A little controversy

Okay, so I try to keep this blog controversy-free for the most part and I am somewhat hesitant to put this out there, but here is the deal:

Munchkin had his (almost) two month checkup today. You know, the one where they’re supposed to start all the shots and stuff. I asked our doctor if he was okay with us delaying Munchkin’s vaccines and being selective about which ones he gets once we start.  I am a little concerned about him getting so many vaccines so close together while he is still so young, especially since he has a strong family background of autoimmune disease (my mom, grandma, and I all have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) and I certainly wasn’t ready to start today. He was totally fine with that, but did want to make sure that we understood the risks of each of the diseases that are commonly vaccinated against. His personal recommendation is that we start at Munchkin’s 4 month appointment with just the Dtap and HIB (ones that he would be most likely to catch) and hold off on Hep B and Polio until he is older and has a more developed immune system since he isn’t likely to be exposed to either of those at this time. I personally would like to hold off longer on everything- preferably until at least one year- and space out the doses. I don’t think I want to have him vaccinated for MMR, Varicella (chickenpox), or Rotavirus at all. To me , the risk of overloading his immune system just outweighs the risk that those diseases pose given the quality of health care in our country. I’m NOT saying that I think vaccines cause autoimmune diseases; obviously there is a pretty strong genetic factor in my family. But, I also do not want to stress his immune system and trigger something that he may be  predisposed to. Anyways, our doctor is willing to work with us no matter what we decide, but he would prefer we start at least some of the vaccinations before 1 year. I know the pro-vaccine vs. anti-vaccine debate is a hot one, and I am not looking for judgemental comments from either side, just some (nice, please) input from other parents out there.  Have any of you used a delayed/selective vaccination schedule? If so, which one did you use and when did you start? How did you space out the doses?  Surely the one-size-fits-all approach is’t best for every individual child. Just one last reminder, please be nice if you comment!

Okay, on a less controversial note, isn’t this just the cutest smile you’ve ever seen?!?! 🙂

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13 thoughts on “A little controversy

  1. Okay, I won’t bite too much! 🙂 I’m a pretty strong pro-vaccine individual, but I won’t push my position on you (so I won’t even bother to go into all my reasons). And also, unless a law degree gave me some sort of medical expertise that I don’t know about, I’m not dolling out medical advice ’cause I’m not an expert. 🙂 That being said, if you choose to selectively vaccinate or to vaccinate on a delayed scheduled, the one I would encourage you to really consider is the DtaP.

    As an adult in college, I had mild pertussis. Took forever to diagnose and by the time they finally figured it out, I was starting to get over it from the millions of different antibiotics they were trying on me, anyway. I thought I was going to die. I cracked a few ribs, couldn’t get through a sentence without nearly passing out, and had full on coughing fits everywhere I went. Problem is that I did just that: went everywhere. I was in college and was sick for so long, I couldn’t just stay home. The main issue is that I didn’t KNOW what I had. I was probably out infecting people all over the place without having a clue. They had initially diagnosed me with bronchitis, so after I’d been on antibiotics for three days, I figured I was okay to be in public. That makes me feel sick now.

    I had a MILD case by pertussis standards and it was horrifying. The point is that it’s not all that uncommon, adults can get through it, but it kills babies. I was a grown, 135 pound 19 year old and I was sure the MILD case was going to do me in. I just feel like if you’re thinking, hmmm, polio or DTaP, I’d go with the latter, you know? Do they still regularly vaccinate for Polio? I didn’t even know that. Also? You have a boy! Once they are mobile, boys are into everything. 🙂 The tetanus part of it seems beneficial.

    The website pertussis.com is worth checking out. It breaks down the number of (reported) cases by state and gives some good basic info.

    Sorry for the length. That’s just my (probably useless) two cents. I know that as moms, we all just want what’s best for our babies. It’s not always easy. Best of luck figuring out what works for your family. BTW, Miles is adorable.

  2. Thanks Laura! Pertussis is the one the doctor is really wanting him to get too.

    My main issue is with the number of vaccines that are given at one time. The standard CDC schedule calls for six different vaccines to be given to two-month old infants. I just think that is a lot to ask of a newly developing immune system…

    I would rather him have them spread out more and start with the most important ones/ones that he is likely to come into contact with first, know what I mean? Anyways, thanks for sharing your input!

  3. I’m super pro-vaccine, but I totally agree that loading up a two month old with six vaccines is outta control. We recently had vaccines and b/c our insurance was going to run out, hubs and I had them all at once. Four vaccines. My husband was fine, but I was SICK, SICK, SICK for three days. I realize I’m a total autoimmune disaster as it is and they were strong vaccines (polio, yellow fever, typhoid, MMR), but if my 28 year old, um, plenty-of-weight body is affected like that, how can you load up a two month old?

    I’m glad your ped is willing to work with you on this – that’s great. Good luck with everything!

  4. I agree, Miles has the cutest smile ever!!

    We had our 3 kids vaccinated, but did pick and choose which ones. We did not do the chicken pox or rotavirus. There was one other we skipped and I don’t remember. I know it was one recommended for kids that go to daycare and I stay home so said I didn’t want it. I am for vaccines but I think they can over do. Each family is different in their circumstances. We chose to expose our kids to the chicken pox so the would be naturally immune. that has worked great.

