Immunizations

Updated on April 18, 2008
D.C. asks from Villa Rica, GA
50 answers

Hey moms, am I the only one, or are there moms out there scared to immunize b/c of autism. I never use to think about the # of shots my children received as long as their immunizations were up to date. But now, w/ my 5th baby whose 12mths, I have not took her to the Dr. for her 6mth shots. Now I am totally on the fence about what to do. Can any one relate, or how R you all feeling?

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A.F.

answers from Atlanta on

D., I have a 12 year old daughter that has no immunizations. She is very heathly and has never been on antibotics. We also have a 5 year grandson who has autism. He was fine until he got his 18 months shots.
Just something to think about.

A.

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B.

answers from Augusta on

You have 5 children. did you immunize them ? if you did then why the sudden fears with this one. I would rather have my child get the shots and risk whatever it is that they are saying it might cause now,then have them get some terrible disease and become permanently blind or crippled or worse dead from something that I could have prevented him or her from getting from the start.

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L.K.

answers from Atlanta on

Having lived and traveled abroad, I am so grateful that we live in a time and place where we have immunizations and good health care. I gladly take the less than one in a million risks each time I have any of my five children immunized. I have seen first hand what can happen to children who don't have the privilege of being immunized. Those who don't get immunized in this country greatly benefit from "herd immunity," (being exposed less because those around them are immunized). However, you cannot always count on that since there are many ways germs can come into our communities. My father, a pediatrician, has seen children die in hospitals from preventable diseases because their parents chose not to have them immunized. Please save yourself the possible heartache later and immunize your children.

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A.W.

answers from Atlanta on

D.,

I for one believe in immunization more than the 1 in a million chances of autism. I'm the type of person is more concerned with the preservatives in our food making us more suceptible for autism than immunizations.

My son for one has had all of his, but one. He was unable to have the 2nd chicken pox vaccine because it was not due until after his liver transplant and because it is a live vaccine he can't have it.

I wish more people believed in immunization...because if a child who isn't vaccinated gets sick with a disease that could normally have been prevented and my son is playing with him or sitting beside him in school the other kid my survie but mine may not. Due to the liver transplant my son is immune surpressed so he doesn't reject the liver.

You could ask you doctor of the vaccines that are not live cultres in my opinion these are the safest.

A.

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V.E.

answers from Sumter on

D.,
Best thing to do is research it on your own so you can make up your mind with information from both sides. I have worked in early intervention with kids diagnosed with Autism. What is interesting is I actualy worked with twins that were diagnosed that were never immunized- and a other children who were immunized. Also if your other children are typically developing the odds are less likely for you to have a child with Autism. Also more common in boys than girls. Beleive it or not there are signs at even 12 months- but many parents know something is wrong but are not sure what it is. Some say they see a change between 18 months and 2 years. I must say all the children I have worked with had language and social delays that were present even before 18 months. For your baby take a look at social skills that are normal for one -such as waving bye-bye, playing peek-aboo, doings something funny and looking for your responce, pointing to show you things, bringing toys to you to show or get help, following some commands such as "come here" or "sit down", looking at you to try to communicate-even with gestures or sounds that do not represent words. If your baby is doing all of these things- take comfort!
Hope this is helpful. I also have three children- immunized all three and feel confident based on the research I have read it was the right choice. Just think if we all decided to not immunize - diseases like polio would come back and be devestating to society. The reason non immunized children are safe is because most of us immunize.
V. E.

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A.P.

answers from Atlanta on

I feel your pain. I haven't gotten any shots at all for my 3 month old yet, and my 23 month old still hasn't gotten her 12month old shots either. I hear reports of children changing after getting their MMR shot (usually given at 12 months), then going on to develop autism. Then I also hear about children developing autism after getting several shots all at once (recently a family in Athens, GA just won a lawsuit--the first one involving a monetary compensation--after their daughter had received several make-up shots all at once, and she developed autism because of it). It's so scary to know what the best is for them.
You can go to mercola.com, which is a website by Dr. Joseph Mercola--a medical and natural health doctor. If you type in "vaccines" in the search bar, you'll find tons of information about what he has to say about them. He doesn't believe in any vaccines. When you hear the research (he has a web video by a mother who has done her own research, but also has several to choose from) about what all goes into the vaccines that are put into our precious children, you probably won't want to do them at all. I don't want to vaccinate my baby at all, but still feel torn!! I guess because there is so much pressure from the medical community, but then again, they don't know everything and most everything in that field is money-driven anyway. It's hard to know who to trust!

