Why we chose not to vaccinate our child

Why we chose not to vaccinate our child

Why we chose not to vaccinate our child. Ugh. I should have titled this: The post I never wanted to write.

Seriously. I fear hitting the “publish” button on this one, so please tread lightly.

My fear is partly because I know how passionate people get about vaccinations. Partly because I know some people will be angry with me for writing this post. Partly because I respect every parent’s right to make their own decisions and I don’t want anyone feeling judged by those decisions. And partly because I really hate controversy and argument. I much rather have us all hold hands, sings songs, and skip through fields of flowers. Really.

But a couple months ago my younger sister approached me about the topic of vaccinations… something I have not ever talked about in my family (who have all vaccinated their children). But her sincere and honest questions have helped me realize that there may be people who, like I was, are still trying to figure out what’s best.

And in all honesty, I don’t know what’s best for you and your situation. But I can tell you what has been best for us in hope that it helps you on your own journey.

Why we chose not to vaccinate our child

Like so many women, I went into obsessive-frenzied-research mode when I found out I was pregnant. From home birth to co-sleeping, my husband I meandered our way through the whole “natural” spectrum of parenting choices and found what worked for us. And while I’ve learned that there is no such thing as living out your ideals completely, for the most part we always felt really good about our decisions.

But for the life of me I could not figure out how I really felt about vaccinations.

Why we chose not to vaccinate our child.

No end to the research or debate

I was vaccinated as a child. Almost everyone I know personally was vaccinated and continues to have their children vaccinated. But in my quest for more natural living, I was introduced to an online community of parents refusing to vaccinate. Between their passion and their research, I couldn’t help but listen.

Of course, I think it’s really important to take everything you read online with reservation. I mean, anyone can post anything. But I also spent enough time in the university setting of higher education to know that just because something is in a scientific journal does not mean that it’s always true, either.

So I continued to research. I read books, online journals, blogs, forums. I asked trusted friends. I followed money trails of the studies that “proved” one thing or the other about the safety or lack thereof of vaccinations. In other words, I was diligent.

And throughout all this research all I got was a headache.

Hello, baby! I’m your confused mama.

By the time my little C was born I still didn’t have a solid plan for vaccinations. But since I knew I couldn’t take back the shots, my husband and I decided to wait.

Each wellness checkup with my daughter I was once again forced with a decision. Each time was preceded with more research. And each time I felt more and more confident in the decision not to vaccinate. Thankfully, my pediatrician was supportive. By the time we hit C’s 9 month appointment, both my husband and I were pretty adamant about not giving her any shots.

What finally sealed my decision?

I don’t think I can pinpoint one particular article or book that finally gave me the confidence to do what was right for us and our situation. But there were plenty of the things that contributed to our decision:

  • The ingredient list and warnings on the vaccinations. I just couldn’t bring myself to put so many toxic substances inside such a small body.
  • The fact that Pharmaceutical companies do safety testing of vaccines, but no long term studies are not done. (Read more here)
  • The drastic increase of the number of vaccinations given over the past 30 years (1983 vs. 2013). And what do we have to show for it? Sky rocketing sickness, disease, allergies, ADHD, autism, and other signs of illness. I’m not suggesting that vaccinations are the only cause for these increases, but I do think they are a factor.
  • The money trail of the pharmaceutical industry and the billions of dollars that are made each year on these drugs. Who really benefits from all these vaccinations? Through my research on real food and the food industry, I knew the FDA cared nothing for my family’s actual health.
  • I committed myself to eating real food and breastfeeding my child into toddler-hood as a better approach to immunity. I trusted that civilizations have thrived without drugs when they have access to real food. Most cultures that struggle with disease also struggle with things like sanitation, poor nutrition, and other factors.
  • I have been blessed to live in a clean home and have access to clean water, sanitation, and other things that help keep our immune system from being compromised.

Ultimately, my gut told me not to vaccinated, and I listened.

(For the record, most of the above links will take you straight to Center for Disease Control stats/info – the pro-vaccination people themselves.)

Every situation is different.

Clearly the majority of people are still getting vaccinations, and the majority of those people are still healthy (although our standard for “healthy” has decreased drastically over the last few generations). And while the debate about vaccinations causing autism are lengthy and usually quite ugly, I do believe that vaccinations can be a contributing factor. We know so little about the actual causes of autism, but most experts agree that it is usually a combination of both genetic and environmental issues… and there are plenty of parents out there who know their child was different after receiving a vaccination. (like this one or these.)

I only mention this because I often wonder what vaccinations would have done to my girl. She is an “extreme” child, and showcased some of the precursor traits of autism. Thankfully, I don’t think she is on the spectrum, but I wonder if vaccinations would have been the tipping point. Obviously, I don’t know. But in this instance, I am grateful I followed my gut.

But aren’t you risking everyone else’s health by not vaccinating?

Every time someone posts about vaccinations you’ll get a lot of angry folks insisting that we “non-vac” parents are putting everyone else’s lives at risk. And that the only reason our children are safe is because of “herd immunity.”

When I hear these arguments I kindly point them to this article and this article. The truth is, if you actually look at the numbers, the years vaccinations were introduced, and what vaccinations actually do to the body and the population at large, you will see that I am not threatening anyone’s life by not vaccinating. The idea of herd immunity never applied to vaccinations. And in fact, since most people don’t stay on top of their vaccinations, only about 50% of the population is ever actually “protected” from these “miracle drugs” at any given time.

Unless you are keeping up on all your booster shots, you are just a much as “risk” as my child is. And honestly I’ve never understand the argument to begin with. How could my unvaccinated kid risk your vaccinated kid if your vaccinations work? Just a thought.

My child is healthy and vibrant

I think one of the reasons why my sister first asked about vaccinations is because she noticed how healthy my little girl is. She is sick less than any other child I know, recovers faster, and has avoided a lot of problems that I’ve witnessed from friends and neighbors.

We’ve had zero trips to the doctors (other than for the occasional wellness exam), zero ear infections, and zero high fevers. Of course every child gets sick, and it’s a part of healthy living… but this girl’s immune system is solid.

How do you decide for yourself?

Read. Read a variety. Read both sides. Talk to people. I have a list at the bottom of this post of related reading to get you started if you need help. But ultimately you need to follow what feels right to you. Not your doctor. Not your neighbor. Not your mom. And certainly not me.

Go with your gut. It’s your child. Your situation. It’s your choice so make it wisely.

Don’t let fear or stress immobilize you. There are no perfect solutions. But know that no matter what you choose, I think you’re doing your best.

Why we chose not to vaccinate our child.

 

Reading Recommendations

The following is in no way inclusive of all the info available to you, but it is a start.

Books:

Vaccine Epidemic: How Corporate Greed, Biased Science, and Coercive Government Threaten Our Human Rights, Our Health, and Our Children

Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent’s Guide: How to Make Safe, Sensible Decisions about the Risks, Benefits, and Alternatives

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children’s Vaccinations

Articles:

The Herd Immunity Myth and How it Pits Parent Against Parent

Was the Whooping Cough Epidemic Caused By Unvaccinated Kids?

Mounting Evidence Shows Many Vaccines are Ineffective and Contribute to Rise of Outbreaks Caused by Mutated Viruses

Historical Facts Exposing The Dangers And Ineffectiveness Of Vaccines

Let’s play nice, please.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, but before commenting please quickly read my “rules of conduct:”

1. I don’t care what your views are on vaccinations, whether pro, con, or still deciding. Feel free to use the comments to discuss, ask questions, and politely present your ideas in a respectable and loving manner. Anything hateful, mean spirited, or off-topic (from either side) will be deleted.

2. If you already have it deeply embedded in your mind that vaccinations are a modern miracle and reading anything that says otherwise makes you angry, just do us both a favor and leave this page. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

3. If you are seeking any specific recommendations for your situation, remember I’m not a doctor/healthcare professional nor am I at liberty to give that sort of advice. I hope to leave enough information to get you started on your own discoveries, but please don’t ask me for medical advice.

Sources:

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/B/excipient-table-2.pdf

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-schedule.pdf

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/images/schedule1983s.jpg

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db10.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/data.html

http://vactruth.com/2012/11/30/2011-billions-vaccine-manufacturers/

 

Why we chose not to vaccinate. www.thankyourbody.com

NOTE: Due to an never-ending cesspool of spam, I have made the tough decision to close comments 14 days after the original posting of all posts. If you have a burning question or are looking for support in your journey to healthy living, please join the Thank Your Body Friends facebook page here.


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About the author

Hi! I'm and I’m passionate about healthy living: feeling nourished, having energy, getting good sleep, and feeling strong. I believe healthy living does not have to be complicated or stressful. I’m a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist (RSMT) and a Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst (CLMA). I’m also an avid researcher and love to read about nutrition, the body, and toxic-free living. Learn more.

View all articles by Robin Konie

292 comments

  1. Joli

    Thank you for stepping out of your comfort zone to do this post, Robin – very well done, wee sourced and thoughtful look at vaccines.

      1. Carrie

        Thank you, for writing something you were really very hesitant to write. I found this piece through Pinterest. My now 8 yr old daughter was born in Germany and they have a completely different view on vaccinations than Americans do. I delayed vaccinated my daughter, and honestly, I wonder if any of the vaccines had something to do with a few of her, albeit minor, health issues. I am now 17 weeks pregnant with a little boy and am strongly considering not vaccinating him at all. You have provides a lot more information for me to share with my SO :) so thank you!

  2. kathleen

    My kids were all vaccinated because I never quetioned it back then. But I hate the pressure I get every year to have my girls get the HPV vaccine.

    Even the number of vaccines the vet wants my dog to have every year has skyrocketed. Yep, they have flu shots for dogs.

      1. Tez

        there are entire conferences with vets talking about the illnesses associated with over vaccinating dogs and how dangerous certain vaccinations are to dogs.
        There is a research council dedicated to keeping vaccination related reactions in pets, reported and tracked.

        It seems that someone could do that for our precious children too.

      2. Mel

        My daughter is not vaccinated, I’m a bit of an outcast in the family in that regard. The only one who really pushes it or questions it is my mother in law, and I’ve come to the conclusion that we will never agree.
        She has been to the dr. a few times. A broken wrist for climbing out of her crib (that was a shocker, first that she could climb out, then that she had hurt herself) and later on she dived headfirst into a dresser and needed it closed (no tetanus shot there btw). She’s ornery, active, smart, and amazing.

        I’m also a dog owner and have a drastically non traditional schedule for vaccinations. Jean Dodd DVM is an amazing resource to look into if you’re questioning your pets vaccinations.

      3. Anna

        I recently made the descision on not vaccinating my little girl for the same reasons and due to the fact that she had a violent reaction at birth following her hep b shot which lead her straight to intensive care which if course the ‘”medical professionals” denied it had anything to do with the vaccine . As I recently made my descision I can’t help but feel if it is the right one with so many outbreaks of whooping cough in the area I live in and continued abuse from the health authorities it doesn’t make life any easier I can’t help to think about what I’m putting in my daughters little body each time she gets a jab is quite sickening to me . Here in Australia they have made it so hard for people who chose not to vaccinate we have our children’s government payments cut off , certain pre/public schools can deny u access, they are also as of late trying to pass a rule which will class non vaccinating children classed in the category as illegal, neglect and child abuse and are even pushing it that bad that they have now come up with a bribe which the government pays the people a lump sum every year for vaccinating as incentive to vaccinate . Our rights are slowly being taken away from us


        1. Post author
          Robin Konie

          It’s so scary, isn’t it? I’m all for parents having the right to choose either way, but people should be fighting for freedom no matter what side of the debate they fall on.

        2. Nyree

          Anna, I’m also in Australia & a couple of years ago, my husband, daughter (6yo at the time & unvaxxed) & I all got whoopingcough. The interesting info I found on the Gov’t health website was the massive increase in the number of reported cases of WC, and the fact that vax rates are higher than ever. Certainly seems to counter the claims that these outbreaksare the fault of “irresponsible” non-vaxxers in my mind. It’s certainly getting harder to make an informed choice when every political party has a pro-vax stance. Politicians should not be the ones deciding for our families.

    1. Emma

      I kept getting harassed from a vet about cat vaccines, as well! I could give my kitty the 1-year, where I’d have to go in every year, or I could give her the 3-year, with a risk of cancer afterwards. Insane!

      I wasn’t heavily vaccinated as a kid, I just got a few in the beginning. When I was about 15, the HPV vaccine came out and my friends’ mothers were all about it, I thought it was a creepy trend and thus inspired my own research on how I feel about vaccination. I’ve got a pretty solid anti-vac stance, now.

      Thank you bunches Robin for sharing your story!

      1. HTH

        I’m a vet, and there is a risk for cancer from them all. It’s called vaccine induced sarcoma, and cats are more prone to them than other animals, particularly with the FeLV vaccination. So don’t think that a one year vaccination puts you in the clear.

        That’s actually something I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about. I stopped vaccinating when my 2nd child was around 1 year old. My third baby has had none, BUT I know that the parvo vaccination for canines does indeed work. It saves lives, it really does. And prior to the vaccination being produced, that disease was killing dogs of all ages, matter how healthy they were.

        But, not all vaccinations are as effective. You have to weight the risk vs. benefit. When it comes to people, in normal, healthy children, there is minimal risk of complications from chicken pox, so do we really need to have a vaccine for it? Not my babies. I don’t ever think that proper answer is an all or nothing. You have to educate yourself. Decide for yourself.


        1. Post author
          robin

          So interesting to hear your perspective, especially since so many people have brought up the pet issue. Thank you for sharing!

        2. Anonymous

          There are two reasons that I can think of as to why there’s a vaccine for chicken pox.
          1. Adults can get it too, and when they do it is MUCH worse (plus they can get it from children as well)
          2. The chances of having serious medical issues from chicken pox vs vaccines… Vaccines win
          PS: I’ve done quite a bit of research, and I haven’t found a single piece of evidence for vaccines causing cancer. What I have found is a series of planned vaccines designed to boost the immune response to cancer.

    2. Britany

      I opted not to get the HPV vaccine when my doctor said something about it. Then whaty’a know last time I went to the doctor and she said that it was something that was not needed. Good thing I didn’t get it! :)


      1. Post author
        robin

        Yeah, the HPV vaccine has received major back lash for lots of side effects and issues… although I’m sure they’ll come up or promote other ones.

        1. Kathleen

          i know my kids had to have shots for a humanitarian trip to Belize, and I think, my son, also, to serve an church mission.

          1. Rebekah

            I have been on mission trips to El Salvador and Mexico, and I even lived in Mexico for two years working in a children’s home there. And I never got one shot before, during or after the trips. And now, I take my not-quite-2-yr-old son to Mexico to visit his dad for 2-4 weeks at a time, and he has never had a shot in his life. Trust me, you do not HAVE to get ANY shots before traveling overseas. Yes, the CDC, immigration, and other people will highly recommend them, but they cannot make you get them. (And you will have no trouble getting back into the country — that’s just a rumor to scare people into getting vaccinated.) I don’t know if any of my traveling companions to El Salvador had gotten shots or not before going, but I was the only one of us that did not get sick at all.

    3. Linda

      I first began to question vax when my dog got sick after her routine boosters. She was rigid and non-responsive, yet lashed out when disturbed. I determined she was in a lot of pain. After calling the vet and finding there was nothing to do but report the lot number, I began to question the process.

