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Do Your Research!: Vaccines

admin May 10, 2010

research vaccines

We’ve shared in the past that we don’t vaccinate our kids, and all the reasons why we don’t.  But we (and most others who don’t vaccinate) have been accused of doing poor research.  Plus, there are a lot of families out there who feel really uneasy about vaccines but just don’t know where to begin.  So, I’m going to set out several questions and unbiased sources here that you can use to start your research, if you are so inclined.

This post is the first in a series called “Do Your Research!”  The series is intended to show you questions to ask and sources to check to start your research.  We won’t post any conclusions in these posts, because the idea is for you to look for yourself and draw your own conclusions.  Sometimes there will be a post later in the week explaining our conclusions, but not always.  Feel free to discuss the research and your ideas in the comments, though. 🙂

Do Your Research!: Vaccines

Questions to ask about vaccines:

1) What is the recommended vaccine schedule?

2) What safety studies have been done on each vaccine?  By whom were they conducted?  Is there any conflicting data?

3) What diseases are the vaccines meant to prevent?

4) For each disease, what are the symptoms?  Severity?  Likelihood of contracting?  Likelihood of having complications?  What are those potential complications?

5) What are each vaccine‘s side effects?  What are the likelihood of severe side effects for each vaccine?

6) What are the ingredients in each vaccine?

7) What studies have been done on vaccine efficacy?

8) How were the illnesses treated and why were/are they deadly without vaccines?

9) What issues surrounding vaccines are controversial?  Why is this so?  What research has been done on these issues, and by whom?

10) When is each vaccine supposed to be administered?  When is it supposed to protect?  Why is it administered when it is?  How long is protection supposed to last?

11) When looking at studies, who did the studies?  Is the original, full version available?  Were there any financial conflicts of interest?  Do several studies by different groups show the same results?  What are the person’s credentials (especially if it is “non mainstream” or ghost-written)?

12) Is there any worrying anecdotal evidence?  Do any studies support this concern?

13) Did vaccines eradicate disease, or are/were there other factors?  Which were most effective and most important?

14) What is herd immunity and what does it have to do with vaccines?

15) Do my children have any specific recommendations or contraindications to receiving certain/all vaccines (weak immune system, allergies, genetic disorders, etc.)?

Sources to look for information:

**Please note that I do NOT agree with nor recommend all of these sources.  But I have included sources from both sides of the debate so that you may accurately research for yourselves.**

Have you done your research on vaccines?

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11 Comments

  1. Our baby is due in two weeks and we have spent so much time these last few months researching this issue. Normally it only takes a little bit of research before I form my opinion but not this time. Vaccines are complicated. I think this was one of the hardest decisions we have had to make so far and we are still undecided on two vaccines (pc and hib, we are skipping the rest, at least for now) but I do think it is important to get out there and decide for yourself.

    It seems so odd to me that so many new parents don’t even look into it. Even if you still go with the recommended CDC schedule, you should at least know why you are making that decision.

    Reply

  2. Hello,
    Thank you for encouraging all parents and parents-to-be to make an informed decision for their child’s health. May I also recommend a few additional trustworthy sites?

    Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Vaccine Education Center – http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/
    GAVI Alliance (partners with WHO) – http://www.gavialliance.org

    Autism Science Foundation – http://www.autismsciencefoundation.org

    Protect Tomorrow – http://www.aap.org/protecttomorrow/

    PKIDS – Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases – http://www.pkids.org

    Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition – http://www.childrensimmunization.org

    Meningitis Angels – http://www.meningitis-angels.org

    California Immunization Coalition –

    Immunization Action Coalition – http://www.immunize.org

    Every Child By Two – http://www.ecbt.org

    Remember to check each source you find for credibility. The Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition gives these tips for evaluating a website:

    * Find the “About Us” link on the site – This is usually at the very top or the very bottom of the home page. Read what the site says their purpose is and what they believe in. Also read the organization’s mission to glean more information.
    * Google the authors on the site – Learn more about the site contributor’s qualifications, credentials and connections to the subject.
    * Look for a profit bias – Is the site selling or promoting a product? Does the site take a stand on an issue without being clear that they are an advocacy site? Bias is not necessarily bad, but it should be stated clearly and with intent
    * Check the dates on the information – Especially in vaccine research it is imperative that the information on the site is current and accurate. New vaccine information, findings and discoveries are constantly being published. Make sure you are reading the most current research and data.
    * See the destination of site links and the site’s sponsors – Click around and see what the site is endorsing and linking to as credible sources. Also look for sponsors on the site as these are a strong indicator of what organizations agree with the site’s mission.
    * If it is a nonprofit organization, look up their Guidestar profile – Guidestar is a free online database of over 1.8 million IRS recognized tax-exempt organizations. This site pulls together IRS information on the organization’s donors, financial stability and more. See where an organization is getting their funding.
    * Contact the site – If you are still unsure of a site’s credibility send them a note asking them to send you more information.

