Monday, January 18, 2010

The Vaccine Book: Intro

As you may know, I have been reading The Vaccine Book and I have decided to do a 12 post series (one on each vaccine). This post will serve as the official "introduction post" where I will share the preface of the book, my thoughts/opinions on vaccines and a little background info about Zachariah and his vaccine history.

First thing's second. I do not think vaccines are horrible. I think that vaccines play a useful role in eliminating some diseases from our population and making sure others don't get out of hand. I do think that to many vaccines are given to children at too young of an age. I do think that parents need to be more informed about what is being injected into their children. That is why I am reading this book and sharing my finds. :)

Zachariah was on a regular vaccine schedule. He got four shots every other month for the first year or so of his life. Right before he turned 15 months Daniel and I decided to stop having him vaccinated. Not forever, just for the time being. I wanted to do my research before he got the MMR. That vaccine gave me a bad gut feeling. And if I have learned only one thing from motherhood it's this: always go with your gut. So, that's what I did. He has not been vaccinated since. I am not closed to more vaccines, but as long as Zachariah is not in daycare/school I am not overly concerned with them.

Anyway. That is where I currently stand on vaccines. My opinion may change completely by the end of this book, but for now, those are my thoughts. Ok! Enough of my babbling. Onto the book!

The Vaccine Book was written by Dr. Sears in 2007. This was (and might still be) the first ever open minded guide to childhood vaccinations. He simply lays out the information and lets parents form their opinion about vaccines. How nice is that?

Here is a little excerpt from the preface of the book.

"Doctors, myself included, learn a lot about diseases in medical school, but we learn very
little about vaccines, other than the fact that the FDA and pharmaceutical companies do
extensive research on vaccines to make sure they are safe and effective. We don't review
the research ourselves. We never learn what goes into making vaccines or how their safety
is studied. We trust and take it for granted that the proper researchers are doing their jobs.
So, when patients want a little more information about shots, all we can really say as
doctors is that the diseases are bad and the shots are good. "

Doctor Sears spent thirteen years doing research and learning everything everything he could about vaccines and the diseases they are designed to prevent. He says, "Even though vaccines are important, you as a parent are still entitled to know what you are giving your child. You have a responsibility (and a desire) to make informed health care decisions for your family."

I am so pumped about this book. After the first chapter I knew I was going to love it. I've been looking for something like this. And luckily for you, I have decided to document all of my findings. :)

Stay tuned later this week for chapter one!

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