Friday, January 20, 2012

The Vaccine Book

Vaccines are on my mind today since A. got his 2nd round of shots.  It is so hard to watch him be in pain, but I can't even imagine how awful it would be to watch him suffering from a terrible disease.  I am thankful for modern medicine, and support vaccinations.  With that said, I also believe in educating myself and reading up on issues, and making the best decision I can for my family based on our own specific situation.  Prior to giving A. his first shots, I read "The Vaccine Book", by Dr. Sears.

The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child (Sears Parenting Library)

I enjoyed this book because I found it to be very informative while being objective and nonjudgmental at the same time.  The book outlines each vaccination a child receives, and gives facts about the diseases that children get vaccinated for.  The book also refers multiple times to the American Academy of Pediatric's recommended schedule of vaccines, and recommends families follow the schedule.

The way I see it:

First, you should always consult with your medical professional when making any decision regarding the medical care your child receives.

Pro's - Each vaccine is clearly outlined including the different brands of each vaccine, the ingredients each contain, and possible side effects of each vaccine.  Each disease is also explained including facts about occurrence and severity of the different diseases. For families that are considering not vaccinating their child, the book also offers a delayed schedule of vaccinations that families could choose to follow as an alternative to not vaccinating their baby.

Con's - The book was published in 2007, and a lot can change in the medical field in 5 years.  For example, many Dr. office's now use the Pentacel shot which combines the DTaP, IPV, and Hib vaccine, yet the Pentacel vaccine is not mentioned in the book.  

Another great resource if you are looking for information on vaccines is the CDC (Center for Disease Control).  They have information statements on all of the vaccines available that give you a summary of both the vaccine and the disease.  Click here for more information

At this time, we have chosen not to give A. his Hep B shots.  We are planning on giving them to him at some point in the future.  I'm sure I'll probably get some hate mail about what a bad mother I am for not fully vaccinating my child.  (Actually, I probably won't since I'm pretty sure no one reads this).  Our reasons for this are personal, and in no way am I advocating that this is what others should do for their child.  As I said before, I fully support vaccinations, and A. will be fully vaccinated at some point.  We just chose at this time to not expose our stay at home infant to an immunization for a disease that he would not contract except through exposure to blood or bodily fluids.  I don't know what we plan to do for his future immunizations, but I do know that this book helped us understand the diseases that we vaccinate for much more clearly.

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