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The 5 reasons I vaccinate my children #health #vaccines

The 5 Reasons Why I Vaccinate My Children

by Regan

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This post is dedicated to my friend Marc who passed away May 10, 2014 from complications from the flu. He was 39 years old.

The 5 reasons I vaccinate my children #health #vaccines

Yeah, yeah, I know. This is a hot button issue and I fully expect to ruffle some feathers here, but it’s time that the 90% of us who vaccinate speak out. 

I told myself that I would never, ever discuss a few topics on this blog: politics, religion, and vaccines. However I am finding that the majority of us who vaccinate have been silenced out of fear of drama or being bullied since it has become as taboo a topic as politics and religion and the very vocal minority are the only voices being heard. Are we not adults who are trusted to make informed decisions for our children without being bullied or accused of being uneducated? I can tell you that I vaccinate my children not because I’m uneducated. I have read information from both sides and have decided that vaccination is the responsible choice for my family. 

Please note that I am not here to try to change your mind or sway your decision one way or another since your mind is most likely already made up, just as mine is. I am not going to spew a bunch of facts and figures at you either since those are available if you Google them. These are my thoughts and opinions and why I’ve made the decision to vaccinate. 

I don’t believe that the medical community is out to harm my children.

These are medical professionals who have dedicated their lives to treat and prevent illness, not cause it by administering poison to babies and young children. These are highly educated individuals who know a heck of a lot more about medicine than I or some washed up Playboy model do. It is up to me to trust their education and the educations of the countless individuals who have developed, tested, and ensured the safety of vaccinations. 

Vaccines prevent illness, not cause it.

I also do not believe that vaccines cause Autism, ADHD, or any other condition that is being blamed on vaccines by the anti-vax community. We now have names for these things and better testing, diagnosis, and treatment which is the cause of the upswing in the number of children being diagnosed. 

For example, there were about 500,000 reported cases and 500 deaths from measles each year before the measles vaccine was licensed in 1963.2 In 2002, only 44 cases were reported in the United States.3 Since the Hib vaccine was introduced in 1985, serious Hib disease has declined from about 20,000 cases per year to 34 cases in 2002.14

Source: http://www.immunizationinfo.org/

My children are exposed to more Mercury in fish than in vaccines. 

Especially now that Mercury/Thimerosal isn’t in most vaccines anymore. Even so, I would prefer that my child have one low dose of mercury that has been proven safe over and over again over a nasty and potentially deadly bacterial infection (or Polio, Smallpox, Whooping Cough, etc). Incidentally the mercury in fish (Methylmercury) is likely more dangerous than the mercury (Ethylmercury) found in vaccines. 

Mercury is a naturally occurring element found in the earth’s crust, air, soil and water. Since the earth’s formation, volcanic eruptions, weathering of rocks and burning of coal have caused mercury to be released into the environment. Once released, certain types of bacteria in the environment can change mercury to methylmercury. Methylmercury makes its way through the food chain in fish, animals and humans. At high levels, it can be toxic to people.

Thimerosal contains a different form of mercury called ethylmercury. Studies comparing ethylmercury and methylmercury suggest that they are processed differently in the human body. Ethylmercury is broken down and excreted much more rapidly than methylmercury. Therefore, ethylmercury (the type of mercury in the influenza vaccine) is much less likely than methylmercury (the type of mercury in the environment) to accumulate in the body and cause harm.

Source: http://www.chop.edu/

I trust science and do not listen to propaganda.

First of all, I am married to a scientist and he would be pretty offended if I told him that science was BS. More importantly though, the reasons to skip vaccines are not from what I consider to be credible sources. I find that anti-vaccine information tends to rely on scare tactics and skewed numbers instead of true facts.

Of course medicine is never an absolute and there is a very small percentage of people who will have a catastrophic vaccine reaction but these people are a very, very small minority. For me the risk of serious illness such as the latest Whooping Cough, Measles, and Mumps outbreaks are far greater than the remote chance of a vaccine reaction. One also has a very small chance of having complications from life saving surgery but we don’t stop having surgery because the benefit far outweighs the risk. 

