Friday, November 16, 2007

newborn vaccines

It's almost time for Lil Thumper's first set of vaccines, which means a lot of hours in front of the computer researching vaccines. I'd heard w/ half a ear over the years about mercury in vaccines so I thought I'd read up on all the controversy.

Basically, there's one camp which believes that vaccines (and the mercury in them) is what causes autism. There's another camp (namely the government) which says that there is no link. Each one has studies and research to back up their claim as well as reasons why the other side's research is faulty.

I personally never quite believe it when there's controversy and the government says things are "safe". I think history is full of examples where we were told things are safe (e.g., DDT, some of the original birth control pills), only to discover they aren't years later. By then, the damage has been done and the general population was the guinea pig.

On the other hand, I'm not quite sure I believe the link between autism and vaccines either. Some people say that autism is usually diagnosed around the same time the MMR vaccine is given. Therefore it's coincidence. The good thing is that mercury is no longer in vaccines. But did you know that other preservatives such as aluminum and formaldehyde are?

After reading all about the different sides, I've concluded that I DON'T KNOW if mercury is bad, or even if aluminum is bad. So I've bought Dr Bob Sears
Vaccine book
, which just came out. I shall report dutifully as I learn more.

For now, I'm leaning towards limited vaccines, in single dosage if possible, with a delayed schedule. I don't have proof, but it doesn't sound too good to be bombarding your baby w/ these metals and preservatives when they're so young. The number of recommended vaccines is much more than when we were kids. And some of them may not be necessary. For example, did you know that Hep B is usually a sexually transmitted disease? And the vaccine may wear out by the time they're sexually active? Why get it so young then? (I'm getting that because we may travel to Asia and there's a high percentage of HepB there).

I'm also getting the feeling that the reason that the vaccine schedule is such is because they want the babies to be immune to these diseases as soon as possible. But, if your baby never goes to childcare, and doesn't really interact w/ other kids, then I don't think it's as important. I won't go the route of NO vaccine. I think it's good citizenship to make sure your child is vaccinated. But maybe not at such an intense schedule.

Just in case.

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