  3. Dee

    Hello! I’ve considered a blog piece about this myself, as we are a natural-living family as well, but I have yet to venture into the land of anything controversial. Your piece is perfect! We have a child with autism, who vastly regressed after a round of vaccines around 14 mths, and another one of our children began having severe tonic-clonic seizures (later dx’d as epilepsy) after her round of 6th grade vaccines. We’ve never vaccinated any of our four children since and have spent so much money and effort and time trying to undo some of the damage. We know our viewpoint is not something everyone will agree with, but that’s okay. Three of our children are now adults and on their own, they’ve researched and decided that the HPV and other boosters are not something they want to risk. (And my dd who had seizures? She’s now been seizure-free for almost 4 years and will never do anything to risk that again!) Thank you for approaching such a controversial topic with such perfection and resources! I will be referring people to this page, you’ve got it all covered!

  4. Ellen

    On the fence about this, for the same reasons you mentioned… I want to find good answers, but all the conflicting info gives me headaches.

    We went with late vaccinations (9+ months). Neither daughter was in daycare and both were breast feeding, so I felt comfortable with this. I don’t know what I would do for future babies.

    It is interesting to note that both out daughters have big allergy issues (nut and milk are the two most severe). I wonder what part vaccinations have played in that. When I was seeing a specialist about the second daughter’s milk allergy, he carefully indicated that in children with allergies, which indicate a compromised immune system, vaccinations can compound the problem.

    When my brother was in ICU as a child for meningitis, the specialists there (several very specialized doctors – my brother had a severe case) told my mother that they would not vaccinate for meningitis, since it is essentially a guess about which strains to use and is rarely effective. They were fairly insistent on this point.

    I have to educate myself more on which vaccinations are being given here and when, so I can be more on top of the decision next time.

    Thanks for bringing this up so thoughtfully!

  5. Kimberley

    A few years back in University the school doctor wanted me to get the HPV vaccination. My naturopath had warned me against getting this. She put it simply for me: it doesn’t stop you from getting the illness, it just blocks the symptoms so you don’t know you have it. Kind of scary! I declined, but every time I went back they kept pushing it on me. I almost gave in… until they told me the price I had to pay out of pocket for it! I never looked back and am glad about my personal decision.

    The pressure is out there and I like that your article focused on each person making their own decisions about their bodies and those of their children. Thanks for the food for thought.

    1. Janna P

      Your “doctor” is so incredibly wrong about what the vaccine does that it is scary to me that this person has a license. HPV itself can exist in a person with no symptoms and while most cases will resolve on their own with no medical intervention, some will turn into warts and HPV strains 16 and 18 are responsible for 70% of cervical cancer cases. You still need regular screening to catch cervical cancer early but this vaccine is show to have reduced genital warts in the at risk group of teens and young adults by 56% and has and will continue to save tens of thousands of women from being told they have cervical cancer. The vaccine does not mask any symptoms- the disease itself it’s well camoflauged.

  6. Gretch

    I think issues like this draw a very fine line between individual autonomy and public health. I remember watching a frontline about this issue and some parents who had chose not to have their kids immunized for a variety of diseases, including pertussis, were being interviewed. These parents stressed the importance of keeping sick children at home if they are showing symptoms of being sick (trying to place the argument squarely in the individual autonomy spectrum) to protect children who have not fully developed immunity through a complete series of vaccinations, particularly infants. However, what these parents failed to realize is that their child was infectious BEFORE they were symptomatic. As a former pediatric icu nurse who has seen children die from pertussis, I find it very troubling that immunizations are seen as something parents can take or leave.

    1. Gretch

      Oh, and before you reply posting again the article you linked in this post about whooping cough, I’ve read it. And I’ve read countless other articles that say that same thing, as well as countless other articles that say the opposite. There are articles out there to support whatever conclusion one is wanting to find.

      1. Mel

        “There are articles out there to support whatever conclusion one is wanting to find.” This is absolutely true. There doesn’t seem to be any non-biased info put out anymore by the scientific community. Everyone has an agenda.

        As a mom, the best tool I have for dealing with any issue that arises to do with my child, or anything for that matter, is trusting my gut.


    2. Post author
      robin

      I can definitely respect your point of view. I don’t think, however, that parents who choose not to vaccinate see them as something to “take or leave.” I don’t think I’ve spent more time researching, worrying, or stressing about any other subject the way I have about vaccinations. And while I take very seriously the health of others, especially young infants who are so vulnerable, I am just as cautious about the health of my own child and not wanting to put what I believe are harmful toxins in her young body. Like I said in the article, where my circumstances different and I was able to provide immunity through good nutrition, breastfeeding, and other factors I may have chosen differently. It’s definitely a hard decision. And like you mention, there are articles to support either claim which is why I appreciate your respectful manner. Unfortunately there are no easy answers. Life is full of risks and we have to maneuver the best way we know how.

      I will say, if my little girl has ANY signs of being sick we are diligent about keeping her away from others. I know you can’t always know when they are sick as symptoms often come later, but we do our best. Just like vaccinations don’t cover all strains or give complete immunity… we can only do our best.


    1. Post author
      robin

      Good luck. I wish it weren’t such a hard decision, but know that whatever you decide you are doing your best. :)

  7. Erinn

    I understand your being hesitant to post this blog. I was attacked by my (so-called) closest friends & family when I blogged about my daughters terrible experiences with vaccines. It took years to bring her back to health (blessed that we could). So I commend you for spreading the word. I will continue to educate those who are willing to listen as well. Take care.


    1. Post author
      robin

      Oh wow. So glad you could bring her back to health.

      I really wish we as parents could really unite more, even when we disagree. Parenting is already SO hard. Dealing with mommy wars, vaccination debates, and everything else just makes it harder.

      Best wishes!


    1. Post author
      robin

      We were going to Dr. Mumford at UV Pediatrics (just by American Fork Hospital). He was very supportive and never gave us any issues. Although we’ve switched to a homeopath/MD in Lehi (Dr. Jones from the Alpine Clinic) who’s really up our alley. :)

  8. jamie

    After a violent reaction from my vaccinated newborn, less than satisfactory answer from my pediatrician and reading up on vaccinations we chose to not vaccinate our kids. 18 years later we are facing unvaccinated kids entering the military and nursing careers. What now? Can one opt out of vaccinations at this point? How do universities and the Air Force view kids like mine?


    1. Post author
      robin

      Oh wow. That’s a great question. My only child is just turning two so this is far from my radar right now. I would imagine that there are some ways around it… but I’m not sure what. Time for more research. ;)

    2. Dawn @ Small Footprint Family

      University you might be able to opt out of, but when you join the U.S. military, your body literally becomes property of the U.S. government and you must submit to any and all vaccines they require, including experimental anthrax vaccines. That is your agreement when you enlist.

      1. Heather Faust

        Actually, I believe you can opt out but you must do it prior to enlisting. You cannot change after you’ve enlisted. Here’s the article where that info came from – http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/02/09/6-principles-you-should-know-before-making-an-informed-swine-flu-vaccine-decision.aspx Of course if they are doing experimental or undisclosed vaccinations, then who know what the rules are, but this is the way it is stated to work.

    3. Rachel

      My brother and sister and I were never vaccinated as children. IAt different points in our lives when we were making job decisions, etc we all have done some form of vaccinations- I got mine for nursing school (though for regular university classes I just had an exemption on file with the health offices), my sister got several when she went to work at a hospital, and my brother had some when he did travel through Asia, Europe, and South America. We were all 18 by that point and I think for us it made sense because we had given our bodies the time to develop our immune systems, our brains had developed, and there wasn’t as much risk involved. We still don’t do flu shots, and all of our kids are either unvaccinated or on delayed schedules. My husband is military and has to get all kinds of shots all the time, so I just make sure he is in good health and has extra doses of immune supporting vitamins that week. We started 2 of our children around 3 years old and are going slowly and the 3rd is still under a year. This is a good, thoughtful look at such a controversial issue- we’ve been through quite a few doctors and know which friends to discuss it with and which ones to avoid the topic. Thanks for your courage!

  9. Dan

    It’s certainly a very hard decision. The factor for me though is that your child is not allowed to go to school without having all vaccinations.


    1. Post author
      robin

      This brings up a great point that parents need more research on what their legal rights are about vaccinations. I am no up to date on every state, but I know in Utah you can fill out an exemption form each year and still go to school.

    2. Dee

      Every state but two has ways to exempt yourself. Some make it harder than others. CA just passed a new law (I think it goes into effect in January 2014?) that says we have to have a form signed each year by a doctor/nurse, to accompany any waiver, stating that we received education on the risks of not vaccinating. My current state requires that I get a form signed by the Dept. of Health along with my waiver.

    3. K Wilson

      I think all states have some way to exempt from shots and still go to school. I would not let that be the reason I gave my kids shots.

  10. Briana

    I really appreciated the way you approached this subject. You rock, Robin. :)

    We do vaccinate our kids, but I completely believe that whether or not to vaccinate is a very individual decision – right down to each individual child. And I respect each parents’ ability to receive guidance about what is right for each of their children. It sounds like you really did a lot of thinking and studying. I admire that!

    I did want to respond to one thing you said – just for clarification, since we’ve had personal experience with it: “How could my unvaccinated kid risk your vaccinated kid if your vaccinations work? Just a thought.” Our daughter had cancer and was immuno-compromised throughout her 2.5 year treatment. She had no immunity – not even to a common cold- (that included things like losing the abilities of all those antibodies and things she acquired from vaccines)quite often throughout treatment. And we landed in the hospital playing the dangerous game of “can we get you past this — AGAIN?” She was susceptible to anything and everything. Like chicken pox for instance – the mortality rate for a child with leukemia who gets chicken pox is 30%! Just straight up – from being immuno compromised. Anyways, so there’s an instance where a previously vaccinated child could be put at risk by someone who wasn’t vaccinated. Not the common course of things for sure- most kids don’t have cancer. :) But, for the few of us dealing with that, it sure felt like our whole world. Just wanted to throw that out there.

    It’s a tricky subject. Even though we vaccinate, I do have my own wonderings and can see points on both sides of the argument. In the end, vaccinating has felt right for us. And I admire you and others who carefully study and ponder and feel a different decision is right.


    1. Post author
      robin

      Wow, Briana. Thank you for your kind response. So sorry about your daughter. That’s a rough situation for sure. And I definitely am sensitive to those with very compromised immune systems… and wish there was a better answer to it all.

    2. Jules

      Just thought I’d mention that your child is just as at risk being around a vaccinated child esp when others have been recently vaxed (as some vaccines shed) Outbreaks are common amongst vaccinated children despite getting vaxed. Sorry to hear about your child.

    3. Megan

      On the flip side, when our son had cancer, ever one who had been recently vaccinated scared the crap out of me. There is more than one vaccine that states that a vaccinated individual should stay away from immuno-compromised people for AT LEAST six weeks.

      1. Janna P

        only 3 vaccines can shed and only if a rash develops and the immunocompromised person decides to rub their mouth all over the rash on the other person is there any risk of transmission.

  11. mamajos

    What are your thoughts on Tetnus? Our natropath suggested that we consider it for our two girls (8 & 5) who haven’t received any vaccinations to date. His reasonings were that the benefits of being protected outweighed any risks & that the tetnus shot was one of the “safest”. Thanks!


    1. Post author
      robin

      That’s a great question… and I’m still wading through it all myself. Can’t say I have an answer for that one. There still may be vaccines that we decide are “worth the risk” as our children get older… this will be on my list to research.

      1. Gretch

        Like I said above, I really think that this issue comes down to a fine line between personal autonomy and public health. And your response here really shows an attempt to make this nothing more than a question of individual autonomy – researching each individual vaccine to decide whether the risks outweigh the benefits to your child; the consideration you placed on not immunizing because you are breast feeding and keeping toxins out of the home; etc. And while individual autonomy is definitely a PART of the consideration, I really feel like it is generally given too much weight, with little consideration on public health (see the reply about the individual with the daughter with cancer for an example).

        1. Dee

          I still feel that as parents, our first responsibility is to our own children, then the community. No child should be thrown under the bus. I wish vaccines were healthier and then none of us would be put in this situation! If they could just change the ingredients of vaccines to remove harmful additives, maybe a lot more of us would vaccinate on a regular basis. It’s a scary thing and I’m thankful we all have the right to do what we feel is best for our own families and respect each others’ choices.

          1. Gretch

            Right, but what I don’t think you understand is there is no way for this decision to simply about each individual’s child. A decision like this that a person may attempt to argue they are making for their own children necessarily has an impact on everybody else. One person’s decision about what is best for their child may negatively impact another person’s decision about their child (ex: infants or immunocompromised people without complete immunity being put at risk because of your “personal” decision).


          2. Post author
            robin

            Very true, Gretch. But I wonder (just “thinking” out loud here) what the impacts of vaccinations are on everyone else? I’m guessing the process of making them has polluted the world more, and those families who have been negatively affected by vaccinations (and silenced with settlements in court) have been impacted beyond just the child who received the damage. Unfortunately our world is very connected, and our actions DO affect others… but it goes both ways. I wish there was a better answer, a better solution. Like I said, I don’t for a minute take lightly those with compromised immune systems… but I wish we’d spend more time looking at why so many of our children have compromised immune systems rather than just cover them up with shots.

            And again, when you consider that the VAST majority of adults do not stay up-to-date on their vaccines (and that vaccines generally only last 5 – 10 years) most adults are just as much a threat as unvaccinated children.

  12. Phoenix

    My 14 year old daughter had all her immunizations. At the time I didn’t really know there were any other options. I was a young single mom without many resources and no friends with kids. My girl is incredibly healthy – and I attribute it to all the things I did on instinct or on accident. She slept with me at night until she was a toddler because it was easier, nursed and ate homemade food because it was cheaper and seemed better, and I took her everywhere I went because I felt like she belonged with me. I’ve been told that I did attachment parenting before I knew what it was.

    I am glad that the shots didn’t hurt my daughter but I believe her health comes from fresh air, good food, playing in the dirt, and hugging and kissing anyone who will hold still long enough.


    1. Post author
      robin

      So true! And clearly there are plenty of kids who are vaccinated that are very healthy. That’s why it’s such a personal decision. So glad your daughter has a mom who trusts her instincts.

      1. Dee

        I think one thing that bears mentioning is that vaccines aren’t safe for everyone; not everyone’s body’s can handle the onslaught of so much at once, if that makes sense? Like some kids can’t eat peanut butter and others can’t handle penicillin, some can’t handle some ingredients in vaccines. That’s what makes it all so much of a guessing game! We wouldn’t know ahead of time if they’ll have a reaction so we have to hope they don’t. We just know that every body is different and that makes it a risk no matter what; we just have to decide what to do with that risk, and everyone makes that decision on their own. So glad for the freedom to do that! Two of my four didn’t have issues whatsoever, and I was SO thankful for the chicken pox vax by the time my third came around, but she ended up with the pox still…twice! You just never know!


        1. Post author
          robin

          So true. It’s a hard guessing game. As I mentioned, in my gut I just felt that my little girl would not handle them well. I’m glad I don’t have to test that theory.

        2. Honeybee

          We chose to vaccinate selectively and talked about this a lot with our pediatrician, who helped us prioritize. (We also did reading on this.) We ended up getting certain shots (but not all of them), and spreading them out. We didn’t want our daughter ever to be introduced to more than one new thing at a time. That way, if she had a reaction (which thankfully never happened), we would know for certain which one it was. I really couldn’t imagine injecting 6 different things into her at one time. And I really didn’t mind making more than one trip to the Dr’s office to space the shots out. We also made sure she was super healthy when we went in, and we didn’t give her Tylenol afterward. (Some research suggests that using Tylenol after receiving vaccines can lower immune response and have other adverse effects.) We haven’t given her all of the suggested shots (SO MANY!!), but we have done the ones that felt right, and done them in a way that felt right to us.


