Anti-Vaxxers: Do They Pose A Public Health Risk?

vaccine
Image via Freedigitalphotos/ Sura Nualpradid

This week was an interesting week scrolling through the news. As a parent I’m always interested in new studies – especially regarding vaccinations. 

Anti-vaxxers are individuals who chose to not get their children immunized.

As I scrolled, I noticed an article mentioning a new study. The study claims that researchers found a link between autism and environmental toxins. Upon further browsing, I found another article on autism. An interview with celebrity Kristin Cavallari. Cavallari claims she’s “…read too many books to vaccinate my child.” Cavallari’s concern is the potential link between autism and vaccinations.

The subject matter of both articles encouraged me to see what else I could find trending regarding autism and vaccinations. I found an abundance of articles. 

Why are vaccinations such a hot topic? It seemed so routine when I was growing up. No one really ever questioned vaccinations. However, back when I was younger there weren’t as many autism diagnoses as there are today.

With that said – let’s address some of these articles and concerns. 

{ MORE: Autism Awareness #LightItUpBlue - My Son's Diagnosis }

Cavallari jumps on the anti-vaxxer bandwagon along with other notable celebrities, such as Jenny McCarthy. Anti-vaxxers are individuals who chose to not get their children immunized. One article begs the question, “Has the measles outbreak been spurred on by anti-vaxxers?”.

What do you think?

Anti-Vaxxers: Do They Pose A Public Health Risk?

Peyton Pryce has worked in the learning and development industry for the past 11 years - the least interesting thing about her. She is raising a smart, sarcastic and fun little boy. On top of having a full-time job and being a mother, Peyton works hard to support her husband and country as a military wife. Never one lacking an opinion, her friends seek out her advice about parenting, budgeting, cooking, or almost anything. Peyton comes from a large family, with over 11 siblings or in-laws an ... More

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136 comments

  1. Profile photo of Adrianne Adrianne says:

    If you think not getting back to the wood is all about linked to autism you’re dead wrong, and you didn’t do very much research why don’t you look at the risks and the percentage of side effects of EVERY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL VACCINE… But even if it was just about autism, the fact mremains that my son does have autism and I’m not willing to risk my second child no matter what anybody says. If you would blame me “because your child got whooping cough from mine”, I would say, TOO BAD! As every parent knows, MY child is more important than YOURS.. maybe you should have kept your kid at home, been a good parent and not put the poor thing in daycare. I kept my baby mainly at home her first 5 MONTHS until she was strong enough to risk being exposed to things that people normally immunize for.

  2. Profile photo of Christelle Christelle says:

    The problem is a one sized fits all approach in regards to all children and all vaccines. There is an awesome documentary called “the greater good” that provides an unbiased explanation for how vaccines work. I wish the author would have watched it before writing this article. We are not all genetically the same and if a child is injured by a vaccine there are far reaching consequences for all of our society, maybe more far reaching than a case of the chicken pox. Watch the movie.

  3. Profile photo of holyscrap holyscrap says:

    What the heck? I went to post a comment on the article about circumcision, but had to sign in first. When I signed in they kicked me to the comments here instead. Arrgh..

  4. Profile photo of lialban lialban says:

    Simple answer: NO!! They do not pose a risk. The only rixk these unpoisoned individuals pose is fewer bills, fewer diseases, and higher IQs. The vaxxed people on theother hand…well, they will probably have MUCHMUCH higher autism rates, heavy metal poisoning in general, and more diseases…not to mention virus shedding for 3-6 weeks following an innoculation.

  5. Profile photo of Jaime Jaime says:

    Allow me to sum it up: MMR is the vaccine who some believe is linked to autism. Why? Because autism is not detected prior to a child’s first birthday…the MMR vaccine is given 12-18 months. Anyone who doesn’t actually believe in good research is going to blame it on this vaccine. Solution- et the vaccine done at 18 months. People want answers to the cause of autism. Irrational folks (and that can include a doctor or two) are not concerned with real evidence… They want an answer, any answer.

  6. Profile photo of danielle danielle says:

    It really makes me laugh when people won’t vaccinate their children because of autism. The doctor who wrote the article linking the two was discredited and had his license to practice medicine revoked, but still people run with this information like it’s going to save lives. It’s sad that people want to put their own children’s health at risk along with other people. You are so worried about what is in the vaccines, do you have ANY idea what is in the food you eat and the beverages you drink? Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Brominated vegetable/soybean oils, BHT, TBHQ, there is so much more. I think that would be where the autism is coming from. So before you are all for risking your child’s health along with my child’s health maybe do a little research on what you are consuming on a daily basis and then be smart and vaccinate your child because what is in that vaccine is not much worse than the chemicals in our food, the blood and pus in the animal milk, and don’t forget the “natural and artificial” flavorings which could be just about anything, including anal secretions from beavers for that lovely strawberry and raspberry flavoring in your jelly doughnut to the shellac on some candies that come from the butt of a specific beetle.

  7. Profile photo of Sara Sara says:

    I guess ignorance is bliss!! And publicly exposing your stupidity is humerous to me! You mentioned that you were concerned about your child getting whopping cough at daycare because they are to young for the shot, you can get that shot while your pregnant if you want…. Not to mention that one they do within a few weeks… So why is your kid even in daycare before the shot if that what you believe in. Also do you know what in these shot, look it up!! You can find it anywhere, they don’t hid it. So you think I’m the stupid one but you don’t even know what you are putting in your child’s body! Yes when we were kids it was a norm, we didn’t question dr or the government…. Now a days that’s not the case. People ask questions the and the answers were getting are sad and scary. Just because it was done to you doesn’t mean we can’t break the norm and have a healthier generation. Also do some more research. How many kids get sick that have been vaccinated….. A ton. Can you prove the ones that have not been vaccinated were sick, you can’t and in most cases they aren’t. They are healthy with high immune systems!! Do some more reading and know your shot schedule before you start rant publicly! And last…. This test, so nuts! Who’s writing it? Clearly it’s one sided, so I vote that they include things like what preservatives, and metal and all the other toxic stuff that goes into these shots.

