Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fear and Loathing (Over Vaccines)

Just a quick note before our morning doctor's appointment -

Before Zuzu was born, I tried to research the vaccine issue. I have many friends who do not vaccinate and I respect them; I wanted to do my own research and see what was good for my baby. Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of what poses for 'research' on both sides is fear mongering: stories of babies that died with both sides insisting it was because they were vaccinated, or because they weren't. I couldn't find any non-biased research.

The big-corporations-don't-care-about-kids-dying narrative is much more my style, but I come from a family of vaccinators. All my siblings, my parents, etc - we were all vaccinated. And we're fine. Plus, if I wanted to take her abroad at three months, she'd HAVE to be vaccinated.

So that's what we've done.

And yet...every time it comes around I'm now terrified. Those stories have stuck in my head - the 1% of kids that have the really bad reactions to vaccines, that die, that regress developmentally. What if she's the 1%?

So some prayers for us today would be appreciated...I'm sure we'll be fine, but I'm not sure I could forgive myself if she weren't.


  1. I agree it is so hard to find accurate information about vaccines. We haven't vaccinated yet, but will probably end up doing some vaccibes. Since I am home with the boys there hasn't been a real reason.

  2. Prayers for your peace of mind. You're right, it is so, so hard to find unbiased research. I think one place to start is the CDC as it gives actually numbers..how many kids get disease and then how many die from it (or suffer serious long-term consequences).

    Finding research on the vaccines is much harder...because there aren't a lot of long-term studies out there..and diseases like autism, asthma, allergies, cancer, and auto-immune disease are complicated things and we don't know why some people get them and others don't so we don't know if vaccines are linked ot them or not and that research would be extremely hard to do. Most studies just look at short-term effects...and you can find research on that.

    Prayers for you. Remember if you are afraid, you can always delay vaccines and get them later.

    1. Thanks for the advice.

      I'm happy that at least she's on a modified schedule...got a dose at 2 months (below what was recommended) and isn't getting anything again until six months. But I wish really that it just wasn't necessary and there were no issues - like everyone acknowledged it wasn't necessary! Oh well. C'est la vie.

  3. These are 15 confused cases of measles in my country. It started with 4 immigrant children from Mexico who obviously hasn't been vaccinated. The youngest child in that family who was 7 months old died. It’s very sad. I think I will vaccinate our kids because we live in Tx and there are a lot of preventable childhood diseases that be vaccinated against. I've actually talked to my husband about not exposing our kids to children who have not been vaccinated until our kids are. I think it's a family decision but I just don't want to take the change that my child will catch something that could be fetal or debilitating and I had the chance to prevent it.

  4. Hi Martha-Just found your blog and have been working through your archives, so sorry this is a bit delayed. Just wanted to share some encouragement and solidarity :) We vaccinated our almost 1 year old son and will vaccinate in the future as well. The risk of getting one of the diseases/illnesses is far higher than the risk of a vaccine related problem. You're a good Mama and are doing the best for your daughter! God Bless!

    1. Hey Lauren!
      Thanks for the encouragement :) It's actually quite timely since we took her again yesterday to get caught up since she missed both her 4 month and 6 month vaccines. So far...she seems to be doing fine! Much better than the 2 month dose, where she cried for 3 hours straight the second night.
      It is honestly the only decision I have ever struggled with in my parenting so far - it's the one that keeps me up at night. Coming from a very eco background and falling on the crunchy-side of parenting, I feel like I'm going against the grain by vaccinating. Buut...I convince myself anew each appointment that I'm doing the right thing...! Here's hoping it's not confirmation bias :)


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