          1. Post author
            Robin Konie

            I love that you found what felt right for you. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Prairiebabymama

    This could have (should have) been written by me, right down to “my little C”! Thank you for being so much more succinct than I could be. One more reason why we didn’t vaccinate is epigenetics, and how vaccines can alter our DNA. We didn’t want to continue to pass these problems down the line to the next generations of our family. I will be sharing this, along with full credit to you! Thank you!

    1. ConcernedBiologist

      I’m sorry, but I have to comment to say that you’re using the term epigenetics incorrectly. Mutations change the sequence of your DNA. Mutations that occur in somatic (normal) cells affect only the individual in which they occur. Mutations that occur in germ line cells (sperm or eggs) can be passed onto the next generation. Epigenetics is something completely different. It refers to the methylation and acetylation of your DNA. These modifications are what allow genes to be turned “on” or “off”. Epigenetics is not inherently bad, it’s something that happens to everyone, regardless of what lifestyle they lead. These methylation/acetylation patterns are simply environmental markers. Furthermore, because they don’t actually change the sequence of DNA, these modifications CAN NOT BE PASSED ON to the next generation. You don’t need to worry about your grandkids being hurt by epigenetics.

  14. JR

    I read a lot, over 10 years (and continue to do so) of pros and cons before I decided on what to do with our two daughters and vaccinating:

    -What are the vax ingredients, and figure out what you don’t understand.

    -What are the side effects?

    -What are the statistics?

    -Research nutritional specialists at a Ph.D. level for the most accurate picture on treatment. Antibiotics are not the answer to everything and in some cases will make things worse (whopping cough for instance).

    -Eat healthy, exercise, decrease stress daily. This includes pasture meats/organs, raw dairy, and foraging.

    Personally, I don’t debate vaxs with anyone until I’ve had many discussions about healthy lifestyles and food choices. It’s not just about eliminating processed foods and running around a track, but that is a huge step in the right direction. And I don’t believe following an all meat or all veggie diet is healthy either.

    Living a healthy lifestyle is not easy and requires a lot of time and effort to switch over, there is no one size fits all. But it does get easier and builds off each effort.

    Sadly, few people take the time to really understand how great our food and environment (genetics, too) affect the quality of our lives and that of our future grandkids. Herd immunity is more an excuse to just follow everyone’s decisions without effort or thought. Vaxs have a place in the world but we are very wrong to take them thoughtlessly.


    1. Post author
      robin

      So well put!

      Ultimately vaccinations are just one tiny part of the whole picture. And I’m not sure our decision would have been the same if we had not had been so diligent about other areas of health… our food, our home, toxins, etc. It’s really a big complicated picture.

  15. Dyami

    Way to be brave…and just know, those that do vaccination also fear judgement by those who don’t. It’s such a big topic and I haven’t done my research, so I’m uneducated and nervously erring on the side of vacs for now and giving into social pressures. (Please, no one persecute me in the comments!) I’m sure I’d be hush hush about it if I didn’t vaccinate. I can see the truth in what you’re doing, but I also give into the fears, pressures, expectations and normalcy views on the other side. The thought of side effects/ major problems does freak me out and I wish the view on shots was more popular to research before rather than fear what happens if you don’t. I feel like I’m playing roulette and hoping that these benefit me more than harm us later.

    Are there any vaccines that you would consider? If you were to travel abroad? Or is it an all or none issue?

    I can say that the small strides I have made to live better that we do seem healthier. I wish there was a way though to know when we’ve dodged the bullet of illness because of a vaccine or if it really wasn’t helpful or necessary.


    1. Post author
      robin

      No judgement from me, Dyami! :)

      Sadly, both sides can get really nasty and I wish that weren’t the case.

      If we were to travel we’d definitely look into it. There is still so much to be researched. And with our next child I’m sure we’ll still talk seriously and make sure it feels right for that child as it did for C. I don’t think all modern medicine is out to get us. I do wish it were easier to have the information we needed to make the decisions that we feel best about.

      You’re great, friend!


      1. Post author
        robin

        Also, I think it’s important to remember that many parents who choose to vaccinate do so through lots of research and questioning, too. Most parents I know are doing their best to make the best decisions for their kids and circumstances.

    2. Jules

      The only way you are going to overcome your fear with this topic is to do extensive reading. Start with the ingredients. Once you have gained considerable knowledge it is much much easier to decide. Your instincts will tell you. Remember there’s a saying: To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Remember if you are injured from a vaccine you cannot sue the drug company! There is no counterability or responsibility taken by the medical field if your health is damaged by a vaccine. Have a look at Dr Sheri Tenpenny web site, also thinktwice.com (answers alot of common questions you may be wanting to know)and Dr Mercola (search archives) and see what you think after that. Keep a open mind. Nothing sells vaccines but fear fear fear but you decide in the end. As far as travel vaccines goes. They are not necessarily mantatory unless you are going to Nairobi where they demand to see your vaccine proof for yellow fever on entry but apart from that nothing really is required. Thinktwice answer questions also about travel vaccines. Goodluck, travel well.

  16. Leigh Barnard

    Thank you for being brave enough to step out of the “sheep herd” and write this article! I have 3 children, ages 4, 2, and 8 months, and none have been vaccinated, nor will they ever be. What sealed the deal for me was when I read The Sanctity of Human Blood by Tim O’Shea – such a fantastic, easy to read and understand book that’s packed full of all kinds of references so you have zero question of where his information came from, I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend it!! I’m not a doctor either, but I can at least provide emotional support for those who fear having to put their foot down against the majority of society and being shunned because of it. It’s not my place to judge, but I do feel that parents seriously need to research this topic before they do something that they can NEVER take back.

  17. Andrea

    Major props to you for putting yourself “out there”!! I highly agree with your decision! I always feel like when there is so much pressure to do something, you should ALWAYS take a step back and just….breath! Thanks for your blog and for your commitment to education, even on the tough stuff! :)

  18. Stephanie W.

    This is definitely a very touchy subject and one to think/know about. Your post on this was succinct and informative. Because of more environmental toxins, unhealthy eating, etc., there is much more generational momentum toward disease. More people have MTHFR mutations, making it more difficult to sift out toxins, etc. The fact that vaccines are full of toxins and are given out so much more is concerning and problematic.

      1. Stephanie W.

        Ha! I just noticed that someone else basically said the same thing (mentioning epigenetics). We must be reading the same book or something! ;)

  19. WMSMom

    Great article! I to wrestled with this decision. I consulted with a chiropractor who recommended having the vaccinations but having them on my timetable in order to let his immune system develop and not be overwhelmed by the vaccines. My son’s pediatrician was also a naturopath and he supported this decision fully especially for MMR. (He did recommend having the DTaP however since Whooping Cough was so bad in Texas at that time.) My son ended up having part of the HIB, Polio, and DTaP series before he was two. Then we moved from Texas to North Carolina, after sliding through the childcare system with a partial vaccinated child, I finally finished out his series when he was 5-1/2 starting July before school started. North Carolina (at least at that time) had very strict laws around vaccines with the only excemptions being medical or religious and we didn’t qualify on either. Therefore, we had to have a letter from the doctor stating he had an appointment approximately two months after school started to complete the series so he wouldn’t get expelled. He did not have the Chicken Pox vaccine at all and did get a very mild case in the second grade along with a multitude of kids in his school who had been vaccinated.

    This worked very well for us and may be an option others want to research.

    I know understand they are now recommending HPV for boys also. Guess it is time for me to do more research.

  20. Christine @ onceuponatimeinabedofwildflowers

    Both my kids are vaccinated (no apparent harm done) because 8 and 5 years ago it never occurred to me that a sane and sensible person wouldn’t vaccinate. Now… if I had to do it over, I’m not at all sure that I would choose to vaccinate. Thank you for presenting this information in a calm and clear manner with plenty of links to additional sources. I will be sure to share this with some of my friends who are currently on the vaccine fence right now.

  21. kelly

    our first 2 were vaxed on schedule b/c i didn’t know any better. i was on the path though, and by the time #3 came, i was delaying the vax and only doing one at a time. the next 2 babies got next to nothing. my dr. at the time was very reasonable, but i could tell he thought i was odd. we now have a dr. who totally supports our decision not to further vax the kids. (his kids don’t have any either). all this to say, i have been on both sides of the fence and can totally relate to the fact that it’s a HARD decision. thanks for the forum.

  22. Edi Keller

    Before my son was born just the mention of my choice to go epidural free started the family comments, “oh is she not going to vaccinate either?” We did vaccinate because I didn’t know. We didnt get to spend our pregnancy researching. Instead it was spent supporting my husband through brain surgery & recovery. So when my baby was born I vaccinated…I didn’t know. I haven’t wanted to vaccinate but reluctantly have…my husband was alarmed at the change in my sons demeanor after his last hep-b (a big reason I have wanted to stop) and we are now being very deliberate about the choices. We did not get the flu vaccine(any of us) and faced a family fight about it. Thankfully we at least had a pediatrician who at least let us space them out but we are avoiding all shots from this point forward. Thank you for writing this piece. I have very little support here for our lifestyle and child rearing choices (most often I am chastised as though I’m too stupid to properly raise my child since he is my first and everyone else in the family has two). I find this community of healthy people uplifting and so reassuring!


    1. Post author
      robin

      So sorry about your husband’s brain surgery. Life can be rough sometimes. I am also very thankful for this kind community. Thanks for being part of it.

    2. Carrie

      That is sad to hear that you are so scrutinized for the decisions you are making. I have a close friend going through the very same thing and getting flack from her parents on every decision she makes about her kids….and is most definitely no dummy. Homeschooling is her next big hurdle. She is always exhausted having to defend her choice as a parent.

      Just know that the amount of children somebody has does not an expert make. :) it sounds as though you are a wonderful wife and mother.

  23. Becca

    Great post, thank you for stepping out of your comfort zone to share your personal decision story. I think you made several excellent points, and shared some great insight and resources. The world is slowly beginning to realize that there is more to vaccines than they previously thought :)

  24. Jessica

    Very well written! Kudos to you for having the courage to write about such a controversial topic. I couldn’t agree with you more. Like you, I hate that this topic pits so many parents against each other. I am expecting my first in August and don’t plan to vaccinate but there are certain people in my family that I can’t share this information with because it would probably end badly. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Post author
      robin

      Thanks, Jessica. I think that’s what makes me most sad is the fear people have (on either side of the debate) of doing what they think is best due to the repercussions from loved ones.

  25. Jessica T.

    It wasn’t until recently that I had met someone that didn’t get their kids vaccinated. She is a dietitian and made sense that she probably had good reason for her decision. Up until that point in my life I didn’t even know you could opt to not have your kids vaccinated. I remember once when I was about 11 or 12 we had moved to a new town and they wouldn’t let me start school until I had a certain shot. Apparently my immunization record wasn’t up to date. I don’t remember which one it was but I guess that stuck with me thinking it was mandatory to get them. How would this apply to schools accepting your child if you choose this route?

    I hardly taken medication either and choose to try home remedies and natural treatments first. I firmly believe that we are told things are good for us when in fact they are not. I recently went on a wheat free diet and I have been amazed at how much better I feel and I haven’t been nearly as sick as I usually am this time of year. I have realized that just because a product says its good for you doesn’t necessarily mean it is. I chose not to get my flu shot this past year and never got sick. My husband has never had one and he has not gotten the flu either. i was amazed to learn that a majority of my friends that did get a flu shot were the ones who ended up with the flu…strange. Vaccinations are just another thing we are told are good for us and I have always wondered why. Thank you for your post!


    1. Post author
      robin

      Thanks, Jessica. As far as schooling goes, all but two states (I believe) have some sort of exemption rule for vaccinations. I think I linked to this in a comment above. :)

  26. Lime

    may i gently just posit that perhaps your child is so healthy because you feed her REAL food. my child received all of his scheduled vaccinations, and at 4 years old has had one fairly minor cold/cough a year. i dont think the vaccinations have anything to do with that but of course, who knows…


    1. Post author
      robin

      Oh trust me, I know that’s a big part of it. Just like I don’t think vaccinations are the ONLY cause of anything, I don’t think eating real food is the only answer. I think it’s really an integrated approach to living a toxic-free life, eating real food, getting sunshine, exercise, sleep, and good relationships.

  27. Amy

    Don’t know how to say it – this is the best thing I’ve read in a long time, I’m still years away from having children but this has certainly planted a seed of thought. Thanks for such a comprehensive non-cult-like summary of your journey and knowledge :)

  28. Sarah

    Thank you so much for writing this. It is exactly how my husband and I felt when researching this issue. Our son is 3 and has no vaccinations. We have had a hard time finding a pediatrician who supports our decision. Each check-up they try to pursuade us to change our mind. In they end they understand. They just don’t agree.

  29. Casey

    What a great article! I am too, getting into natural living ever since I started studying anthropology and seeing how our ancestors managed to survive for millions of years (3.79 million years since our earliest ancestors,around 65 million if you count all primate species). I read an interesting paper written by Thomas K. Landauer published in Ethos scholarly journal, which actually correlated an increase in height after infantile small pox vaccinations, which was a cross-cultural find. people in vaccinated communities were 11 cm taller than those who were not vaccinated. For Homo Sapiens, we have generally kept our height constant for adult males around 163 cm(with the exception of other environmental factors, but generally), since the introduction of infantile vaccination that number has increased up to 174 cm for adult males. Quoted from said published paper: The explanation offered for the effect
    of vaccination is that it constitutes a systemic physiological stressor, and physiological stress in infancy enhances growth. This has been shown both by experimental evidence in a variety of laboratory mammals(Landauer and Whiting 1964, Whiting, Landauer, and Jones 1968). Considering we were a constant height up until the introduction of infantile vaccines, it is frightening that were adapting to these unnatural conditions in such a way. Some people may look at that as being a good thing, (As growth typically means good health) I disagree, if you look at it from a species perspective its a negative attribute.IF an elephant grew in such a manner, zoologists would panic, the cause and effect of such a situation would ripple, as it is doing for humans.

    1. Emily Nelson

      Casey, thanks for that study info! Very interesting. You may never see this post, but I too had an interest in anthropology in college. My favorite prof was this awesome little Okinawan guy who taught several anthro classes. I’m not sure that you would be interested, but there is a fantastic book that has been out for +50 years called The Genesis Flood. It is a very scientific, but thoroughly interesting read about how mankind may not be as old as some scientists believe. http://www.amazon.com/Genesis-Flood-50th-Anniversary-Edition/dp/159638395X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369863578&sr=8-1&keywords=the+genesis+flood

  30. beth

    Very well written and informative post. My children are 18, 20, 22 and 24…we decided not to vaccinate our oldest had a couple but then we read info and talked to friends that were making the choice not to and decided that was the way to go for our family. My children have been healthy and I am thankful even now that we chose to follow our hearts. I think information is the key…the more info we can get out there the more informed parents will become to make a better decision for their children. Thank you again for getting the info out there.

  31. Audrey

    Thank you for this, Robin! My husband and I had come to the exact same conclusions and we appreciate how you put the article! Your blog and FB page have been such an encouragement to both of us!

  32. Jillian

    Thanks so much for this great post.

    We, unfortunately, followed all of our pediatrician’s recommendations and fully vaccinated our oldest daughter. She had a severe reaction, encephalopathy, resulting in permanent brain damage, and was compensated by the VICP after a long battle. She was not in day care, breast fed for 2.5 years, fed organic foods, and still suffered a life altering reaction.