    • Profile photo of Jeannie Jeannie says:

      I believe they should be required to tell you everything that is in the vaccination (preservatives, etc.) before they are given, but I have to say I believe ~most~ vaccines are important. Immunization isn’t just about your child, but everybody who is exposed to your child, as well. Measles made a comeback because people stopped getting the vaccination.

    • Profile photo of Rochelle Rochelle says:

      Thank you!!! At least somebody see the same thing i see here. Go investigate whats in vaccine. If you wouldnt eat these things in your food, why would u pump them in your baby?.

  8. Profile photo of Kendra Kendra says:

    In reading the article, I like other parents didn’t think anything of vaccinations, it was something that you did. When I had my daughter autism wasn’t a big subject, I don’t even think I knew of anyone with autism. However now, things have drastically changed and I believe what is in the vaccines have changed also. I’m now pregnant with a son and my concern level is VERY HIGH when it comes to vaccines. I guess my problem with this process is that if it was proven that some of the vaccinations are connected with the autism, would that vaccine company really tell us!???? My answer would be no, they wouldn’t. I understand protecting our children, however I also under making money and profits. The vaccination companies will continue to make money by having every child vaccinated, however it’s the parents and family members who live the choice or the results. The biggest question I have had recently is how many home schooled boys who either weren’t vaccinated or received the staggered schedule resulted in autism? I prefer facts as oppose to trusting my health in the hands of the people who would receive a profit!

  9. Profile photo of Tiffaniee Tiffaniee says:

    Anti-Vaxxers are not always uninformed. Nvic.org has some good info.

    • Profile photo of Jeannie Jeannie says:

      Actually, their information is not all correct. They claim shingles is not contagious. A person with shingles can continue to spread the virus, resulting in… chicken pox. When my sister had shingles, she was told that I could not visit her because I have a compromised immune system (Lupuus related,) and that at my age (nearly 50) chicken pox is dangerous. I talked with several physicians (M.D., Doctor of Internal Medicine, and Rheumatologist,) and they all said the same thing: since I never had chicken pox, I can get it from a person with chicken pox or a person with shingles. They did not advise that I get the chicken pox vaccine, oddly enough. I’m guessing it has to do with my allergies or my Lupus.

  10. Profile photo of victoria victoria says:

    What bothers me the most is that i can not control who my child is exposed to all the time, and my daughter does not have all her vacinations yet, we dont know if all the people at the super market with us have had theirs up to date, it bothers me that my daughter could be killed by something completly preventable because some people are to ignorant to accept scientific facts.

  11. Profile photo of Trace Trace says:

    I’m really of two minds on this one.

    I have a 9 year old daughter, who was on staggered and delayed vaccination schedule. I chose to start her vaccinations later because it just didn’t feel right to start so incredibly early, and as I’ve had all of my shots, including boosters, and she was nursed, her immune system was being boosted already simply by virtue of being breastfed.

    Secondly, I chose to only have her get one vaccine per visit, especially since a lot of them are combined now (DPT, etc) in case she DID have a reaction to something. If she had ONE shot, instead of four, there would be no doubt what the reaction was to.

    And some vaccines, I chose to opt out of altogether. The varicella vaccine, for example. The whole ‘varicella vaccine will keep you from getting shingles’ argument fell utterly flat with me, for the simple fact that it includes live virus, and you can ONLY get shingles IF you have the virus in your bloodstream. Ergo, putting the virus into her bloodstream to begin with cannot logically prevent her from getting shingles.

    Besides which, by the time she was supposed to have had the varicella vaccine to start school, she’d already had chickenpox, which rendered the argument rather moot. And chickenpox itself is only dangerous to adults who haven’t had it, so I just kept her home, and gave her oatmeal baths and made her sleep with socks on her hands. She hardly even ran a fever, so we didn’t even go to the doctor, since it would’ve been pointless and exposed everyone in the office to getting the chickenpox who hadn’t already had it.

    Another point that might need investigating is that they still tried to make me get her the varicella vaccine even after she had the chickenpox, and I had to have her get a blood test for a titre count to see if she had ‘enough’ immunity.

    WTF? I mean, seriously.

    Yes, I know you can have chickenpox more than once. I had them FOUR times as a kid, and each case was worse than the last.

    But if actually HAVING full-blown chickenpox for a week doesn’t give you ‘enough’ immunity to satisfy the titre blood test, exactly WHAT is the immunization doing, since it’s a MUCH smaller amount of the live virus?

    I would really like to see a side-by-side study on immunization titre test vs. titre test of someone who has chickenpox vs titre test of someone who had it previously.

    Especially since MY titre test for varicella immunity was much lower than my daughter’s despite my having had chickenpox four times, and yet I never got it again while working in daycare when the entire pre-K class I worked with got it. Incidentally, the child who showed up with chickenpox first was one who HAD gotten the varicella vaccine about 6 months earlier.

    Just food for thought.

  12. Wow, after reading the comments and this article I feel compelled to make a comment.

    1. If you believe that vaccines protect your child 100% then why are you so hard on non vaccers? If you have immunity then by theory you wouldn’t worry if you are exposed? I personally feel as though your fear comes from the fact that vaccines are not 100% effective and if you read the labels they even say that they are not. There are vaccines that if researched thoroughly you would know that they are not even proven to be effective at all. Not to mention that viruses mutate so even if you get immunized you are still at risk. So it is basically a catch twenty two because if you get the vaccine you may very well still get the virus while still dumping harmful chemicals into your child’s body and if you don’t then still you may get the virus.

