. But, even that is grasping at straws at this point, as few people research autism itself because they are so hung up on looking into the alleged “link” between autism and vaccines.

    Some European countries banned Thimerosal in the early ’90s, yet children there are still diagnosed as autistic in increasing numbers. In addition, some children have never had vaccinations and are diagnosed as autistic.

    That does not necessarily mean that it is wise to get all vaccines all at once, or to give vaccines to your child just because it is “time.” If your child is unwell, has a compromised immune system, or other health issues that you are concerned about, then it would be prudent to speak with your health care professional about prioritizing the vaccines for your child’s best interests. There are some children who simply cannot have vaccines, and for them, their best option is that the “herd effect” will keep them safe. In other words, if a majority of people in your community have the vaccine, they will help protect the unvaccinated from contracting the disease. It is a mutual benefit. But, as you pointed out in your post, that only works if the MAJORITY are receiving the vaccines. The fewer immunized people, the greater the risk that unprotected people will contract the disease.

    I think it is tragic that so many people have forgotten what a threat these diseases are. There are still outbreaks of measles, whooping cough (Pertussis), smallpox and polio, as well as others. Although we are privileged to live in a country where these diseases are nearly eradicated, they are still a threat to everyone as long as international travel exists.

    I personally chose to have my children immunized, but many in my family have chosen not to. I respect their choice, and ask that they respect mine. Hopefully, nothing drastic will ever happen, and all will be well. In the meantime, research into autism is far from complete, and I believe it would be prudent for all that it continue, and that researchers try to look beyond immunizations and Thimerosal as an easy answer.

  11. Erin says:

    Hi. I found you from Nie’s blog, and was so glad that you wrote a post on this. I have three beautiful children and one on the way. The insurance we had when our first was little placed immunizations under their well child benefit–which was $250/year. As you know that doesn’t even cover one round of immunizations. I would always talk to my husband and say, “They would rather pay for all the treatment if my child gets one of these diseases than pay for the immunization?!” But it really does freak me out that there are so many who refuse to vaccinate without being informed. I have always had healthy children so my two daughters have been in drug trials for new vaccines. It was so great to see the trial that my first daughter was in, was now a regular vaccine that they were giving to her sister. Vaccines save lives every day, and it isn’t fair that our children may be endangered by other parents. THanks for the post!

  12. Andrea Swenson says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I found you through Nie Nie. I am so thankful to have someone who has done their research. I have many many friends who have jumped on the bandwagon with a celebrity we all know. They have not done any research, and it turn they are actually affecting their child. It is so sad.

    My husband is a doctor, and has nothing but good to say. Vaccines are important, and I believe that God blessed us with the knowledge to eradicate such harmful diseases.

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