In my Monday Morning Survey that was a poll for questions for me to answer for my 2-year-blogiversary, someone asked me this question:
What is your stance on immunizations as it pertains to whole living and also intentional living? I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews.
Gregg has a good friend who has a 10-year-old son who was a perfectly normal baby. Then, he got an immunization and got very sick. When he recovered, he was a completely different child. And, in the last nine years, hasn’t spoken a single word. Ever. He is severely autistic and his parents believe very strongly that the immunization caused the change in their son.
So, we don’t go into this topic lightly. And, I also realize that there are some serious differences of opinion – and I mean no disrespect with anything I say or any way I say it.
That said, I think that we are blessed in this country to have a population that is mostly immunized. That gives some parents the freedom to determine whether they want to immunize or not. I think there are areas in the world where parents would sell their most treasured belongings to purchase immunizations that could protect their children from diseases.
When I lived in St. Augustine, Florida, two friends of mine had fathers who had suffered from Polio. They didn’t know each other, but they were about the same age and grew up in that area, so I can only guess that Polio hit that area hard during the epidemic of the 1950’s. Both men had shriveled legs and had to walk around with crutches. Both men had serious heart problems that manifested in their early thirties. My mom, their age, remembers long lines of people at her elementary school that were there to get the polio vaccine. The massive, wide-spread vaccination that occurred in the United States eliminated Polio from a threat to the population by 1979.
Kaylee was eight when we began our whole living lifestyle, and was fully vaccinated at that time. Her father’s family had a family member who died after receiving vaccines, so as far as I know, Kaylee was the only child in the family who got them (there are several cousins). When she was a little over a year old (I think – I can’t remember specifically – but she was on time for all of her shots) and after receiving her MMR vaccine, she ran a high fever for two days. I remember her grandmother was very upset with me for letting her get it. She is now fourteen, and the only vaccine we’ve turned down was the HPV vaccine. Gregg didn’t like the research materials he read on it, so we declined it at the time.
When my niece was about 18 months old, she was at her grandparents’ house and had a bad cold. Her wheelchair bound grandfather was watching her play across the room when she suddenly collapsed. He called for help and her grandmother rushed in and scooped her up. Without hesitating, they rushed her to the hospital, which was just a mile or two away. If she hadn’t done that – if she had spent time at home trying to revive her, she would certainly have died. She had RSV and spent two days in critical condition at the hospital.
Scott was born 10 weeks early, in July. In October, his doctor prescribed him monthly Synagis – the RSV vaccinations – to last through the cold and flu season and end in March. Knowing what had happened to my niece, it was very easy to allow them to vaccinate that little 5-pound infant every month. The home health nurse came to our home, weighed him, and administered the vaccine for about $1000 a dose. We also made sure that he stayed on a regular vaccine schedule (including getting his first Hepatitis vaccine when he was a day old and weighing only 3 pounds 5 ounces). We were so afraid of him getting sick at all that we did everything we could to shield him from getting sick.
When we moved from Florida to Kentucky three years ago, when we picked our pediatrician, one of our standards was that he use preservative-free, metal-free vaccines, and that is what he uses. All three children see him and have received vaccines from him, and none of them have ever had a single reaction to a vaccine. Talking to his nurse in preparation for this post, she confirmed that the consensus among medical providers is that the metals, specifically aluminum and mercury, in the vaccines are what cause the reactions and the side affects from the vaccines.
So, to answer the question – my stance is that my children are immunized, but with the safest vaccines available. And, I’m incredibly thankful – more than I can ever say – to live in a country where people feel comfortable not getting their children immunized.
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I like your approach on this topic. Some people can be very harsh in what they say concerning the subject.
My children are all vaccinated as well. I have not had any issues other than slight fevers. I consider this a huge blessing in comparison to the actual disease that can ravage a body.
I am also glad we have the choice. My middle daughter had a normal infancy, after a set of vaccinations around 18 months old she had a reaction and changed as well. She has been diagnosed with Aspergers. It is my belief that the vaccinations are what caused this. I feel guilty because I did not want her to get vaccinated and let my family pressure me into getting them.
Hallee, thanks for this great article. I had no idea about metal being in vaccines. I guess that’s something they just don’t tell you in all those “baby books.” I’ll be checking with Annie’s doctor.
Hallee, thank you for handling the question well. My son is vaccinated, and although his doctors have asked if he’s “up to date” on his shots, meaning has he had the boosters, he will not be receiving those. I had no problem with my first born getting vaccinated other than the mommy bit where it hurts to see them being poked with a needle. With J, long before I’d even heard of reactions and possible links to autism and such, I had misgivings. Being a military family at the time, i was patted on the head and they insisted the heart stopping shriek that came from my son was normal. i don’t remember a fever or anything like that after the vaccines, but he most certainly did change.
