To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate?
*This blog was featured on Elephant Journal.
The current discussion, or fear mongering rather, on vaccinations in the US has become deeply polarized and simplistic. The vaccine industry has framed the dialogue as one where a parent must choose; you are either a compassionate pro-vax parent who must sacrifice your child for the greater good while protecting your child from ancient plagues because science says the MMR vaccine doesn’t cause autism… Or you are an ignorant hateful anti-vax hippie parent that only cares about your child’s health and have essentially given the middle finger to all other children by endangering them with your disease latent unvaccinated kid(s). Mainstream media and medicine have launched a witch-hunt– a sensationalized campaign tracking down, through scientific and profit driven dogma, parents who ask critical questions. You are either of the sane and humane or you are the anti-vax boogieman wreaking disease havoc on the poor sick children of the world. The truth however is that most parents are thoughtful and concerned and are either still exploring and trying to understand the benefits and risks to vaccines or have decided to not succumb to the polarizing rhetoric—they (we) are neither for or against ALL vaccines but would rather look at each disease and its relevant vaccine individually. The question we ask is: Should I vaccinate for________ ? (and fill in the blank one disease at a time). As a mother of two partially vaccinated children, I belong to this last group of parents– the parents who may choose to vaccinate for some but not all vaccines or who decide on alternate schedules.
This blog is written for parents like me– parents who want a road map to decide which vaccines, if any, are worth giving to our children and when to give them. The following are general rules of thumb (not universal laws) on how to make those decisions.
Step #1: Research the disease.
What are the benefits or risks of the disease? ‘Benefits to disease?’ I hear many of you screaming in terror as you cringe to your mobile device. Yes, some diseases have benefits. Aside from the scientifically evidenced assumption that contracting certain benign infectious diseases can help to build a powerful immune system, some diseases can have some long term benefits– measles may significantly increase a child’s IQ/intellect and mumps may protect against ovarian cancer. For more on the immunity building benefits of certain disease please see my blog: Why I Chose Chicken Pox the Disease over the Vaccine.
There are of course diseases that can have serious detrimental or even fatal effects. Diseases like polio, diphtheria, and tetanus come to mind. And for those diseases one must ask: when do these diseases pose the greatest risks and to what populations? Diphtheria mortality rates are higher in children under 5 or adults older than 40 but not every country is high risk for Diphtheria infections. We were living in Egypt when I had both of my children so yup you guessed it– Diphtheria is one of the vaccines my children did get. Mumps however poses the greatest risk of infertility in men but boys do not begin to make sperm until they reach puberty; thus, the worst possible outcome for most mumps cases is really not a risk in boys under the age of 12. It may be wise then to wait until the disease poses a true risk to your son before vaccinating, if the child hasn’t yet gotten the disease.
Other relatively mild childhood diseases like measles and the chicken pox can also cause birth defects if a pregnant woman is infected. Again, these vaccines can be re-considered later when a female is of reproductive age and has not yet gotten the diseases as a child. I can hear the pro-vax movement now screaming frantically about the many deaths of children caused by measles in the third world. To them I say, vaccinating entire populations is not only by far more dangerous, (as the experimental and exploitive crimes committed by for-profit pharmaceutical industries against people in the third world pose a more serious threat to public health) it is also a very calculated distraction from responding to the real needs of people in the third world. Please again see my blog for more information on why mass vaccinations of third world populations rather than basic health infrastructure and sanitation perpetuates a cycle of disease and death in the third world.
Ok, so once you have researched the possible risks and benefits of each disease move on to your next step…
Step #2: Research the vaccine.
Research and analyze the risks and benefits of each vaccine that you discovered in step 1 may be worth giving. With every vaccine there are risks, but not necessarily benefits. Juxtapose the analyses you made above on diseases with what you find about vaccines and then ask yourself: what is worse, if my child gets the disease or the vaccine?
It is not difficult in our age of information to find whatever you want to find. In other words if you are looking to confirm a pro-vax or an anti-vax perspective you will find evidence for both. Thus it is important to look at research, studies, and findings from both camps; because remember we are the majority of parents out there, and we are caring, reasonable and trying to view the evidence objectively.
Now you should have a list of diseases that are worth vaccinated for and a list of vaccines you should avoid or give. Next…
Step #3: Analyze your family history.
Look at your family history if possible. For those of us who are fortunate enough to have family around find out if anybody in the family has had any adverse reactions to a particular disease or vaccine. By family I mean everybody… cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings, parents, etc.
If someone has had a particularly difficult time with a certain disease or experienced some complications your child may carry a similar predisposition or reaction to that disease. So for example, not all people who have had polio are crippled but if a family member has been crippled by it, your child’s risk of having complications of polio are high. Or if a family member got shingles after the chicken pox at a young age, your child may also be susceptible to a similar reaction. So if you had crossed out chicken pox as a dangerous disease when doing your research under rule of thumb #1, you may need to put it back on your list of dangerous diseases for YOUR child and consider vaccinating for it.