    2. You can not demand that your children be separated from other children just because they were not vaccinated. Yes, maybe on a playground or such(And even then it is silly because by the time you know that the child is not immunized your child has already been exposed. Besides how would you know if a child has not been immunized?) but not in school. If you allow your child to get a public education then already they are at risk. If you place your child in daycare they are at risk. If you let your child go outside they are at risk because some viruses can live outside the body on inanimate objects for weeks. So to say that is actually silly. The only way to truly protect a child with immune problems would be to place him or her in a bubble. If you chose not to do so then you accept the risk when you allow him or her out of the home. Do not blame the potential of illness on others when you consciously decide to let them out. Oh? It would be inhumane to keep them cooped up? Well back to point number one. If they are immunized then why are you so worried? As for the babies too young to be immunized? Well once again you chose to bring your infant out and expose them to the masses. You decided that going out to eat was more important than staying at home. You decided that you had no other recourse but to expose them, and sadly some don’t, but it is still a decision.

    3. It is that parents right whether or not to immunize. It is also their right to enjoy life and they are everywhere. They are the people who serve your food in restaurants, I know of no jobs that require you to have shots to work, they are the people who fix your cars or install cable in your homes. They are your healthcare providers, your teachers, your neighbors, and even the person who does maintenance on your lawn. You cannot avoid it nor can you know if they have had shots. That is like saying that lesbians should not mingle in public because they are “sinful” or that they are bad influences. Or saying that a goth clothed child cannot go to school because you fear that they may influence your child for the worse. It is your right to protect your children, however it is also their right to protect their children how they see fit and no matter what you do your child will be exposed whether you know it or not. All they have to do is touch a swing after the wrong child or breath in the germs from the man who sneezed the next table over. Germs is part of life and you make a choice to brave the world each time you leave your home.

    Yes, I understand where you are coming from Peyton Price and Co. and I respect your decision. It would be hard raising a child with the condition your child has and you have your reasons just as everyone else has their reasons for doing what they do. A mother of a child who died after being immunized would be just as passionate as you are. My child is not immunized and has been breastfed for the last two years and still counting. She is on a whole food organic diet and has only been sick once (a minor cold) despite being very active in the community and public. My family is very holistic and no one receives vaccinations. We could be the people who drives the bus, or your neighbors, or the people who serve you food when you go out to eat. YOU are never safe, but then that is the nature of this world. I think that your article was very biased but that is okay as many articles are colored by personal factors. Yes, yes some may say that we are protected by herd immunity but I really do not think so. I see so many people every day with some kind of sickness and yet we still do not fall ill.

    As for the whole autism debate. I do not care. There may be a link and there may not be. There are so many commercials on t.v about if you or a loved one has taken xyz I just stopped paying attention and worked toward keeping my household healthy and happy without drugs. It is my choice what I put in the bodies of my family and myself and if my children grow up (18) and decide they want the shots I will not stop them. I choose not to partake in the chemicals and you do, that is fine. That is our choice. My point is that it is a choice. Your fear comes from the fact that you can not control it. You can not truly control what your children is exposed to. It only takes a second, that one touch, that one breath and your child is fatally sick. But then it only takes that one moment when you take your eyes off the road…or when that person brings a gun to school. Pick your battles wisely because this is beating a dead horse. I find peace in knowing that I am doing my best and will deal with anything when it arises.

    • Profile photo of chrissy chrissy says:

      Seriously. If you are an educated person you would know the problem is you don’t vaccinate for diseases which can be fatal can seriously injure or cause death to your child or a vaccinated child. Parents who vaccinate know it does not provide 100% coverage thus why we have to worry about ignorant people who refuse to vaccinate because someone said it was bad or your worried about putting chemicals into your child’s body. Do non vaxxiers understand how vaccines work? Just like medical practice nothing is 100% but they are a safe and effective way to PREVENT the spread of infectious diseases. Because some refuse to vaccinate it provides the spread of disease. If a single parent does not vaccinate the risk to that individual is low but as the number of unvaccinated kids grows, the risk of numerous people contracting and spreading the disease multiplies, creating a public health risk for a large segment of the population. So not only are non vaccinated, immune comprimised, infants and elderly at risk so are people that are vaccinated. If your logical it’s the reverse effect of herd immunization non vaxxiers seem to be so against or believe doesn’t work. The United States especially California has seen a huge rise due to more people not decided to vaccinate. Britain has seen a huge increase in measles. So how do you explain away that all of a sudden with the non vaxxier movement diseases that have been happening in small numbers are now exploding in frequency. So how does the herd effect not work? Personally it quite frightening. I’ve seen the awful devastation whooping cough causes to an infant that cannot receive the vaccine. It’s awful and to watch an innocent infant suffer in this way breaks your heart. Maybe non vaxxiers should look up what happens to children that die from these diseases before you decide not to vaccinate and put hundreds of kids at risk. No parent should have to bury a child due to a disease that’s preventable. Either way whether you have a perfectly organic lifestyle your still exposed to chemicals on a daily basis. Just by living your child is exposed to many chemicals that you cannot prevent so why non vaxxiers are worried about the chemicals in their child’s body by vaccine is ridiculous. Wake up its happening either way day to day just in many other ways. By not vaccinating all you’ve done is decide to possibly expose others to highly infectious diseases. Your unvaccinated child can still carry and transmit the disease even if they never show signs of being sick. I should not be held hostage by a minority to shut my kids in the house due to your poor choices. So to insinuate I choose to expose my infant by leaving the house is crazy and people should stay home so baby is not exposed. I can and from the research I’ve done blame you for the infectious diseases being spread. How can you dispute the finding the number of unvaccinated kids going up and infectious preventable diseases cases going up. If you have the right to choose not to vaccinate I should have the right to demand my child not be exposed to an unvaccinated child. Door swings both ways. If your going to demand the right to your choice then I should have the right to demand my choice to protect my child from non vaxxiers. Being exposed to things is a natural part of life. That’s how our immune system gets stronger. But I shouldn’t have to worry about the increase of preventable horrible infectious diseases that kill being more prevalent because someone is worried about that very small chance there may be a reaction or what is in the vaccines. I can’t control what or who my child is exposed to but I should have peace of mind that a parent is not “choosing” to be ok with spreading infectious diseases that can be controlled by a simple vaccine. Nobody is asking you to vaccinate against everything I dont even believe in that but these are horrible childhood diseases that have killed for generations that can now be prevented. It’s one thing to have your child exposed to the flu or a cold. It’s totally another to be exposed to polio, measles, and mumps ect. Would you feel the same way if they came out with a vaccine for HIV/Aids? Many people would choose to protect their kids. There have been leaps and bounds for treatment but either way you know it will eventually kill you. Sure if you do the research more kids have died from these diseases than actually getting the vaccine. It’s a sad point when the government feels the need to step in to protect the larger population. Either way the pros out way the cons at this point. One of the biggest problems with this country is everything is “my choice” “my rights” me and my, my selfishness. I choose to not only protect my children I also choose to protect that new infant that is the light of his/her parents life, the child that was possibly so hard to conceive, that infant who’s parents needed a dinner outside of the house or choose to run errands and all the other people who are susceptible to these diseases. Maybe we all need to start thinking of others and not always ourselves. You may think you have the right to choose to vaccinate or not but it’s my opinion you don’t have the right to take another’s child’s life due to that choice.

