Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Children have Intact Immune Systems...Why?

My vaccine-free son, Ian, is 6 months old in this photo. 

I read an interesting article listing the common myths about parents who keep their children intact (vaccine free).  These myths are listed here: 

"1) Parents listen to the media/Dr. Wakefield study/Jenny McCarthy when choosing not to vax."

I had no idea who Jenny McCarthy was until I got into one of my first epic debates on Facebook. Someone accused me of following her cult so I had to google her. I still haven’t thoroughly researched her or read any of her books, so I will refrain from saying anything about her. She has a right to her opinions and I’m glad she is standing by her convictions, but that is all.

I do know who Wakefield is b/c I followed the thousands of posts on MDC on the issue. I encourage you to visit to read them as well.

I'm unsure why this is a valid argument against questioning vaccines, as you could easily say parents listen to the media/Dr. Offit/Amanda Peet when choosing to vaccinate. I will give the benefit of the doubt to both sides and expect that parents are 1) capable of researching a variety of sources when making a serious decision on behalf of their children and 2) do not merely listen to a paid sponsor or a person w/ financial interest on the topic.

"2) Parents are selfish, relying on those who DO vax for protection while skipping the risks for themselves."

So let me get this right. Parents inject a product into their children to allegedly protect them from contracting mild childhood illnesses. These products don't work, so parents are told that everyone has to be injected with the same ineffective product to create "herd immunity." And the people who do not use this product are accused of relying on the herd immunity of an ineffective product that requires EVERYONE to be injected? Does anyone else see the GLARING thinking FAIL here? Is it clear enough yet?

Nonetheless, I do not want to ride on the theory of herd immunity. I do not want my children to have stunted or damaged immune systems. I do not want my children to be exposed to multiple genetically modified viruses in early infancy.

I’ve compiled some basic herd immunity info here:

Read this excellent article on how the immune system works:
"3) Parents believe vaccines cause autism and that is their primary reason for not vaxing."

I've never asserted that vaccines cause autism. I’ve never asserted that smoking causes lung cancer, either. The presentation of symptoms or disease in a person is based on multiple factors including hereditary genetics, epigenetics and the environment. My primary reason for not vaccinating my children is because forcefully injecting them without consent when NO disease is present violates their right to bodily integrity.

Parents have a whole laundry list of reasons to avoid vaccination. Autism might be a valid one for some parents, but most of them have many other reasons regardless of the way the media and officials have overly focused on ASDs.

"4) Parents don't understand what these diseases are really like, or they would start vaxing."

I've been studying "these diseases" and the vaccines available for them for the last 10 years. I know that if a parent invests 10 HOURS into vaccine research, they will not follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) vaccine schedule. If they invest 20 HOURS into vaccine research, they will only pick and choose a handful of vaccines for personal/emotional reasons (this is the point where parents typically hang onto Hib and PCV or Polio and the triple MMR). I have not met anyone yet who claims over a 100 hours of research and is still vaccinating his or her own children.

"5) Parents' reasons keep changing because they don't really have any argument"

I'm not sure if this is an accusation within the context of a debate? But there are about “seventy-fourty” reasons as my toddler likes to say. And they span every cultural, political, financial, medical, religious etc topic out there. Reasons to avoid vaccines will continue to pile up as science continues to show the complexity of the human body versus the simplicity of vaccine theory.

"6) Parents don't vaccinate because they are uneducated or hippie/earth-loving mothers"

I know a lot of hippies who vaccinate. And I know a lot of mainstreamers who don't vaccinate at all (including doctors and nurses). I also know that the pro-vaccine researchers find over and over again that the people who are most educated with higher incomes are the ones who don't vaccinate.

"7) Parents are "abusing" or "neglecting" their children by not vaccinating, or they don't love them"

Since no disease or defect is present, vaccination does not treat anything. It is abusive to force a medical treatment onto a non-consenting minor when no disease is present. Since vaccines have never been in gold standard, longitudinal studies with ethical control groups, they remain an unproven, marketed product and not a lifesaving medication. In essence, vaccinations are an experiment and children are enrolled in it without giving informed consent. Does that fulfill the definition of abuse?

"8) Parents don't understand that vaccines save lives, they are too worried about rare side effects."

No disease is present when vaccinated and the child's life is not at risk before vaccinating. Vaccines have not been proven safe and the scant studies on their efficacy are conflicting. They might work; they might not. They might work for some people but not for other people. They might hurt some people; they might not. As every vaccine insert admits, vaccines have not been tested for carcinogenicity, mutagenicity or reproductive consequences. They are not a benign lifestyle choice, such as rearfacing a carseat, because vaccines alter the normal function of a healthy body.