The biggest reason.

With Measles and Whooping Cough making alarming comebacks I would never be able to live with myself if my children were to catch something that could have been prevented by having them vaccinated. 

In closing I would like to say goodbye to my friend, M. He was a smart, funny, healthy guy who was loved by many and he has left a giant hole in the hearts of all who knew him. I may never know if the flu vaccine would have saved his life or not as I do not know what strain he had, but I can tell you that I have been lax in getting the flu vaccine myself. You can bet that I will now be getting a flu vaccine every year along with my children. 

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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18 comments

Beth Ann June 12, 2014 - 7:24 am

When I was reading this post, I was thinking “WOW, I really need to share this, this is all my feelings!” but then I realized that all of my “friends” on facebook would probably have a field day with telling me how wrong I am, and how “uneducated” I am.

So kudos to you for having the guts to not only talk about this subject but really hit the nail on the head to what most of us feel. We aren’t stupid. We aren’t putting our child at risk. My child doesn’t have reactions to vaccines, why would I deny the science available to save her life?

Dang, I just couldn’t agree with you more on this post. Thank you for posting!

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Regan June 12, 2014 - 8:40 am

Thank you. It was a hard post to hit publish on but I’m very glad that the feedback has been supportive instead of full of drama. After all it’s just my opinion.

Not much irks me more than being called uneducated for vaxing my kids because the truth is that I don’t do *anything* without researching it to death first. That’s just how I roll.

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Marilyn Lesniak June 10, 2014 - 11:53 am

I applaud you for your courage to write this post and voice your opinion on an open forum. Yes, you are sure to ruffle feathers, but in doing you will be definitely opening a forum of discussion. Bravo!

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Alisha June 10, 2014 - 8:59 am

We vaccinate on a delayed scheduled but we do get them. I just wouldn’t be able to live with my choice if my children did end up getting a preventable disease. Great post by the way.

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Sue Hull June 9, 2014 - 11:02 pm

I think vaccines are so important and life saving. My granddaughter is 3 wks old and the nurse told my daughter to make sure everyone gets the TDAP shot so of course I did. I had a few side effects but no big deal. I will get any shot I have to just to protect my granddaughter from getting any serious disease that could harm her. I get my flu shot every year. I agree with you, I don’t think vaccines cause autism or adhd. Everyone does what is right for their families and that’s ok. To each their own.

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Regan June 9, 2014 - 11:33 pm

When my second son was born in November 2010 it was Pertussis outbreak time and flu season. My oldest son and husband had to get the TDAP and flu shots before birth and I got them right before being discharged after giving birth. None of us even noticed that we had shots at all. No reactions whatsoever.

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Hey Jen June 9, 2014 - 8:36 pm

When did we lose the ability to talk to one another without hurling invectives at each other for personal decisions/thoughts or beliefs? You can’t talk about vaccination, you can’t talk about circumcision, you can’t talk about breastfeeding/bottle feeding, politics, or religion without someone telling you what a horrible person you are. It’s just ridiculous. I’m so tired of people jumping down others throats for someone having an opinion different than theirs.

On that note, I completely agree and will be vaccinating my LO when she finally makes her appearance. I’ve done the research and read both sides of the argument, but feel for my family that vaccination is best.

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Regan June 9, 2014 - 8:56 pm

I wish I knew but think it’s very sad. If I walked off in a huff or argued about everything that I don’t agree with I wouldn’t still be married and I surely wouldn’t have any friends. I think everyone is so stuck on being right. Well, of course I think I’m right since it’s my opinion but I don’t begrudge anyone their own opinions.

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courtney hennagir June 9, 2014 - 8:09 pm

I vaccinate for all the same reasons you do.Thanks for the great post.I’m tired of people trying to make me feel like crap for protecting my kids in this way.