    Our two youngest children are not vaccinated. And they have zero health issues.

    I will always regret my decision to vax our oldest child. We we know better, we do better.

    Just a note about herd immunity and ethics – utilitarianism is only one ethical framework. To say that not vaccinating is the wrong choice based only on utilitarianism, is shallow, at best.

    Thanks for taking the risk and sharing. You are changing lives:-)


    1. Post author
      robin

      Wow, thank you, Jillian. I’m so sorry about your oldest daughter. But I know that you were just doing your best with what information you had at the time. Thank you for sharing your story. I really do appreciate it.

  33. Shawn Siegel

    Statistics can be honed to point in any direction, indeed. Thus, with three grandkids at the time, all being vaccinated, when I was told three years ago that as soon as the polio vaccine was released the CDC drastically changed the diagnostic parameters of the disease, eliminating upwards of two-thirds of the cases of paralytic polio with the stroke of a pen, I was compelled to research, because it smacked of trickery. And, as it turned out, trickery it was, in grand fashion.

    I can only look at it one way – as an issue of trust. When you study the behavior of the vaccine industry over the decades – the government, the manufacturers, most of the medical establishment and their obedient, non-questioning publicity arm, the mainstream media – you quickly realize our trust is misplaced.

    You can’t eliminate risk from life, but the risk of damage from vaccines far outweighs the risk of damage from disease.


    1. Post author
      robin

      SO well put, Shawn. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head for me as to why I never felt really good about vaccinations.

  34. Beth

    My youngest was fully vaccinated until 4yrs. He was never a healthy baby, then developed autism between 4 and 5. My two oldest were vaccinated until 12 They now have multiple food allergies and digestive issues. If I knew then what I know now about immunity and vaccinations, our story would have a different ending. Thanks for sharing your story and all the good info! Your baby is so blessed to be able to start off life without all those vaccines influencing her immune system.

  35. Janet

    Hi Robin. My children are well into their 30′s now but even in the 1970′s I had reservations about vaccinations and chose not to have them vaccinated for measles or for whooping cough.

    My daughter has 4 children and none of them have been vaccinated and they are the healthiest kids on the block. She finds it hard without any other like minded mums to talk to as most people can’t understand her decision. She hasn’t had any negative responses either from other mums or from her doctor, which is good. She asked her doctor if he could guarantee no side effects and he couldn’t so that was the end of that.

    We are in the UK by the way so no problems currently re the children being accepted at school

  36. BJ

    I am thankful and lucky to have a family doctor who doesn’t push drugs on me. It took 3 years for me to get a decent migraine medication from her because she wanted to explore all other options first.
    I have often wondered about the vaccines that I got at a young age because my parents didn’t know any better. I think for my baby due in August I will resist any vaccinations that I deem unnecessary. There are so many children out there that spend all their time sick because they are what I refer to as “Bubble Children”, never or rarely being exposed to germs and dirt. My nieces and nephew spend a lot of time on the family farm in the cow pooh and many other dirty places and are not often ill, definitely not as often as other children I know who do not get out in the same environment.
    We have become a society so afraid of a little cold or flu that we drug up at the slightest sniffle. We are in effect killing our own immune systems.
    So waiting to see what is absolutely necessary for vaccinations seems to be the way I am leaning. And I trust my doctor’s opinion. She wouldn’t recommend anything if she thought we didn’t need it.


    1. Post author
      robin

      So wonderful that you have a doctor who can trust like that. So thankful there are doctors out there who really do their research and care!

    2. Jules

      I’m sorry don’t leave it to your dr to tell you if you need it. There is pressure on them from the establishment to recommend them. I strongly recommend you do further reading in the meantime. “To be Forewarned is to be Forearmed” Dr Mercola has numerous articles on his web site. Have a look!! (Look for the search engine box and type in vaccines.)

  37. Peasles

    It’s really easy for me to decide – there’s no actual real debate amongst the medical/scientific community about vaccinations. Rises in autism have a lot to do with the fact that the definition for autism is a lot broader than it used to be. And we know, definitively, what happens when society doesn’t vaccinate, so I guess if you’re really okay with polio and smallpox, then that’s your prerogative.

    1. Gretch

      Just signing on to agree with this. When the “debate” is between a majority of the scientific/medical community and moms doing their own research online, it’s not really a question. Although, I also feel that it’s not really their prerogative because, as I’ve stated above, the vast public health concerns means decisions like this go far beyond “personal” choice.

      But I am obviously outnumbered in this particular forum, and will just have to agree to disagree.


    2. Post author
      robin

      Well, we’ll definitely just have to agree to disagree. While I get where you are coming from, my research has shown that in almost every instance the diseases that we are so afraid coming back were already hitting all time lows before the vaccinations were introduced. Again, lifestyle and nutrition play into my decision and if those things every change I will definitely reconsider the possibilities of providing protection in other ways. But I trust the human body to do its thing when it’s given the proper tools way more than I trust the FDA or pharmaceutical industry who has everything to gain from more people vaccinating.

    3. K Wilson

      Vaccines are for treating diseases. They were never intended to be given as a preventive measure. Why treat something you don’t have and may never get – it doesn’t make sense to do that.

    4. Kiki

      Do you really believe “there is no actual debate amongst the medical/ scientific community about vaccinations”? Then why do they need a governmental vaccine compensation program? http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/ And why is it that consumers are not able to directly sue the vaccine companies or doctors who administer the vaccines? Those are things to look at while doing research. And there are plenty of neurologists out there who speak out against routine vaccinations.

  38. Carrie

    Robin, I am very thankful for your blog. My first child was vac’d because I didn’t know anything. When my second was 6 months I decided to stop vac’ing…including my first-born. My brand new DD has not had one and I have to keep reminding our public health nurse that she will not be vac’d. She doesn’t put pressure on me to do so but I am sure there is pressure put on her and her department to push them.

    I feel confident in not vac’ing them but when something happens (once in a blue moon) and I have to take them to the doc or to the hospital for anything, one of the very first questions I get asked is “when was ____’s last vaccination? or Are all vaccinations up to date?” So when after I tell them, I will get another question like “why not?” or a nod and then silence. Both leave me feeling guilty about my choice to not vac and start me thinking that if only they had a vac, we would not have to be here right now. Major head games, hey?

    I do have a question though and don’t have enough time (have a new baby to take care of) to read through the over 100 comments to see if my answer is in here. What are your personal thoughts or what literature do you know of that can speak to getting vac’d while traveling abroad? Are they really needed or all those commercials promoting them just trying to profit? There are so many very young families traveling down to Mexico or overseas nowadays. I just can’t imagine vac’ing my kids for a trip that will only last one or two weeks when I wouldn’t vac them at home for other things. Know what I mean? Anyway, I would like to hear your thoughts on this.

    Thank you.


    1. Post author
      robin

      Hi Carrie,

      The head games are hard, for sure. Just keep doing what feels right to you.

      As far as traveling abroad, I honestly don’t know. We (thankfully/sadly) don’t have any major trips planned anytime soon… but if we did I’d probably do another round of research on the place and reasons for vaccinations. Depending on where we are going it might be wise to do selective vaccinations. I think it’s important not to get so wrapped up in any sort of dogma that you keep yourself from seeing the good of both sides. :)

  39. Ellie Kaye

    I wanted to thank you for posting this. I really enjoy reading your posts, and this one really stuck out to me. I am a nursing student, and in our courses we learn the value of vaccines. We are also basically taught that anyone who does not vaccinate their children is either A) ignorant and uneducated or B) a hippy. I have never agreed with either of these titles, and I have been interested for quite some time about why people choose not to vaccinate their children. I do not think it makes them bad parents, and in some cases I do think newborns are over vaccinated. Especially in the United States – but I have several issues with the “birthing practices” of the USA. Thank you for posting this, and educating me on some of the very valid reasons behind choosing not to vaccinate.

    1. Jules

      Ellie, I think its great that you are a student that thinks outside the square. Mind you they will discourage this kind of thinking where you work. This may interest you. Google Vaccine freedom wall.

  40. Michelle

    Love it! Sensational and beautifully written. I am a Naturopath and also chose not to vaccinate my child (who IS Autistic) nor give him Vit K injections at birth. I can’t imagine how he would be if I had added vaccinations on top of his already compromised immune system.

    I love that you have written this Robin. I totally applaud you and will share this posting onto my FB page: Natural Health Management – along with my own article I wrote on not vaccinating my child. You are an amazing mumma doing the best for your child. Keep up the amazing work

  41. antoinette

    Robin,
    Thank you for such a thoughtful article. You have eloquently grabbed every thought from my heart and placed it in your article! You wrote with kindness and gentleness and that is a sure way to get folks attention. I have had a few mothers come to me confused and asking for advice. Yours is definitely an article I will forward to them.
    We have a 4 year old son who received vaccines and changed after the 18 month round. Later, at age 2, diagnosed with autism. We stopped all vaccines, gave him prayer, supplements and therapy and yes, we have healed him(Doctors say they must have made a diagnosis mistake. Really?) Our 2 year old daughter was vaccinated until her 12 month and we at that time researched and decided not to continue. Both our children are vaccine-free and never sick. The last time I stepped foot into a ped’s office was when my daughter had her shots at 1 year!!

    Anyways, I’m practicing a new way to approach people’s shock of “you don’t vaccinate your children?!!” I have realized that it’s a negative response to vaccines “we don’t vaccinate”. So instead, I’m choosing to say what author Julie Cook says in her Unvaccinated book: “I decided to allow my daughter to keep her immune cells and system healthy and uncontaminated with toxic chemicals.I decided to allow my daughter the chance to gain natural, lifelong immunity to enable her maximum fighting power against infectious diseases….I didn’t make the negative decision to not vaccinate. I made the positive decision in favor of a strong immune system and overall health.” Well said!

    Thanks again, Robin. Very touching article.

  42. Julie

    Robin,

    My husband and I did the Dr Sears delayed schedule with our first daughter (now 2). We just added another sweet girl to our family in January and I was again wrestling out this decision as her 2 month check up was fast approaching.

    I saw your article yesterday, and her appointment was today. (Coincidence? I think not!) I talked with our doctor today and told him I had major reservations about immunizing (95% sure we will not immunize daughter #2 and will stop all immunizations for daughter #1 moving forward) and am planning on reading all the links you posted. If needed, I’m planning on printing them and taking them to him.

    Thank you so much for being bold in your stance. I have learned that even a delayed schedule gets jeers and comments. One woman even remarked that I was signing my child’s death certificate. (HOW HORRIBLE!) So it is nice to have comrades-in-arms who understand the wrestling, researching and debating that goes into a well informed decision. Thanks for providing more information for us and for the encouragement to stay the course and go with my gut.


    1. Post author
      robin

      Death certificate? Wow, that is horrible. I’m sorry you have to deal with that. Good luck with everything. It’s definitely not an easy decision, but one all parents should at least consider. Thanks for your kind words, Julie!

    2. Jules

      Julie, yes they will label you every chance they get to make you comply. Attempting to make you feel like a rotten mother but if you are well read, these labels will never bother you. Follow your instincts! If you wish to read further check out thinktwice.com and also Dr Mercola and search his archives of information on vaccines. Very good. I’d probably wouldn’t bother showing your dr the information you come across. They are too brainwashed to be open to anything against what they have been taught. You are likely to get a fight on your hands! Save yourself the grief I say.

  43. ReluctantHealthwife

    As a young mom, I just went along with whatever the doctors recommended. I wasn’t really listening to my husband as much as I should have. He just seemed…extreme to me. As an older mom I find I can use that to my advantage now. I can get out from under the PRESSURE by telling them my husband won’t go for it. I do this at the dentist when they insist on fluoride. If I say *I* don’t want the treatment for my child, the comments and pressure are hard to handle (because I have to prevent myself from exploding in the office!) My husband is totally happy to let me ‘blame it on him’ and roll my eyes as if I agree that he’s crazy. I get it now, so I guess I’m crazy/extreme, too.

  44. Laura

    My boys are now 9 and 12 and both have asthma. When they were babies I tried to find research to support my belief that immunizations were not good for them. Unfortunately at the time, there wasn’t anything out there except research FOR immunizations. I got them their shots but I never felt very good about it. I am happy to see articles like yours.

    I strongly believe (whether I can find the research to back me up or not) that immunizations take away from what your immune system should be doing itself. If something else is doing the job of your immune system, it is going to get lazy and one day some big germ/virus/bacteria is going to come along and your immune system won’t be able to handle it. Because my boys have asthma, I want their immune systems to be as strong as possible.

    I don’t know if they do the same thing where you live, but every fall in Canada they push flu shots like mad. There was even a recent news story of healthcare workers being sent home because they refused it: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/health/Barrhead+health+workers+sent+home+after+refusing+shots/7851636/story.html

    Thank you for your article.


    1. Post author
      robin

      Thank you, Laura. I love your point about getting in the way of our immune system. And thank you for the link, too.

  45. Judith

    When I was pregnant in 1971 I nursed a boy who had been permanenly brain damaged by whooping cough. I was not prepared to take the risk of damaging my child and decided not to vaccinate. I read some years back that Jonas Salk, the developer of the polio vaccine, thought that improved plumbing had as much to do with the elimination of polio as his vaccine. Make sure you are aware of the symptoms of the diseases you don’t vaccinate against.

  46. Sean West

    As a physician (child psychiatrist) I have seen many people come to the same decision that you have and to each his own. It amazes me that people value scientific advancement for nearly everything except their child’s health. You are correct that we have skyrocketing sickness over the past 30 years in this world but the population has gone from ~4.5 billion to 7 billion and many of those births have been in third world countries where vaccinations are NOT available. And when the government in those countries steps in and does provide vaccinations – disease rates dramatically plunge. And in the US the presence of seemingly ‘innocent’ illnesses (measles for example which can lead to death) have skyrocketed ever since the non-vaccine movement has started. And please do your research on Andrew Wakefield carefully – he is the doctor that supposedly proved the link between autism and the MMR vaccine. His theories have been universally debunked and his license to practice medicine has been revoked as well. Do your best to protect your child in this crazy world we live in but do it being armed with the facts. I am very anti-corporation, pro-organic food and all about alternative and ecofriendly lifestyles… But this whole movement against vaccinations is akin to the JFK & 911 conspiracies in that is filled with holes and inaccuracies. But in the case of this conspiracy those inaccuracies can do alot more harm than good.


    1. Post author
      robin

      “But this whole movement against vaccinations is akin to the JFK & 911 conspiracies in that is filled with holes and inaccuracies. But in the case of this conspiracy those inaccuracies can do alot more harm than good.” We’ll definitely have to agree to disagree. I’ve done more research on this than just about anything… and as a retired university professor that’s saying a lot. I am definitely doing my best to protect my child from this crazy world… and for me that includes avoiding unnecessary toxins that the CDC pays out millions each year to parents who have reactions. If I lived in a third world country where I didn’t have access to clean water, nutritious food, or the like I would rethink my choice. There is so much that affects our immune systems. Since I am blessed enough to have access to more natural ways I will choose those.

