Thursday, April 10, 2008

Where to Start?

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.


dogood said...

Thank you, Sara!
I have a 19 month old daughter who has not yet received the MMR vaccine (despite the doctors objections). I have been concerned and want to wait until I know more. Thank you for taking the time to set up this blog. Have you read Jenny McCarthy's book? She also noticed a change in her soon shortly after his vaccinations. I think too many parents are noting a connection and we need to pay attention!

Sara said...

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to comment anytime. We are all in the same boat, aren't we? ...Just trying to protect our children. Stick with your instincts, and keep researching!

mythreesons said...

just stumbled upon your blog.
i commend you for listening to your heart. i didnt do that and
now i wish i had. i had a blind trust in the medical community (im also a nurse), the cdc, fda, aap and our government to act honestly and safely. it wasnt until i read "deadly immunity" by robert f kennedy jr
that i finally realized that i cant trust people like i thought i could. feel free to take a peek at my blog
take care and never underestimate your conscious! God bless.

Ginger Taylor, M.S. said...


Welcome to the journey down the rabbit hole.

Seeing all that is out there that runs contrary to the 'vaccines are safe', 'no link to autism' is a slap in the face experience. I am happy for you that you are looking into it from the other side of one too many vaccines.

I remember the first time I took my older son in and thought, 'four vaccines, and just doesn't sound right for such a small guy', but i let myself be talked out of my good sense and two years later my little guy took the hit that pushed him into autism.

When vaccines are made safe, it will not just be because mom's like me made a stink, it will be because mom's of healthy kids like you educated themselves and demanded that transparency, common sense and 'first to no harm' be the guiding principles of vaccination.

Glad to meet ya!

Alicia said...

I found your blog through the Vaccine Awakening blog comments, and I look forward to catching up with your other posts. I am doing a similar sort of thing on my own blog and am wanting to increase awareness and encourage my readers to be informed about vaccines. My husband and I are still in the midst of researching and haven't made decisions on all the vaccines yet, but the information is alarming.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sara,

I have 2 children (7 and 3 y.o.) and 1 on the way. Neither of my children have ever received a shot. (By the way, both of my kids are very healthy with no allergies or asthma). (We also choose not to drink cow's milk and switched to rice milk 2 years ago after realizing that my son had a soy allergy). We have lived in Georgia, Kansas, and Washington in the last 7 years and have always been blessed to find doctors that were understanding of our decision not to vaccinate. My son attends public school without any problems. He never misses school as he is probably one of the healthiest kids in his (vaccine riddled) class. He will be asked to stay home if a case of chicken pox or any other 'disease' breaks out in the class. Which doesn't actually make any sense if he wasn't the one that started the outbreak. Go figure! I, too, am well educated (M.S. degree) and work in the health care industry. I always feel the need to point that out because people assume that only an ignorant person would make the choice not to vaccinate out of neglect or laziness. When just the opposite is true. I'd love to have some sort of log of all the hours I've spent reading books and articles. :) I am not outspoken in my beliefs about vaccination and only get to vent to/discuss with people of similar beliefs. I do appreciate those that are advocates as they further the cause for everyone. I've decided that every parent has to research for themselves and be comfortable with their own decisions: whether that is to completely vaccinate, partially vaccinate, or be vaccine-free. I wish you the best in your journey!! Kristi