      • What I find so humorous about your post is that you finally accept that you can not control who or what your child is exposed to but then also say that you can demand that your child not be exposed to an unvaccinated child. My question is, How will you know if a child has been vaccinated or not? HOW will you know if that child your child is playing near, not necessarily with, is vaccinated? If you take your child to a playground there is a very good chance at least one child or maybe even more in the last 24 hours have been through without vaccinations. YOUR child is then exposed. HOW do you prevent that? HOW do you demand that your child be separated when you don’t know WHAT child has or has not been vaccinated. When my child becomes school age she will go to school, just like I have went to school and my siblings and my parents. Yes the door swings both ways but like I said it is really silly when you think of it, at least on the demanding part, because YOU will never know for sure. What are you going to do demand that we all wear a scarlet letter?

        As for HIV/Aids that can be prevented with proper preventives. You don’t have to have unprotected intercourse, in fact you don’t have to have intercourse at all.

        As far as being selfish then that also goes both ways. You are being selfish as well, in the name of your child. Well so am I. We just do not see eye to eye and as I said before that is okay. It is just something that you will not win on because like you said as more and more people decide not to vaccinate then “risk” will be everywhere. I, personally, see it as a trend. Bloodletting, was held in high esteem for the longest as a way to cure or prevent illness. Then it went out of practice…why…because it was eventually proved harmless. Oh yes all the patients that bloodletting harmed I am sure that those parents where all for it. They thought that they were doing the very best and in the end it backfired. I could be making a grave mistake or you could very well be making a very grave mistake. We are not all knowing therefore we will never truly know until centuries later when people look back on history.

        Then again I mention, you accept that vaccines are not 100%. Well if there is that chance that my child might contract said virus whether she is vaccinated or not, well I just chose to let nature run it’s course. So just like you don’t want to keep your children inside neither will I. Just like you demand that your child be kept separate from non vaccinated children then I demand that my children still have the right to go to school, eat at restaurants, and go to the park still. You say that we always scream about rights but you are doing the very same thing. YOU are saying that you have the right to Demand and I have the right to Refuse.

        As far as your opinion that I do not have the right to take another child’s life due to my choice well that is life. Your child’s life or any child’s life is potentially forfeit each time we get in the car. People still drink, text, call, and look away when they drive. I do not care who you are, everyone has been distracted for one second while driving. ONE second is all it takes. You can say no you never have been distracted and I am calling you a liar because there is no way you drive all day in a serene state with extreme focus every time you get on the road. Is that fair? No. Is life fair? No. So I just think that people should just accept it because in the end there is nothing that you can do but lock you children in a bubble. However, you don’t want to do that, shouldn’t have to do that. Well I shouldn’t have to do what you want either. Its called freedom of choice…that is unless you want to live under a dictatorship. We all see how well that type of government fares in Cuba.

      • Profile photo of Bethany Bethany says:

        I completely Chrissy. I also think that antivaxxers need to thank the people who chose to vaccinate because they are decreasing the likelihood that their child will come in contact with these preventable diseases.

        • Well if what everyone is preaching about is true, that antivaxxers are a minority, then there is in theory nothing to worry about. However, if it is true that antivaxxers are becoming more prevalent then I guess you best buckle down because it will be a long road. In the end viruses can and will mutate. There will never be a fool proof way to beat them and death is a natural process. Oh it will be different if my child dies? Nope, I will grieve and turn to God for my comfort. My child will be happy and at peace and if possible I can try again. We all die. I accept that fact and do not live in fear of death. Does that mean I will walk into a burning house? No, unless my child is within said house. Then we might just die together. Life is a gamble and viruses is a game of slots that we as human beings will never win at. You can die from the flu. You can die from parasites. You can die from pneumonia. And you can die from bubonic plague, measles, polio, god knows what else. You can die on the road, yet we still brave it. We chose to brave the world everyday.
          You can blame me and my children if your child dies. Go ahead, we will not lose any sleep. Why? Because it was a choice. You decided that you wanted your child to go to a public park where my child just so happened to have left an hour prior. Your child was exposed. You decided to go to a restaurant where I was your waitress. You and your child were exposed. You decided to have unprotected intercourse and got hiv/aids. Your choice. At the end of the day it was your choice and by blaming us does not take away from it. Just like making my choice will have consequences so does/will yours.

