The number of vaccines children are scheduled to receive before their first birthday has grown exponentially in the past couple of years. If you were born in the 1980s, you only received 5 shots before you turned 12 months old if your parents followed the CDC recommended schedule.
Now, a baby born in 2019 can receive no less than 24 shots in his or her first year. Unsurprisingly, parents have started to ask questions about this sudden increase. Are our children at risk to justify such a large amount of required vaccines in such a short period of time? Are all those vaccines justified?
Here are some worrying theories about vaccines and why some parents prefer not to vaccinate their children.
1. Vaccines Might Have Dangerous Side-Effects
Most children only have mild side-effects when they get their shots: some sensitivity and redness… maybe a mild fever.
However, for some children, vaccines could have much more serious and long-term consequences. Unfortunately, it is impossible to know how your child will react to a vaccine until it is too late. It can range to an adverse allergic reaction to some of the ingredients present in the vaccine to long-lasting nerve and brain damage or even be fatal.
Before vaccinating your child, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the possible side effects of each vaccine to be on the lookout. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System was established by the CDC and the FDA “to detect possible signals of adverse events associated with vaccines.” If your child is victim to a vaccine-related injury, you are entitled to petition the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
2. Vaccines Contain Some Harmful and Controversial Ingredients
The ingredients present in each vaccine are available on the CDC website. Amongst the ones that should raise concern are thimerosal (a form of mercury), aluminum, formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTMB) and 2-phenoxyethanol. Those components, although the CDC argues that they are present in a too small quantity to be harmful, have been linked to ailments as diverse and concerning as cancer, kidney damage, respiratory issues, and cardiac failure.
Vaccines also contain ingredients that some might not be comfortable with for moral and religious reasons, like cells cultivated from two fetuses aborted in the 1960s (listed as MRC-5 and WI-38 on the ingredient lists) or animal products ranging from chicken eggs to pig gelatins or cells from a wide range of animals including insects, monkeys, mice, dogs…
3. Vaccines Are Not Always Effective
If the flu shot has shown us something, it is that vaccines are not always effective. The CDC itself confirms that “vaccine reduces the risk of flu illness by about 40% to 60% among the overall population”. By the time the CDC recommends getting vaccinated, it is impossible to know if this year’s vaccine will be an effective match the flu virus actually circulating.
Besides, a lot of vaccines concern diseases that have been virtually eradicated from the United States or can now be treated very effectively: diphtheria, polio, mumps, rubella, and tetanus have made virtually no victims in the past 40 years. Some vaccines, like varicella, concern diseases that are rarely fatal in first world countries for an otherwise healthy child.
4. Babies Receive Too Many Vaccines Too E
Parents are increasingly concerned that babies and very young children are receiving too many vaccines too early. Hepatitis B, for example, is a vaccine required at birth but the disease itself is transmittable only due to exposure by blood, semen or other bodily fluid. Unless the infant is born to an infected mother, chances are extremely slim that he or she will be exposed so early in his or her life.
Some doctors, including Dr. Sears, Dr. Miller, and Dr. Cave, have developed alternative schedules to the one recommended by the CDC to make vaccines less overwhelming for a very young child while still benefitting from vaccines, many of which are required to attend daycare and public school.
5. Vaccines Benefit Mostly Big Pharmaceutical Companies
Before making a decision on vaccination, talk to your pediatrician and don’t hesitate to ask some hard question: you are your child’s best advocate.