Considerations Before Vaccinating Your Child
By Sarah Axtell, ND • September 15, 2012
I am not anti-vaccination. I am simply in favor of safer vaccinations administered to healthy children over an extended time period. These are not easy decisions, and I encourage parents to become well-informed before making them. Here are some considerations on the topic of vaccines:
Must consider child’s Risk Factors:
- Smoke? Challenges the immune system
- Daycare? Challenges the immune system
- Breastfed? Yes-Protects against Hib (Haemophilous influenza B)
- Current state of health- prior illnesses/GI health- 70% of immune system is based in gut
Must Understand Child’s immune system:
For the first 6 months, babies have nonspecific immunity with little memory. So this is why we have boosters- to remind the immune system that it has seen the pathogen before. Then from about 6 months to a year, we switch to specific immunity, which has memory. So if you prolong your child’s first vaccine to after a year or so, she will not likely need all of the boosters that were required.
Vaccines attempt to artificially push the adaptive/acquired immunity so it is not as long-lasting compared to getting the disease on your own.
- Never vaccinate a child while he/she is sick
- Never vaccinate a child that is not reaching his/her milestones
Why consider an alternative schedule:
- Vaccine campaigns are based on herd immunity. The schedule is not determined by:
- Individual risk factors
- Immune system development and its ability or lack there of to mount an appropriate immune response
- Neurological system development
- Number of vaccines given: In 1983, kids (from birth to 6 years) got 10 vaccines as part of the CDC schedule. Today, they are advised to get between 36 and 38.
- Preservatives and additives: Vaccines contain heavy metals, such as mercury and aluminum. Also, formaldehyde, phenol, antibiotics are added.
- Trigger autoimmune disease. There are 2 main T cells involved in the immune system- Th1 and Th2. In some autoimmune diseases, such as psoriasis, RA, Crohn’s and MS, there s Th1 dominance. In others, such as allergies, UC, lupus and scleroderma, there is a Th2 dominance. Vaccines drive the child into a Th2 dominant state. This is likely due to multiple doses of vaccines challenging the immune system and the added preservatives. It creates an imbalance of the immune system from an early age.
- Delaying vaccines often benefit the immune system. According to recent research, delaying DtaP decreases a child’s risk of asthma. If you delay vaccines until 1 year, you significantly reduce allergies and asthma
- Vaccines are insufficiently studied. All clinical trials only enroll healthy infants and children. There are no studies where sick or “lightly sick’ infants are vaccinated.
If you decide to vaccinate, there are many naturopathic therapies to support your child’s immune system.
- The Vaccine Book by Robert Sears
- What your Doctor may not tell you about Childhood Vaccinations by Dr. Stephanie Cave
- The National Vaccine Information Center (www.nvic.org)
- The Vaccine Guide : Risks and Benefits for Children and Adults by Randall Neustaedter
- The Vaccine Guide : Making an Informed Choice by Randall Neustaedter
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.