I get asked a lot why I do things the way I do. Why don't I vaccinate? Why do I buy organic? Why do I feed my kids gluten free? Why don't I spank? Why no fluoride? Why no hot dogs? Why, why, why????
Well, the short answer (as the title implies) is that I am the Mom.
But that would make for a rather short and uninformative post. So, I'll give you the long answer.
First, just let me say that as parents, we are saddled with the responsibility to do the best job we can with the knowledge that we have; sometimes that means we need to acquire more knowledge. For me, this is a no brainer. I've never been one to just believe what the doctor says because there are letters after his name. I have learned the hard way that doctors don't know everything. Nor does your great aunt Millie, your mother in law, or your best friend. They are only humans, just like the rest of us. They have to research. They have to learn. And they, too, are doing the best job they can with the knowledge they have. Should they choose not to expand that knowledge, well, that's when the slope becomes slippery.
When my baby brother, Jake, was seven months old, my mom took him in for a well child check. He was given a clean bill of health and "routine" vaccinations were administered. Two hours later, my mom had put him down for a nap. When she went to check on him, he was blue and not breathing in his crib. She rushed him to the ER. Jake's lungs had filled with fluid. The doctors said he had a severe case of pneumonia and should have been seen days ago. He was hospitalized for 8 days. He came home with oxygen for nighttime use and a nebulizer. My mom had to put him upside down across her lap and use these paddle-looking things to beat on his back and jar the phlegm loose several times a day.
I don't remember much of it (I was only five at the time) but I do remember my mom being frantic when he wasn't breathing. I remember her fighting with the ER doctor who said it just wasn't possible for a child's lungs to become filled with fluid in a day's time. I remember her crying because the doctors just wouldn't consider that a vaccine nearly killed her baby boy. I remember Jake screaming and gasping for air as he coughed up an alarming amount of mucus. I remember his little red, tear stained face under the oversized mask of the nebulizer as my dad held him so his arms were pinned because he kept trying to pull the mask off.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, it’s estimated that only between 1%-10% of adverse vaccine reactions are reported. Doctors are not required to report these reactions, so if parents don't report them, the statistics are grossly flawed. My parents were never told by anyone that they could report Jake's reaction. They were never told that his reaction is listed as one of the possible side effects. Nor were they told that his particular reaction was also associated at the time with permanent brain damage. Funny how the vaccine that was administered that day was pulled off the market for "further testing". It was not returned to the market until 2005, when the vaccine "schedule" contained less than half of what it does now. Someone covering their tracks, no?
Jake was actually very fortunate. He was spared any lasting side effects of the reaction. It would blow you away to read the stories of parents whose children had such a severe reaction that they couldn't be saved. Children whose parents watched them have 80 seizures a day (http://vaxtruth.org/2011/09/meet-eric/). Children who had strokes in infancy; who no longer have the use of one side of their bodies because of a reaction to a vaccine. I'm not just talking autism here. We're talking life or death reactions.
Life or death reactions that vaccine manufacturers are aware of - that they warn against on the vaccine label. When was the last time you read a vaccine label? Truth is, very few parents have. It's not like you're offered the choice to do so at the doctor's office; you are given a disclaimer to sign - that the office/hospital/doctor will not be held responsible for any reactions and you are aware of the risks.
Risks? What risks? Doc said I should give Tylenol in the event of a fever or pain and swelling at the injection site. Nothing about brain damage, seizures, strokes, lowered consciousness, coma, extreme fever, difficulty breathing, anaphylactic shock, deafness, bowl blockage, or anything else that would raise a red flag.
Indeed, the CDC's website claims rates of reaction as "less than" or "approximately". There are no percentages. There are no facts. They use the phrase "it is reported" when addressing the amount of people affected by vaccines. Take into account that doctors are not required to report vaccine injury and patients are not informed they can report it and you have virtually nothing to go on. The CDC does, however, report that less than 10% of vaccine injuries are reported - therefore you can safely assume that there are hundreds of thousands of children who are killed or maimed by vaccines that are not included in the the CDC's "statistics". What I want to know is how the CDC knows that less than 10% of injuries are reported unless they expect a much greater reaction?
Just food for thought. This is in no way medical advice. It is, however, a plea for you to do your own research. Yes, it's time consuming. No, there are not enough hours in a day when you have children under foot. Trust me, I get it. But you should also trust me when I tell you that finding the time to research something that could potentially change your child's life forever should be at the top of your list.
As always, do what you believe is best for your family. But you will never regret making a truly informed decision.