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M.J.

answers from Charleston on

Hi D.,
I would suggest looking up the National Vaccine Information Center online and researching this to make your choice. I know of hundreds of people from infants thru full adulthood that have not had a single vaccine. It is quite EASY to get your child into school/daycare w/o these shots. You need to remember that you are in America and you absoluty DO have a CHOICE on your childs health. It simply takes a little research to know your rights. You will not get them from 99% of peditricans bc its out of their ethics to tell you that. I have researched vaccines extensivly since 1998. My child is 3.5yrs old and never recieved a single vaccine. She is in excellent health, has been in many daycares/school. No problems whatsoever! Just know the facts and your rights. There are many books available, many of these are written by MD's. The dangers are very real. And remember, just bc you start, you do not have to finish (may be helpful for your 3 yr old). Best of luck. Let me know if I can offer any more assitance.

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J.B.

answers from Atlanta on

I thought about this and researched it quite a bit -including talking to a friend who works with many autistic children. The overwhelming evidence is that autism is caused by a child getting a combination of "bad" genes from both parents- and then possibly an environmental trigger making it happen. What that environmental trigger may be is the missing link. However, if it were immunizations -why wouldn't even more kids have it? Especially since children have been being immunized for 40 years now, but autism has been skyrocketing in the last 10 or so years. The manufacturers took out the mercury and preservation agents thought to possibly cause it, and no difference has been made in studies shown. The fact is -the diseases your child is getting immunized from are FAR more possible and dangerous than possibly "getting" autism -if that is even possible. With our worldwide travel and constant contact with people from everywhere on earth (if you go to any large store) -diseases eradicated from the U.S. are still possible to catch, and some of them are deadly. I'll keep taking my chances with immunizations.

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A.H.

answers from Atlanta on

I stopped in 2000 after hearing of so many vaccine injured children, some were my friends kids. Since then the number I have met has increased which just reinforces my decision to stop. If you would like some really good information on the topic you can visit www.theechofoundation.com. This is a women who cured her vaccine injured child of autism. She tries to get the best, most accurate information to us little people. I do own some of the books and videos she suggests. If you would like to take a look at them, let me know. Good luck and just keep finding out information yourself so you can make the choice that is best for you and your family.

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S.L.

answers from Atlanta on

After much research we decided not to immunize our son who is now almost 16. He is extremely intelligent, hardly ever sick and we feel we did the right thing. Do some research you may make the same decision or at least delay the shots until your child is older.

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D.H.

answers from Atlanta on

Wow, this is a big topic. Both of my boys were given their immunizations when they were babies up until 15 months. One child has learning disabilities and other has allergies of all kinds, plus he had lots of ear infections, etc. Are these stemmed from immunizations? Who knows.

I personally knew a family whose child was vaccine damaged. It wasn't until his 18 month shot, that he couldn't talk anymore, walk, etc. Now, he is severly autistic. Recently, I believe over the last month...my mother told me, a family was awarded money due to the child being 'damaged' because of vaccines...I think it was autism. It's funny that many sites say that vaccines don't do that, but families get awarded money because of the very thing.

I am pregnant with my 5th child, who will not get vaccines. My 4th child did not receive vaccines at all. She is my healthiest child in every way. I know that is also due to not giving her cow's milk (which is a big culprit with ear infections...milk is very mucus forming, etc).

When my oldest was soon to turn 4yo, I got this really bad panickly feeling everytime I thought about him getting his boosters. I had no idea why. I didn't know anything about bad/good of vaccinations. Now I do.

I researched a ton and then prayed about it and the answer that I got was no, not now. We'll probably wait until my children get to be teenagers and ask them if they want to get their vaccines (missionaries, etc.), but they'll need to research then and pray about it and see if that's for them.

A lot of parents don't read the inserts to the vaccines, so they really don't know what's in them. Even Mercury free vaccines, have traces of mercury in them. An independent lab proved that. I just can't seem to approve putting formaldehyde and the like in my babies systems.

I belong to a vaccination yahoo group that I am on just read the mail on the web. The volume is way too much and a lot of 'activist' type people on it. I'm not that way, but I do like the site. It's sad when mothers do come on the site with children that died within minutes of receiving the vaccinations. You can't tell them it can't be proved. I wouldn't even dare. The moderator of the site is an RN, who is totally against vaccinations. She is very knowledgeable, due to her medical field and research on these very things. She's been teaching about the dangers of vaccines since the early 80's. She has her own site as well. She also teaches classes (which I have not taken) online about vaccinations.

To subscribe to the yahoo group, it's found here: [email protected]____.com (There are almost 2000 members on this site, which is why the volume is so high and due to the moderator posting medical journal articles and other news.

