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The vaccine industry has framed the dialogue where a parent must choose to vaccinate or not.
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 truth 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—we are neither for nor 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.
The following are general rules of thumb (not universal laws) on how to make those decisions.
Rule #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 or intellect and mumps may protect against ovarian cancer.
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 five 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 vaccinated for Diphtheria.
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 not really 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 politically controversial and a calculated distraction from responding to the real needs of people in the third world.
Rule #2: Research the vaccine.
Research and analyze the risks and benefits of each vaccine that may be worth giving. With every vaccine there are risks, but not necessarily benefits. Juxtapose the analyses you’ve made 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 information you want to find. 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. The majority of parents are caring, reasonable and trying to view the evidence objectively.
Rule #3: Analyze your family history.
If possible, look at your family history. 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 and parents.
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. 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 you child and consider vaccinating for it.
Likewise, if someone in your family has experienced vaccine damage and knows which vaccines caused the damage you should include that vaccine as a major risk to your child. Orthodox western medicine views vaccine damage as occurring within only two weeks of receiving the vaccine. However, we Homeopaths 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.
Rule #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 long 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 two when a child’s immune system has matured passed its infant/early toddler vulnerability.
It’s 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 two 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 U.S. comparing the overall health of unvaccinated children to vaccinated children).
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.
Rule #5: Far apart and one at a time.
Schedule the vaccines 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 six 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 six 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 (aluminum and mercury) are neurotoxins.
Rule #6: Follow your intuition
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 feel deep, down inside—that we know exactly what is best for our children.
Rule #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 to publishing outcomes and determining medical truths.
A quick glimpse of historical charts and statistics shows that all diseases come and go in cycles, regardless of when a vaccine was introduced. The line “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?
If you follow these rules and, more importantly, your intuition as a parent you will be making empowered decisions for your children and reclaiming our sciences, our medicines,and our knowledge from profiteering big business!
I salute you for being a radical parent!
Author: Rena Sassi
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock