BreakPoint Blog

What do we need to know about vaccinations?

Doctors tend to wave off all fears of vaccinations, concerned that ignorant or misled parents will not protect their kids from diseases that don't need to happen.

But there are a variety of vaccine-related fears out there. For example, some parents of autistic children know what they have experienced and are convinced that somehow, directly or indirectly, vaccinations harmed their children. Most disturbingly, voices here and there cry out about the use of aborted fetal cells in vaccines.

The allegations are serious but the evidence is either not decisive or not well known. When should a Christian be satisfied?


Not to worry, Kristin
- when the government is in charge of healthcare, they'll give parents freedom to choose.

And each child will be allowed to ride a unicorn while in the waiting room, too.

(Yup, I'm really on a roll today with sarcasm about Obamacare.)
Informed and Involved
As a new parent, this is an issue I've had to wrestle with over the last nine months of my son's life. I wholeheartedly agree that there are some vaccinations that help ensure we don't have regular outbreaks - polio or whooping cough, for example. But there are a number of other aspects of the current CDC recommendations that don't sit well with me.

For one, giving babies up to 6 vaccinations at once (if following the schedule, a child will receive at least 25 vaccinations by age 2) seems to be an unnecessarily high amount. If the baby has a reaction, it makes it that much harder to know what he or she is responding to, not to mention a lack of long-term research on any effects of multiple vaccinations at the same time.

Second, the type of vaccinations aren't all (in my opinion) necessary, especially at the ages recommended. For instance, the current recommendation is for a newborn to receive their first Hep B vaccine in the hospital. This is an across-the-board recommendation, not one based on the mother actually having the STD and the baby being at risk. Even the WHO only recommends this being given to every child when the overall population with Hep B is greater than 20% - not the case in the US. And don't get me started on the propaganda around the HPV vaccine "one less for cervical cancer" that's recommended for all 12 year old girls. Because the assumption is, of course, that they'll all be sexually active soon and at risk for HPV. Several newer vaccines (chicken pox) were put on the schedule and administered without enough long-term research, and weren't as effective as initially thought. The financial incentives for pharmaceuticals (and insurance companies and doctors, who often get a bonus if all patients are "fully vaccinated") also makes me hesitate. (I haven't done any research into the ethical implication of the fetal cell research yet, but that just makes me even less willing to accept the recommendations without any research, prayer, or common sense on my part.)

There is far too much of a "we'll tell you what's best, you just sign here" attitude with this issue in particular. Several other families we know either had to leave a pediatric practice or weren't accepted in the first place because they weren't by-the-book on vaccines. We were able to find a doctor who has allowed us to postpone some and spread out others, but it's amazing to me how many doctors don't seem to believe it's the parent's right or responsibility to make the final call. And once we start having that attitude for this medical issue, it won't be long before it spreads to how our children are educated, fed, or disciplined.
Personally, I think doubting the efficacy of vaccinations is worse than trusting the efficacy of lottery tickets. We know people win the lottery. We don't know who. We know vaccinations prevent disease. We don't know they cause autism. There's nothing wrong with researching the issues (esp. ethical production of vaccines), but I think - in general - worry arises because our trust is in Chance over Christ.
I'll razz you now, Rolley,...
...lest I knock you late. But(t), I suppose it's your way of pursuing youth with many puns a day, Leon.

Rebekah, you're asking, essentially, if there's a difference between legitimate caution on the one hand, and paranoia and gullibility on the other. And of course there is. It's as foolish to always trust the medical community as it is to never trust it. The only medical person we can always trust is the Great Physician. Otherwise, there's risk in trusting human wisdom - that of the doctors, or your own.

And imagine the guilt and the bitterness that could associate with thinking "If only I had told the doctor 'No.' on that vaccine." Versus, say, accepting what is, while working graciously to investigate and to lobby for changes. Which one is a better witness?
I was going to take a shot at this, butt…
I figured Gina and her YOD might needle little more rest before I start back up with my hype over these controversial topics. (BTW, in that regard, has anyone, since she went on vac, seen Gina around? I thought I might have seen her at the theatre --- I was inna queue late yesterday afternoon buying tickets to the new Broadway production of “The Haunchback of Notre Dame” (sp?), and I could have sworn it was Gina, BICBW*).

But besides affording Gina some additional and well-deserved R&R, I got the novel idea that an exercise in verbal self-restraint would be good for my own psyche as well. (Personally, I’d (humbly of course!), say that’s real ingenuity on my part; yessir, ingenuity!)

So now when tempted to make goofy comments I count to ten, take a deep breath, roll up my sleeves, and very pointedly tell myself, Rolley, as soon as a silly remark comes to mind that you feel the impulse to inject, shun it!

But (sp?) I digress. Bottom line, I’m sure many of you will be happy to know I’m not going to make any jabs or poke fun at anyone or anything this time around. Nosirree, I’m quite determined: I’m sticking to my newfound discipline, even if it hurts!

Besides, I gotta go collect dividends from my Medical Equipment investments. Like I said earlier, “Yes! Syringe annuity!”

*Because I Curiously Began Wincing