Vaccines: Spared Us Both … For Now

The pediatrician says Asher is developing beautifully. His weight percentile is back down to 60; it seems all this walking is slimming him down.

I decided to spare both Asher and myself the two shots today. To my great surprise, his immunizations are up to date, except for MMR and Varicella. I’ve decided to delay those two for another 5 to 6 months at least. MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) is the prime suspect for those who believe passionately in vaccine injuries and vaccines as the "cause" of autism. There is a great deal of anecdotal and emotionally-based "evidence" that children are damaged by this particular immunization and were otherwise developing "normally" until the time they received the MMR shot. I do not believe MMR is the cause of autism, but as I have two more years to get Asher those two shots, I don’t feel rushed to do it now while his immune system, language, and social skills are still developing. 

This vaccine issue is so weird. There are evangelists on both sides. It’s a matter of choosing between emotional appeals versus logical appeals, and when it’s your baby it’s hard not to let emotional appeals get to you. I, for one, am glad that Western medicine has tackled and largely eliminated dozens of horrendous childhood diseases. (Now if only our genius scientists could do the same with HIV, Malaria, and Tuberculosis! … Hepatitis, HPV, Herpes … Yes?)

I still say, and firmly believe, that if our precious monsters children are going to be in a school environment in which not every child is fully vaccinated (and some not at all), then we had damned well better be vaccinated! Should a (previously wiped-out but newly resurging) plague ever strike Fair Oaks, we should be safe!

2 Responses to “Vaccines: Spared Us Both … For Now”

  • smiley_t
    September 12, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Having been raised by a doctor and a nurse and then marrying an immunologist, I have many people in my life who strongly believe in vaccination. (In addition, I have treated people with post-polio syndrome and Mark has seen the effects of measles and mumps so we have first hand knowledge of these very icky diseases.) That being said, the vaccines sometimes make me feel a bit apprehensive too. And we’ve decided not to immunize the baby with varicella. We’ll hope for natural immunity with chicken pox. If she doesn’t get chicken pox by the time she’s 12, we’ll get the vaccine.

    At least you don’t have to make the choice about the HPV vaccine. As the mother of a daughter, I’m going to have to weigh the pros and cons for that one. Fortunately I have a few years before I get to that point!


  • sarabellae
    September 15, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Thanks for letting me know how your family is handling this. I’m not convinced the Varicella vaccine is necessary, either. I’m not aware of all the pros and cons of the HPV vaccine. You have time to decide. 🙂


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    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

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