  5. He is such a beautiful boy. We chose an alternative immunization schedule for our daughter,given that her biological brother is autistic. Our doctor was fine with it and his nurse works great with us on this issue. Instead of four shots at once, Teegen gets one to two shots at a time. It makes for more doctor’s visits, but I feel that it is worth it.

    I would recommend The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears. I found it very informative and not skewed into pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine.

    Megan

  6. I’ve wondered about this issue a lot. I tend to be more on the anti-vaccine side, but I don’t feel comfortable completely giving them up. Like you, I think I’ll wait until my kids are a bit older, space out the doses, and give them only the essential ones. My MIL recently passed on an article that I found helpful. Well, I didn’t find the article itself that unusually enlightening, but a vaccination schedule is included at the end that seems quite reasonable and conservative. I’m archiving it for future reference for myself. Check it out, if you’re interested: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/03/17/Case-Not-Yet-Closed-on-Vaccines-and-Autism.aspx

    And, yes, Miles is adorable!

  7. I have had both of my kids vaccines spaced out. I have a problem with them giving a child four to six different shots all at once, and some of the problems that might occur because of it. That is a lot for such a little body. I also think there are some vaccines that are not necessary for a child that age. The fact that you found a pediatrician that is willing to work with you is AMAZING! I got raked over the coals when Clayton was a baby. The doctor told me (basically) that I was not being a good mother by protecting him against these things. I tried to explain that I would have the shots, just in my own time. He continued lecturing. It was awful. I eventually stopped going to that clinic for that and many other reasons. The office I go to now is wonderful. They are very willing to work with me. It’s been nice. Just do research, and make your own decisions. Stay informed, and don’t let others influence what you think is right for you, and your family. Here are a few links that I have found helpful…

    http://www.generationrescue.org/pdf/cdc_comparison.pdf

    http://www.balancedlivingmag.com/2006/March%20-%20April%2006/When%20Parents%20Question%20Vaccination.htm

    http://www.nmaseminars.com/vaccine-articles.html

    http://www.nmaseminars.com/files/HepatitisB_for_newborns.doc

    http://www.generationrescue.org/vaccines.html

    You can find articles to support both sides. In the end you just have to do what is right for you. If you go to google (or any search engine) you will be able to find loads of information. Good luck! I hope you find what is right for you.

  8. I think I’ve told you my feelings on vaccines, they are a wonderful help to society. BUT not all vaccines are needed. In Japan, they stopped giving vaccines until the children are 5 years old and the SIDS rate dropped 98% the same year! Katie will not be vaccinated with anything until she is school age. I will never vaccinate her with Hep B because it is only caught via blood to blood interaction (intraveneous drug users and sexually promiscuous individuals make up the Hep B population) so this is a useless vaccine for a baby to get. The only current cases of polio are from the polio vaccine itself.

    I have done extensive research both pro and con on vaccines and our doctor has a 5 year old and a 3 year old that have never been on antibiotics and have never been sick for more than 24 hours. Her kids are not vaccinated. Her kids go to daycare and do all the stuff regular kids do with the exception of chiropractic care and a mostly preseravative free diet, we’re raising Katie the same way.

  9. That sounds a lot like the selected/delayed schedule we are thinking about doing. I want to wait till after a year to do most of it. I hear the antibodies in breast milk are what babies need most.

    Dr. Sears book was helpful to us in deciding which vaccines to think about and which ones to skip. The chickenpox one drives me nuts. There is no need for it.

    They are such hard decisions.

  10. The delayed schedule does not sound unreasonable at all, and for the reasons you’ve laid out, may be helpful.
    I will say that chickenpox is a self-limiting disease during childhood, but can lead to sterility or other sequalae when contracted later. So, if he blisters out and gets the pock-marks as a kid, then he’s good. If not, you/he may want to consider it later.
    The tough thing about all this is that research is insanely difficult and costly to perform but easy to tear down. Antidotal evidence is cheap and is usually pushed upon you by someone of influence, such as; friends, sales people, clergy and doctors.
    Some questions really are too hard to answer, so we all divy up in to groups and come up with substandard solutions.
    Best of luck.

  11. I say good for you. It’s our decision to research what is best for our individual child. And its a really tough job! My 11 month old has yet now been vaccinated and I’m sure some moms read this and hate me for it. Its a touchy issue, but I wish it wasn’t…we are all just trying to do what is best for our children with the information we have been given. Many people think when you choose to delay or not vaccinate it is due to hype and not educating yourself which can or cannot be true just as much if you vaccinate on schedule.
    One piece of advice for those on either side or any where in the middle…read the book “What your Doctor wont’ tell you about Vaccines”! Believe me, its especially for those vaccinating or choosing which one to use. It gives you info on every shot, including what to do before and after the vaccine to protect their immune system the best way possible. It has gives alternative schedules if you wish.
    I read a lot, and this has been the most balanced, simple, and helpful. A parent must.

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