My pediatrician doesn't push vaccinations. She told a friend of mine that she has just as many books about why not to vaccinated as she does to vaccinate. She does not push antibiotics over every little thing that a lot of ped do. She will actually give you suggestions on alternatives if you want it. I'm all about herbs, so I use those and so I've kept my kids away from modern medicine for about 7+ years and they are much healthier for it.

Well, I hope it wasn't too long to read. Just another note, my sister did vaccinate all of her children, but wouldn't start them until they were at least a year old. Out of her 5 children, only 1 doesn't have a learning disability of some sort. She knows that vaccines are bad (she is actually getting money for one of them...on disability monthly), but she doesn't want to bother with signing forms waiving since her children go to public school. (We homeschool.)

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C.T.

answers from Athens on

This is my somewhat educated opinion. I am convinced some children are genetically predisposed to express a degree of autism if exposed to the right environmental trigger. My seven year-old son, Adorjan, was a normal infant until shots administered, when he was fifteen months old, gave him a fever of 105 and sent him into a minor seizure. Shots are what triggered his expression! He did not speak again until he was three years old, and he finally began walking again at two. Now at seven he is intellectually at base level with most high schoolers, but socially he will forever be like a toddler; my son was diagnosed with Aspergers at four. Clearly, immunizations have saved milions of children from pain, suffering, and death, no doubt about it. Also, with immigrants entering America from left and right (I am an immigrant myself), our children's exposure to all kinds of bugs are higher than ever; I am for immunizations. That said, I think we are committing a crime when we take our one month-olds to get injected with a bouquet of little bugs, and I have refused to do that with my three younger children with our doctor's blessing. I nurse my children for at least a year, and, as far as I am concerned, my milk provides them with all the protection they need. At two is when I begin immunizations, which I feel is a much safer alternative. This is the link for The National Vaccine Injury Program:
http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/VIC_Trust_Fund.htm
This link will enable you to see the insane amount of money awarded to individuals or families of individuals who either died or had severe adverse reactions to immunizations. Until recently, however, no child with autism had ever come close to being awarded a cent. Maybe now when money will be involved will the CDC, APA, and vaccine makers listen to all the parents and, if nothing else, reconsider the vaccine schedule they recommend, which I think they need to before parents refuse immunizations altogether. I think fewer vaccines at a time and a later start date will make the number of children with autism decrease. If the adverse reactions happen after the delicate toddler brain is more fully formed, the damage would be much less. And don't even get me started on the Varicella zoster (chicken pox)vaccine, it has proven useless to three of my children. Hope some of this helped. No, I am not a doctor. I am someone with a degree in biology come May 10th and five children, one with Aspergers.

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M.T.

answers from Atlanta on

No I am also concerned about immunizations and Attism.
Have you spoken to your baby's dr. about your concerns? My dr doesn't give the MMR till 15 months of age. That is the immunization that is questionable about Autism.You may want to take your baby to get the other immunizations and discuss your concerns with you dr.

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A.P.

answers from Atlanta on

That is great you are educating yourself on this - it is never too late. All parents want what is best for their child and for them to be healthy, whether you choose to vaccinate or not. I have not given my children, ages 2 and 4 any vaccines. Both are very healthy, have no allergies, never had ear infections or strep. We eat healthy and take JuicePlus to keep our immune systems strong. A few websites to check out: www.nvic.org (national vaccine information center) and www.mercola.com. I also look at info on the CDC website and as much as they advocate the vaccines, they convince me otherwise. My neighbor's baby got pertussis (whooping cough) shortly after receiving the vaccine. The baby does not go to daycare and is only around other vaccinated people - parents, grandparents, etc. If the vaccine works, how did the baby get pertussis if she is only around other vaccinated people? From the vaccine itself. The ingredients put in vaccines is appalling and while the MMR vaccine might not directly cause autism, something in it puts the children that are pre-disposed to autism over the edge. Ask parents of an autistic child what happened after their child received the MMR vaccine. Also, FYI: you can take an exemption regarding the vaccines so your child can attend school. I will be taking a religious exemption when my son turns 5 for kindergarten. He already attends pre-school and I just had to get a notary form saying I have refused the vaccines. Many of these websites can steer you to the information you need to file an exemption. Don't let the Drs, pharmaceutical companies, and schools strongarm you in to giving your child vaccines you don't want. Good luck on what you decide and best of health to you & your family.

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J.W.

answers from Atlanta on

hi D.,

It seems you have the whole range of advice given here. This is such an immotive topic for all us parents. I have 2 children (4 & 2) neither have been immunized (we live in the UK) as they both suffer with eczema and food intolerances and I just didn't feel their immune system could cope.They seem to permanently have snotty noses but they've never had antibiotics and i've always treated them with homeopathy very successfully.Personally the homeopathic view of illness makes much more sense to me than the medical model but like others have said it's really up to you to do your own research and come to your own conclusions. Whatever you decide will be right for you - have faith in your mothering ability.
YTou could also have a look at dr mercola's website - he has lots to say on immunizations.

