Did you know that children today are given 48 different vaccinations by the time that they are five years old? When I was a child, we vaccinated against seven different diseases and currently that number has doubled (and I am not that old)! Childhood immunizations are a controversial and emotional topic for parents, caregivers, and pediatricians with both pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine proponents making many false claims and using fear tactics. I propose a new method including transparency, scientific evidence, and individual consideration. The susceptibility of each child to infection varies, just as each disease, and each vaccine is different as well. I would even argue that the need to support the “herd” immunity is dependant on the particular disease and the vaccination as well.
At every well-child visit, I encourage a discussion on vaccinations, helping parents to understand what is best for their child and for the community. Each vaccine has its own risk of side effects, ingredient list, and schedule. And every disease has its own exposure, treatment (or lack thereof) and, possible complications. And let's not forget that every child is different as well and their immune system, chronological family order, and exposure to a disease all come into play when discussing vaccines and disease risk. For example, the first born child in a household has much less risk of contracting pertussis if they are home with a parent or caregiver, than the third or fourth child in a household who has many older siblings bringing home infectious diseases from school!
And lastly, but certainly not any less important is prevention! Prevention is rarely discussed by providers with parents. A child who has a healthy diet, exercise, fresh air, and a vital working immune system will be healthier and have less risk of developing infection and complications than a child who is immune -compromised due to illness, a parent who smokes, or poor lifestyle habits. This means that if you choose to vaccinate, your healthy child will be more likely to mount an effective response to the vaccine and eliminate the toxins from their body making side effects less likely! And if you choose not to vaccinate, your child will likely mount a much more effective response at fighting the infection if they come in contact with it! There are also supplements such as Vit. A and L-glutamine that also protect your child from vaccine side effects and can maximize your child’s response to the vaccine.
If you or anyone you know are making a decision on whether or not to vaccinate, consider an Individual Vaccine Consultation. Whatever your personal or religious beliefs may be or your medical situation know that The Luna Center for Natural Health will provide you with a safe and respectful place where your questions can be answered and you are free to explore this complex and difficult decision with the guidance of a qualified health professional.