  47. Rachel Blackett

    I was always all for vaccinations until I got the Flu shot when I was 15. I had never had the flu in my life, until 2 months after having this shot. I was deathly sick for a week (As in couldn’t get off the couch for 5 days, and only just walking for next couple of days), and it took me 3 more weeks to completely get over it and feel right again.
    Every year since then I have been sick with the flu at least once, sometimes 2 or 3 times a year. I pick up infections easily etc. Each year that goes by I admit I get better and better but my immune system is still pretty bad. Then when I meet my hubby he was against vaccinations completely, where I was still on the edge. We decided not to vaccinate our kids, and yes they get sick but they bounce back quickly and they don’t get as sick as other kids (It only when they are teething really, otherwise they are pretty healthy)
    I hate talking to other people about it because they are so judgemental, and talking to Drs is the WORST (The first dr I took my daughter to told me I was a bad mother for not vaccinating and had asked why but didn’t care on listening to me and just argued every point I made. Now I just say no we don’t and tell them I wish not to talk about it and that we had made the decision years ago, we have however had a nurse say good on us for not doing it. She came from another country and said we over vaccinate here and that she hasn’t seen so much sickness as she has here)


    1. Post author
      robin

      So sorry you’ve had such negative reactions from doctors and the such. I truly feel blessed that my pediatrician was always very nice and supportive. I know it’s rare.

  48. Cari

    I respect everyone’s opinion and feel that a mother absolutely has the right to choose whether or not to vaccinate. I spent several months researching and debating whether or not I would choose to vaccinate my future children. I was against vax until I started pursing the medical field. The real statistics and real information about the dangers of these diseases come from scientists who dedicate their lives to this type of study. In my case, these scientist are some of my professors who understand cellular processes and these diseases more than doctors because of their extensive research and specific area of study.

    That being said, after studying Microbiology and the complex system of the body I am 100% for vaccinations! Information found on the internet can be very deceiving. The fears of vax are out there but there is no hard scientific evidence supporting the claims of autism and other adverse affects of vaccinations.

    These companies make lots of money because they have saved millions of lives. Several diseases that I never knew existed took the lives of so many prior to the vaccination. Now those diseases are entirely eradicated. While in other countries thousands of people still dying from these terrible diseases because they are not educated and don’t have the resources available.

    We are so blessed to have these tools available to us. Some of the diseases that have vaccinations can leave a child paralyzed for life, have severe brain damage, blindness, and even cause death. Our immune systems are amazing things and yes, we can take good care of our bodies and make them stronger. However, there are diseases that once exposed, have no way of being cured. Oftentimes our body simply does not have the ability to fight them.

    I choose the vax any day over the risk of losing a child or their potential for a healthy life to a disease that could have been prevented. Now that I am educated much more than I ever have been, I see the TRUE value of vaccinations. The scientists who have discovered these vaccinations have spent their lives working to save lives. These people know more about the body, it’s capabilities, possible side effects, etc than any internet resource might claim that they know. They deserve to be honored for making America more healthy than many countries who continually have terrible sickness and death consuming their communities because of their lack of vaccinations.

    I have gone back and had any vaccination available for myself because you just never know what you might be exposed to and how your body might react. I am grateful for these resources and think that before anyone lets their child live an unprotected life they need to educate themselves with better, more educated sources first.


    1. Post author
      robin

      First, thank your for your respectful comment. I do get where you are coming from and likewise respect your decision.

      One thought: “I choose the vax any day over the risk of losing a child or their potential for a healthy life to a disease that could have been prevented.” If it were that easy I would totally agree… but if you talk to the parents who have had children suffer and even die from those very vaccines you’d see that it’s a lot more complex. I agree that education is the best… no matter what you choose. And I truly pray that every parent can feel good about the decision they make because life is hard enough. :)

  49. Kaitlin

    We are too late with choosing – our three boys all had their vaccines before we changed our minds about what we think is better. If we could do it over, we would not vaccinate. So far, they don’t seem to have more health issues than before any one vaccine. Grateful.
    For autism and the other sky-rocketed number of diseases, it is my impression that not only vaccinations but also GMO’s are to be blamed. I recommend watching Food.Inc and especially Genetic Roulette. Explains a lot about GMO.

    My next task is to choose if I want my cats vaccinated. We lost our first furry boy last Christmas to cancer. He was only 11 years old. He only had vaccinations as a kitty, and then one year ago, when we moved from Europe to the USA. Without vaccinations, he was not allowed into the country. So an otherwise always perfectly healthy cat suddenly vanishes in the fight of cancer, poor boy :( now I wonder if the vaccinations did that to him?! Our two new kitties are adopted, so they have been vaccinated before we knew them. I’ll have to do my homework on side effects of the rabies vaccination. I think I already know that I won’t let them have the FeLV vaccine…

    Thank you for the article.


    1. Post author
      robin

      I completely agree that vaccinations are only one part of the picture. Our world is so drastically different than it was even 100 years ago: GMOS, pollution, chemicals in every product, etc.

      Good luck with your next decision. I wish it were an easy one… but it never is. :)

    2. K Wilson

      GMOs are a HUGE issue….Monsanto should be considered a terrorist organization. Do your homework – everyone!

  50. ceri

    What happens when my children start kindergarten & the school requires immunizations? Do you homeschool to avoid it or can you decline the shots?


    1. Post author
      robin

      You’ll need to check your state’s regulations. Most schools have some sort of exemption form you can use… either religious or philosophical or both. I think I posted a link above in one of the comments (I’m not at my computer so finding it right now is tricky). Homeschooling is also an option, but not your only option for most people.

      1. Zonya Gingrich

        sorry…I just asked a similar question and then realized you had already answered it. :-)

  51. MrsBrownie

    Thank you so much for putting a thoughtful and well-written article out there. Personally I am getting my child vaccinated, but it’s because I evaluated our personal risk factors and researched on my own. I hope that more people on either side of the issue can take a cue from your proactive and grace-filled approach to this topic. :)

  52. Andrea

    I think this is a great post, and you approached it with exactly the right “tone,” given the controversial nature of this subject. Although, I’m not so sure why it should be controversial– it seems like an individual choice. As someone without kids (yet), but with this question in mind, it was very edifying. Thank you and good job!

  53. alex poole

    Thank you so much! unfortunately i found this after my daughter got her first two sets of shots and is schedule for her 6th month shots, I tried declining them but they just loaded me with why I should keep giving her shots. Will it REALLY affect her if she doesn’t “finish” her last set of shots?

  54. Meghan

    Thank you so much for your post! A lot of time I feel like I am the only anti-vaccination person alive on the planet. Although my Husband are going to start trying for baby #1 in the next few months, I am a firm believer that vaccinations are not needed. My mother refused to allow the doctor’s to give me most vaccinations as I was growing up, and as an adult I stand firm against them. Although I get pressured every appointment I refuse to allow them to give me the HPV shot. I have never gotten a flu shot either. I already knew I would stand firm against giving our baby all the vaccinations they “recommend”. My biggest fear is the hospital just doing it anyways and telling us afterwards.

  55. David

    As a pediatrician, I am always glad when parents are actively involved in making informed decisions about their child’s health. Unfortunately, I believe many of the contentions you make in this post simply aren’t true, or are half-true. Since you have taken a good deal of time to do so much research, I would suggest reading “Deadly Choices” by Dr. Paul Offit if you haven’t already read it. I find it useful reading posts like yours (much of which I disagree with) to better understand how people think about vaccines and why they worry about them. Hopefully you will be able to find some use from his writings as well!

    1. Hollie

      From research I have done on my own, I know that Dr. Offit is pro-vaccine. What would you suggest reading the is objective and not one sided?

  56. Junata

    I enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts on this topic. My brother had a massive reaction after he received the triple antigen injections at 3 1/2 months old. He now takes epileptic fits on a daily basis, that no cocktail of drugs can stop, he has permanent brain damage, physically and mentally handicapped and that happened 40 years ago. As a child a remember the major changes and heartbreak it brought to our whole family. So when I was pregnant with my first child I read everything I could get my hands on and even went to a seminar about it. My final informed decision was the risks far out weighed any benefits. So I never had either of my daughters vaccinated. They are now 20 and 18 and have excellent health, they have actually never been to a doctor, had antibiotics or prescription drugs of any kind. They do not have to be vaccinated to go to school, that is just a bluff. They can not make you. I still remember the doctor staring in my face and telling me that l was an irresponsible mother. But I am bomb proof in my decision having looked into it so thoroughly. So many people will try to convince you that you have made the wrong decision. I know I made the right one for my girls after what my brother and parents go through on a daily basis.

  57. Tamra

    I love this article and the related links. Unfortunately, my first two are vaccinated though it was spread out and delayed. I had no choice as the state I live in does not offer waivers other than medical, which my children do not have. It breaks my heart that I was forced to do something I am so against. Anyway, these articles are great. Thanks for not fearing and putting the info out there!


    1. Post author
      robin

      Sounds like you are doing the best with what you can. I totally respect that. You children are lucky to have you as a mom.

  58. melissa

    Great article, I feel like I could have written it myself! Honestly, I feel like our other non-mainstream lifestyle choices (including “controversial” things like home birth & drinking raw milk) were easy compared to figuring out vaccines! That being said, the more research I do, the less our kids have been vaccinated. I have five kids, ages 14 to one year. The oldest two were almost fully vaxed, the middle two started a selective/delayed schedule, and the youngest is unvaxed. But man, the research, the headaches, the contradictory information, and the horror stories on both sides, not to mention the utterly nasty, divisive verbal arguments that parents get into over this issue is enough to make any parent scream! So THANKS for writing an article that so many of us can relate to and be encouraged by. Just a couple specific points that came to mind while reading prior comments.

    1. The idea that the “public good” needs to come before personal interests is an ethical belief but not an incorruptible truth. Working for the “collective welfare” of the population may sound beneficent, but if you follow it through to it’s logical conclusion, it means that the welfare of *some* individuals must be sacrificed for this “greater good.” In this case, it means that some children will have to experience adverse reactions to vaccines in order for this hypothetical “herd immunity” or “greater good of society” to be achieved. Quite aside from the fact that (as you pointed out) many adults whose vaccines have worn off pose just the same “threats” as unvaccinated kids, as well as the question of whether “herd immunity” even exists, many parents are not willing to risk their own child’s well-being to serve society at large, and to suggest that they *should* is unethical.

    2. Mothers – doing research, following their “gut”, thinking, talking, praying, reading, understanding *their* child, and then going against the mainstream, the “authorities”, the accepted norm to do what they believe is best for their child… This is not something to be scoffed at nor belittled. “Well the whole scientific community agrees that vaccines are good. THEY are the authority. Who are YOU to question it? Just a mom reading chat boards online.” <— this kind of nonsense is so wrong. Moms have brains. Moms can reason. Moms can research and draw conclusions. Moms know *their children* better than anyone else. And moms are fully capable of understanding when a situation is NOT cut-and-dry, but poses risks both ways that need to be evaluated, and then making a decision based on those pros and cons. We're made to doubt ourselves in so many way – are we really capable of birthing our children? Teaching them ourselves? Making decisions about their healthcare? I say YES.

  59. Lori

    You don’t vaccinate because you have never seen, either in this country(where it does happen) or a third world country, what the shots prevent. Just because it hasn’t happened to you or might not ever happen to you doesn’t mean you are not the broken link in a chain that causes it to happen to someone else’s child. I have an aunt who had polio. It is not pretty and she had a mild case. Just because you have never been touched by the diseases these vaccinations protect us from is not a reason for you to not have your children protected or protect them from giving it to someone else’s child. I believe that you have a right to not vaccinate your children but I don’t believe you have the right to attend public schools if you are not vaccinated. If you want to play Amish send your children to school with them.


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      While I respect those who disagree with my stance, please don’t tell me what I chose not to vaccinate based on your own assumptions. Thank you!

    2. K Wilson

      Do you realize how healthy the Amish are? The public school system belongs to ALL taxpaying citizens – yes, even those who do not vaccinate, so they have just as much right to be there as any other child.

  60. Lori

    I understand that there are some exceptions to the vaccine “rule”. I am a mom and one old enough to have seen what happened to people before vaccinations. I truly believe that once the “scare” is far enough in the past it is human nature to feel less threatened by the effects of them in our lives. Even the chicken pox vaccine has prevented not only chicken pox in children but statistics show less cases of shingles in older adults in Europe where the vaccine has been used for many years. So in conclusion don’t be surprised if this generation of unvaccinated children suffer some horrible consequences as adults because of the feeling that it is optional because we don’t feel it is important for the good of the whole community not just the individual.

  61. Carrie

    I look at it this way, vaccines are a one size fits all kind of thing, but no two people are alike. We started vaccinating, delayed a bit, my first born started having seizures shortly after her mmr vaccine. When we rushed to the hospital, I found it alarming when the first thing the dr asked was “has she been recently vaccinated?” Normally I would think drs wouldn’t want to admit that kind of thing, but the emerg dr at the hospital believed that was the cause. I researched like crazy after that and 100% believe that was the cause. Since then she has had such a poor immune system. She has had more seizures, and is sick so easy and takes forever to fight illness off. She has been tested for autoimmune disorders, but haven’t gotten any answers just test after test. With our second, we decided no vax! She is so much more healthy, fights of any illness in no time. She has had measles, and fought it off and I am greatful that she is now naturally immune. If all the garbage was taken out of vaccines, it may be different, along with the fact that each person is different and may not react the same.


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Wow. Amazing that the doctor asked that first. It’s true, obviously there are plenty of kids getting vaccines who are fine and healthy, but that doesn’t account for the many kids who get them and have adverse reactions. We are all so different and our bodies handle things differently. Thank you for sharing your story.

  62. Zonya Gingrich

    I am curious how you handle government regulations regarding vaccination and schooling. At least in my state, when my child begins school (even if we choose to homeschool) we have to have vaccinations up to date, or sign a religious waver. What if you choose not to vaccinate for health, rather than religious, reasons.

    1. melyssa

      I’ve signed both. Usually medical exemptions require your doctor’s signature – which is a bear unless you have an amazing doctor who will listen to you. My son has food allergies which makes it easier for us: eggs are in nearly every vaccine. They don’t need to know he seems to have grown out of his allergy … And you might be surprised that your medical reasons really ARE religious reasons if you dig deep enough. Most religions (whatever you may call yourself) require/ask for a respect for your body, a “clean” way of life. I don’t think it’s stretching it too much to opt out of vaccines for religious reasons, even if you don’t call yourself a religious person or have a church backing you with rules. Good luck!

  63. Kareen Liez

    I swear your decision to publish this post is right. I didn’t think of vaccination too. It was my mom who kept on insisting on it because according to her kids with vaccines do not get sick blah blah blah. But after injections, kids get fever. My younger brother even said, “i thought your getting vaccines to avoid getting sick, then why does baby have fever after every injection?” Oh well. They said its because of the body’s reaction to the vaccine blah blah blah. But I haven’t completed the vaccines. My mom told me that not completing my baby’s vaccines would harm her. But she is actually healthy and she only have fever after vaccinations. Other than that, there are no other reasons for her getting sick. Even teething is not that hard for her. Breastfeeding helps a lot as well as giving her nutritious food. After reading your post, you have given me a lot of things to ponder on. And thank you because this took the guilt away from me.


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Thanks, Kareen. That’s a big one for me: Reminding parents do to their best and not let guilt get to them no matter what decision they make. This parenting gig is hard enough not having to feel guilty about every thing we do or do not do. :)

  64. Jenni

    I’m neither pro or con (still deciding?) but just wanted to add a note about the argument of herd immunity: is not supposed to be about the vaccinated kids being at risk but about those kids that cannot receive vaccines (because they might be allergic or vaccines just don´t work on them), high-risk individuals like pregnant women and elders and people with a compromised immune system (AIDS, Cancer, etc.)