Good luck to you and all the other families struggling with this difficult decision.
Jen

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B.G.

answers from Atlanta on

D.,

My only advice is to research for yourself and be informed, so you won't feel any uncertainties! I know MANY people (full grown) that have never been immunized and are perfectly healthy, and have never been sick. Immunizations schedules are whats easiest for the doctors and even parents, as they are scheduled during their specific timely checkups, but remember, YOU are in control of your childs healthcare, and if you aren't comfortable with NOT immunizing, but you aren't comfortable with so many shots, then spread them out! Or only choose the ones you feel are necessary. You have the right (and yes your child can still go to school!) to choose whatever makes you feel better. Just do your research and you will never regret your decision, if you empowered yourself! Make sure you understand what is in each shot, the metals, side effects and if the benefits of each vaccine truly are greater than any risks.
Good luck, you'll make the right choices for you!

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K.K.

answers from Albany on

The best advice I can give you is this - do your own research. There are alrmists on both sides of the issues...so take everything with a grain of salt and form your own opinion based on the information you find. You can get exemptions for daycare and schools in most states. www.thinktwice.com has info on that - don't let anyone scare you into thinking you HAVE to vaccinate....it really is YOUR choice.

Some good reads are
The Vaccine Dilemma by Christine Murphy, editor ~ Vaccines, Are They Really Safe and Effective by Niel Z. Miller ~ Evidence of Harm by David Kirby.....and that's just for starters. The only author I would warn against (at the moment) is Dr. Paul Offit, as he has a patent on a rotavirus vaccine and is pro-vaccine to the point of being nasty about it. Google him and check out several of the sites that come up. There is also a Google Video I recommend - Vaccines - The Hidden Truth.

A couple other good sources of information on health in general are www.mercola.com and www.naturalnews.com Also for vaccine info - www.thinktwice.com www.909shot.com www.vaccinesafety.edu - there are more, but these are the most well rounded I have found so far.

Good Luck in your journey!

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M.B.

answers from Savannah on

I have 5 also dd's 8,6,5 and ds's 2 and 1 =-)
I have known 3 babies that died after getting shots and thus we have no immunized past our first.
You have many options no vaxing, delayed and selective vaxing, and herbal/homeopathic vaxing.
At this time we simply do not vax. Although it was scary in the begining, after awhile it lost it scariness and just became the way we do things.
If you are fearful to do them- then don't! God gives mothers a unique bond with their children. if you feel that this child needs to not the please don't.
Take it slow and revisit your decision periodically. Re-evaluate at 18 months- 2, 3, 4,5.
By not doing it right now you are not saying you will never do it- you are just saying not right now (and maybe not ever=-)

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B.M.

answers from Spartanburg on

Please keep in mind also that you have seen a rise in the autism diagnosis because kids have been more accurately diagnosed in the last 10 years. YOu have seen a rise in ADHD because it was not commom when we were all growing up as the same with autism. You child can still have autism and not have had vaccinations.

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H.B.

answers from Atlanta on

You obviously have experience as a mother which means you also have a long-term relationship with a pediatrician. Rather than make decisions based on information in the media....which may or may not be accurate....talk to your doctor about the best way to protect your child. I am a grandmother and I would never have considered not giving my children or grandchildren their immunizations. The risks of the diseases we immunize against are far to high in relation to the potential, unproven risk of autism.

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E.R.

answers from Atlanta on

I have 4 children. With my first, I followed the vaccination schedule completely. With my second, we decided to not do the Heb B at birth and skip the Chicken Pox one. With my third, I started researching vaccines more and he did not have any after his 18 month check up. With my fourth, he has not had any at all. We did alot of research, but unfortunately it is difficult to find sites that are unbiased, as it seems to be a very heated issue. The website that convinced us not to vaccinate for now is the CDC website itself. It lists all of the ingredients of the vaccines, and I was appalled at what was being injected into our children! Especially at the rate in which the receive injections. That, along with the ridiculous amount of vaccines there now are (bringing to my attention that vaccine companies are, first and foremost, businesses looking to make money), the number of recalls there are on "new" vaccines (not taking the time to really test them), etc. helped us to make the decision that for now, our children will no longer be getting vaccinated. So, no, you are not alone. Every parent needs to make informed decisions based on facts and intuition. For me it isn't a fear issue, its just a health issue. I feed my children whole foods, try to live a natural lifestyle, and vaccines just don't line up with that lifestyle at this time for us - too much "junk" in them.