I let him be vaccinated against my better judgement till he was seven. If we were to have more children, I seriously doubt that i would do it again. If I could find a doctor willing to use preservative free, metal free vaccines, and one who would not push every single shot on the market, I’d maybe reconsider. My son has moderate to severe autism and does not speak. He is mildly brain damaged. I am grateful that we still have choice at this time, but women become so at odds with one another over this choice. I think it is a decision that should be made carefully, prayerfully, with much research and with each child in mind.
Thank you for the good article.
We have had some vaccines, but not others.
One of the various things we watch for in vaccines are those that use stem cells from aborted fetuses – very immoral and dangerous to health.
There is a wonderful informative web site that will tell you which immunizations use aborted stem cells (known to produce tumors and other hosts of problems in research).
Most vaccines have an alternative that does not use aborted stem cells.
These ones do NOT: CHICKEN POX, M-M-R, HEPATITIS A. These vaccines have the aborted stem cells in them.
Here is the web site for further information:
Children of God for Life:
Click on the vaccine link.
Peace and God bless.
Great read! I have 4 children. My first was vaccinated up to age 5. We stopped when my second child had a reaction to the MMR at 18 months old. He was on track up until that time. He was a very happy and outgoing baby that liked to talk. But after the shot, his eyes started watering, he had a mild fever, and a measles rash that broke out on his chest and abdomen. I was very upset that this had happened and started researching vaccines. I found out that this was VERY common and that most children that experienced this reaction to the MMR at 18 months were showing signs and being diagnosed with Autism. I prayed and prayed that my son wouldn’t slip into Autism. He did not, but all of his talking stopped. His favorite “ba ba ba” sound disappeared and he took a long time to start talking. He ended up with a lisp that I had to work with him a year before I could actually teach him to read because he had such a hard time with correct pronounciations. Now things are starting to even out for him. Praise God! We made it through :)
On the other hand, a month later my best friend took her son to get his 18 month MMR shot. He had an extremely high fever that Tylenol nor Motrin would break and a seizure which landed him in the ER with the doctors shaking their heads and sending him home. He was being watched for Autism because he had many of the symptoms physical and mental. Now he is labled ADHD. He is just now starting to recognize the alphabet. He is 8.
Back to me…
I didn’t know when I took my second child to get his 18 month old son his MMR that I was pregnant. As I said earlier he had a reaction to it. Well, so did I. I got Measles from him! The week after he had his reaction I found out that I was pregnant. I was treating my son for the measles reaction. Then I started having what I thought was “morning sickness”, but then I got a fever of 101 that lasted for 4 months! It wouldn’t go down. I felt like I had golf balls on both sides of my neck! I could barely swallow. I lived on chicken broth, strawberries, and kiwi. (That is all that tasted good to me.) I took 3 different rounds of antibiotics. None of them helped. All I could do was sleep. I would force myself to go on walks around the neighborhood so that I could be awake to take care of the 2 children I already had plus I figured the sunshine and fresh air would help. Finally after 4 months of a fever at 101, loosing 20 pounds, 3 rounds of antibiotics, and many days on the couch sleeping while my toddler was in a play pen and my 5 year old watched movies and colored, I was over it. I went on to have a healthy son. I just pray that when he gets married and they decide to have children that he isn’t sterile because of the Rubella that I had while I was pregnant with him.
Consequently, I am up-to-date on all of my immunizations. So I question, why did I get sick in the first place? I also want to mention that because my Rubella titer was too high from getting Rubella from my son’s reaction to his MMR I had 3 miscarriages after that. I have finally be able to carry a child to term and he is 28 months now. Needless to say, my husband and I decided to not vaccinate any more children after the MMR reacion in our second child.
One more thing I wanted to mention is that I have read that scientist are using human blood cells to make vaccines. This could be passing bad DNA from someone else into our children and causing problems too. All around, I really am glad that we are free to choose if our children get immunizied. I hope it stays that way.
I have been in some third world places as a missionary and I have seen the living conditions that are customery for their children. I can understand why they want to give vaccines to their children. We truely are a blessed nation.