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christine k June 9, 2014 - 7:05 pm

I am all for people who vaccinate vaccinating, just as I am all for people who don’t vaccinate to not vaccinate. Everyone should be able to decide what is right for their family without being shamed one way or another.

I don’t think that vaccines cause Autism, but they *CAN* cause illness. I understand that your point was likely meant as a general rule, but many can still get ill from vaccines, namely Pertussis and Varicella. People around those who received the vaccine can catch either of the aforementioned ailments, as they are contagious for a few weeks (up to 6 in the case of Pertussis) afterwards.

I recently read an article about the Measles Vaccine that, while it most certainly doesn’t say not to vaccinate, it does state that the measles vaccine won’t prevent outbreaks. It’s still a “pro-vax” article, but it was a very interesting read. Only sharing in the off-chance that you may not have read it yet. 🙂
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/lawrence-solomon/measles-vaccine_b_5376951.html

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Regan June 9, 2014 - 7:27 pm

I don’t believe that my post came from a place of shaming those who do not vaccinate. At least that wasn’t my intention as I have been writing and editing this post for two weeks making sure that I tread lightly. That said, I wholeheartedly disagree with the anti-vax movement as I am sure they disagree with me. But there are many, many parenting decisions that others may disagree with.

There are exceptions to every rule but I believe that vaccinating stacks the deck in our favor and the cases of those becoming ill from a vaccine are far less than those becoming ill without it, especially once the herd immunity breaks down. It’s easy to dismiss a disease like Polio or Smallpox that we have likely never seen…until we do.

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Patty June 9, 2014 - 3:28 pm

Great post! I just took my 7 month old son to the clinic and the Dr suspects he may have measles. I am now stressed to the max! He is fully up to date with his immunizations and isn’t due for the measles shot for another 4 months. The heath authority takes communal illness very seriously. We are keeping our son home under strict orders to keep him away from the public while we wait for the results of all the tests he underwent. I also provide family daycare and have had to close my doors for the whole week. I’ve been on and off the phone with the health authority for 3 days now and it is still another few days before we get results. And this is all just in case. It breaks my heart to have to think about all the little ones at risk…especially my own. The common trend of not immunizing is a sensitive subject and I really think the ones that choose that rout are not thinking about the whole picture. I am so thankful that my son is okay. If it turns out that he does have measles he is very lucky to only have minimal symptoms.

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Regan June 9, 2014 - 3:49 pm

Oh, I am so sorry that you and your sweet baby are dealing with this. I was so freaked out to go to the grocery store or anywhere else with my youngest (now 3.5) because that was when Whooping Cough was just starting to become a problem and being a newborn, he wasn’t immunized yet. I didn’t feel completely comfortable until he had at least one dose of everything. I kept him in a baby carrier so no one would be tempted to get too close to him because you just never know. I think it’s irresponsible not to immunize your children and potentially put your own child and the public who are too young for or are allergic to vaccines at risk for unfounded reasons.

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Steph M June 9, 2014 - 2:32 pm

Word. My mom is absolutely, completely deaf in one ear thanks to a childhood bout with the mumps. That is real. These other ‘connections’ to vaccines are not. I also vaccinate out of a sense of community–as a member of society I want to do my part to help keep others healthy too.

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Regan June 9, 2014 - 3:52 pm

Agreed! I would be horrified if someone who was too young or was allergic to vaccines were to catch something from my child. Herd immunity FTW!

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Natalie F June 9, 2014 - 10:36 am

Agree 100%

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Suzi Satterfield June 9, 2014 - 10:10 am

There are no words for how much I agree with this post. Another thing I like to point out: while vaccines do contain formaldehyde, there is ore formaldehyde present in an apricot than in a vaccine.

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Heather Johnson June 9, 2014 - 10:07 am

Great post! I vaccinate for the same reasons. The biggest reason that I vaccinate is that preventable diseases take lives while vaccines save lives. Decades of vaccine use proves the efficacy and safety of vaccines.

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