Thursday, January 20

Why and How we delay vaccines

As we draw closer to the 24 month mark with Little Lady it is time make some decisions in regards to vaccinations. Up to this point neither one of our littles have had any vaccinations. A friend asked me to share what our plans are so I'm going to share it here incase anyone else is interested.

First, why we came to the decision to delay vaccines for our children. While we were pregnant with Little Lady, hubby and I made the decision to not have our children vaccinated. At the time we were taking a child birth class, the Bradley Method, and our instructor gave us information on vaccines and provided us with resources to learn more about them.

We have since then decided that we will vaccinate our children, but we want to delay them until they are 24 months old and then we are choosing to get only a select few that are on the vaccination schedule at our pediatricians office.

The resource that I read and used the most to determine whether we would vaccinate was What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Vaccines by Stephanie Cave, M.D. with Deborah Mitchell. This book was extremely helpful because:

  1. it gave me valuable info in terms I could understand,
  2. it gave me a history of each vaccine and the diseases they are tied to, as well as a history of vaccines in general,
  3. it gave me 'risk of getting each disease' vs. 'risk of having a life changing side affect.'
And so much more. I like that it was written by an M.D. and not just someone with an opinion; she has experience.

Another book I would recommend is The Vaccine Book: Making the right decision for your child by Robert W Sears, M.D. In this book Dr. Sears has an alternate vaccination schedule available.

Also, the National Vaccine Information Center is a great resource and a great way to keep up to date on the latest information involving vaccines and reported reactions to those vaccines. There is even a place to report a reaction on this website.

After doing a lot of research, hearing why other parents are delaying vaccines and talking to our pediatrician we came up with the plan to delay having our children vaccinated. Here are the most important and biggest factors to us:
  • Babies are born with the stem of their brain still open and have so much physical development in their first two years of life. We want to try and keep them from as much outside, man-made interference that we can.
  • Several of the vaccines that are given to babies today are for infections that are not fatal and/or can be gotten over naturally, therefore building their immune system up for protection against illnesses down the road. {For example: chicken pox, influenza}
  • Other vaccines were derived from the tissues of aborted babies: Chicken Pox, MMR, Hep A, Polio & Rabies {Source.}
  • Several vaccines have such a low risk of catching the virus that we don't feel the need to expose our kids to chemicals for "just in case" purposes. 
  • Both of our kids are breast fed, which can enhance their immune systems as they receive my antibodies while they are breast feeding and lower their risk of illness significantly. Our kids are also at home with one of us most of the time and have a fairly low risk of infection because of that.
  • And lastly, and probably most importantly, our lives and our children's lives rest in the hands of God alone and we choose not to be controlled by fears of this world or even the 'what if's' that can paralyze us if we let them. It's not always easy to do, but praise God when we are able to do it because it's only through Him and trusting in Him that we are successful in not living in fear. 
Next I'm going to share how we are delaying vaccinations.

First we had to decide which vaccines we wanted our kids to have and which ones we were going to opt out of. For some this was an easier decision than others. 

For example, the chicken pox vaccine was created as a convenience because the infection can potentially keep working parents from work up to 2 weeks or more. But for the most part children get over chicken pox and actually develop antibodies that can protect them from catching Shingles as an adult. Those who receive the vaccine and never have chicken pox are at a high risk of catching Shingles, which can be serious at an older age.

**UPDATE: It appears that I misspoke about the chicken pox vaccine, here is more information one what I was trying to say: According to What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children's Vaccinations "As more and more healthy children are vaccinated today, there will be a decreasing number of unvaccinated children who will have an opportunity to get chicken pox and aquire permenant natural immunity. When both the vaccinated and unvaccinated children reach adulthood many may be at risk for getting chicken pox and experiencing serious complications. If, however, children are allowed to get chicken pox (which is usally mild in childhood), they will have permanent immunity and thus eliminate the risk of getting the disease in adulthood."

You can also read more about the Chicken Pox vaccine in relation to Shingles in an article in The Medical News here.

So based on the research we have done we have decided on the following vaccines for our kids at this time:
  • DaPT {Dipheria, Tetanus, Pertussis*}: @ 24, 26, 28 and 38 months of age
  • Prevnar-13 {Pneumococcal}: @ 28, 30, 32 and 42 months of age
  • Menactra {Meningococcal}: @ 38 months of age
  • Hib {Haemophilus Influenzae type B}: @ 32, 34, 36 and 46 months of age
* I would rather not do a 'cocktail' shot with more than one vaccine at a time, but their is no other option for these three.

The way we chose to space out the shots, besides the recommended spacing, is to ensure that each vaccine is given a fair chance to show signs of a reaction. By receiving multiple vaccines at one visit it makes it difficult to identify which vaccine is the cause. After two shots of a vaccine we should know if they will have a reaction to it so we can begin another series.

I would encourage everyone to research and decide for yourself what is best for your family, as it really is different for each person. Some people have conditions that make them more prone to catch a disease. I am only sharing what we have decided to do for our family, at this point, with two healthy children who were/are breast fed, do not attend daycare and will most likely be home schooled. If any of these things change then our plan may need to be revised.

Feel free to leave any questions or comments in the comment section. :) If you'd rather email me you can do that too. You'll find my email. in the 'Contact Me' tab.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you may be a little confused about Shingles. You can ONLY get shingles if you've had chicken pox. It's the virus reactivating in adults. You can catch chicken pox from someone with shingles if you've never had the virus or the vaccination. But you cannot catch shingles.

Katie B said...

Thanks, Anonymous. I was incorrect in the wording involving 'catching' Shingles as it is a reactivation of the virus Chicken Pox. But you can actually have Shingles even though you are vaccinated with the Chicken Pox vaccine. My brother in law was one who received the vaccine and had Shingles in his teens. I have made a correction in my original post to clarify this issue.

Joel and Jaclyn said...

Thanks! I am going to start reading more about it because we were advised to wait until 6 months, but after reading some of what you said we may wait until 2 as well! Thanks for taking the time... it helps those of us that have no idea where to begin researching!

Kym said...

I heartily applaud your diligence in researching the subject of childhood immunizations. So many of us went along with what we were told instead of doing the research and making an EDUCATED decision. (This seems to be how most of us vote, too. "We're just a nation of SHEEP!") Kudos to you!

Kym said...

I heartily applaud your diligence in researching the subject of childhood immunizations. So many of us went along with what we were told instead of doing the research and making an EDUCATED decision. (This seems to be how most of us vote, too. "We're just a nation of SHEEP!") Kudos to you!

Anonymous said...

I think you may be a little confused about Shingles. You can ONLY get shingles if you've had chicken pox. It's the virus reactivating in adults. You can catch chicken pox from someone with shingles if you've never had the virus or the vaccination. But you cannot catch shingles.

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