Likewise, if someone in your family has experienced vaccine damage and knows which vaccines caused the damage you really need to include that vaccine as a major risk to your child. Unfortunately, orthodox medicine views vaccine damage as occurring within only 2 weeks of receiving the vaccine. However, us homeopaths (practitioners of homeopathy—the 2nd most used medicine in the world) find that vaccine reactions may not appear for months after a vaccine. If you need help assessing whether or not a vaccine has damaged a person in your family please contact a homeopath for help.
Step #4: Postpone!
Postpone! Postpone! Postpone! As long as possible. If there are no epidemics of the diseases you decided to vaccinate your child for postpone as much as possible.
The longer you wait, the stronger your child’s immune system has grown and the more likely they will be able to fight off any adverse vaccine effects. If at all possible do not give any vaccines before the age of 2 when a child’s immune system has matured passed its infant/early toddler vulnerability. Its ideal to wait even longer, but if there are no outbreaks of diseases that pose great risks as assessed in rules 1-3 above, don’t do anything until they are at least 2 years old.
Also, the more time you wait to strengthen and nourish your child’s system the more time you have to do research and to wait for the results of newer studies to be published. [Note: to date, there have been no randomized control studies in the US comparing the overall health of unvaccinated children to vaccinated children—so much for science backed medicine huh?! If any of you ever come across a legit study from anywhere in the world link me!]
Finally, once you vaccinate you cannot undo that vaccine but if you postpone you can change your mind and maintain a dynamic process constantly researching and learning about vaccines and diseases while also getting to know your child’s needs and health patterns.
Step #5: Far apart and one at a time.
Schedule the vaccines you decided to give to your child as far apart from each other as possible and as few at a time as possible. For example if you have decided to vaccinate for polio and tetanus give the single vaccines with at least 6 months to a year in between each single vaccine. Some vaccines require that you give a series within a few months. So if you give polio, wait till at least 6 months after the final dose of the polio vaccine before giving Tetanus.
Why you ask? With a vaccine you are trying to send a message to the body and trigger a positive response to the vaccine. If you give a combination vaccine which disease are you telling the body to fight? What mechanisms will it use to fight all these diseases, what mechanisms will be suppressed? Do you see how it can be confusing to the body and trigger a negative response instead?
In addition, the more diseases you have in one vaccine the more preservatives in the form of heavy metals are found in the vaccine. Metals are fat-soluble and cross the blood brain barrier, and most of the metals used as preservatives in vaccines (i.e. aluminum, mercury) are neurotoxins.
Step #6: Follow your intuition
Yes, the materialist sciences will tell you that making decisions about your child’s health based on how you feel is not scientific and is very dangerous but materialist science is outdated and old school. There are plenty of sciences out there that will validate your intuition as parents because you as a parent know your child better than anybody else in the world, including doctors. So if you have a gut feeling that you should or shouldn’t give a certain vaccine, follow it! The old adage ‘mama knows best’ is a cliché for a reason, because it’s true! And we don’t need men in white coats working in ‘sterile’ environments to validate what we know deep down inside—that we know exactly what is best for our children.
Step #7: Think outside the Big Pharma box.
Realize that the pharmaceutical industry has a tight grip on all aspects of modern medicine; from setting up and implementing research on vaccines (a huge conflict of interest if you ask me!) to publishing outcomes and determining medical truths. So reading an article on I fucking love science (which I do fucking love btw both the website and actual science) or Salon about anti-vaxxers bringing the once nearly eradicated measles back and causing global epidemics should be met with deep skepticism and critical inquiry.
A quick glimpse of historical charts and statistics shows that all diseases come and go in cycles regardless of when a vaccine was introduced. Or repeating the line that herd immunity is necessary to protect immune compromised children should also be thoroughly analyzed. Is herd immunity really achievable? How can we possibly have 95% of the population vaccinated at all times when our open borders are constantly flowing with thousands of people coming in and out everyday? Are you willing to never travel outside of your own country or not allow travelers in? Now the campaign for herd immunity is beginning to sound a bit fascist and xenophobic isn’t it?
Ok parents, you now have the tools to make very important decisions about your child’s health. If you follow these rules and, more importantly, your intuition as a parent you will not only make the best decisions for your children but you will gain a sense of empowerment and help to reclaim our sciences, our medicines, and our knowledge from profiteering big business! I salute you for being a #radicalparent!
Rena Sassi is a #radicalmama of two radically awesome children, a homeopath, and a birth worker currently living in Los Angeles, California. Rena is certified in homeopathic CEASE therapy and offers CEASE vaccine detox locally and via the interwebs. Rena is also a Homeoprophylaxis Supervisor for Free and Healthy Children International.
For a consultation please contact Rena at firstname.lastname@example.org.