There are many vaccines to research before you make the decision to get them for yourself or your children. Truly, you don't really think about vaccines and the benefits and potential risks associated with receiving vaccines until you have you own children, and have to make more mindful decisions about another person's health. I believe some things are meant to be questioned and understood from your own research and knowledge, including decisions about your heath - I am not a medical professional and am not giving medical advice - but the best option is to always to talk to a doctor that you trust and respect! After loads of research and a lot of discussion with my own pediatrician, here are 7 vaccines to research that I feel are most important for your health and for the health of your kids!
1. Flu Vaccine
One of the vaccines to research is the flu vaccine, because it's one of the only vaccines that still contain mercury (thimerosal). Many pharmaceutical companies administer multiple dose vaccines that contain high levels of mercury (thimerosal) and formaldehyde, which can possibly cause a reaction in otherwise healthy individuals. However, there are flu shots that contain only one dose and do not have thimerosal. If you do decide to get the flu shot, especially if you or others around you would be at serious risk if you came down with the flu, then go with the single dose vaccine that contains no thimerosal.
The Gardasil vaccine, used to prevent HPV and thus decrease the chances of cervical cancer, came out in 2006 targeted to girls between the ages of 9-26 who were or could be sexually active. Close to 90% of all HPV cases resolve on their own, which is something to think about when deciding upon the Gardasil vaccine. Gardasil does contain many toxins and has been attributed to causing unconsciousness, seizures and death in very rare and extreme cases. Here's my own personal Gardisil story: I received this vaccine in 2007 after consulting my then doctor. My current doctor and I believe it to be the cause of my polycystic ovaries - a condition seen almost exclusively in pre-diabetic/diabetic obese women (I am tall and thin). The choice is a personal one and because Gardasil is a newer vaccine, it does take time for the "bugs" to be worked out, so to speak. On a positive note, let's consider the fact that we have a vaccine that can prevent cancer!
MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) is the vaccine the CDC recommends children be given at 12 months of age. MMR contains 3 live virus strains along with higher levels of aluminum, a known neurotoxin. The problem with administering the MMR vaccine before the age of 3 is the increased risk of altering brain development with aluminum and other neurotoxins. A possible alternative, one that I have chosen for my own son, is to wait until your child is older to administer the vaccine - unless there is a local outbreak - and DO NOT agree to receive a booster while pregnant. Pregnancy is the MOST vital and vulnerable stages of human development and heavy metals, such as aluminum and mercury, could alter brain development and lead to developmental delays. It's also a wise choice to limit your intake of certain fish (while pregnant) that have been exposed to higher levels of mercury. Again, this is a personal decision, one you must discuss at length with your own trusted doctor before you make a decision.
4. Hepatitis B
Considering that mothers-to-be are now tested for Hep B before baby is born, I do not understand why babies receive the Hep B vaccine at birth, regardless of whether or not mama is affected. Why pump loads of aluminum and other toxins into a newborn baby's body when it's not needed? That's potentially putting your baby at risk for neurological issues and developmental delays later on. In my opinion, if the mother does not have Hepatitis B, it's best to wait on administering this vaccine when a child's immune system and cognitive abilities are properly developed. Just my two cents, supported by lengthy discussions with my pediatrician.
DTAP is a vaccine that protects against Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (whooping cough). Diptheria is respiratory disease that can cause severe breathing problems, heart failure and death. Tetanus is another scary disease that attacks the nervous system with uncontrollable muscle contractions that can lead to death if left untreated. And pertussis is a respiratory infection that's primarily associated with infants and can be severe and deadly. DTAP is an extremely important vaccine that protects against these life-threatening diseases, and typically it's administered at 2 months of age with several boosters. If you are pregnant, it may be best to wait to receive a booster until after delivery; this is something to discuss with your own ob/gyn. Again, neurological damage can occur in a developing fetus when they are exposed to toxic levels of aluminum and other materials.
6. Varicella Vaccine
Varicella is the chickenpox disease that is extremely common in children (unless of course you received the vaccine like I did) and rarely produces complications. It is unknown but probable that the vaccine can prevent shingles, the adult version of chickenpox, later in life, but would require a booster. Shingles is much more painful and ideally avoided if possible, but again, it's generally not a high risk for healthy adults. It's also good to know that the effectiveness of the Varicella vaccine is extremely high and has very low risk of complications. The CDC recommends this vaccine at one year, but another safe alternative would be to push it out till age 3 or before school admissions.
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is the vaccine that prevents meningitis, pneumonia, epiglottis (a severe sore throat), and blood infections. These diseases are caused by haemophilus influenzae type b bacterium and can be quite life threatening. Particularly meningitis and pneumonia which are dangerous illnesses to gamble with, especially with young children. This is one of those vaccines that would be vital to say yes to. Generally, children are vaccinated at 2 months of age with the HIB vaccine.
The choice to vaccinate - whether fully, partially or not at all - is extremely controversial and people need to realize that it's a personal choice that most people make for what they feel is the best option for themselves and their family! The best thing anyone can do is be informed and educated and to not follow blindly any recommendations without first having your own insight, and several talks with your own doctor. Was this list of vaccines helpful? Would any of you ladies care to share any personal experiences you've had with vaccines?