  65. melyssa

    Thank you for thoughtfully presenting your honest opinions – I completely agree. It’s such a heart wrenching debate when you get into the muddy waters, isn’t it? My eldest is 13, and I’m just one of those stubborn people who want to know “why” to things people tell me to do. I had no opinion about vaccines when my daughter was born, but I sure didn’t like the vague explanations or unsure looks I would get when I had questions about them. It’s frustrating to us unvaccinating parents when people assume we are uneducated when in fact, we’ve probably spent more time reading and researching than the norm. Yes, there are two sides, and yes, you can find compelling arguments and “answers” on both sides – no question! That’s why one article, or one person’s opinion, or one tv program, doesn’t cut it. We re-evaluate every two years or so for our three kids.

    Oh, and it’s such a hot topic that we have lost friends over it. We even found out years later that we were nearly excommunicated from our church over it! Though at the time, we had no idea. People were really up in arms but wouldn’t come talk to us about it, so we were frolicking along, not even knowing the turmoil our unvaccinated girl was causing…


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      I think that’s the hardest part, Melyssa… just how vicious the debate can get. I still don’t talk very openly with family and friends about our decision just because I know it’s a hot topic and can ruin friendships. Very sad, indeed.

  66. Meg

    I wonder how much has changed in the ingredients of the basic vaccinations over the last 50 years not in terms of active ingredients but in terms of these toxins you refer to.

    When we were kids we got rounded up and had DTP, polio sugar lumps and tetanus and then BCG as a teenager and that was it and all given in school in a long queue after assembly in the morning.

    We were pre MMR even and if a kid got mumps/measles etc we all got sent round to their house to ‘ get it and get it over with’

    I don’t know anyone who had reactions or illness from any of them.

    However I just looked at the current schedule of vaccinations in the USA compared to us in Europe and shuddered.
    There is no way on this little green Earth that I would give consent for any infant to have a Hep B vaccination never mind all the rest one on top of another. It’s no wonder the babes are all totally overloaded and something has to give way.

  67. Michelle V

    Thank you for your beautiful article – it echoed my own heart and reasons for not vax’ing my son. I truly believe he would have been severely affected if I had done so for similar reason you mention about your daughter. :)

  68. Angela Foster

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am where you started your journey, confused and craving more information. It is so great to hear about your journey and it really helps me to know that I am not hurting my children by not immunizing them.

  69. EPmama651

    Thanks for sharing. I got tons of backlash from my family when discussing vaccinations… its a tough one but everyone has to make the decision on their own….just thought I would share this as another “option” to look at for those interested
    http://vaccinefree.wordpress.com/

  70. Jasey Wissner

    Robin, this was so thoughtful and well written. If I were to write about my vaccine journey it would be very similar to this. My husband and I decided not to vaccinate just like you–we waited and waited, researched, read information from both sides, and waited some more until we ultimately decided that vaccinations were not for us or our baby. We have only talked to a few people about this decision and so far the reactions have been mostly confusion and awkward comments–with the exception of my sister, who is also trying to decide if she should continue with vaccines for her children or not. I think if I explained our decision the way you did, the people we have talked to would be more understanding. I’ve actually been nervous to talk to family because I’m afraid they will be upset, but maybe I don’t need to be nervous after all.

  71. Annie

    I feel like I could have written this article, you’ve taken all the words out of my mouth. I have 2 almost fully vaccinated children, ages 5 and 4. My youngest is 3 weeks old. I’ve done a lot of research in the past 4 years and I feel stronger and more confident in my decision to not follow the schedule like I did with my other two (with a pit in my stomach at every doctor visit). I *still* don’t know what exactly I’m going to do, delay or select or pray to God and cross my fingers that everything turns out ok.
    However, I live in Maryland where the only exemptions allowed are medical and religious. The scare tactics continue….”you must be prepared to defend your religious exemption stance, even going to court….” etc etc. What?! I believe in God and Heaven and I pray but I don’t attend church regularly. The thing that makes me most frustrated is that I feel like I don’t have a choice. Can’t I just say “I don’t want my child vaccinated because I don’t believe it’s effective, safe or good for the immune system” and that be that! Why would I go through the time and trouble of living as toxin free as possible and then go inject who knows what into my newborn?
    Sooo, what is my option, homeschooling? My daughter really is looking forward to Kindergarden!
    I think it’s funny that people of tax children feel that an unvax child puts everyone else at risk. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? I’d think that parents of unvax children should want their “unprotected” kids in a bubble.

    I love your comment about knowing that the FDA could care less about the public health given their recent history re: GMO and diet guidelines in general, so why would I believe or trust a million years their vaccine recommendations!!
    Thank you for this article!!


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Wow, that is hard. I wish I had a great answer. I feel blessed that my state still allows for philosophical exemptions (I’m religious, but there’s really nothing in my religion that says ‘no’ to vaccinations.) Do your best and know that your children are lucky for having such a caring mom.

  72. Susan Osoinach

    I have noticed that the vast majority of your commenters are young, maybe even very young. Let me give you a different perspective. I am 68 years old, born in 1945, ( no, not a blue haired, tight perm granny wearing a two piece polyester pant suit with hearing aid, sneakers and tote bag.) My grandmother was born in 1888, her older sister in 1886. Their mother had already borne 2 children and they both died of either pertussis or diphtheria close to their 2nd birthdays. In the “olden” days, most of the deaths of infants and toddlers, as well as older children, were from the big three–whooping cough (pertussis), diphtheria or tetanus (also called “lockjaw”). The discovery of vaccines for these dreaded childhood illnesses was one of the major medical breakthroughs of the 20th century. My grandmother said that the saying went, that if you could get them through their second summer (diphtheria was worse in the summer), then the parents could breathe easier. Have you ever heard a child trying to get his or her breath with whooping cough or heard them struggle to breathe with diphtheria? I have–only once and it was awful. I very much understand and appreciate all the concerns expressed above–what parents don’t want the best for their children? But in order to appreciate where all of you are now, it is good to go back 111 years to 1882 where my great grandmother would have given anything to be able to protect HER babies much in the same way you all are talking about.


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Some great points, and my heart definitely aches for those mothers during that time. And as I mentioned in the post, a huge part of my decision was based on the fact that I have access to good clean food, proper sanitation, and other factors that are major contributors to our health. If I lived in a different time or even under different circumstances my decision may be different.

    2. Sara

      I agree with wanting to protect our children from the illnesses these vaccines say they prevent. I would get the Vaccines for my girls if the shots were “clean”. If all they did was truly protect them from pertussis and polio, etc. Then I would give them the shot, but they do more harm and have far to many toxins in them to be “safe” in my eyes.

      1. Sara

        I agree with wanting to protect our children from the illnesses the Doctors say these vaccines prevent

  73. Athena

    Please help me how do u get out of doing these awful shots??!! How do u get around the school system when they demand ur child to hv these shots ?!??! My daughter is due in august n I’m so stressed out about it !


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Read some of the comments above. Most states have exemptions for either philosophical or religious reasons. I provided some links in other comments to help you figure out what is required for your state. With only a few exceptions you can still go to school without having been vaccinated but you’ll have to fill out some forms according to your state’s laws.

  74. Amy

    I appreciate your post. 11 years ago I had my first child. I did all of the natural things and didn’t think much about vaccination until I was offered the HepB when he was one day old. I delayed this vaccination for a month, as I was too tired to think much and the midwives, my husband and his family did not question vaccination. My husband has a PhD in biochemistry and was even doing research to develop a breast cancer vaccine at the time and his parents are an MD and an RN. Vaccinating was against my gut feeling, but I continued to vaccinate him. I struggled as a new parent with his behaviors and I felt an ongoing guilt that I was not a good enough mother as he didn’t seem to learn the social rules that the other kids seemed to know. I have now finally had him evaluated for autism, and it is now official that he is on the spectrum, likely Aspberger’s (which will soon just be classified as Autism). I completely changed our diet to a Weston A Price Foundation diet a few years ago, which seemed to help. I strongly believe that vaccinations were the tipping point for my son. I now have three children and my third, a daughter, is completely unvaccinated and the experience I have had with her is completely different. She is similar to my son in many ways, but has an emotional, social, and communicative capacity that he did not have at her age and still does not. In addition, she has never been sick, whereas my son had ear infections and a few rounds of antibiotics. I strongly believe that listening to one’s gut in the case of vaccinating is extremely important.

  75. natasha

    thank you for posting. i especially like your sentence on your daughter always being so much more healthier than children around her. i like this because my little girls are also so healthy all the time and when they do get sick recover super quick. friends often ask what i do to help their health. but i’m still not sure how to answer because i feel if i say “i don’t vaccinate conventionally” i might offend someone. any suggestions? :)

  76. Eileen

    We waited until our daughter was 2 before doing any vaccines. Now at age 5, she has had a handful of shots. Since she was 3, her body shows signs of stress overload (food sensitivities, frequent meltdowns/anger issues) and I don’t know if it was her 3-year vaccination, moving to a new home, or having a baby brother. Whatever the cause, it’s been a very difficult 2 years with her. For our son, we started before age 2 since my daughter was going to playgroups and she might bring more illnesses home. According to my ND’s recommendation, my son actually had some different vaccines than my daughter, so it really feels like I have no idea what I’m doing. I wish I were comforted by my children’s great nutrition, but they are picky eaters who get sick pretty easily.


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Isn’t the whole thing so tricky? My little girl has turned into a very picky eat over the past few months (which is normal), but I at least try to keep her away from too much processed foods so that her options are only real food. I wish I had a perfect answer for everyone, but I know you and that you are doing the best you can. Just keep checking in with your gut and do what feels best.

  77. Annie Chiang

    I am 13 weeks pregnant and have a 2.5 year old girl, who is vaccinated on schedule, though I had my doubt, I didn’t have time to do much research and I gave in. Fortunately she’s doing well so far. With my second baby, I did some research and am considering NOT to vaccinate, but I ask a friend of mine who is a nurse. Here is the reply (a little long, but I would love your comments, I am too easily persuaded, but I want to stand my ground on this one and not to vaccinate my baby):

    The information we learned in nursing school about vaccines was information from the Center for Disease Control, not speculation by parents, etc. That’s what science is about, basing conclusions on evidence. There is no established causal link to autism. Problem is that the symptoms of autism appear around the same time as the child is getting vaccines (most of early childhood) so people try to blame them. YES, there are risks to vaccines – you are inducing an immune response after all – so conceivably you could trigger something like Type 1 diabetes IF you have a predisposition to developing it in the first place (Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease triggered usually by viral infection). But it’s that same immune response that makes vaccines work in the first place – you can’t get a benefit without some risk.

    Everything in life is a risk-benefit analysis. To me, having Yannick vaccinated protects him as well as the rest of society. Maybe because of my public health/nursing background, I do not see things only as they relate to me – but all of society. In order for vaccines to be effective, enough children have to get them – creates a ‘herd’ immunity in the population. And what about something like tetanus, that causes ‘lock jaw’? – ie. paralysis and death. It’s caused by a bacterium that lives in the soil, among other places, and anyone can get it. I would never be able to live with myself if he got something so preventable like that. What a shame it would be for my child to die of an infectious disease that is so easy to prevent!! Roslyn tried to pick and choose vaccines, like just getting the tetanus one, but it’s not available in Canada like that – it comes in combination with others. Luckily her husband finally came around and so her kids are being vaccinated.

    Also, the fact that vaccines have ‘chemicals’ may be true, but so do the aluminum cans we eat from, and practically everything else that our kids are exposed to on a DAILY basis, not just a few times for vaccines. Think about the water, air, food ‘pollution’ we live with. Thimerosal, originally blamed for autism (without proof), has been reduced to trace amounts in everything except the influenza vaccine – and you can even ask for the thimerosal-free version of that.

    She also provide a link:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2013/02/19/a-graphic-that-drives-home-how-vaccines-have-changed-our-world/

    1. Sara

      So parents are not a good resource for knowing when and why their child got sick. CDC who is bought and paid for by BIG pharmaceutical companies is? I am not a genius but I know BS when I see it. As for toxins we come in contact with everyday as she said, other then the ones in vaccines which is correct, why on earth would you want to add more to your childs body through shots?


    2. Post author
      Robin Konie

      I’m not surprised by the response, although I don’t fully agree with it. The CDC itself has plenty of information on the warning and toxins in vaccinations… and I personally am wary of them as so much funding and connections exist between the government and the pharmaceutical industry who benefits GREATLY from vaccinations. I don’t agree with the herd immunity argument, as I talked briefly about in the post. For starters most adults don’t stay up to date on their shots and most shots only last for so long… so the majority of people aren’t immunized. Her argument about other toxins in our environment is exactly why I wouldn’t want to keep putting even more into such small bodies.

      1. Annie Chiang

        i have to admit i am not a strong will person and have not really made up my mind about not to vaccinate my next baby. it is such a big decision and i am not a risk taker, my husband keeps warning me that what i promote to do is the non-conventional way and i need to be careful about being a minority as there’s a reason why the majority get the vaccinate. it is hard to go against the current and be different.

  78. Annie Chiang

    I also have a few more questions:

    I am a hep B carrier, doctor said my baby would need an injection of hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) as well as the hepatitis B vaccine, to provide short-term protection within 12 hours of birth. I don’t want to pass hep b to my baby, is this a must? Anyway to work around it to prevent the passing of the disease?

    My 2.5 year old had her first hep A shots about 1 year ago and is due to the booster shot within two months. She had no reactions to any shots, except this hep A shot, she had fever for a day. I am hesitate to get her the booster shot, but then the first shot would be useless and she suffered in vain.

    Since hep A can not be cured (as far as I know), but can be prevented by the vaccine, would it still be better NOT to vaccinate?

    1. Linda Tock

      If you do not want to pass Hep B to your baby, you should follow the recommendations of your doctor.

      The younger a child is when they contract Hep B, the more likely they are to develop chronic liver disease and liver cancer.

      A fever for a single day is not a contraindication to further vaccines.

      1. Annie Chiang

        thank you for the reply. i feel so bad to have to do the hep b shots as well as hep a shot because i myself is a carrier of hep b and that put my baby at high risk.


    2. Post author
      Robin Konie

      I wish I had a great answer for you… but I’m not entirely sure what to suggest in your situation. Hopefully we’ll get some more comments to help you. But good luck! I know how hard the decision can be.

      1. Annie Chiang

        thank you. i’ve expressed my concerns with coastal health (public health dept in my city) and they referred me to a vaccine specialist to talk to. of course they are all for vaccination, but i’ll ask all of my questions and if i learn anything new i’ll come back to share.

  79. Jennifer

    I chose not to vaccinate my daughter. After all the research, feverent prayers for guidance, (I’m a “off-brand” pentecostal)
    and frustrated tears, I simply had no peace with the idea of injecting toxins and mutated viruses into her tiny body. The more I look into the vaccines, the more I feel I made the right choice for my daughter. My husband is in the military, and so he’s required to have vaccines.
    (Some commands actually give exemptions from certain ones for families with a newborn/preggers in the hosehold..)
    He’s always careful to stay out of her face, not kiss her, etc when he’s been for a round of them, but we’ve never had any issues with her comming into contact with an illness from it. The only vaccine related issue we’ve had with her, is when she got 3day measels from being in the nursery at church. Apparently there had been a set of siblings who had recently recieved their immunizations in her class room as well. Still all in all, it wasnt a traumatic experience. Drs (again, we’re military, so we were on-base) were little to no help when they learned she wasnt a “protected” child, they immediatley wrote it off as chicken pox.
    Since then, I’ve really realized that I know my child best. I’m a capable mom who makes informed choices about my child and while modern medicine is an invaluble resource in a lot of situations, vaccines just arent one of them as far as our family is concerned.
    I want to say that I’m impressed with the grace you showed in writing this post, and alllll the encouraging comments from both sides! I’m steadily learning to trust myself and God’s leading in my desicions, and its comforting to know there are others out there who are choosing to go with thier own convictions too. :) thanks for the affirmation!

