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Should Parents Vaccinate Their Children or Opt Out?

January 29, 2013

Whether or not you should vaccinate your child has become a heated debate among holistic practitioners, organizations like the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and family doctors who suggest keeping the schedule of vaccinations for children on target. 

Every mother wants to do the best for her child. And many mothers are concerned that vaccinating their young ones against infectious diseases like measles, mumps, and rubella, as well as against influenza and pandemic outbreaks like swine flu, may not be the best decision they can make to insure their child’s health. 

The CDC and family doctors think that sticking to a vaccination schedule and bringing children in for yearly flu shots is not only the best decision, but it’s the decision that is responsible. Vaccinations not only protect children against contagious and potentially severe illnesses; they also protect the general population by contributing to “herd immunity.” Because a vaccinated person does not get sick, they are not able to infect others with the illness.

Yet commonly known toxic ingredients in vaccines like thimerosal or mercury, formaldehyde, aluminum rightfully alarm parents.

The CDC refutes these concerns with the statement:

There is no evidence of harm caused by the small amounts of thimerosal in flu vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site. Flu vaccines that do not contain thimerosal are available.

In addition to worries about toxic ingredients, there are new reports that about 800 children who were given the H1N1 flu vaccine now suffer from narcolepsy. The vaccine was given to an estimated 30 million people, mostly in Europe during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Europe’s drug regulator now advises that Pandremix not be given to people under the age of 20.  GlaxoSmith Kline, a large vaccine and drug manufacturer in the United States issued the H1N1 vaccine. 

Other parents are concerned that vaccinations can lead to developmental disorders such as autism. The federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, also known as Vaccine Court, awarded millions of dollars to families of two children with autism.  While there seems to be discrepancy in what the government admits and what the court rulings state regarding vaccinations’ role in encephalopathy (brain disease), testimony from family members tell a different story. 

Parents of ten-year-old Ryan Mojabi allege that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccinations he received from 2003-2005 caused a "severe and debilitating injury to his brain, described as Autism Spectrum Disorder ('ASD')."

And Jillian Moller, mother of Emily, filed her case in Vaccine Court back in 2003. Moller said. "We had the evidence: the EEG, the MRI, everything was consistent with encephalopathy, post-vaccination. How can government attorneys claim what our doctors said happened, didn't happen?” 

The National Autism Association believes that vaccinations can trigger or exacerbate autism in some, if not many, children – especially those who are genetically predisposed to immune, autoimmune or inflammatory conditions.

Whether you decide to go with suggested schedules for vaccinations or you decide to opt out, always talk with healthcare providers about your options and know the potential side effects and ramifications for each decision.

What are your thoughts on the debate about vaccinations and children’s health?