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E.K.

answers from Florence on

I'm sorry, but how awful will you feel if you do not vaccinate and your daughter gets whooping cough? Autism is not caused by vaccines! I personally wouldn't want to take the chance, but to each their own. The vaccines are there to save the lives of children, and to not take advantage of that...well, I see it as foolish. Just my two cents. I hope you make up your mind soon!

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J.T.

answers from Spartanburg on

You are not the only one at all! We have not vaccinated our 2 year old daughter, and I have many friends who chose not to vax as well. A great book that helped us make our decision was Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent's Guide, by Aviva Jill Romm. It is straightforward, listing risks, benefits, reasons to vax, reasons not to vax, etc. It also describes each disease that is vaccinated against, so if you want to selectively vax, you can choose which diseases sound most serious to you.
I wanted to add too, that for us, it wasn't only the scare of autism, though that is a very legitimate concern. There are also studies showing correlations with ADHD, rheumatoid arthritis, and allergies with vaccinated children. And, keep in mind, that mercury is not the only culprit. Many doctors now are saying that aluminum (the replacement for the mercury in vaccinations) is just as bad as the mercury. Good luck in your decision, and know that you are not alone :)

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D.W.

answers from Charleston on

Hello-
I understand your concern, and love to hear you are willing to take a stand and protect your children. I am a local Chiropractor who has done a lot of research and a lot of digging in on this subject. I have a ton of information available if you would like to read more up on it, and a lecture I plan on doing in my office in June of this year.
Please call my office for a time to come in and meet with me, or find out more information ###-###-####). You can also visit us on the web at www.acfamilychiro.com.
Many blessings.
Dr. Heather Wyant

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D.C.

answers from Savannah on

I am not immunizing my 2nd daughter, I have talked to many parents that feel the same way. I know there are people who will think Im nuts but there is no way Im taking the chance. The only problem is you might have some trouble when you go to enroll her in schools. I plan to home school so that shouldn't be a problem. I have been doing a ton of research on the internet about this, I suggest you do the same. try DR. Ramos in Sav. I believe they do alternative shot scheduels at a slower pace or offer just the vaccines you want like I might get her pertusis (whooping cough, Polio cultured in human not animal tissue, tetnus and I believe there are 1 or 2 others that are considered safe ) also I plan to stretch them out. I mean it doesn't make any sence to me that I can't eat sword fish while Im pregnant b/c of the mercury levels in the fish but then I can turn around and inject mercury into my 1 month old... I don't think so. Not only mercury but are are lots of dangerous chemicals in the shots as well. And by the way there is still mercury in shots they have just lowered the levels. I know that vaccines aren't the ONLY cause of autism,( htere is no proof that vaccines deff do not cause autism , just like it's not 100 % that they do, but they have been linked to other problems that are on the rise such as jouvenile diebetes ( the kind not caused from a bad died, ADD, asthma) It's fine if people disagree with me,but Im not taking the chance with my daughter, trust me there is more in it for the government then keeping your kid healthy like the almighty $. my sister has chosen not to vaccinate any of her 6 children they are all heathy) I suggest you or any one else interestes google homefirst( it's a helth practitioner based in chicago who has some really great studies manly being the 0 rate autism among the Amish (who don't vaccinate) or the 35,ooo + patients he's treated over the years who have chosen not to vaccinate. DO you research on the web therre is a ton out there the more people realize whats going on. My 1st daughter has been vaccinated and she is fine, but I feel like I'm playing Russian Rollet, with Autism reaching levels of near 1 in 140 kids plus all the other health problems that are linked to it. Hope this helps

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D.S.

answers from Albany on

No, D., you're not the only one. Lots of us are out there. I very much struggled with this issue and read, read, read what I could find on it. I knew I believed they weren't as safe as touted and that they caused more harm that most wanted to believe. But, legally, I was in a bad spot. When I heard that many vaccines are grown on human diploid cells, it finally gave me my religious exemption. In Ga., you can be considered neglecting your child if you don't immunize. But, if you have a religious exemption, that doesn't apply. So, when I was pregnant with my last one, I spoke to her doctor ahead of time and discussed this issue. Though the doctor disagreed with me, she honored my beliefs (and my research) and didn't try and coerce me.

You may want to consider being proactive with your doctor. Maybe saying that you are doing continuing research on this and want to postpone the shots until you're done. If you give your doctor a fairly realistic time line on how long you expect it to take, they will probably not have a problem with this. If your doctor sends you to the Offit and Jew article, be sure to read the p3R to that by Dr. Mark R. Geier, and David A. Geier and recommend your doctor does the same. The only article my daughter-in-law's pediatrician gave her on religious beliefs and vaccines was a joke.