          • Profile photo of Tiffaniee Tiffaniee says:

            Not to mention all the kids that have to breathe the polluted air in some places, drink the polluted water, and be exposed to McDonalds happy meals! Yet we as parents choose where we raise our children and how we raise our children. I am not vaccinated, my children are not either. We eat good healthy food, boost our immune systems with natural supplements and very rarely suffer from illness. If my children do get sick, they are bombarded with natural remedies and are quick to heal. I trust my knowledge of nutrition and herbs, I’ve learned from the very best herbalists. I trust that if in fact my children come in contact with disease, we can fight it. But if it is beyond my control, I will seek help from the medical community and do whatever is necessary to ensure my child’s good health. I am not ignorant, I am informed. I feel that a responsible parent is one that researches all aspects of their decisions both for and against. Then and only then can you honestly make the choice that is right for you and your family. I have done my research. I have made my choice. That is my right. That is everyone’s right.

  13. Profile photo of Amy Amy says:

    I personally don’t care if your kid is vaccinated or not; not my kid, not my choice. However, asking me to sacrifice MY children to the possibility of a side effect of vaccines, things that have no cures and no chance of healing, versus being able to appropriately heal my child of a normal disease that is more often than not simply an inconvenience that grants lifetime immunity….that’s socialism. You can keep your toxins, and if the kids your kids hang out with are vaccinated, more power to them. I don’t choose to do that to my child. And my unvaccinated child is far healthier than my vaccinated one, bar none.

    • Profile photo of gabrielle gabrielle says:

      I agree with you. As for me, I remember questioning vaccines as far back as 2001 when my oldest was born. The doctor flat out lied to me and said that it was illegal not to get them and that he could never go to school. I didn’t try again until 2006 when we had baby #2 and I really didn’t like the thought of giving them to my daughter. I finally had the resources to look up information for myself and we opted out of further vaccines then and haven’t looked back.

      My concern wasn’t autism so much as:

      – what types of horrible things do they put in there? (aluminum, monkey renal tissue, etc.)
      – why does my child need something to artificially stimulate his immune system anyway?
      – why are these companies pushing vaccines so hard that they’ve made it almost impossible to opt out of it? (when in doubt, I follow the money to see who’s benefiting from pushing an agenda of any kind at me)

      My child isn’t a guinea pig. Don’t believe it? Look at what happened with Gardasil? Look at the polio vaccines that gave kids in North Carolina polio before they were yanked. Know what happened to those vaccines that were recalled from that batch? They were sent to Haiti after that bad earthquake as a charitable donation. Nice, huh? Oh hey, how about those kids in California who came down with whooping cough? Most of them were vaccinated already!

      You should at least get a tetanus shot, right? Avoid the dreaded lockjaw? A vaccination only gives you a 50% chance of not developing lock jaw. You know what has a better chance of not giving you lock jaw? Proper wound care. That’s a shocker.

      If you are still on the fence, don’t listen to some darn celebrity for advice. And if you’re 100% gungho that it is perfectly safe, required, blah blah then DO some research. Real research. A great resource is vaclib.org they include the package inserts and everything on their site is pulled from government agencies and universities directly with sources and links included.

  14. Profile photo of Peyton PryceAuthor Peyton Pryce says:

    As a mother with a young child who has an immune deficiency disorder, I am very passionate about this subject. For almost three years now, my son has struggled with ear infection after ear infection. Colds, pneumonia, strep over and over (even though its rare for a child his age to even get strep). It’s been made very clear to me how easily he can get infections. Exposure to my son from any unvaccinated child and adult can make my son extremely ill – over and over again. The mass population does not have side affects to vaccinations – those cases are rare. The risk of my son being exposed is more common and the fight I need to fight in order to protect my son. I feel for those who are conspiracy theorists, but I am living in the real world and by facts. My child is sick on average every 2 weeks and has been that way since he has born. I will not feel like I was a good enough mother for him if I did not explain to the world my stance on vaccinations and the power that celebrities have to influence. You might chose not to vaccinate because of information you read online, or because you believe in some lucrative ploy by the pharmaceutical companies to harm our children. I chose and beg for others to get vaccinated to give my son a fighting chance.I have to trust what my pediatrician says – not all pediatricians put $$ before their oath (to do no harm). I trust my pediatrician when my son is sick, to prescribe him the appropriate dose of medicine (even if its fluids and TLC). We all have risk in every day tasks that we do. Every time we put our child in the car we are risking their lives. Vacinnes have risk as does anything. I am an advocate for my son. My son who cannot receive vaccinations and suffers from illness frequently. Even exposure to chicken pox can place my son in the hospital. If its shame on me for having an opinion or trying to protective my son so be it. Anti-vaxxers backers express that all they are doing is protecting their child and so am I.

    • Profile photo of Amy Amy says:

      Yes, but you’re asking others to stop doing what they see as protecting their children, in order to protect yours. In other words, sacrifice their childrens’ health for yours. Do you see how that’s not going to go over very well?

      • Profile photo of Peyton PryceAuthor Peyton Pryce says:

        Well I can see how it looks that way, but not my intention!

        • Profile photo of gabrielle gabrielle says:

          Have you also thought about the fact that not all pediatricians are trustworthy? Have you considered that maybe they’re as brainwashed into believing the good of what they learned at school just like you believe that they have the best at heart? It’s a tricky issue. On one hand, hardly any pediatricians are going to be money hungry fiends looking to dope up your kid. They learn what they learn at school and don’t often bother trying to find out information that isn’t handed to them.

