I finally feel I have a handle on this. You can find my first post discussing concerns with the current vaccination schedule here.
This time, I will break down the highlights of what I have found concerning each of the vaccines on the recommended schedule. I will try to include as many of the resources I have used as I can in order to help you do the same research should you choose to. I will also provide two modified AAP refusal forms and links where you can find information regarding your states school/daycare exemption forms. At the end, I will provide my alternate-delayed vaccination schedule.
First, let's start with the basic premise of what I wanted to achieve. I wanted to delay beginning the shots until my baby's immune system had time to develop. I didn't know exactly when this should be, it will be a decision you will have to make for yourself, but for me, starting at one year of age is what I am comfortable with. The second goal was that he not receive more than one or two vaccinations at any given visit. This is in an effort to make sure his system is not overloaded with the chemicals and additives in the shots all at once. It also gives me the opportunity to pinpoint which vaccination caused any potential reactions.
On to the meat and potatoes.
Vaccines required for school/daycare by Washington State:
(Try googling for your state's requirements.)
Hepatitis B (HepB)- Final verdict: No
This one was easy for me. Hepatitis B is a sexually transmitted disease that requires direct exchange of bodily fluids to contract. I see absolutely no reason why a baby should be subjected to this shot when the mother is HepB negative. In the future when my son is sexually active, I believe that education and discussion on the responsibility of safe sex will be far more important than a vaccine.
Diptheria, Tetanus, acellular Pertussis (DTaP)- Final verdict:Yes
This one took a very long time for me to sort through and decide on. Truthfully, the deciding factor on the yes for this one was my husband. He feels this is an important one to have even having read all the sources I've shown him. One thing I know we won't be doing is frequent boosters once the series is done. It's been shown that the over-vaccination against things like tetanus actually harms your bodies ability to fight the disease. Here a bunch of resources for DTaP if you want to look into it more yourself.
- Inside Vaccines: DTaP
- Pertussis hospitalization among infants
- Components of DTaP vaccine- If you do decide on this one, this link helps you choose which brand to use
When I researched this vaccine, the information I could find on it suggests that the version we use in the US today (inactivated polio virus) does not actually prevent someone from getting the wild version of polio. What it does do is prevent it from affecting the central nervous system should you contract polio and therefore nullifying the most serious side effect of the disease; i.e paralysis. I know there haven't been any cases of wild polio in the US since 1999, but the side effects of this particular vaccine are mild and I feel the benefits outweigh the risks in this case should there ever be an outbreak or we travel.
Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)- Final Verdict: ??
Sorry guys. The jury is still out on this one. I had hoped to come to a decision on this one before I posted but I'll save it for a later date. This is the big scary one that's linked to all the autism claims and there is a vast amount of material out there on this one and I haven't been able to sort through it yet. Here are some sites that may help you.
Varicella (Chickenpox)- Final Verdict: No
This one is a joke in my most humble opinion. Chickenpox is harmless, causes no long lasting side effects in healthy children and the worst to come out of it is missing a few days school. I see no need to introduce chemicals with potentially greater harm to my child's system than the disease it protects against.
Haemophilus Influenza type B (HiB)- Final Verdict: No
This one is about why it's best to leave nature to run its course. Our bodies are symbiotic with many bacteria. They keep each other in balance and ensure that we remain healthy. Diseases and sickness occur when one kind of bacteria grows too much or moves to an area of the body it shouldn't be. Inside Vaccines has more detailed information regarding this phenomena. My other reason behind declining this one is that my baby is exclusively breastfed. The antibodies in breastmilk protect and encourage the natural growth of a child's bacterial flora ecosystem.
Pneumococcal (Prevnar) (PCV)- Final Verdict: No
This vaccine operates along the same lines as the HiB. Destroy one bacteria and another moves in to take its place. In this case the bacteria that is allowed to flourish in absentia is Staphylococcus aureus. Hmm...no thanks. Oh and ear infections? Yeah my breastmilk has that covered. See this article and the previous one from Inside Vaccines linked earlier.
Influenza (Flu)- Final Verdict: No
Another no brainer for me. I don't get a flu shot every year, why should I make my child get one? I think the human immune system does a great job on it's own of taking care of small things like the flu. There are way too many strains of influenza for the flu shot to even make a difference. I'll pass on this one.
Rotavirus- Final Verdict: No
This one is way too new my comfort. No one has any idea if this is safe, or what the long lasting side effects may be. The only thing rotavirus causes is diarrhea which even the CDC admits can be safely treated at home.
Human papiloma virus (HPV)-
I have a boy, so not much to say on the subject, but I thought this thread on MDC was worth the read.
This page shows the minimum time between vaccine doses and the number of doses per vaccine recommended. Here is my timeline for the vaccinations I will be consenting to.
12 months: DTaP
15 months: IPV
18 months: DTaP
24 months: DTaP
30 month (not a typical well-baby visit): IPV
4 years: Final DTaP and IPV
Here are two versions of the modified AAP refusal form to bring for your child's medical records. Do not use the one from the AAP website and make sure to read anything they give you in your doctor's office to sign as you can incriminate yourself in child neglect.
Version #1 (shorter more concise)
Version #2 (lists detailed information on the adverse effects of each vaccine)
This page is a good explanation of the different exemption types, and here you can find state by state exemptions laws. If you choose to do a partial exemption, and that option is not available in your particular area, I would suggest getting whatever vaxes you find necessary but not submitting the record to the school. Simply sign the blanket religious form to hand in. If you do this, make sure you opt-out of your states vaccine registry.
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Is there anything you would add?
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