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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Are Vaccinations Weakening our Immune Systems?

Are our immune systems being weakened by the overuse of vaccinations? In the 1980’s there were only 10 standard vaccinations that were mandatory as far as the CDC was concerned, now there are over 30. Some researchers have shown that there may be a correlation to long term immune system dysfunction due to the developing immune system of babies being bombarded with toxins before it has fully established. The continuation of scheduled vaccination throughout much of a child’s life has shown to cause side effects ranging from short term discomforts to long term developmental delays and in some rare cases, death. These possible negative reactions are often not communicated to parents who are in charge of their child’s health decisions and in many cases the physicians are playing down the possibilities of how severe the reaction can and have been for people in the past.
The advocates of vaccinations propose that the risk contracting one or more of the debilitating and life threatening diseases we are susceptible to without vaccinations outweighs the risk of having a slight fever and body aches. This view point believes that if we stop vaccinating, even though we have almost eradicated these diseases in our society, that we will have another plague of illnesses. In order to prevent this mass illness, it is imperative to start vaccinating children at birth.
The protestors of the scheduled vaccination model insist that the vaccinations are proven to weaken the immune system, making the young child more likely to have chronic infections and asthma or allergy related illnesses, resulting in other long term effects, including loss of time at school, reliance on prescription medication that is costly and has more side effects and in some cases, surgeries like tubes in ears for reoccurring ear infections. There are some people who believe it was the fault of vaccinations that have cause neurological disabilities in their children including ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders. There are a few cases of parents who were not given the proper information to make choices about when the right time to vaccinate their children are and have had to bear the death of a child.
There is a middle ground that thinks vaccinations are a good idea but they chose to do them at different intervals, often delaying the first round of vaccinations until their child is a year old or older, and then selectively choosing which ones are appropriate for their child.
And then the extreme anti vaccination group who comes who firmly believe that their bodies function just right biologically and that if they take good care of themselves and their immune systems that they could survive if they are exposed to the viruses of concern. Some of the people in this group come from a religious background and believe that Faith will guide them and others are from a non religious background and rely on their faith in the biology of their body and the natural law to guide them.
My personal stance on this issue has gone from no concern at all to vehemently opposed to scheduled vaccinations and am starting to lean toward opposing all vaccinations unless the manufacturers start creating them differently. My first child was vaccinated on schedule until he was 3 years old. He had recurring bronchial infections and ear infections and the pediatrician diagnosed him with asthma and ADHD and was prescribing steroidal drugs and interested in behavioral modification drugs. I was absolutely not about to put my 3 year old on these types of medications without looking into all options. I found all of these different views which posed many questions about alternatives and habit changes that would lead to a healthier lifestyle and prevent some of the issues we were dealing with. The first thing we did was modify our diet to get rid of many of the things studies had shown could contribute to asthma and ADHD in children including dairy and artificial food colors and preservatives. It was the best decision we could have done. My son improved within months. I never gave him another vaccination either because at this point, studying a natural, biologically correct diet and lifestyle, I became aware that there could be more going on with the vaccinations than I understood yet.
When my 2nd child was born we decided to delay her vaccinations and waited until she was a year old. The first time she had been to the doctor’s office since her 3 week old check up was the week she was to turn one. She received her first round of vaccinations and she contracted chicken pox which wasn’t even one of the vaccinations we gave her. This coupled with a complete change in her behavior, which at the time I thought was related to the chicken pox, was enough to start me doing more research. I watched as my daughter healed from the pox but then withdrew from interacting with our family the same way she used to. She then started with ear infections, bronchial infections and she didn’t receive another vaccination. She is 9 years old now and has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of Autism.
My 3rd child never received a vaccination until last year, when she was 7. This child was always the last one in our family to get sick, if she even got it. She recovered the fastest and had the least severe effects, often not requiring any interventions or medications when the rest of us would be miserable for a week or more. Even a stomach virus that would bounce from family member to family member that would have each of us laid up for 24-48 hours, she would throw up one time and feel bad for about 6 hours and then be fine. It was incredible to see the difference in a normally functioning immune system on a human being who was born naturally and never exposed to medications and a healthy diet of mostly whole foods.
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