D. S, mom to 5, granny to 1

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R.A.

answers from Sumter on

Just to let you know. I am a mom of a two year old, at first I was afraid to get my son the shots for the same reason. After speaking with a doctor I work with (who also has a 1 year old, and is the top doctor here), I realized that the shots for a healthy child out weights the risks. According to research there are many things that contribute to austism and immunizations are the smallest factor. Just something to think about.

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C.H.

answers from Augusta on

While I worry about it sometimes I try to put the faith in my childrens doctors to not give my child something he thought might be harmful.Though I know that's going at it a little blindly I trust my childrens doctor and if not for him my children would not be as healthy as they are now.I feel for parents like from PP who lost their child which is something I can NEVER ever imagine having to live through.And it makes the worry that much more real and frightening.I still believe in getting them the shots though.But don't be afriad to ask questions.

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J.W.

answers from Macon on

After reading your post I did a little research on mercury in childhood vaccinations and found this article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/96003.php
which reports that infants eliminate mercury much faster when injected than when ingested as was previously thought. Just thought you all might be interested.

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C.S.

answers from Killeen on

If you do your research most, if not all, immunizations do not use mercury anymore. Also, reading most of the studies that have been published show that there is little link to autism from immunizations. Most of the cases that have been televisied have been in question to begin with. I was really worried about this before I had my children and have spent a couple of years reasearching this out. But, with the mercury taken out the whole autism question is void. Talk with your doctor and ask pointed questions. You are more responsible for you and your families health care than your doctor is. ASK, ASK, ASK! NEVER BE AFRAID TO ASK. You are your childrens advocate, they can't ask the questions or work in a partnership with their doctor~ ONLY YOU CAN! If you forget, call back and leave a message for the doctor. If they say they will call you back by a certain time and have not, cll them back. They are only doctors and I don't understand why people think they are unable to converse and talk to them. If you are not impressed with your doctor, get a new one. My children are fully vaccinated because I feel that the diseases they are vaccinated for are horrible diseases, lifethreatening, and it outweighed any risk, side effect that could come with immunizing them. Now that there is no mercury, the risk is minimal. Unless your child has an autoimmune problem they should be fine. Research, talk to your doctor, even pray about it if you are still unsure and you will come to make an educated decision versus a decision based on fear. Good luck and enjoy those babies!

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D.W.

answers from Charleston on

Personally, when researching vaccinations I think it is also most important to thoroughly research the diseases. While no one wants a sick babe, it's also helpful to know what you are up against and what to watch for if you choose not to vax. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease, IMO.

Also, you can check out what's going on in the country disease-wise at the CDC, they put out a weekly report:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5712md.htm

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G.H.

answers from Macon on

D....My opinion,go ahead with the shots but do them one at a time..yes more costly but worth it. Also please check into the Jenny McCarthy website..she has really researched this since her son has autism...I pray all turns out well for you.I have a 5 year old and I too worried,but thankfully she did well with the shots.

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D.T.

answers from Atlanta on

I had the same concerns that you did so I checked them out. The autism-vaccine connection has never been proven. Many people think it is just a coincidence. You have to weigh the risks. There is a chance that your child will be exposed to the diseases that the vaccines are for and end up suffering from a horrible disease. The amount of children that are not getting vaccinated is growing, increasing the likelihood of an outbreak. Some of the diseases, such as small poxs, are already making a come back. I ended up choosing to vaccinate my daughter and she was fine.

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C.F.

answers from Atlanta on

I have not had my child immunized yet because my child had a reaction to one of the shots when my child was a 1 month old. My child is now 1 years old and I am holding off on having my child immunized. I have my child in daycare but I have a vaccination exemption form which I had notorized and that is an option for parents who are on the fence about having their kids vaccinated until you are able to get more information. The guidelines for vaccination exemption in Georgia is based on either religous beliefs or a child having a bad reaction to the vaccination. Everyone seems to be on the fence about this topic and there is no correct way to feel about it because this is your child and as a parent you want to be able to make an informed decision about what is given to your child. Therefore, get all the information you can about vaccinations and then make an informed decision for your child as their parent.