Good article. Vaccines are a deal breaker in our house, and not because of the metal. The disease itself, and the compromised immune system of the one receiving it, is the real issue. Some people’s immune systems simply cannot deal with even a weakened strain disease. I think research ought to be done to create alternative methods to boost immunity for those who will have adverse reactions to vaccines. Tests need to be created to discover which group of the population are likely to have adverse effects to traditional vaccines, and the option to boost immunity via the alternate should be offered. Even then, the freedom to choose to refuse even the alternative should be left intact. I hope this happens sooner than later. Too many children have suffered severe neurological damage because alternatives to vaccination are not (widely) available. I read an article that stated the concept of innoculation may have originated in India in 1000 years before Christ. We are not living in ancient times… why are we using ancient methods to treat modern people? I think it’s time to look for something new.
PS. They don’t tell you about metal in vaccines in today’s baby books because the manufacturing of such vaccines ended in 2000, and doctors were strongly advised to remove these vaccines from distribution. However, many pediatricians choose not to do so (including my children’s) because these vaccines had not reached their expiration dates. So, for the sake of not wasting “perfectly good vaccines” , pediatricians continued to use them. It’s been 11 years, and whatever original supply existed at the time would have run out by now, and yet children are still developing autism. This leads me to suspect that the neurological damage inflicted upon children and adults has got nothing to do with the metals, but with the live virus itself. There is much more to this issue than has been insofar revealed.
We do the same thing for the same reason! I was going to post a question to Hallee and ask her feelings as a Christian on the vaccine companies using and profiting from abortion. When it is time for shots at our house, it is almost comical trying to find vaccines that are human dna-free, as well as low/no metals. Our pediatrician is very kind but still lets me know that I obviously “do not understand how low-risk vaccines are.” What a tightrope walk to be a parent!
I walk a weird line on this subject. I do not vaccinate my kids with vaccines that they “grow out of” simply because of delay. I also do not vaccinate my kids on schedule. Finally, I do not vaccinate for chicken pox.
However, my son spent the first five years of his life struggling to grow. He had IUGR when I was pregnant, FTT until age 2 and “recurrent pnemonia” and “fevers of unexplained origin” until age 5. His blood panels showed that many of his vaccines didn’t actually create antibodies. The week after his fifth birthday, his immunologist convinced (despite huge reservations on my part) to give him PneumoVax23. It is a rarely used vaccine designed to protect cancer patients, organ recipients, etc. from 23 strains of bacteria. 3 months after receiving that vaccine, my son’s antibodies went from a <0.2 to 64.9. I have never been so grateful for vaccines in my life. We are 6 months illness free, the longest we have ever gone in his lifetime.
Everyone deserves the right to make their own decision and to vaccinate (or not) on their own schedules. I just hope that every parent enters into the decision thoughtfully and purposefully.
My son also had measles from his MMR. I, thankfully, had delayed that particular vaccine until he was 4.5 years old…so it didn’t cause damage beyond the uncomfortable illness for 2 weeks.
Thanks for handling this in a balanced way, so many people end up creating arguments over this issue. My son is only 16 months old, and has not received any of his vaccinations yet. My husband & I both had serious vaccine reactions as children, so we plan to to wait until he is old enough to communicate if he is feeling sick afterward (originally we were going to start at 18 months, but we may wait even longer now because he’s never even had a cold and doesn’t really understand sick or hurt or know his body parts yet).
Our pediatrician has been great about this, and our plan is to start when we feel ready and give the “organic” preservative/metal free shots, one at a time so if there is any reaction we will know which one it is from and can still give the others. I am a stay at home mom, so I feel safer doing this, but we would probably have vaccinated earlier if we had to put him in daycare or if he had siblings in daycare or public school, where they are more likely to pick up childhood diseases.
I too am a stay-at-home Mom. My husband and I had to immunize our 1st son until age 1 because he was in daycare (I was still working at that time). He is now 3.5 and has had no additional vaccines and my 2.5 month old has not been immunized either.
We made this decision based on numerous studies of the lack of efficacy of vaccines (some are only 40% effective), the possible damage they can do (both physical and neurological) and the sheer number of vaccines given to children now-a-days. It is more than double what was required when I was a child.
I can understand both sides of the debate and I am supportive of all choices on the matter. I feel it is a deeply personal choice that one should not be judged by.
Thank you for bringing up the fact that vaccines (for the majority of people) save lives. Mostly, we don’t worry about Measles, German measles, polio, small pox etc because those vaccines exist. However, I think people forget that. When something bad happens, we jump to conclusions and make snap decisions that could ultimately affect other people’s lives. Not just our own.
I have 4 children. I have vaccinated all of them completely except for Hepatitis A–I don’t remember why at the moment (maybe the likelyhood of them contracting that while being here in the States and not abroad is unlikely. Our doctor agrees it is unnecessary).