  80. Jacquelyn

    Thank you so much for this post. We decided before our son was born that we weren’t going to have him vaccinated for some of the reasons that you listed. Namely I don’t think that we can trust companies that don’t source out to third party testing. Additionally, the FDA only requires that there be a number of positive results, meaning they don’t care how many negative results there are because the companies only have to provide the information from the positive ones.

    Unfortunately, we live in Europe with the US military (not the living in Europe part, just the lack of choices in medical care)and we were met with very negative feedback when we stated we didn’t want our son to be vaccinated. The nurse staff tried to give me an education (that I did not ask for) and accused me of being a “googlehead.” I assume she meant that all of my information came from the search engine :) We are also not allowed to use the daycare system on post because my son isn’t vaccinated (we could sidestep this if we claimed religious reasons but I don’t have faith in their childcare anyway).

    I am happy to report that my son is 18 months old and save for one ear infection he has been healthy, happy, and well adjusted without the vaccines. He is still breastfed (which I also catch flack for, especially since I am pregnant with our second).

    My sincere hope is that more people will see posts like yours and make the decision to hold on to their ground when faced with “nay-sayers”. You are a credit to motherhood!


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Yeah, the military opens a whole other can of worms. So happy to hear your story, though. Thank you!!

  81. Teresa

    Hi, I’m just curious about schooling.Do you homeschool your child?Because I know when I went from elementary to middle school in CA i had to get my shots updated or they wouldn’t let me go back to school.Now my daughter is about to start Kindergarten here in GA and they want her shot records also.My kids are vaccinated because I never really questioned anything when they were babies,just went with it you know.But yea so I’m curious about the school situation.


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      My daughter is still only 2 so we haven’t had to deal with the schooling system yet (although there’s a good chance we will be home schooling). Check your state laws to see what the requirements are. Many schools will make it sound like you have to vaccinate, when in reality there are usually exemptions you can make. Google “school vaccinations exemptions” to get you going. (Or check some of the earlier comments as I think I linked to it up there.) Good luck!

  82. Holly

    I have 4 kids. My first, a girl, was born 6 weeks premature and I held off on vaccinating until I felt she was strong enough. I know those chemicals are so hard on a little body. After her first round, she had hundreds of petite mal seizures (presumably from dtap, drs said) so that was all she’s had. She’s 12 now, brilliant, and healthy. Her most current dr claimed I was trying to kill her and her potential children when I told her I wasn’t giving her the hpv vac and waiving (yet again) all other vaccines. Seriously?? I left the Kaiser com

  83. Holly

    Complex livid. My 3 other children have not been, nor will they be vaccinated. It’s our choice, not a religious preference, just our choice! I commend your transparency on a very hot topic…..

  84. Heather

    Thanks for writing this great article! I have four kids. The first boy I had was totally healthy until he had his first immunizations. After his shots he got extreme diarrhea and vomiting to the point where he was hospitalized for two months. Just as he recovered, the doc recommended to do his second shots… Guess what happened?!? Yup back in the hospital another two months! I was so young and naive but I let them do ALL his shots throughout his first year and each time he reacted the same as a result he spent half of his first year of life in the hospital. I was told it was a coincidence and believed it until I had my fourth child. My fourth baby also got extreme diarrhea and vomiting each shot! Not every child reacts this way. But two of my children did. If I have any more children we will not be vaccinating them!

  85. Sadie Merrill

    Fabulous article. I found you through Weed’em and Reap this morning and I am so glad that I came over for a look. Your piece says it exactly how I see it. Our only difference is that I was raised without immunizations after having an adverse reaction to my first DPT in 1978. I am grateful to my mother always for listening to her intuition at age 22 in a non-progressive time in birth(she also had me at home!). My brother and I were always the healthy kids and I knew that you just had to flip the vacs schedule over and sign your name to opt out for school(in CA and WA). It was a no brainer for me with my 2 boys but I still did all the research as I had to get my hubby on board who has been given everything under the sun. Now my brother is having his first and he has successfully showed his wife that it can be done differently. I am so grateful that my new niece will not suffer these toxic overloads! Thanks again for your piece. So well done!

  86. Hollie

    I had done so much research & was so confused by everything I read. Just when I thought I had made up my mind, I read something else that changed it. My son (14 months) had most of the immunizations through his 9 month appointment. At his one year appointment I decided to stop immunizing. The pediatrician & her nurse were not pleased that I would not allow them to administer the chicken pox vaccine. I could tell because they kept making snide comments. I just didn’t see the need for it at one year, especially since he doesn’t go to a public daycare. The doctor will only allow us to postpone immunizations for so long before she will dismiss my son as a patient. From doing a little checking around, it seems this pretty much across the board in my area. My question is this: What is a mother to do when there are NO pediatricians in the area who will see patients who have not been immunized. They will allow delayed immunizations, but after a certain point they will dismiss the patient. To my knowledge there are no homeopathic doctors here either. I don’t know what I can do other than not take my son to the doctor. Any suggestions?


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      That makes me so sad that doctors are so negative. I can ask (anonymously) on my facebook page if anyone knows of a pediatrician in your area. Where are you located?

      1. Hollie

        Yes, it makes me sad as well. I’m located in Springfield, MO. I think there are some peds who are open to an alternate vaccine schedule, but I don’t know of any who will see patients that are not vaccinated.

  87. Meg

    We did full vaccinations with both of our kids (now 2 and 3.5) – mostly because I never thought to question the advice of my doctors. Who are amazing and would have supported it either way. But they are traditional, and thus never brought it up as a question either. But the more we learn about the FDA on the food side of things, the more we begin to question their regulations and suggestions on the drug side as well. And the more we observe certain traits in our son that indicate a possibility for ADHD or Autism in his future as well as his overall sensitivity (emotionally and physically), the more certain we have become that we will no longer be vaccinating either child. And we’re working with a physician to walk back his tithers on vaccinations already received to reduce the toxicity in his system as a whole. While I don’t see the same sensitivity or negative potentials in his sister, we’ll be doing the same for her – because why risk their well being for vaccines that are so poorly researched, relatively new, and whose long-term effects are for the most part unknown? But that is our decision for our family. And having spent 3yrs on the flip side of the coin, I completely understand the resistance to it as well.

  88. Selene

    I submitted a comment yesterday and it was not posted. I did not say anything offensive at all, I just stated different facts and opinion than yours. What a biased, bogus blog that you won’t even allow comments with an opposing view to your own. Sad


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Hi Selene,

      I’m sorry. I’m not sure what happened to your comment. Did you have multiple links in it? Sometimes those get filtered to my spam folder and I miss it (since I get about 2,000+ spam comments a day I don’t really check it as I just don’t have the time.) You’ll see from above comments that I have welcomed opposing views. I’m not sure what happened in this case. Best wishes.

  89. Brett

    Thank you for posting and thanks to your readers for the thoughtful responses.

    My wife and I have not vaccinated our two children and our friends were not so kind to us.

    We had friends sit us down and tell us we were selfish and are not considering the well-being of our children. We even had friends choosing to keep their vaccinated kids away from ours. And not shy to comment about it. When we were pregnant we were constantly harassed with pressure to take the H1N1. We were made to feel irresponsible for refusing.

    This is the part I hate the most about vaccinations. People have been trained to mistreat those who feel that vaccinations are hurting people. People feel entitled to talk down to people who have made this informed decision.

    We have watched our friends have children with cancer, children rushed to hospital with seizures countless times, children with allergies, and chronic illness. We feel nothing but love and empathy.

    Yet we are not socially allowed to have a conversation about why these things might be happening. We just have to be quiet if we want to remain friends. To suggest that vaccinations might have caused these problems is taken as an insult.

    Interestingly enough the doggie day cares in our area won’t accept our dog either. When I ask why, they say that they understand the vaccine issue and don’t have a problem with it, but they lose business from the vaccinated dog clients who force them to call them if an unvaccinated dog should be onsite.

    All is not doom and gloom however. We are discovering more and more that many of our other friends are not vaccinating. We feel less and less isolated on the subject everyday. Thanks to articles like this !


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree that the saddest part is how divisive the whole argument makes people… and it comes from both sides, sadly. I wish we could be more supportive of each other and realize that all parents are trying to do their best. Glad you are finding more people who support you. :)

  90. ashlee

    We have delayed/selectively vaccinated our 1st child and our second child is only 6 weeks old so hasn’t had any yet. I struggle with my decision and go back and forth. One thing I think about is traveling. While we don’t travel (yet), I have close family members who travel the world frequently (my parents and siblings). Also, people don’t stay in one place like they used to. People from other countries come to my country. I think its impossible to avoid and it makes my decision difficult.


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Traveling definitely brings up new issues for me. But I decided that if we decide to go somewhere and feel the need that we can then get the shots. It works out better that way since their bodies will be bigger and can handle the toxins better and I’ll know when I need them (instead of getting them and then finding out I need to get them again because they have worn off).

  91. jessica

    Thank you for your article! I being a natural home birth momma myself found the water to tread on my vaccination decision murky. There is so much info out there good, bad, ugly and everything in between. Eventually it came down to what was closest to me, my real life experiences. My uncle is autistic, deaf, legally blind, and had to have several surgeries so he could finally walk at age 9. This was caused by my grandmother getting the measles during pregnancy. So the damage of a vaccination preventable disease is very real to me. It was a hard decision and likewise seems to alienate me from my natural non-vaccination friends. I,like you, wish we could all respect each other and sing songs so thank you for your respect.


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      I’m so happy you did what felt best to you. Thank you for sharing!

  92. Pingback: Common ground: Justifying your not-so-common hippie ways

  93. Colleen

    I just wanted to say thank you for posting this. Your articles are very informative.

    We gave our now 10 month old the first two rounds of DTaP and the first round of the HIB. After her reaction to the HIB we decided to stop all vaccines. She had a huge welt at the injection site and woke up 6 hrs after the shot screaming. The doctors told us if she continues to be inconsolable after multiple attempts to calm her down, to take her to the hospital. I was already freaking out that we gave her those shots, to hear “you may have to take her to the hospital” was something i couldn’t believe was even a conversation i had to have. We drew her a bath and that calmed her down. She is happy and healthy now…no signs of any long term reactions. She is super giggly, personable, interactive, loves other children etc.

    I wish i NEVER would have given her ANY vaccines. But, there is much grace for these types of things.

    Its hard to find some articles that have facts rather then peoples emotion’s…so thank you for this!

  94. Mae

    Thanks for a great article. I started reading the feedback too- all very interesting but too much to read!

    I’m based in the UK and currently seemingly there is a whopping cough outbreak. The fact that both my next door neighbours caught it just recently seems to confirm that. I know you are not medically qualified but what are your views on WC vaccination? Here they recommend all women in their third trimester of pregnancy get the shot, to give ‘some degree of immunity’ to the baby as the risks for newborn are apparently very real if they catch it. I am expecting my first child and am so scared of all the diseases my baby may get but ideally I don’t want to vaccinate myself or my baby. I was often sick as a child and was thin and my health and stamina were rather rubbish. Now that I’m an adult in my early 40!s I feel better than I ever did as a kid, I’m healthy and haven’t caught anything in years, the idea of having some jabs after a long period of no vaccines makes me uneasy. I feel I would undo all the good work and compromise my natural immunity. Not mentioning the thought if having formaldehyde and aluminium injected into me ! ;/

    I am confused with WC because the symptoms and incubation phase seem to vary but last a fair amount of time – I did speak to my neighbours on and off before they were diagnosed so i m super paranoid about getting ill with it and if I do how long it will last and will that harm my unborn child. I did get the d t polio vaccine as a kid but I don’t think it included whopping cough / I’m not sure it did in the 70′s.

    About Rubella
    Also The midwife said I should get the rubella jab before being discharged from hospital after delivering baby, because I’m not immune (in case I fall pregnant again). What is the damn rush? And is the risk of catching rubella that high ? I don’t plan to get it done because I don’t want to breast feed my baby knowing I’ve been ‘poisoned’. My GP stressed ‘what you will pass on is IMMUNITY’.

    What are your thoughts on my more pressing dilemma – the whopping cough vaccine for me and for baby after it is born (ie at 2 months). The vaccine seems to be recommended in pregnancy all over google. I don’t know what to do.


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      I’d check out the post I link above to Holistic Squid’s whooping cough information. It’s really helpful. (Or just go to holisticsquid.com and do a search for whopping cough). Good luck. I know it’s not easy to know what’s best. I wish I had THE answer, but I don’t.

  95. Kellen

    I live in a county where pertussis has reached “epidemic” levels. I live in a county where noncompliance with vaccines is very common.

    At the playgroup I take my 18 month old daughter to, there used to be a lovely, raven-haired girl who was just learning to walk. Her older sister and she both caught pertussis and hers became pneumonia and she’s been hospitalized, though luckily it sounds like she’s probably on the way to recovery instead of death.

    Vaccines don’t result in invincibility or total immunity; they build resistance. They give your body a fighting chance. “Herd immunity” means a disease is less likely to be able to catch on and spread like wildfire in a given community. Perhaps, ironically, it’s easier to understand in its absence.

    For what it’s worth, I worry about toxins too. I think vaccines are a highly flawed tool. But what they do is incredibly important. My grandfather was an only child because his two older brothers died of diseases we can now prevent; my grandmother lost her only sister. So although I worry about toxins, I worry far more about the popularity of avoiding vaccines.

  96. Annie Chiang

    I have a few more questions:

    When you choose not to vaccinate your children, is it for lifetime? or just delayed vaccination? ie will do the vaccine when they are 5 or 6 years old (going to school)? Do you take your children to daycare or play group and all public play areas? Do you ever worry about them catch any diseases that would’ve been preventable (ie Hep A and/or B)? Sorry I am still so undecided……. it’s such a hard decision. Frankly, my mom told me I had the hep b shots and none of my family members is a carrier, when we moved to canada I was 13 and physical checkup showed I didn’t have hep b, but when I was 20, my blood test showed that I am a carrier of hep b, it’s a proof that the vaccine does not last long and most adults don’t get boosters to protect themselves well, but then it is a preventable disease, yet now I have to live with it for life. That’s why I am so concerned about whether or not to get vaccines for preventable diseases which if caught would have life long effect. Any comments? please share your thought, I am a confused and lost mom.


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      I totally understand why you are confused. It’s a hard decision.

      Right now we feel good about not vaccinating, but we’ll definitely consider all options if future events/opportunities arise. For example, if we plan on traveling we might consider various vaccinations depending on where we are going. (We don’t have any major trips planned right now.) I think there might be circumstances where it would be wise to seek out specific shots for various reasons, although I don’t know what those are nor do I see any of those situations coming up in the next few years. So at least while my children are young, spending most of their time at home with me and my husband (we both work from home), and as we continue to have access to quality food, etc. we will continue not to vaccinate.

  97. Marie-Christine

    I’m 100% pro-vaccination, but I’m quite the hippy when it comes to a lot of other things, so I actually struggled with being pro-vaccination (seriously, it was a weird feeling).

    I just wanted to say that I really appreciated this post, and your lovely, peaceful writing on this difficult topic.


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Thank you, Marie-Christine! I know that the debate can be so heated on BOTH sides, sadly.