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H.W.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi,
My daughter is almost a year old and hasn't had any of her vaccinations. We don't plan on getting any. I am a teacher and know that you do not have to immunize for your child to go to school. Schools do present it as though you have no choice but to vaccinate, but that is not true. There are forms you can fill out that will exempt you from vaccinations. I had an uneasy feeling about giving my daughter vaccinations, and I think it was for a reason. We did have to switch pediatricians because our previous doctor would not treat our daughter unless she had her shots. Our new pediatrician does not have a problem with it. The most important thing is that you do whatever is best for yous and your children, and don't let anyone force you into doing something you are not comfortable with doing. Whether that is to immunize, or not immunize, or even to do a modified shot schedule. :) Also, one thing I learned (actually, from a doctor) is that if a vaccine contains the mercury preservative, as long as it is in "combo form" (I forget the technical term for it) with another chemical, and the mercury is less than 50% of the "combo" then it does not have to be listed as an ingredient. So information that claims that shots are "mercury free" may be misleading. There is a book called "How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor" by Mendleson (can't remember how to spell his last name)....he is a medical doctor who explains in "lay terms" why immunizations aren't all they are made out to be! Good luck! :)

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C.L.

answers from Atlanta on

There is very little evidence (if any) that immunizations can lead to autism. However, it is indisputable that your child could get very, very sick with some very serious diseases and even die if they don't get immunized. Absolutely make sure your child gets immunized and don't let rumors/bad information scare you out of it!

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M.S.

answers from Atlanta on

Yes, with all the media attention on immunizations I do get a little scared everytime I take my 6 month old to get shots but then I look at the bigger picture. If she does not get immunized and contracts a rare but potentially deadly illness that grief would be terrible knowing I could have done something to stop it. Also, children who are not immunized can put children at risk who have had all their shots.

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J.S.

answers from Atlanta on

I am sure everything I am going to say has already been said, but will repeat. There are no studies that show vaccines to be safe and no studies that anywhere near remove the link between autism and vaccines. I know, I have recovered my son who regressed into autism at 5, yes, 5. He is 8 now and after thousands of dollars of alternative medicine and therapy he is moving into a beautiful world of normality, which many never see. God has blessed us enough to never make the mistake of ignorance again.

The link between vaccines and many childhood disorders is absolutely real and anyone who tells you its not cannot show you any science to back that up. Ask them for it and they will give you a Denmark study that is not even comparable to our culture, our schedule, etc.

Here is a link to a blog that will give you tons of links and books to read to find out how you can potentially safely vaccinate, wait until they are older, or choose not to (BTW, whooping cough is treatable with an antibiotic.....). On that note, overuse of antibiotics which may be needed for the causes of the problems vaccines cause may also be an discussion for these childhood diseases. There is every reason to avoid use of those unless absolutely necessary. http://www.theeducatedparent.blogspot.com/

You are far from alone - make your voice known that we want safe vaccines for our children and a reasonable schedule of them. J

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B.R.

answers from Atlanta on

D., it IS scary...One theory is that the immunizations have mercury in them, and giving too much at once causes autism. Interestingly, the rate of ADHD has also gone up, coinciding with the increased immunizations. I have 2 boys,( one w/ ADD), and was unaware of this potential prob when they were young. Discuss w/ your pediatrician, the possibility of mercury-free shots, and/ or getting them farther apart in sequence; not all at once. Given what we know, and DO NOT know, I choose to still vaccinate, b/c the diseases out there are nasty if not protected. Society still mandates we cover our kids to get them in school...I think more info will finally come out in 20 yrs or so, sadly. Vaccines and RX's are a BIG business.
You are braver than I, with 5 kids! Whew!! =)

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E.E.

answers from Myrtle Beach on

D.-
Check out Mary Tocco- she is one of the leading researchers on the safety of childhood vaccines and has some very good info on the subject. I believe her website is
www.childhoodshots.com
It is not only autism that I worry about, but the idea of putting 7 vaccines (the number my pediatrician wanted to give my 2 month old a few weeks ago!) into my son who weighs less than 10 pounds (what I want to know is how my 2 month old is going to contract Hepatits B- I work in a HOSPITAL- and I'm not even vaccinated against Hep B!)
The best thing to do is do your own research and make your own decisions!

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J.J.

answers from Spartanburg on

My cousin's little boy had the MMR injection at 18 months. In two weeks he started running a fever and had cold symptons. She called the Dr. and they could see him the next day. The next morning she went in and found him dead in his crib. After months of trying to get seperate injections for our granddaughter we finally gave up and had to do the 3 in one. It was the hardest thing to do but we really have no choice. They have to have these to start school. My cousin and her husband are in the process of trying to prove the MMR was the cause of death. My grandson just had it 2 weeks ago so we have been through another fright. Even though its like 1 in 100,000 - that one could be mine or yours. Who can know? Yes I can relate - and I wish the world could know of their loss and something could be done so parents could have a choice. I believe we will see the day they will do away with the MMR and go back to single injections- but it will be too late for many who have lost children to death or autism. I know this may not be helpful to you but every chance I get I will tell people about this. Its frightening to know how many children have had problems that we will never know about.

