Monday, August 11, 2008

The Big Debate

Have you heard the debate about vaccinations?

If you haven't then I can only assume that you don't have children.

There's been a lot of bruhaha in recent years about vaccines and their safety. These days kids get a lot of vaccinations. At Charlie's two month check-up he had three shots and each one of these contained either two or three vaccines. That's a lot of viruses.

Some people believe that vaccines may be one of the causes of autism. To date, there's no evidence to back that theory up, but to my knowledge, no double-blind studies have been done on the topic (you know how scientists love those double-blind studies) in this country. Also, I've never been one to wait around for scientists to "prove" something. If my gut tells me something, then that's enough for me.

I've read up one side and down the other on this topic. I've read for it and I've read against it. I've asked people who have PhD's in this area. I've done my homework. As far as I can see, people are almost violent on the issue: either they feel strongly that all children be vaccinated or they feel strongly that they shouldn't. There is very little gray for many people.

I, however, like to hang out in the land of the gray. Charlie has had some vaccinations. We were on hold for a while now due to some medications he was taking, and now I have to decide how much further I want to vaccinate him.

Until Charlie's second birthday, we aren't going to vaccinate him any further. I have no doubt that some people will disagree with this decision, but that's OK: I have a right to handle my child's health the way I see fit (within reason). I think that we're a little zealous in this country about vaccination, and some children are at a high risk for complications.

There is a lot of evidence to show that some perfectly normal children will have a seizure after a vaccination. Furthermore, I've found that some children developed a horrific form of epilepsy after they were vaccinated. I've already been down seizure avenue and I'm in no mood to return. I've scoured the Internet and found an alternate vaccination schedule that I'm happy with. I will wait until Charlie turns two to continue with vaccinations. At this time, his brain will be more fully formed and less susceptible to assault. I don't want to argue over whether or not vaccinations are safe--it doesn't matter to me. What does matter is the little life I've been entrusted with. He rarely sees anyone besides family. He doesn't visit with other children and he doesn't spend any time in Mother's Day Out, Church Childcare, or Day Care. He is exposed to very little in the way of communicable diseases. As we approach the school years, I will begin vaccinating against the most dangerous diseases. I'm going to space out the vaccinations over time. I going to be over-cautious.