          I’m sorry your child is sick and has these problems, but he is just as likely to get sick from kids who are vaccinated as ones who aren’t. Vaccination isn’t golden. It doesn’t work all the time. Sometimes not even half.

          You make your decisions for your child and we will all make ours; but you can’t tell us to start vaccinating our children with what we view as poison (please tell me how aluminum isn’t a poison?) to keep your son from getting ill.

  15. Profile photo of Jenny Jenny says:

    Yes. Anti- vaccers are a health risk. So are adults that don’t get vaccinated. I think it is true that environmental things do contribute to autism but vaccines are not one of those things. I think it has more to do with the foods we eat and chemicals in the environment. I am pro vaccines and have gotten both my 8 year old and 10 month old both immunized. I don’t want my child playing or going to school with vaccinated kids. That is my preference and I think it needs to be respected. Anti-vaccers always demand respect for their beliefs so in many ways they need to understand that they are in the minority.

    • Profile photo of gabrielle gabrielle says:

      See this here is what I don’t get. If you believe in vaccines so much (the purpose of which is supposed to be providing protection against contracting the illness you’re vaccinating for) then why are you so worried about your children playing with non-vaccinated children?

      Oh I know. Vaccines are 100%.

      And if unvaccinated children are in the minority, then herd immunity generally applies.

      I respect that you give your children vaccines, but don’t disparage those who don’t by saying you don’t want ‘those kids’ playing with or being near your children. What are you so afraid of if you have such faith in vaccines?

  16. As a parent to a precious little girl I am always worried about making the right decision for her health. That being said I am pro vaccines. The risks associated with not getting them are far worse than the potential risk of getting the vaccine. Herd immunity is what keeps us all alive and able to read this post. If you choose not to vaccinate please don’t be offended when I will not allow our kids to play together. I understand the concern of the autism link but once upon a time autism was under diagnosed because if something was not quite right with a family member they were often hidden away from the public because they were different (glad it’s not that way now). If vaccines could potential save my daughters life to a preventable disease I want her to have it. Why on watch wouldn’t I do everything possible to keep her safe?

  17. Profile photo of Teila Teila says:

    What everybody seems to forget is that adults need to be vaccinated as well. Are YOU vaccinated? If not you could be spreading the disease just as easily as a child whose parents decided not to have them vaccinated. In fact, you pose a greater risk to your own child because you are in closer contact than anyone else. As for autism being caused by vaccines alone, I don’t think so. If you haven’t noticed the children of today receive TWICE as many vaccines as we or our parents did in previous generations. We also eat more pesticide laden food, processed, empty “food” with no real soluble nutrients, we breathe more smog, ingest more pills and fluoride than ever before. All of these account for environmental toxins. Did you know that “enriched” food items are actually worse for you than the real whole food? your body can’t absorb the so called vitamins they “enrich” the “food” with and then your body has to somehow deal with it. Do you know the most common link between anti-vaxxer children? Almost ALL of them are breastfed past two and almost ALL of them eat an organic diet. Now, when children of anti-vaxxers actually start dying from these oh so terrible diseases THEN you can have your “proof” that not vaccinating is a bad thing. So far I’ve seen nothing but healthy children who have survived these diseases with relatively little impact. I for one will not put my children through the years of pain and suffering I went through because of vaccines only to constantly be sick with pertussis, scarlet fever, constant URI’s and UTI’s simply so your child can continue eating non-food and go to daycare with a runny nose everyday. Had ANY of you actually done ANY kind of research on the matter you would know that vaccine rates have gone UP. And as for AwesomeDad and the Darwinian culling theory: it might just be you who is being culled out.

    • Profile photo of Bethany Bethany says:

      I have proof that not vaccinating your children; its called history. Why did we start vaccinating in the first place? Because people were dieing and becoming disabled from these diseases!!

      • Profile photo of Amy Amy says:

        I personally don’t care if your kid is vaccinated or not; not my kid, not my choice. However, asking me to sacrifice MY children to the possibility of a side effect of vaccines, things that have no cures and no chance of healing, versus being able to appropriately heal my child of a normal disease that is more often than not simply an inconvenience that grants lifetime immunity….that’s socialism. You can keep your toxins, and if the kids your kids hang out with are vaccinated, more power to them. I don’t choose to do that to my child. And my unvaccinated child is far healthier than my vaccinated one, bar none.

      • Profile photo of Amy Amy says:

        Except, Bethany, you forget that back then, hygiene wasn’t exactly a priority either….

  18. Profile photo of Katlyn Katlyn says:

    So I never comment on articles and based on the heated discussions below, I’m sure someone will backlash at my comment here, as well, but I felt compelled to share anyway. First, I will say that I am no longer pro- or anti-vaccinations. I stand somewhere in the middle and have yet to determine what I feel is best for my child. I will say that I think this article takes a particularly biased approach to the discussion. We all make decisions based on what we feel is best for our children and certainly everyone is going to have different opinions on what is “best.” That being said, please don’t assume that someone who has a different opinion than yours is “ignorant.” I personally do a lot of research before making any decisions, so I am certainly not naïve about the choices I make. Everyone has to weigh the pros and cons.
    In regards specifically to vaccinations or any medications in general- I can say that I have done a lot of research on these topics. I work in the healthcare industry. Those who are not involved in this industry probably don’t understand how lucrative of a field it is. Pharmaceutical companies make massive amounts of money and guess what- they don’t want you to get better or you won’t need them. Did you know that there have been proven cures for cancer that have been stifled by pharmaceutical companies because they know they will lose money on it? There are some harsh realities in this world, particularly as it relates to the medical field. Although we all want to think that healthcare is here to help us (and don’t get me wrong, the individuals working here often choose this field for that very reason), please keep in mind that it is also a profitable business. You can’t believe every little thing that you read on either side of an issue because there is usually someone paying for it on the back-end and trust me, they want you to believe their side of the story.