Since most vaccine-related illnesses are mild and without complications, it can’t even be claimed that vaccines save lives. At the very least, it can’t be claimed that they directly save lives, since illness-related deaths are usually due to secondary complications such as lack of treatment due to poor healthcare or misdiagnosis, mistreatment, dehydration and secondary bacterial infection (AKA go into the doctor’s office sick, get MRSA on top of it). 

In developing countries with particular obstacles of poverty, malnutrition/famine and exposure to harsh weather, most people are unaware that vaccines appear to save lives due to being given at the same time with vitamin supplements. The World Health Organization has a statement on the importance of Vitamin A shots and how they reduce Measles complications in malnourished populations:‎:

"Combining the administration of vitamin A supplements with immunization is an important part of this effort. Since 1987, WHO has advocated the routine administration of vitamin A with measles vaccine in countries where vitamin A deficiency is a problem. Great success and many millions of children have been reached by including vitamin A with National Immunization Days (NIDs) to eradicate polio. Providing immunization-linked high-dose supplementation to new mothers soon after delivery has provided a further benefit to young infants through enriched breast milk.

Provision of vitamin A supplements every four to six months is an inexpensive, quick, and effective way to improve vitamin A status and save children's lives. The Beaton Report concluded that all-cause mortality among children aged 6–59 months was reduced by 23% through vitamin A supplementation in areas where vitamin A deficiency was a public health problem. However, comprehensive control of vitamin A deficiency must include dietary improvement and food fortification in the long term."

Since 1987, eh. Now, show of hands! How many people have read the news, heard on the radio, in the tv or their classroom something that praises vitamin A for saving lives?

I encourage parents to dig into this issue. Study the science (or lack thereof) and study the anatomy and physiology of our bodies. Do not be put off by the rude stereotypes or uninformed myths surrounding this issue.

© Guggie Daly


  1. Wow I love this article. You hit it smack on!!! I no longer have a doctor for my two babies. I actually haven't had a doctor since she was two weeks old and I informed our doctor that I would NOT be vaccinating her at the two month check up or EVER. She looked at me like I had 10 heads and then proceeded to tell me that she could no longer morally be her doctor because if she were to contact polio she wouldn't know and she could diagnose it wrong and my daughter would then die.
    I told her I respected her opinion and asked that she respect mine. I asked her if she knew when the last time a Canadian child was infected with Polio, that was not a 'Satellite' Case. She had no idea. I told her I didn't ride in on a turnip truck, and have researched days upon days upon weeks, read books upon books and articles upon articles and as a fairly educated young mother I choose not to vaccinate. Well guess what! My daughter is 20 months old, and my son is 5 months old, she has never had an ear infection, flu, or dare I say. Polio? The only thing she has ever had was a slight cold, which she got over by herself with a little TLC from Mama. Also they have never had to go to the doctors for any infection. Most of my friends don't believe me when I say my babies have never been to the doctor...YEP its true. Shy of the last time the midwife came to weigh my son, we've been a healthy bunch of non granola non hippies hanging out on the home front. :)

  2. Bravo, thank you, and please don't stop spreading the word - there's a lot more to the vaccine question than most parents know.

  3. My youngest son is the only one of my children who is vaccine-free and he has been the healthiest. I was 44 years old when I birthed him just over 4 years ago. He has never been sick beyond a cold. He has never needed antibiotics. My 3 older children had most of the vaccines recommended at the time (they are 26,23, and 19). My 23 year old has type one diabetes which is an autoimmune disease. The other two had constant ear infections as children and I believe the antibiotics messed up their gut health. I know this is anecdotal evidence but that does not mean it should be dismissed.

  4. Thanks so much! Your explanation of the confused thinking behind herd immunity has verbalised exactly what I was thinking but couldn't put into words! I have been thinking this exact problem over for a couple of weeks now ever since someone told me it was a moral obligation to vaccinate your child because 'they only work if everyone has them' I knew it was extremely flawed logic but couldn't express it.

  5. I am so thankful for your succinct expanation of the flawed logic behind herd immunity. In a debate recently someone had said that vaccinating your children was a question of morality and 'they only work if everyone gets them' which at the time I knew was flawed logic and for days afterward had been thinking it over and trying to explain how. But you have done it for me!! Exactly what I was thinking but couldn't gather up the brain cells to explain!

  6. Excellent and helpful post… I am so glad to left comment on this. This has been a so interesting ..I appreciate your effort..