  98. Jaime

    Thank you so much for wrighting this!!! My oldest two have some of their vaccines up until I started thinking on my own and decided against them. I now have a 7 month old who has not had any at all. I stay quiet about my decision not to vaccinate and have nothing against those that choose too. I hate the pressure I get from those that think I’m wrong. At my babies last check up the doc said since he’s not getting shots that he has to be kept away from everyone all the time! I just smiled at him. Another doc we saw when my baby was just 4 days old cornered me in the exam room and was screaming at me about dead babies and how bad I was. At 4 days post Delivery she better be glad my hormones didn’t kick in and I didn’t hit her! Who corners and threatens a new mommy??!!? Any way he is a very healthy and happy baby and I am happy with my decision. I too am breast feeding and have thought about doing it longer then a year for his immune system. I love some of the points you have! Thanks again for a great article!


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Thanks, Jaime. It’s really sad that some people, especially doctors, can be so hurtful about such a personal (and usually very well-researched) decision. I am grateful my own pediatrician was very supportive. At one wellness check up I had to meet with a different doctor since mine was gone and I got a lot more smack from him. Being a parent is so hard, I wish we could be more supportive of each other, no matter what our decision. Thankfully, as the majority of comments here have shown, there are a LOT of great people who do just that. :)

  99. Fawn

    HI! i just stumbled upon your site today and LOVE it!! Thank you for writing this post…i dont even have children yet and have already thought about the fact that i will most likely not have them vaccinated. Mostly for some of the reasons you posted (as well as the new info i picked up after reading your post) thank u for being brave and posting.

  100. kelly rae

    Thank you for your post. I’m so back and forth about this myself. Alot of the pediatricians in our area are not even remotely non-vaccine friendly. You can feel really alone with these decisions when all the pediatricians are very one sided about this topic.

  101. K. Wignall

    I enjoyed reading your post. I, too, have been having my doubts about vaccinations. The ingredient list alone is shocking to say the least. It is such a touchy subject, too. There are some who think very badly of parents who refuse to vaccinate and even think they should have their kids taken away from them. I personally do not really know what to think. There is so much disinformation out there, yet there are also many red flags suggesting vaccinations are horrific. It is so confusing. I actually called my doctor office demanding to know the ingredients to see what they had to say on the subject. All they did was give me a website, the exact same website I had found on my own. The nurse started crying, telling me her niece died because she wasn’t vaccinated. I didn’t know what to think after that. There is also the fact that our water is being treated with fluoride, the same ingredient found in Prozac, and they hide behind the guise that it is somehow “beneficial” to our teeth. Our air is being poisoned with pollution from exposure to “chem trails” and they hide behind the excuse “geo-engineering” saying it is to help global warming. Some say they, “the elite” super-rich people, need a smaller population to control and that all these things are aiding depopulation. Whatever the truth is, one cannot deny that there is more to all this than what we “know” or rather what we are “allowed” to know. Frakly, I am sicked by all of it and I am leaning more toward vaccinations being more of a problem. Another way the corrupt medical industry gains more profit off the ignorant. Want to be healthier? Eat organic right? Fruits, veggies, whole grains… Just be sure it’s not GMO. There is a clever system in place here. They have almost completely taken every human right we have. Our water, our air, our food, and much more. What will it take for us to stop them? Okay, let’s just sign another petition hoping that they will follow the rules. Do you know how easy it is to simply ignore a petition? Signatures on a piece of paper or on a website isn’t going to do diddly squat. They know you are not going to do anything else. We are the sheep. They are the shepherd. Unless we stop acting like fools and believing their lies, they will continue to rape us of our God-given rights. We LET THEM DO IT! The only way anything will EVER change is if we make smarter choices. Get yourself a REAL education. Lord knows the school system isn’t going to give it to you. Stop buying the GMO junk. Go to your city hall and start an anti-fluoride campaign to get it OUT of your water! The stuff eats through concrete. It eats it! We have to take our rights back by force. It’s the only way. :/

    Rant over. Got carried away there, but I hope it did it’s job. Wake people UP. Wake up everyone!!!

    Thanks for your article.


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      You are always welcome to rant here. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It can be very hard and scary when we think about those basic essentials to life being threatened and corrupted. So very sad, indeed.

  102. Vanessa Noel Thompson

    I wish I would have read this four months ago! We have a 16 week old baby girl. And by regret I didn’t do as much research as I wanted too before her first shots at her two month well check… She got the hep B. Shot at the hospital and then at the two month my husband and I kind of talked into the first round of shots… My baby girl had a terrible reaction crying for hours upon hours upon hours until my husband asked me to come home from work. I brought home Tylenol and only then was she able to relax and fall asleep… Which I feel terrible for doing… So now that I have read more on vaccines and seeing how they effect her I think at her four month well check I am going to pass.. my question to you is I know I can’t take the shots back but do you think I’ve already put her at risk for having any side effects later? In your research did you read anything about these leaving her system at some poi t? Ugh I feel terrible for not researching more. Please any info to ease my thinking would be great!


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Rest assured, she’ll probably be fine. Considering that the majority of children are still vaccinated I would stress over it… especially because you can’t change it. You’re doing the best you can, mama! She’s a lucky babe to have you. :)

  103. Heather

    Thank you so much for writing this post. The sources you cited have been so helpful in directing my research as we try to decide which, if any, vaccines to give our twins and when. Can you tell me where you found the vaccine schedule for 1983? I was actually looking for my immunization records from 1983 to compare them to the schedule that was give to us by the pediatrician.
    Thank you again!

  104. Sapmoss

    Before I allow anything to be put into Fritz or Penny’s bloodstream, I should be quite sure that their health demands it and that there is no chance of harm. Is that asking too much? If I ignore the media and the govt. and peer pressure and all these things that can distract and cloud my judgement, I would say that their health does not demand it. I believe that the availability of clean water and their present living conditions do not put them at a high risk for contracting a deadly disease. I believe that they can build up their own immunity just fine. I believe that they were born healthy babies, and that they will continue to be healthy though good nutrition, sanitation, and clean water. Is there no chance of harm? Are you kidding? Studies, cases, and research abound for the damaging effects they can have. Knowing this, am I going to just go ahead and vaccinate my children in hopes that it will not harm them? And for what? For the popular belief that these vaccines will protect them from a deadly disease? I am not beholden to them nor dependent on vaccines to protect my children. As a parent, it is my right to decide what I will and will not allow to be injected into the bloodstream of my children. In my eyes, the risks far outweigh the benefits.

  105. raeena

    Obviously you don’t seem to realize that it is because of vaccines that some diseases, like small pox has completely been eradicated and polio is near eradication. And of course, herd immunity applies to this situation. The more people who choose who choose not to vaccinate their child increase the risk of a breakout. (2013 Swansea measles epidemic)
    To say there is no long-term evidence about the affect of vaccines is just not true. The long-term evidence is longer lives, healthier people and a world mostly free from some of the worst diseases known to humans.
    And your child not getting sick is not because she isn’t vaccinated, just good luck that she has a strong immune system.


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Obviously you didn’t read the whole article as I address the issues you talk about in them. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  106. Mary

    Aren’t you afraid of your children getting any of the horrible diseases that can be prevented by vaccines? aren’t we missing the point of why we vaccinate?
    and even if there hasn’t been a case of, for example, polio in many years, they can come back if enough people decide to not vaccinate.

  107. Michelle

    This is great! Kudos to you for doing your own research and not accepting what doctors tell you as the only way to go. I do not vaccinate any of my 4 children. I, too did my own research prior to their births. I have dealt with some very angry doctors trying to force me to follow the norm of vaccinating. I have also heard the concerns from vaccinating parents who think it’s a risk to their children. It would be more of a risk to my unvaccinated children since their children have the “miracle vaccinations”.

    Here’s 1 thing to think about. Why is it that whether you are 65 or newborn you get the same dose? It does not make sense. All of my children recently got the chicken pox and they were all fine. My son got the measles when he was little and he is also perfectly fine. They are now 9-13 and perfectly healthy. I submit they are healthier than any vaccinated child. To each their own. I only know what’s right for my family, but I know that going from a few vaccinations to many, many more is not going to be good for little, defenseless babies. If my children decide when they are adults that they want to be vaccinated they are free to do that and by that time they will have built up their immune systems and won’t be fragile babies that haven’t built up theirs yet. It’s a very personal choice that will be up for debate for years to come. Nobody is forcing anyone to agree with my choices. I also don’t have to agree with yours.

    Mary why would you be worried about your child getting polio if you vaccinate them?


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      A great point about the dosage. It really doesn’t make sense. Thanks for your kind words, Michelle.

  108. Kim

    Thank you for posting this information and your journey with vaccinations. I am currently pregnant with my first and am struggling on this subject. I just had one question for you… when your little one was born, did you choose not to give her any of the initial vaccines as well (ex:vit k, Erythromycin, etc.)


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      We didn’t give any of those… nor my son who was born at home just a couple of months ago. Again, it was a very researched a personal question for us, but both my kids are super healthy. Good luck! I know how hard it can be to make those decisions. I know you’ll do what’s best for your situation.

  109. Nicole Rannou-Studley

    Thank you for this post! I feel like I could have written this myself, your experience is so close to mine. We too decided against vaccinations after reading, researching, following the money trail, speaking with our doctor (who actually endorses at the very least waiting 2 years if do it at all). My family doesn’t understand our decision and feels we are being negligent so that’s something we unfortunately battle often. It is so reassuring to hear someone else’s story and makes me feel even more certain we’re doing the right thing.

  110. Malisa

    So glad that the comments on here have not been a mommy war like many of the other ones. I did vaccinate but I controlled when and how many at a time. I felt that there was no reason to do more than one at any given time as I felt my child’s immune system would be better served if she had the chance to work each one through her system before hit with the next and I was lucky enough to have a doc that agreed… That said she did not get the combo shots like the mmr and dtp. there are the singles out there. they may cost a bit more and mean more shots in the long run. But my daughter never had a bad reaction to any of them and I believe the way she got them was why.

  111. Alex

    I don’t have children but, as a nurse, I am familiar with the difficulties in deciding about vaccines. Parents should always be respected when discussing the pros and cons of vaccines. Yes, there are both pros and cons. I have seen parents who strongly feel that vaccines are dangerous until faced with a trip outside of the USA where vaccine preventable diseases are more prevalent. I have never met a parent who refused rabies post exposure vaccine after their child was bitten by a rabid animal. As an amateur genealogist, I have seen documentation of parents losing 4 or 5 children in a couple of weeks to diphtheria, just a few decades ago. Thank you for the thoughtful post.

  112. shea

    Beautifully written, well done. I am unvaccinated (The triple antigen shot almost killed my father back in the day so after further research my parents said no to every single shot… Thank God!) aside from 2 hep B shots, which I “had to have” to become a Registered Nurse. I was sick so sick after the second shot my GP wrote me a medically exempt letter to avoid the third shot! Making an informed choice not to vaccinate is hard, I get ignorant people calling me names (baby killer is my personal favourite..) all the time, but I take comfort in knowing that I am one of the healthiest people I know and my immune system thrives on my lifestyle choices. I am sure you and your family will experience the same wonderful results. Congratulations on being brave and taking charge of your/your families health choices. This really was an excellent read, clear, concise and neutral. :)

  113. Mike

    I deeply disagree with what you and almost all of the commenters are saying. Science is not subjective! Saying that it’s a very personal decision is accurate in that it’s your body to do with what you please, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no right answer. Vaccines do not cause autism. This has been proven and even the data that originally showed correlation was interpreted incorrectly by people who don’t understand Math and Science. The age at which autism symptoms show up in most children happens to be shortly after the age at which most children have received all of their vaccines. Furthermore, how can you connect AIDS and many other diseases to vaccines? Correlation does not equal causation. It scares me that so many people say they are avoiding HPV vaccinations because of this nonsense. THese have been proven to protect against the virus that is responsible for most cancers in women. If you are at all concerned about health, I sincerely suggest you rethink the HPV vaccine.

  114. Isabelle

    My thoughts EXACTLY. This article could have been written by myself (but probably not as “nice” as yours), lol.
    Our children are unvaccinated for the same reasons as you pointed out. Knowing what I know now, I just couldn’t have been able to live with myself had they suffered because of vaccines because of me. Like your daughter, our children are rarely sick, besides the occasional runny nose.
    Thanks for taking the time to write this great summary that will for sure influence people to start making their own decision regarding vaccinations instead of just blindly following the trend or doctor’s orders.

  115. Mileen

    Thank you for your view on this issue. I am a first time grandma (my son’s daughter). The mother and her family are very much against vaccinations. I was very uncomfortable with their insistance not to vaccinate my precious grandaughter. I gave in to their way of feeding her after mom stopped breastfeeding after just weeks, at least to a point. As I am not against an organic approach to feeding her I did finally insist on at least a store bought organic powder formula vs the goat milk concoction the other gma started using. If for nothing else, the convience for everyone. Mom agreed. I have respected their ideas and have researched and used natural and organic medications for her, for hiccups, teething, gas, etc., and now baby food. However, the immunization issue has had me very nervous. I have done some research and reading on both sides of this issue. I still haven’t completely made up my mind on it yet, but I think I am starting to feel more comfortable with not vaccinating. Our baby girl is seven months old and a very happy baby now. I am greatful for that. So, thank you again for writing this and giving me more resources to look at.

  116. jamie

    I want to thank you so much for sharing this post! I think this will better help me explain why I have chose not to vaccinate my son and his new brother who will be born in April! When my son was born I wasn’t 100% sure, but like you said you can’t take back the shots. I have read a lot from both sides and just am not comfortable with vaccinating for the reasons you have explained here. We try to eat healthy foods and I also breastfed until my son was 15 months to help boost his immunity. Like your daughter, he has been healthier than any of my friends’ children (whom I’m pretty sure have all been vaccinated). So thank you very much for sharing this! It has been very helpful to me!

  117. Kelly

    This is really great. I vaccinated my kids before I really knew any better. I’m an RN and it’s all pushed on you in school. I don’t get the flu shot and have to wear a mask in the hospital. There are a lot of us wearing them right now and I’m proud of that (even when doctors are looking at us like we’re crazy!). The last couple years I’ve really started to think about vaccines. This article is really well written, thank you for writing it!

  118. Pam

    My 2 daughters got all their vaccines on time, when my twin boys were born and I started reading more about vaccines I changed my mind, they got all the vaccines up to 6 months, but haven’t had any after, they are only 13 months old now and even though I am confident in my decision it still scares me, it was not an easy decision, especially cause every time I take them to the dr she tells me all these scary stories of kids dying of diseases that are “vaccine preventable”. Also I live in South Korea cause my husband is in the US Navy and it scares me cause sometimes we use public transportation and Koreans love to touch the babies hands, and even take them from my arms and I don’t know much about diseases here. This is definitely that hardest decision I have made when it comes to my children.

  119. Emily

    First, I really respect you for writing something that was difficult for you, and doing so in a very calm manner based on your own experience, without making any sweeping generalizations or judgments. I also completely disagree with your conclusion. People lived extremely “naturally” in the 1800s, and the lifespan was significantly shorter. Millions of people died of the flu before there was a vaccine for it. The argument for going “natural” is really just a giant step backwards. Choosing not to vaccinate your child is absolutely your choice, but it is a choice that effects all of us, not just your child. Diseases that were completely eradicated are making a reappearance in the US, and children and adults are dying as a result. I think the need for a “balance” is absolutely necessary. The combination of lowered/eliminated fatal and serious diseases (through vaccinated children) and an increased awareness of what real food we should eat, real exercise we should get and other healthy measures we can take, would be the ideal in my opinion.

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