Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Great Immunization Debate

I had put it off long enough. I knew it was time, though I did not want to go. I could no longer procrastinate. Today we had to go. She had to go.

I loaded the children in the car today for the trip I have been putting off for quite a while- Lyla's immunizations. Once again, I was facing fears of the potential consequences. I hate being in this situation and worry that I am not doing the right thing. This stinks, but I really do not know what else to do.

For those of you who do not know, my daughter Lyla got very ill back in November. The whole account of the horrible ordeal can be found on my blog post entitled, "A Living Hell". Immunizations are further discussed in one of my favorite posts, "Into The Darkness".

In a nutshell, Lyla was hospitalized for about a month and nearly died. Physicians still do not have any idea what happened to her; and, a reaction or allergy to vaccines cannot be ruled out as the cause of her illness.

So, I feel as though I am caught in the middle of the Great Immunization Debate.

I have always been a huge advocate for childhood vaccines. Being in the health care profession, I have always felt that immunizations are essential for protecting our children from harmful illness and disease. They are the reason why most parents in the United States do not worry that their child will catch Polio, the Measles, Diphtheria, etc.

Now, times have changed and these exact immunizations have suddenly come under scrutiny for actually causing illness and death. Now, in saying this, I know that the physicians and manufacturers centered around this issue are stating that the chance of allergic reaction or sensitivity is very remote. However, even if it is remote, what if one of the few children that had the reaction was your child, or your baby? Would there be a change in your stance in this debate?

As I stand now, I will still go and get my children their vaccines. Neither of my sons had any issues with their immunizations and it has not been proven that the vaccines caused Lyla's illness. But, I cannot hide my fear and will not minimize my concerns. While the country is trying to get everything "Green", why not try to better our immunizations and create preservative and additive-free vaccines? Oh wait, the rebuttal would involve the expense of doing so, I am sure. Once again, I retort, if it were your child, any amount of money would be worth it.


Brandie said...

My middle child reacted horribly to her vaccines. The first time the doctor told me it was a fluke and we went with the second round. We had the exact same thing happen. He gain told me it was coincidence, but that time I held my ground. We waited until she was older and very healthy. And then we did vaccines ONE at a time. She is 6 now, she is completely caught up and you'd never know we did a different schedule. If you are unsure, trust your gut. Try out only one shot (and not a combo shot) and see what happens. You don't have to have all or nothing, you can set your own schedule. As it turns out, my 6 year old also has some neurological issues - I don't believe the vaccine caused them, but I do believe the issues caused her reaction to the vaccines to be greater than it would have been had she not had those issues.

My now 3 year old has not received any vaccines. You might say Im gun shy after going through all that with my 6 year old. And he has asthma - and not a small case of it. So we are waiting. His asthma doctor is sure he will outgrow it, so when he is 5, I'll start his vaccines.

Several other countries delay vaccines until after 2 and htey do not have greater rates of any of the diseases we immunize for. I believe, in general, we should delay vaccines as well. I don't think infancy is the best time to get them unless you have some extreme cases (i.e. preemies getting the RSV vaccine).

Just my take. I hope all goes well today - and even if it does, know that you can still vaccinate, but do it on your own schedule - it's your child. You know best. If your gut says wait more time, only get one at a time, delay all of them for a couple of years, whatever it tells you, trust it!

Anonymous said...

My 3 kids have had no problems with vaccinations. I have spent many hours thinking about both sides of this issue. My niece doesn't vaccinate her children and my sister did vaccinate her children and the 3rd one has autism but she doesn't think autism is as related to vaccinations as others do. I have read great articles on both sides of the debate and I still feel safer vaccinating my kids then opting to go without.

Anonymous said...

I hear you! I'm so glad that I'm past that point with our 10 and 12-year-old because I remember holding my breath during that time, praying everything would be fine. I have a tiny bit of resentment for parents who don't vaccinate. I feel like they are riding on the coattails of those of us who do. It's quite the luxury to have the option, I think.

Sue said...

Please see my website for the Dr Sears alternative vaccine schedule. My website is I do not do the one that is recommended by the pediatric society - I follow this one and my pediatrician was fine with it. They actually follow it themselves, believing that babies get way too many immunizations at one time - so they spread everything out. I am so sorry to hear about what happened to you little one.