    Best of luck in your research!

    Reply

  3. I like how you’re advocating informed parenting. We are following an "alternative" vaccination schedule, opting not to do many of them and using a delayed schedule for those we are giving our daughter. If you haven’t already done a "Do your research" on choosing a pediatrician, I think his/her openness to alternative vaccinating and respect for parent’s wishes regarding vaccines is a kay question!

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  4. We have decided not to vaccinate our son (at least for now), and most people who find out that our 2 1/2 year-old hasn’t had any shots are amazed and appalled at the same time. They don’t know what to say. I hate that the mainstream media thinks you’re crazy if you don’t vaccinate, leaving no room for thoughtful, carefully-derived conclusions that can be different for each person. And it’s completely ironic to me how people are willing to break the rules in so many areas of their lives, yet they don’t even consider bending the rules for vaccinations.

    Our state allows religious, medical, and philosophical exemptions from vaccinations. Most people don’t know about them. And admittedly, they are difficult to find information on. You MUST do your homework. I find that people tend to do more research on buying a car than in giving their child vaccines. To me, that’s a little upside down.

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  5. Here’s a post I recently did about how I researched this issue and came to my own conclusions (we’ve decided to delay until 2 and then only do polio and DTaP).

    http://trialanderrorhomeec.blogspot.com/2010/04/vaccination.html

    Reply

  6. Shalom, I’m so happy you’ve posted on this issue. Yes, let’s do our own research. I’m new to blogging and I just wrote a book review on the book "Vaccines: Are They Really Safe?" by Neil Miller. A great book in the sense that it presented the facts. Neil encourages parents of young children or anyone to follow up on their own to make an educated decision. Here is the link to my book review, I’d appreciate some feedback. http://pebblecrossing.blogspot.com/2010/05/vaccines-are-they-really-safe-effective.html . Also check out http://www.thinktwice.com for more information with regards to immunization laws, vaccines themselves, studies and more. We need to learn to break out of our conventional programming.

    blessings
    carmen

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  7. I just wanted to say you have done a really great and thorough job with your links and finding research that is unbiased. I know as a mother it feels like we are in constant schooling of ourselves without the degree. We too, have not vaccinated and through a series of research ourselves also decided to opt out of lots of other things as well. But our family lives in a neighborhood where its not usually the popular choice and often times we do not have the freedom to share our convictions because of the amount of back lash we receive. I know you have certainly felt the heat on high many times and I give you a ALOT of credit for the choices you have made for your family. Thank you again for being thorough. This has actually inspired me to put together a booklet for our family on why we do not vaccinate so when the children are old enough to ask they can find understanding. And its always good to have on hand for myself to be refreshed. My brain can retain only so much! 🙂

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  8. The problem for parents is that the vaccination debate is actually a battle for your mind and control over your children’s health. It is intentionally confused by health agency “experts” based on slight-of-hand studies, which are actually outright fraud, such as the “gold standard” Denmark study. Strong, coordinated efforts through controlled mainstream media work on public perceptions everyday with a special emphasis on scare tactics, presenting stories and pictures from the worst cases of a very minute percentage of the population.

    Obviously, if the parents chose not to vaccinate and their child died from complications of one of those diseases, they would be devastated and would have believed they acted irresponsibly. But the fact is that vaccinating doesn’t guarantee any child won’t still develop any of those diseases. There are those who have been vaccinated for meningitis that have died from the same, and so on.

    Here are some important points to consider for those on the fence: 1) The undeveloped blood-brain barrier of the fetus and infants up to one year of age provides virtually NO protection from the neurotoxic ingredients present in today’s vaccines; 2) statistically, a negligible reduction of deaths from diseases such as diphtheria, pertussis, etc., is attributed to vaccines, however, we now have childhood deaths from SIDS, cancer, autoimmune diseases and vaccine adverse events that we didn’t have, which outweigh vaccine “benefits;” 3) according to the FDA’s VAERS data base, the greatest incidence of SIDS is at the 2 to 3 month period when these infants receive their first round of multiple vaccines; 4) a recent study by Miller and Goldman have shown a direct correlation with the rise of childhood deaths to the rise in the number of vaccines administered. There’s a lot more.

    Reply

  9. […] good reason!  There’s a lot to question these days.  You should never vaccinate without doing your research, and just because ‘WE Turned Out Fine‘ is not a reason either!  Things are very […]

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  10. […] you plan to use one, start researching pediatricians, as well as issues related to child-rearing (vaccines, cord clamping, […]

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  11. […] the vaccine debate and looking for more basic information, do not miss the first few posts I did: Do Your Research!: Vaccines, Why We Don’t Vaccinate, Argument Against Vaccines, and Why We THINK We Need Vaccines.  […]

    Reply

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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