Today was my daughter's 15-month check-up. For some reason, I had thought that this was "the appointment" with no shots (I think that must be the 18-month appointment), but I was wrong.
We were offered four shots and oh-how-I-wished that I had my copy of "The Vaccine Book" with me. We decided to go with two of the four - and my husband held down her little arms while I waited in the corner to come to her rescue. It always breaks my heart to hear her agonizing cries and to see that look of terror in her eyes. But I am well aware that sometimes a little pain in the short run can prevent much larger pain in the long run. So we vaccinate.
I can't say that I have the issue all figured out. In fact, I feel uncertain about the vaccine debate and Dr. Bob Sears' new book is the one resource that I've found that actually makes sense. It's not pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine. It just spells out the facts and lets parents make informed decisions.
If you haven't bought it yet, I highly recommend that you do (you can buy it on Amazon for $11.19)...or add it to your Christmas wish list. If you have a pregnant friend or sister or co-worker, this would be a great gift idea because this isn't really the kind of book to just check out at the library or browse through at the bookstore. It's a manual that they're likely to refer to again and again in the coming years.
After you read the book (or even before), come back here to submit any questions that you have about vaccines. Dr. Bob Sears will be doing a biweekly (every two weeks) column right here on Metropolitan Mama where he answers your questions. All you have to do is send your vaccine question to me at [email protected] with "Ask Dr. Sears" in the subject line.
Hi Dr. Sears,
I have a son with autism and fully vaccinated until 5 years of age. I decided to go with the alternative schedule of vaccinations for my 18 month old baby girl. I have not had her vaccinations yet. I just plan to take Polio now thru 2 years of age. I would like to know if I need to take any precautions. Need your expert advice.
You can scroll through some of my previous Q&A posts with Dr. Sears here: https://www.metropolitanmama.net/category/babies/ask-dr-sears/.
Also - have you read "The Vaccine Book"? It provides an excellent overview of the side effects, risks, and benefits of each individual vaccine: http://amzn.to/HPmlc8.
You can also submit direct questions on the Ask Dr. Sears website: http://www.askdrsears.com/contact.
Best wishes with your decision (I know it's not easy!).
I agree that most people don't know about the exemptions for schools....I didn't. We have chosen to selectively vaccinate our children, and on a delayed schedule. My 3-year old has only just finished the Td shots and nothing else so far. I plan to start the Polio vaccine next. We have decided against some vaccines, but plan to get others, one at a time. You do have to find pediatricians willing to work with you (we interviewed multiple ones before our oldest was born, and asked them specifically about our vaccines questions, getting them separate, etc.) It's hard to find the support and many will think you are crazy (as do some in my family), but parents should have the right to decide what they feel is best for their children.
i've heard great things about this book from a few friends and intend to get myself a copy.
my daughter (3 1/2 yrs) has been selectively vaxed (DTaP and Polio only) on a very delayed schedule and my son (12 mos.) hasn't had any vaxes yet. i'm not sure what path we're going to take with him, but i'm hoping the vaccine book will help me decide.
i think, as a parent, educating yourself about the benefits AND risks re: vaccines is very important. and to do your own research and trust your instincts re: your children. i think parents know their child better than any doctor ever could.
I say overall vaccines are more good than harm. And I am a rarity. One of my children has autism and yes, I still have him vaccinated. (With the exception of flu shots.) Every other mother I know with an autistic child likes to blame all their childs differences on vaccines.
The best thing you can do is educate yourself on the facts and be wise about what you decide.
All states have medical exemptions, and most have religious and/or philosophical exemptions. Unfortunately, many people are ignorant of this fact.
I don't know how your public school system works, but ours (including preschools) will not allow children who are delinquent in immunizations. I've always been in favor of immunizations, but it still doesn't make it any easier watching your kid wail from pain.
Funny...yesterday Taylor had a well-baby checkup, too. She screamed bloody murder when they wanted to weigh her and see how tall she is, but she was really bummed out when he wasn't going to give her a shot like a few weeks ago when she had her flu shot. Strange child.