When you think of someone not vaccinating their child, you may expect them to cite autism as the reason. Surprisingly, that is often not the case.
Celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy have popularized the anti-vaccine movement, but are parents really blindly following the recommendations of superstars and ignoring the advice of their doctors? Does everyone who refuses or delays immunizations do so because they believe that vaccines are the sole cause of autism? We found out the answer was — not really.
Concerns over the immune system
Many parents we spoke with had serious concerns over the effect of a high number of vaccines in a short period of time on a young baby’s immune system. “I am concerned about so many chemicals in such a short period of time, and possibly overstimulating the developing immune system,” shared Meredith, mom of two. “Historically, when have people routinely been exposed to four or five diseases at the same time?”
Too much, too soon
Some moms felt that there was too much going on already in a baby’s body and chose to delay their shots to allow an infant to develop without interference. “Too much brain development between birth and 3-ish,” said Kimmy from Florida. “I feel like the current vaccination schedule is overkill.”
Brittany, mother of one, agreed. “I just don’t see the rush I guess,” she explained. “My breast milk will give her the ‘early years pep’ I think she’ll need. The normal schedule is just too soon in my opinion, at least for my baby.” And Leah from Massachusetts concurred. “The blood/brain barrier doesn’t develop until after 2,” she reported. “I saw absolutely no reason to pump a healthy body full of chemicals. It’s been proven that natural immunity is longer lasting than artificial immunity from a vaccine.”
Not enough research
Other parents were concerned with there not being enough research on the long-term effects of the vaccines. “There are just too many vaccines with too many ingredients and not enough responsibility taken for any adverse reactions,” Leah also told us. “There’s not enough research, period.”
Meredith also had issues with the statistics. “When you look at the CDC’s information, they have incredibly misleading statistics about mortality rates from the various diseases,” she said.
Heather, mother of two, has an even greater issue with the lack of good research behind the ingredients in the vaccines. “I am not willing to take part in the largest uncontrolled experiment in human history,” she explained. “And I will not allow my children to be lab rats. We are at very low risk of contracting any serious illnesses and even less likely to have one of these diseases become serious. We have good medical care available if needed. If our situation was different and I felt we were at greater risk, I might consider partial or delayed vaccination.”
Delaying is more natural
Waiting to vaccinate was considered to be a more natural way to go for the moms who were choosing that route. “My daughter is now 5, and not even eligible for some of the vaccines anymore, and she was never in the high-risk group for those anyway,” explained Meredith. “She’ll get some vaccinations eventually, but they will be split up as much as possible to allow a more normal immune response.”
The decision to vaccinate according to the CDC’s schedule, delay vaccinations until age 2 or 3 or decline them completely is a huge one. Research both sides as much as you can, and avoid taking the word of those around you without it being backed up with reliable sources. You can’t undo a vaccine, so make sure you and your partner are comfortable in the steps you take to keep your children healthy.