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C.M.

answers from Atlanta on

You can always space them out. That is what we do with my 1 1/2 year old. They don't have to have them all at once especially if they have a cold. Your Dr. will tell you which one is the most important one to take at that visit and let you know which ones you can wait for your next visit. At least mine does.

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M.S.

answers from Augusta on

It's been proven that the thimerosal - which is a mercury derivative - is not related at all to autism. Also, they stopped using it as a preservative in vaccinations at least 5 years ago. Two of my brothers are autistic, so I know this firsthand from the many doctors they see - neurologists, etc. The vaccines are safe. I'm confident enough in that, that my daughter has had all of the required and recommended vaccines.

It's mere coincidence that symptoms of autism develop "after getting shots". Most children show symptoms starting between 18 months and 6 years. It's largely hereditary, and they haven't been able to pinpoint any specific environmental factors - despite many people trying to prove that vaccines are to blame.

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K.S.

answers from Savannah on

I felt the same way with my two daughters, ages 3 and 1(in 4 days!). I discussed this with my doctor and she only uses mercury free immunizations. I feel much more comfortable now.

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D.P.

answers from Atlanta on

May become an issue when you need to put your one-year-old into daycare or school if she's not up to date on her immunizations. You can ask to have multiple shots done on multiple visits -- that would reduce the amount of preservative she gets per visit... Mostly, I'd voice my concerns with the pediatrician, I think. I think every mom has struggled with this issue. You are not alone!

For some perspective, though, the incidence of autism diagnosis after immunizations is very low (though highly covered by media -- scary things usually are) and it's not been proven that the immunization is the culprit (though it very well may be.) A lot of times, you have to weigh the risk of autism (that is teeny tiny) with the risk to your child if he gets the disease for which he could have been immunized. There are plenty of risks associated with NOT being immunized, too.

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J.M.

answers from Spartanburg on

Hi, D.. I was not worried about the vaccines until my son's 6-month appointment. He received the DTaP at that appointment and had a febrile seizure within 12 hours of the shots. Now, our doctor is suggesting that we separate the shots and give him a vaccine every month instead of every 3 months. We are doing that at his 9-month appointment next week. It will decrease the strength of the vaccine and the chance that he will have another seizure. Every parent should question the strength of these vaccines and how often they are given. I am not a fan of skipping any vaccines, but it is definitely o.k. to spread out the doses (according to our doctor).

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V.A.

answers from Atlanta on

D.,
I can appreciate with all the hype out there, that you may be afraid, however, I personally would never let my child go without. The recent outbreak of whooping cough is a good example of what can happen when immunizations decline. These are deadly diseases you are protecting your children against. Are any of your older children autistic? Research has shown no direct link from immunizatons to autism, but it has shown how it protects all of our children.

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T.P.

answers from Spartanburg on

Hello D.,

I do understand your concern in this area as I feel like I was one of those unlucky ones that was impacted by the immunizations. My son is doing wonderful but it was quite a trip for us to get there. Alot of tears accompanied our journey to success. What I have always told mothers that have had this similar concern is to ask the doctor if the vaccine is Thimerosol free. From my understanding there is speculation that the mercury in the perservative and environmental variables may potentially contribute to autisum and/or learning disabilities. I would recommend spacing out the vaccines, 6+ months and request Thimerosol free vaccines. They all should be Thimerosol free today. Again, this is just a suggestion, but you really need to go with what you feel is right for you and your child.

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K.H.

answers from Charleston on

Autism is thought to be linked to mercury preservative (thimerosal) used in some vaccines. I recommend asking your pediatrician for vaccines that are NOT preserved with thimerosal. Here is an FDA article: http://www.fda.gov/CBER/vaccine/thimerosal.htm

I also know moms who have chosen to spread the vaccinations out over a longer schedule, to avoid overexposure.

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L.S.

answers from Columbia on

I myself never even questioned my children's doctors to imunize. I personally don't think that imunizations is the cause of autism. When I was a kid, there were some kids who were hyperactive, but they didn't call it ADD or ADHD back then. There are more children with it now because there are more children! My son was diagnosed as ADD, but he acts just like my bother did when he was a kid. The only difference is, we didn't have video games to play, we all played outside and got rid of some of our energy. We ate homemade meals, not fast food. Our culture has changed and we are such fast pased that all we have time for any more is food on the run. This is one of the culprits of what we are seeing in our children today. I was imunized as a child and all three of my children have been imunized. My teenage girls are getting the Gardasil shots now. South Carolina does not permit children in public schools unless you have proof of imunization. I'm not sure what your state requires, unless you homeschool. It is a decision that you have to make, but you should not let a statistic make your decision. Do your research, because you are the one responsible for making these choices on your children's behalf.

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