Q: It’s almost school time again and I am troubled by the “mandatory” vaccination policy for school age children. Up to this point my five-year-old son hasn’t been vaccinated but now I don’t know what to do. Do you have any suggestions?
A: Yes, I sure do. Although many parents automatically go along with the recommended vaccination program, I feel it is a decision that should be consciously made after reviewing some key points. As with any medical procedure there are risks and benefits to be evaluated and weighed for each individual person.
The theory behind vaccination is to knowingly introduce a measured amount of an infectious agent into someone’s body. The purpose of doing this is to stimulate the body’s immune system to produce fighting cells targeted to that specific infection so that in the future, if they are exposed to that infection, their body will already be pre-armed to fight it off. The theory sounds good. The application has some problems that need to be looked at.
Most vaccinations are normally done by injection. This route of introduction is very different from how people are usually exposed to an infection. With some exceptions, most infections are transmitted by breathing or swallowing the infection-causing organism. These organisms would then go through the areas of our bodies that are rich with infection-fighting cells.
If the body is healthy, these infection fighting cells kill the organisms and no infection occurs. After this the body has immunity to that organism. When young children are putting everything into their mouths, this mechanism is working to build up their immunity to lots of things. Vaccinations bypass this route by injecting the offending organism directly into the blood stream. This is a key difference and some physicians and researchers feel this contributes to the dangerous side effects of vaccinations.
The main area that gets overwhelmed with vaccinations is the central nervous system. Vaccinations have been linked with causing high fevers, convulsions, mental retardation and death, including crib death.
At a recent International Chiropractic Pediatric Convention, I had the opportunity to hear the director of the National Vaccine Information Center. This is a national organization of parents whose children have been harmed by vaccinations. I learned of a fund that previously existed to award compensation to parents of vaccine damaged children. As the existence of the fund admitted the dangers of vaccinations it was dismantled a few years ago.
You may have already discovered in your reading on this topic that this area of public health is quite controversial with very strong opinions on both sides. It’s important to remember that the vaccinations are produced by companies that make a tremendous amount of money when there is a mandatory vaccination program for all children. As with the rest of the drug industry, this can be a huge motivating force behind the “concern for your child’s health.”
On the other end are parents whose children have suffered convulsions and been brain damaged or died after getting their "regular shots" at the pediatrician’s office. They feel wronged and misinformed by the doctors they trusted.
Somewhere in this whole area is some true, accurate, and non-emotional information. One book I recommend that you read is Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective?, by Neil Z. Miller. During research for his own family’s decision on this subject, Mr. Miller gathered up statistics on the diseases, when vaccinations were introduced to the public and their effects, as well as other vital information. He presents the data in a very matter-of-fact and easy to follow format.
Another good reference is the chapter on immunization in Dr. Robert S. Mendelsohn’s book, How to Raise a Healthy Child...In Spite of Your Doctor. Dr. Mendelsohn was a traditional pediatrician for about twenty years. As he started actually analyzing what he was observing in the children in his office, his recommendations and practices changed dramatically from what he was taught in medical school and had been doing for years. Both of the above mentioned books also give further references that you can pursue.
If there is a parental history of allergies, hay fever, or asthma, or a bad reaction to immunizations in a sibling, there is a much higher risk of a negative reaction occurring. As I’ve written in previous articles, conservative estimates are that 60 - 80% of our population has some type of allergy. This places many children in the high risk category of experiencing damaging results from vaccinations.
Many parents mistakenly believe that they have to get their child immunized. Thankfully, at this time there are still legal exemptions available. I recommend you purchase a book by Grace Girdwain titled, Your Personal Guide to Immunization Exemption. It is available from your local book seller or directly from Dorrance Publishing company, at 800-788-7654, ext. 26 (www.usaor.net/dorrance/features/con8gird.htm).
After investigating this area and consulting our own personal beliefs, my husband and I chose to not have our own son vaccinated. I felt more able to take care of my son and accept the consequences if he got sick much more easily than I could accept the consequences if he were one of the children who became brain damaged or died after being vaccinated. We do our best to keep him healthy and his immune system strong by feeding him healthy organic foods, giving him high quality vitamin and mineral supplements, and having him treated with my methods. We also emphasize keeping his environment as free from upsetting situations and people as possible.
If, after reviewing the information, you decide to have your child vaccinated, I have some suggestions. Be sure that your child is adjusted by a chiropractor who is comfortable working with children if needed to remove any structural insults to the nervous system. Also, be sure your son doesn’t have a cold or other immune system stress at the time he gets his shots. There is a definite increased incidence of negative reactions when vaccinations are given to a sick child.
Homeopathic vaccination is another option that provides some protection from infection, is more natural, and may be available in your area . You would need to contact a homeopathic physician to follow up on this. When there is one parent who strongly wants to vaccinate a child and the other doesn't want to, homeopathic vaccinations could prove an acceptable solution for both.
I commend you in researching this area of your child's health and well-being. Keep investigating and questioning until you feel comfortable with your choice.
Remember that you do have options in this matter.
Dr. Susan Player