    • Profile photo of Cathy Cathy says:

      I doubt your pediatrician chose his or her profession for its profitability. First if all, primary care providers such as pediatricians are paid the lowest salary compared to other specialties, and they are the ones that usually have to see the most patients. Being in the industry, then you must know that the pharmaceutical company does not pay you doctors salary. All financial gains or contributions doctors receive from drug companies have to be disclosed by law. Your pediatrician gets reimbursed by Medicaid, or another insurance company for administration of vaccines, not the vaccine company. Most doctors lose money by giving vaccines, because the reimbursement often doesn’t cover the purchase and storage cost of the vaccine. Yes, drug companies are major corporations that make profit. But without them, we would still be growing our own mold to try to harvest penicillin. Please don’t assume that your pediatrician is profiting from vaccination. And again, physicians and pediatricians didn’t go into their field for money. There are much quicker and easier ways to make money.

      • Profile photo of gabrielle gabrielle says:

        I agree that pediatricians are on the lower end and I do seriously doubt that they make extra money by peddling drugs to children. But the place that the pharmaceutical companies got a foothold on them was way way back when they were in school. I’ve talked to residents and they not only have to listen to their professors (who have their own agendas) but also they get almost lobbied once they start leaving school. To the point that some are convinced of the ‘benefits’ of baby formula over breastmilk because someone caught them at the right time from the formula companies and put the bug in their ear.

        I have found that most pediatricians take a very legalistic, narrow-minded view most of the time. I had to really really search to even find one who would let my children come to see them because we don’t vaccinate. If they love children so much to go into such a financially unrewarding profession then why deny them care?

        • Profile photo of Cathy Cathy says:

          I am a doctor, I am familiar with the interactions between residents and drug reps, since I used to be a resident. Nobody that I know professionally was brainwashed by their attendings or drug reps. And not only do we have to remember what was taught, but as part of maintaining our certification, we are continually required to review new research and topics, and will be tested on the new material. It’s called continuing medical education, and is a requirement of all hospitals that employ us. No pediatrician I know recommends formula over breastmilk, unless the mother is taking a medication that is transferred through breastmilk that would be unsafe for baby. We prescribe medications based on formularies that are provided by your insurance companies, not because some drug rep told us to. The reason why many practices do not accept unvaccinated children as new patients is because they want to protect their other patients. Children younger than 12 months can’t get the MMR, and rubella can cause serious illness or death in newborns. Also pregnant women who get rubella are at an I ncreased risk if miscarriage. So it’s for their sake that they don’t accept unvaccinated patients. You have the right to chose not to vaccinate, so don’t be shocked that pediatricians refuse to see your family, it’s their practice, their right. We as doctors want to help patients. But if you clearly don’t agree with our advice, they why would we want to continue being your doctor? If you can’t trust us for a recommendation like vaccination, then why would you trust us to tell you that your child may need surgery if they have appendicitis? And surgery carries a far higher risk than a vaccination. Most pediatricians feel that there is already a mistrust when anti vaxxers come to their office. And since the doctor patient relationship involves trust, then clearly it’s not going to be a good relationship, so they will probably ask you to see someone else.

    • Profile photo of Peyton PryceAuthor Peyton Pryce says:

      Thank you for sharing. I have to say as a parent of a young child myself, I have to trust my doctor. If I don’t trust my doctor than why bother taking my child to see them? My doctor has never pushed vaccines on my child – yet he has strongly recommended them but allowed me to make the decision. I have to trust that my pediatrician has my son’s health in mind and not his pocket.

  19. Profile photo of Guillana Guillana says:

    First of all guess who provides this research stating the link between autism and vaccines do not exist? The pharmaceutical companies who are making billions from vaccines!!! I myself am not anti vaccine, but do follow a very delayed vaccine schedule….just like Dr. Oz and many other drs that know the truth. If vaccines starting at 2 months and triple the amount we received during out generation, then why does the government have a fund that awards parents of vaccine damaged children (which comes from our tax money).
    Btw, how dare this article criticize Kristen Cavelleri for being a good mother and only doing what she believed in her heart of hearts to be BEST for her child? Isn’t that what were supposed to do a good mothers?

    • Profile photo of Jennifer Jennifer says:

      Dr Oz is a quack. Kristen Cavelleri and Jenny McCarthy are ACTRESSES!!! Why would you trust an ACTRESS over an educated medical professional? Oh, wait, I know. Because all medical professionals are brainwashed. Except Dr Oz…he apparently missed the brainwashing class.

    • Profile photo of Peyton PryceAuthor Peyton Pryce says:

      Actually – If you go to the Austim Speaks website, they have on the site that they don’t agree with the link of autism and vaccines and in fact, they encourage parents to vaccinate their child. Are you saying pharmaceutical companies own Austim Speaks? I’m pretty sure my point with the celebs was acknowledging that they have significant power to influence society. Every parent is entitled to decide what is best for their child, but what about the decisions they make affecting YOUR child?

      • Profile photo of gabrielle gabrielle says:

        Can you prove to me that the folks who run Autism Speaks DON’T have ties to some pharmaceutical company? Who runs it? Bob Wright from NBC, Geraldine Dawson who is their medical chief if I remember correctly. Other people who resigned instead of researching further into the issue. Hmmn.

  20. Profile photo of AwesomeDad AwesomeDad says:

    The problem I see is that you call some of these anti-vaxxers, celebrities. I hate saying it, but those who idolize and look up to McCarthy and Cavilari might do so out of some sort of Darwinian culling. I’m sure they themselves are vaccinated, but, due to some natural phenomena, nature sees fit that their poor genetic material won’t be carried on and the easiest way that happens is for them to make uninformed and asinine decisions like not vaccinating their progeny.

