To vaccinate or not, that’s the question

As I write this, we have just returned from the baby’s six-month check up. Six months and I feel like she’s always been here, can’t imagine life without her. She is so cuddly, sweet and happy I can’t get enough of her. Six months of feedings, diapers, doctor’s appointments, sleepless nights (only the last few; she’s gone backwards) spit up and burping – it seems as though it’s always been this way. We adore the two of them and are so blessed and happy to have the children and we will spend every day loving them and making the best decisions we can for them. Isn’t that what it’s all about at this point in their lives? We love them and care for them and part of taking care of them when they are young is making really profound decisions for them. It’s quite intimidating when we stop the crazy race of life and think about how you actually raise a child.

The check up got me thinking about the vaccination debate. This is one of those decisions that we make as parents that are extremely important to our children. To give them or not to give them is the main question.

Many parents (not all) of children with autism of varying degrees have speculated that immunizations given to infants and toddlers are a cause of the disorder. Many tests have been done and no one has found evidence supporting those claims. Now, I’m not saying what any parent should do or not do regarding their children. As we all know, I try to be non-judgmental in every aspect of my life (as hard as it may be and, remember, I’m not perfect) and if I had a child with autism, I would want to research every possible thing that could have possibly caused it to happen. Many parents of autistic children have stated they saw a noticeable difference in their child’s behavior after receiving an immunization at a young age; it does make you wonder. However, it also makes me wonder why the millions of other children who have received all of their vaccinations show no signs of autism.

It’s just one of those major decisions you have to make. It definitely makes you think twice because, although there has been no overwhelming proof that vaccines cause autism, the talk is out there and what do any of us really know? Nothing, unless we have been told by a doctor or researched it on the Internet and we all know that just because someone says or writes something does not make it true.

I chose to vaccinate my children. I chose to do this because I trust the proof in our neighbors and ourselves that these immunizations do the job that they are meant to do. Keep all of these nasty bugs and viruses out of our systems so that we don’t live in fear as people did so many years ago. We don’t worry that our children will be stricken with polio and be paralyzed; we don’t worry about diphtheria and typhoid, horrible diseases that took so many young lives only a few generations ago. I trust the proof in our health and the health of those around us. Do I wonder about the correlation between vaccines and autism, yes, I do, but I would rather my children be vaccinated against these awful diseases and be able to attend school with the majority of the young population. I have seen no proof that vaccines cause autism and so I support vaccines 100 percent. I hate to say it, but those who don’t vaccinate are putting all of us at risk. For instance, pertussis (whooping cough) is making a rise again and I can’t help but wonder if it’s because people are choosing not to vaccinate their children. So, no matter how you look at this, whether you vaccinate or not, remember it is your decision as a parent and it’s one of the most important ones to make in their little lives.


Not a Fan

I am not a huge fan of immunizations also. I know that they have been developed to keep our children from popular diseases, but many of these diseases are now curable unlike when they first developed the immunizations. I immunized my children but did so reluctantly.

I also feel that we don't truly have a choice whether or not we immunize our children. Many schools wont admit children without immunizations.

what a joke, if you don't get

what a joke, if you don't get vaccinated you won't develop autism. What could be further from the truth?

Congratulations on protecting your daughter's health!

Congratulations -- you've protected, or are in the process of protecting your daughter against HepB (which can cause liver cancer); rotavirus (a deadly disease for infants); diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus; Hib (an infant killer); polio; and pneumococcal disease. As it turns out, vaccinating against pneumococcal disease also may prevent recurrent ear infections.

I am old enough that none of these vaccinations existed in my childhood. I know people who had polio or had serious consequences from having had these diseases, including serious cognitive deficits.

As you may have heard, my home state of California is having an epidemic of whooping cough (pertussis); other states are seeing unusually high numbers.

You've done the right thing for your daughter, your family, and for public health. Vaccines aren't 100% -- nothing in life is, nor any medical intervention. But all the diseases I mentioned above have far higher risks than vaccinating children against them.

Mr. Bateson is well-known in some circles for his claims that autism is vaccine injury, and that no unvaccinated child has ever been diagnosed with autism. He hasn't looked very hard. For example, it has been widely reported that the autism = vaccine injury activist Ms. Kim Stagliano's youngest child is unvaccinated, yet has autism.

You wrote: "Many parents (not all) of children with autism of varying degrees have speculated that immunizations given to infants and toddlers are a cause of the disorder"

I disagree with your assertion. It is my experience that a small but vocal minority of autism parents believe fervently that autism is vaccine injury. The majority of autism parents do not.

The autism=vaccine injury is a vocal and well-funded minority. They have refused to accept study after study showing that there is no correlation or evidence of causation.


Well I suppose if you feel that only one child in a hundred becoming autistic is a fair risk to take that's OK then. But there is proof out there that no one talks about, it is the fact that only vaccinated kids become autistic. I started looking for unvaccinated autistic kids in Britain in 1996 but also later on my web site since 2002 and I haven't found any. I write blogs like this one a couple of times a week with my email address and I still don't find them.

In particular I have not found any autistic individual who had not had most vaccines. None incidentally who had only the MMR - the MMR red herring that could have been scuppered by by any government that was bold enough to say 'whether you vaccinate or not makes no difference to whether a child becomes autistic'. Don't you wonder why they never said that?

Tony Bateson, Oxford, UK

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