Sunday, August 17, 2008

Vaccine debate

OK, here's the deal. My wonderful sister-in-law, Carrie, posted this article on her blog with the title, "Vaccinations - Things to Think About."

I know I'm biased because I never questioned whether I should have Tyler vaccinated, and he is up-to-date on all of his vaccines. I will also admit, I didn't read the entire article (at least not yet). But I did begin writing a loooong comment on Carrie's blog. I decided to post my thoughts here instead of her blog because I don't want my opinion to feel as though it is an attack on Carrie, because it certainly is not. I just realized that I feel passionately about a few things I read.

It is interesting to have a doctor comment on the vaccination debate. For example,

"Before a child reaches the age of two he or she will have received 32 vaccinations...all of them given during the first 12 months of life. Seven vaccines injected into a 13 lb. two-month old infant are equivalent to 70 doses in a 130 lb. adult. "

Yikes. This statement is disconcerting and reminds me of the worry I had whenever Tyler received a vaccination, or 4.

But the good doctor lost me when he made a connection between mental health disorders and vaccines. (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism were identified in his article). As in, I disagree strongly with him. These disorders (like some others) do show a large increase in numbers of those diagnosed. In more than one seminar I've attended, it has been discussed that this change is due to an increase in training in the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders throughout the mental health community. In other words, people had these disorders in the same numbers they do now, they just went undiagnosed or were misdiagnosed. I, personally, doubt that there is a connection between vaccines and ADHD or autism. If there is, I think it is worth the risk in preventing a life-threatening disease.

Then there are things like outbreaks of the measles that, to me, are further evidence that vaccines appear worth the risk. You can follow this article to read more about that, if you didn't hear it already.

OK, I'm now hopping back off of my soap box. :)


Carrie said...

What if some of these neurological issues were not actually autism, but mercury poisioning? Ennnnhhhh????

Carrie said...

Actually, what I think is that some children have genetic aspects that predispose them to reaction to vaccinations, be it autism spectral disorder or something else. I have been more paranoid about this issue because I have boys (higher incidence of autism) and because my dad's side of the family has a high incidence of autoimmune disorders - which is also a possible link to vaccination sensitivities. My type of hypothyroidism is actually autoimmune, too. The MMR and the DPT vaccines are the hottest debates.

Kyle said...

Thank you, I'll be sure to detour thru Kansas to explain the clouds, no problem.

Liz and I laughed so hard when we watched that video of Tyler, hilarious.

Melody Stuckey said...

Good, Kyle! We will get the guest room ready... :)

Carrie - you are definitely more well read than I am about these things. I'm not sure about the autism / mercury poisening - I really don't know. Autism is diagnosed based on symptoms since there is no scientific test to determine what it is. I have heard of cases where there seemed to be a clear link with the vaccine and the child's symptoms. But my guess is that in some situations as parents come to grips with the autism diagnosis, they are looking for someone to blame as they try to understand why them, etc. However, as far as the autoimmune disorders and all the other potential problems his article described - I'm pretty much clueless - and you obviously have heard/read more about those than I have! Thanks for your information!