So far so good.
Can I also add that those that choose to non-vax completely was a very scary thing for our family for many years, because my son *couldn’t* develop antibodies. What that meant is that every time he was exposed to something, it was as if he had never been exposed before. Going out in public was worrisome.
I imagine even more so in any densely populated area. I remember when Kaylee’s aunt and uncle took her cousin across country. She’s not vaccinated, and I remember being worried for her about being in an international airport.
You said you chose your doctor in KY because he used “preservative free” and “metal free” vaccines. I’ve done extensive research and I’m not sure they exist. Perhaps single does imported from Europe or Canada are “preservative free.” Googling the the vaccine ingredients by dose and manufacturer is not a bad place to start.
Yes, we live in an extremely populated area, which is filled with immigrants. I actually took an entire summer off of our normal public activities last year (e.g. Disneyland, the park, etc.) because we couldn’t risk the exposure.
Hallee – First of all, I applaud you and Gregg for doing your own homework and making your decision about vaccinations based on what you learned and what you believed to be best for your kids, rather than what society tells us is “best”. I feel strongly that vaccinations are a personal decision for parents, and that parents should be allowed to make those decisions for their children without fear of being “guilted” by anyone…medical community, school officials, etc. My husband and I did something different with all 3 of our children. My oldest was vaccinated completely and on schedule. At that time, I had no idea that there were options or that I had a choice. My middle son kept a constant ear infection his first winter, so consequently, his vaccinations were delayed because each time we had an appointment, he would have a fever. When he was 2 1/2 we caught him up, gradually, on a schedule our pediatrician suggested. At this point, I was learning more and more about vaccinations and the debate surrounding them, as well as learning that as parents, we DID have a choice. My youngest child had his vaccinations up to 9 months. During his first winter, he was so sick. He had everything coming and going… flu, ear infection, throat infection, RSV. A week before his 1 year well-baby check he was still wheezing and we were back on the nebulizer. My husband and I had been doing research on vaccines and had been discussing if we wanted to delay vaccinations for our youngest. The wheezing and breathing treatments before that check-up made the decision for us. We were aware that we were jumping on a bandwagon that had not been proven (that vaccines can cause autism), but we decided it would do no harm to wait a while. In addition, while we had no reason to believe the vaccines had helped suppress his immune system that winter, causing him to be so sick, we DID know that he felt so lousy after vaccines (more so than either of our other children) that we just weren’t willing to do ANYTHING to him at that 1 year well-baby check up that would make him feel worse. By this time it was late May, and he was just starting to feel better after a very long winter of being sick. So, at that appointment, I refused the vaccines. The nurse gave me a sideways look, but the doctor said it would be fine to wait and to catch him up at the next appointment. After that, though, my husband and I decided to stop his vaccinations altogether, until he was ready to go school, and then we would catch him up. There were a number of occasions when we were made to feel guilty about our decision – once when we made a trip to the ER for a severely swollen jaw that turned out to be a dental issue (abscessed tooth) and another when he cut his toe on a rusty tractor part (such a “boy” thing to do!) and it got infected, necessitating a trip to the dr. Each instance, when asked if he was up to date on his vaccinations, we answered, “No. By choice.” And then were given the “shame on you” look. The infected toe needed a tetanus shot, which we didn’t object to, of course, but we did insist that he be given JUST the tetanus shot, and not the DTap, which contained the diptheria (sp?) vaccine as well. So… all that to say this: Our experience delaying vaccinations (not refusing them altogether) was met with a lot of negativity. We felt at various times that guilt was being forced upon us for a decision we’d made after a lot of research, thought and prayer. Like you, I’m very thankful to live in a country where so much disease has been eradicated, giving me the opportunity to make a decision to delay vaccinations for my child. However, I wish our society and the medical community (I’m speaking in a VERY general sense here) would respect those decisions, and not make me feel guilty for doing what I believed to be best for my baby. Reece (my youngest) is now almost 6 and in kindergarten. The summer before he started school, we caught him up on his vaccinations gradually, on a schedule our new pediatrician set out for us. I don’t know for certain that his good health during the previous 4 years was due to his NOT being vaccinated, but I do know for certain that he WAS very healthy during those 4 years, and that he is no worse for the fact that we delayed his vaccinations until just before he started school.
I believe it’s a personal choice, and that whatever that choice is, parent’s rights should be respected.
Thank you so much for this comment. It’s so interesting that all of your kids were done differently.
The more we read and learn about “Big Pharma” — the less we’re happy that we’ve immunized at all.