So far, Noah hasn't had any vaccinations. We initially told his doctor that we'd start when he is 6 months old. That's coming up (gah!), and I'm really not sure I actually want to go ahead with the shots. My thought is to wait until he's two.
One of my hangups here is the list of ingredients (check out this pdf from the centers for disease control and prevention: pdf).
I'm concerned about toxins and carinogens (like Aluminum and Formaldehyde) as well as the cells from aborted human fetuses. Abortion is murder, and I don't want to indirectly profit from it - I don't want any part of it. It turns my stomach just thinking about it! In addition to that, the way some of the ingredients are derived from animals is completely sickening.
The argument that the amounts of toxins in each shot are minuscule is void when I consider that 1. that's a very small person we're vaccinating here and 2. we're giving him 6 shots at a time - those toxins add up!
I also believe that there is something logically wrong with the push to vaccinate small children against diseases that are relatively harmless for them while they are young (like chicken pox). This way, we deprive our kids of a chance to go through the disease and acquire life-long immunity. Instead, we give them artificialy immunity that only works for a limited amount of time, putting them at risk of contracting the disease when they are older and their protection has worn off. I had the chicken pox when I was 5. I remember being itchy. The Husband had the chicken pox when he was 21. He remembers having a fever of 105 and bathing in ice water, thinking he would probably die.
The tricky thing about this decision is that there is so much (mis-)information out there. Some argue that the diseases we vaccinate against are very dangerous and deadly. Others argue that the vaccinations cause diabetes, multiple sklerosis, and other auto-immune diseases. It starts to appear that you have to choose whether you'd like your child to die from a disease or from a vaccination.
Tonight, we strapped Noah into the Moby (have I mentioned I *heart* the Moby?), and went to a meeting of our local Holistic Moms Network chapter meeting to watch excerpts of Dr. Jay Gordon's vaccine DVD & discuss it. It was very interesting.
I learned that the chicken pox vaccine was developed specifically for children on chemotherapy, for whom the disease is much more dangerous than for their healthy counterparts. Then the vaccine maker consistently put pressure on the American Academy of Pediatrics to put the vaccine on the mainstream schedule to make more money. They eventually gave in, and here we are.
The most important thing I learned, however, was that - according to Dr. Jay - a child will be okay with vaccines or without them.
The plan now is to read the Dr. Sears book again, this time chapter by chapter with The Husband, and to decide which vaccines to give and which ones to skip.
Without yelling at me in the comments - what did you do? Nothing? Everything? Delayed? Selevtive?