I am creating this blog a couple of days before my son's first birthday and about a week and a half before he is due for his 12-month check-up (and next round of vaccinations). I am in the midst of a personal research project to determine if the vaccines my son is to receive are riskier than the worth of the benefits they are supposed to give.
My project started in the middle of last month, when my husband told me about an acquaintance whose autistic daughter had been developing normally until age 2 1/2. The day after her vaccines were administered, apparently, she changed completely. I had heard rumors of vaccines being linked to autism, having worked in a therapy office that treated autistic kids before our son was born. I had even asked the nurse at our pediatrician's office about the rumored vaccine-autism connection, but she replied that no evidence was out there to really legitimize it. (On that day, I nervously sat through the shots going into my screaming baby, but when he seemed OK afterwards, I sort of forgot about the whole issue.)
Ever since my husband came home with that news, I have been researching almost every day. What I have found has forever changed the way I think about vaccinations. As of today, I plan on halting all vaccines until I feel comfortable with them again (if ever). Now, let me just say that even as I type that, I never thought I would be in that boat! In college, I majored in Environmental Health Science; my studies included Immunology, Microbiology, Epidemiology, Toxicology and many more human health / public health policy courses. "CDC" is a name I admired and trusted and I even hoped, in my budding career plans, to work for them one day.
After college, I worked for a public policy organization in Washington, D.C., and got a little smarter about politics and the supposed neutrality of government bodies. ... The CDC has a major problem on its hands right now, and I am not the only one who has lost trust in them.
My current research project began the week after Hannah Poling's case hit the headlines. I watched this video (Source: WJLA - ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C., March 6, 2008) and my concern level reached new peaks.
I next asked a friend for information, knowing that she had researched vaccines a lot and chose not to vaccinate her children. (I never really knew why, but respected her decision and figured she had good reasons.) She gave me some links to the National Vaccine Information Center and a set of DVDs she recommended. She also asked a challenging rhetorical question:
"If shots are so great, why is there a federal injury compensation program in place?!"
Good question indeed.
Many questions remain. Many more posts to come. The baby has awoken.