  21. Profile photo of Erin Erin says:

    Vaccines are the biggest medical breakthrough since penicillin. Only non-educated, self-righteous & self-absorbed individuals of our ‘me-first’ generation would dare risk the lives of their own children and the entire population because they BELIEVE that autism is caused by vaccines. I don’t care what you believe, I care what can be proven with facts. There has n-e-v-e-r been a proven link between autism and vaccines. What has been proven is that vaccines protect people from deadly diseases.
    People that choose to not vaccinate should be held accountable for the fall out. And be segregated from the rest of the population – like a leper colony.

    • Profile photo of Allison Allison says:

      All the people I know who were not vaccinated are children of the past generation-not the current. So please don’t make it a generational thing. A fair amount of parents from the 70’s chose against it and lots of parents from the 80’s and 90’s also chose against it. This is nothing new. It’s only getting more public discussion now because of the “autism-link” that has technically not been proven!

  22. Profile photo of Tammy Tammy says:

    I think the benefits outweigh the risks. My firstborn is 13 now and he has Autism…my second child, who is 3 has been vaccinated…she has no signs of Autism. I am not letting a possible chance of Autism stop me from protecting my child from a potentially deadly disease….Autism is not so god-awful that I would be willing to expose my child to an actual illness…it is not a death sentence. I personally have had my recommended boosters as well…again, the benefits outweigh the risks. For those who are talking about all the awful stuff in vaccines, I agree with you, however, how much ‘junk’ is in the foods you eat every single day…most of what you buy in the grocery store has at least some gmo items in it…not to mention all the insecticides, pesticides, and other dangerous substances our food is exposed to….I have always stood by, and will continue to stand by vaccinating my kids.

  23. Profile photo of kathryn kathryn says:

    Thank you everyday family for giving me a reason to delete this page!

  24. Profile photo of Tanya Tanya says:

    I am soon to be giving birth to my first child, and as a massage therapist who has worked with chiropractors and D.O.’s, I am more inclined to choose the natural way for things. I am planning a waterbirth with this baby, rarely take medication at all even OTC, and I didn’t get a flu shot during pregnancy despite recommendations to do so (and never got the flu either). Most of the people I have worked for have chosen not to vaccinate their children without any negative outcomes. I have, however, helped to treat a young girl who was perfectly healthy until she got an HPV vaccine and began to suffer from severe seizures. Luckily with massage, chiropractic, and acupuncture, she got better. Anyway, I recently was introduced to Homeoprophylaxis, a safe and natural vaccine alternative which has been proven in at least one extensive recent study to be more effective than traditional vaccines. I’m wondering if there are any M.D.’s or D.O.’s out there who are knowledgeable about “HP” and willing to post their opinion of it here..?

    My opinion is that it’s win win for all involved. Those of us who do not want traditional vaccines for our kids get protection from diseases for them naturally without side effects and pro-vaccine folks have peace of mind as well. I am against traditional vaccines, however now I am planning to use Homeoprophylaxis for this baby since I now know that there is another option besides simply not vaccinating at all.

    • Profile photo of Peyton PryceAuthor Peyton Pryce says:

      I truly believe the introduction of the HPV vaccine has seriously damaged the “rep” of other vaccinations. It truly saddens my heart that you experienced an interaction with a young girl that had a reaction to the vaccine. As a mother of a young child myself – I want to be able to protect him from anything and everything (realistically I know I can’t do that). Vaccines are not the only thing that a child can take that they can have reactions to. There are things all throughout their life and interactions that can cause them harm.

  25. Profile photo of Jenny Jenny says:

    Also forgot to mention that most adults who were vaccinated as children do not get the recommended booster shots.
    Those of you who point the finger at non vaxers…… Are you up to date on your booster shots?? Lastly, research the ingredients used in vaccines. They use known neuro toxins, antibiotics, cow blood serum, aborted fetal tissue, chicken embryo and monkey kidney cells, mercury, and aluminum just to name a few. Does any of that seem healthy ??

    • Profile photo of jej03 jej03 says:

      Does any of the fake ingredients in sodas, chips, candy, junk food, and heck, even the pesticides/insecticides on fruits & vegetables, and the antibiotics in meats (courtesy not only of injections, but also in the food fed to them) sound healthy to you, too?
      I’ll take my chances with the vaccines rather than have my child die of whooping cough or measles, thank you very much.

      I just can’t get over how ignorant some people can be. Would you seriously not take a cancer-killing vaccination if it had monkey kidney cells and aluminum in it? You’d really rather die of cancer than take a vaccination from it? That is how stupid your argument is.

      • Profile photo of Jenny Jenny says:

        No they don’t. Maybe you feed you children that stuff, but I do not and it is ignorant on your part to assume that I do. We eat organic, whole foods. Again, people aren’t dying from whooping cough or measels. Yes they used to, but there have been no reported deaths recently. However, there have been hundreds(probably more like thousands) of reported deaths and brain damage caused by vaccines. Go on the Vaers website and see the horrors that vaccines cause. If you are not familiar with the site, then you obviously have not researched the topic thoroughly and are just another sheep following the almighty profit seekers (pharmaceutical companies)word. If you paid attention to what I said, I did not say I was anti-vax, I am cautious. My 8 yr old is fully vaccinated and my 4 yr old is on a delayed schedule. I was only giving reasons, based on extensive reading for the past 9 years, as to why some people choose not to vaccinate. Unlike you, I do not pass judgement on others regarding their choice to vaccinate. It is a personal decision that each parent has to make for their own children.

        • Profile photo of Jenny Jenny says:

          Did not mean whooping cough, was reading what you posted while typing. There have been infant deaths from whooping cough, but we do not know that it was caused by unvaccinated children or adults who did not recieve their booster shot. There is no way of telling but of course some will speculate and blame anti vax parents.

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