You’ve heard over and over that “vaccines are safe and effective,” but something—maybe your Mommy Instinct—is telling you to beware.
It turns out that you’re not alone.
- 5 percent of new moms surveyed were planning to spread out recommended vaccinations;
- 4 percent were planning to have their child receive some vaccines;
- 5 percent, were undecided about vaccines.
The study concludes: “Most who were planning to delay recommended vaccinations or were undecided relied primarily on socially available sources of vaccine information, rather than information provided by a healthcare professional. Improved access to vaccine information from healthcare professionals could foster better vaccine-related knowledge…”
I am a healthcare professional. I would like to foster better vaccine-related knowledge among expectant and new parents. I am also a pro-vaccine, pro-informed consent, pro-science pediatrician. I give vaccines in my office every day and I believe that vaccines are one important tool in the medical toolbox to prevent infections that can be dangerous and sometimes even fatal.
As much as your doctor may downplay the risk of vaccines—and for most children the risk is small—vaccine injury is real. Some babies and small children can even die as a result of an allergic reaction to vaccines or from contamination in a hot lot of vaccines.
Every vaccine is not right for every baby at the same age.
The CDC schedule is not for everyone.
Questioning the timing, safety, and efficacy of some vaccines does not make you anti-vaccine, selfish, or dangerous. You are the parent. You have to live with the consequences of the health decisions you make for your baby. Not your doctor. Not the CDC.
The best thing you can do is to make considered vaccine decisions that are logical and make sense based on the medical needs of your family, the prevalence of vaccine-preventable diseases, and the risks, benefits, and efficacy of each vaccine. A top down, one-size-fits-all vaccination policy is not necessarily in the best interests of your baby’s health.
Here’s a secret you don’t see mentioned very often in the mainstream media: In my practice, it is often the best educated and most intelligent parents who question and alter the CDC schedule for their children. These are the moms and dads who read the scientific studies themselves, read the CDC’s website, and turn to other balanced and well referenced resources like the National Vaccine Information Center, Dr. Aviva Romm, M.D.’s website, Dr. Bob Sears, M.D.’s The Vaccine Book and Dr. Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D.’s Your Baby, Your Way.
I find it disappointing and a little baffling that so many pediatricians, OB-GYNs, and family doctors feel threatened by those well-educated and thoughtful parents who choose to delay or forego some vaccines on the current CDC schedule. Though your obstetrician or pediatrician may try to stick to the party line and push the entire schedule on you and your baby despite ample peer-reviewed evidence that this may not be the best choice, you can always say, “No, thank you. I need a little more time to consider. I do not want that vaccine at this time.”
Though I recommend parents follow the CDC schedule for some vaccines, pregnant moms should not get injections with aluminum (Tdap), which is a known neurotoxin that can cross the placenta and may harm your growing baby’s brain. Hepatitis B is a sexually transmitted disease. There is no compelling medical reason to give the hepatitis B vaccine to every newborn in America. Babies born to moms who do not have hepatitis B do not need this vaccine. You should wait until your children is a teenager and is thinking of becoming sexually active or is using intravenous drugs to get the hepatitis B vaccine series. There are numerous other recommendations I would make if I were your child's doctor. You can learn more at www.drpaul.md and www.drpaulapproved.com.
For further information:
- Watch my video about avoiding toxins and staying healthy during pregnancy.
- Read this article by Dr. Cindy Schneider, M.D., on the flu and other vaccines during pregnancy
- Educate yourself and your doctor on why you should never give your child Tylenol before or after a childhood vaccine
- Find a vaccine-friendly doctor near you