|Vaccines: Does Your Child Really Need Them?
The following article was made available to us via PROVE
(Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education)
The article is in print on the newsstands in the April 2000 issue of Let's Live Magazine. It is suggested you consider buying a copy to share with friends and to support the magazine for printing the article.
April 2000 Let's Live Magazine Visit the site & scroll down to #3 for the article.
Vaccines: Does Your Child Really Need Them?
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Childhood vaccines are a controversial issue. Parents need to be well-informed to make the right decisions for the health of their children. Here are some of the questions you need to ask, as well as ways to find the answers.
By Randall Neustaedter, O.M.D., L.Ac.
It is time for the two-month, well-baby visit at the pediatrician's office. Your healthy baby is beginning to smile and coo, breastfeeding is finally going well, and you are feeling like proud parents. Then the doctor says that it's time for the baby's shots, and she rattles off a list of six diseases with unrecognizable names. Are all of these vaccines necessary? Why so many at once? Are there any side effects? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends vaccines for 10 diseases in a baby's first 18 months of life, and that doesn't include the booster shots. The brochures you receive are overwhelming, but they minimize the side effects, and the doctor insists that the shots will prevent deadly diseases. Maybe you have heard about bad reactions to vaccines, and you have some apprehension.
Like most parents, you may feel poorly informed about this issue, so you leave this decision to the doctor, assuming the pediatrician has your baby's best interests in mind. But there is another side to the immunization decision. This is a choice that could affect your child for the rest of his or her life, so you should approach this decision like any other consumer issue and read enough about it to make an informed choice.
Ask Questions, Dig for Answers
Internet sites overflow with the sorrowful accounts of children maimed or killed by immunizations. The stories ring with the sharp tones of betrayal and tragic loss. Parents ask why they weren't told that their healthy, happy normal baby could die from a vaccine.
Vaccines Are Big Business
Revenues from vaccines total more than $1 billion in the United States, $3 billion worldwide. It is expected that this figure will increase to $7 billion in the next few years. To ensure continuing profits, vaccine manufacturers conduct their own research, pay for ad campaigns encouraging parents to get the shots, and foot the bill for state legislation to mandate each vaccine for every child in America.
Cindy Crawford Is Not Convinced
On Jan. 5, 2000, "Good Morning America" aired a brief segment on vaccines featuring Cindy Crawford, her pediatrician Jay Gordon, M.D., and others. At the time it was filmed, Crawford had yet to vaccinate her six-month-old baby. What was supposed to be a "round-table" discussion about vaccines with views heard from all sides was edited to make everyone involved sound in favor of all vaccines.
Whose Side Is the Doctor On?
Your pediatrician is not allowed to question vaccine utilization. Liability issues, boards of medical examiners and the policies of HMOs govern the doctors' recommendations. Step outside this set of rules, and they risk their jobs or licenses.
What Is an Adverse Reaction?
Children can suffer two types of adverse events after vaccines. One is an acute, short-lived set of symptoms that culminates in recovery or death. This category includes allergic reactions, nervous-system disorders such as paralysis or seizures, arthritis and a whole range of minor reactions including fevers and swelling at the injection site.
Do Vaccines Work?
The vaccine industry and medical textbooks inform us that immunization is the greatest miracle of preventive medicine. Maybe we've merely exchanged acute childhood illnesses for lifelong, chronic damage to the immune system.
What Can You Do?
Become informed about the issues surrounding vaccines: Read books and visit Web sites so you can become a sophisticated and informed consumer. This could be the most important decision you make for your child's health. Do not blindly accept the recommendations passed down by pediatricians. Learn about the diseases and the vaccines, and weigh the potential risks yourself.
How To Become More Informed:
The Vaccine Guide: Making an Informed Choice by Randall Neustaedter
Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective? by Neil Z. Miller
Immunization Theory vs. Reality: Exposť on Vaccinations by Neil Z. Miller
What Every Parent Should Know About Childhood Immunization by Jamie Murphy
National Vaccine Information Center
Please pick up a copy of the April 2000 issue of Let's Live Magazine to show your support.