Vaccinating our Children… (See Chronicles 7-20)
A Reader’s Response
(Please note that the tone of this email is not meant to be defensive, offensive or critical. I am simply sharing my view.)
I came across a question a reader asked you and your answer, concerning vaccinating children against chicken pox. Your response was that the reader was “misguided” by those who say that it’s better for their children to actually contract the disease rather than receiving the inoculation.
First of all, to say that this is misguided is pretty harsh since there are many responsible parents out there, myself included, who will claim the exact same thing about those who do choose to vaccinate their child/ren. At the very least, you can say that you are of the personal opinion that vaccines are indeed the safer way to go but not that it is written in stone. People who read your column trust your opinion and it upsets me that you didn’t even bother to mention that there is anther side to the story.
I know what the medical establishment says – I’ve done my fair share of reading – yet I take the liberty of making my choice based on other things I’ve read and studied. I do not encourage other parents I speak with one way or another — I would not take responsibility for that. Rather, I tell them to do their research. Read, ask and understand before you make a decision.
I would end here because the above is the point I wanted to make but I will share with you, in general, why I chose to not vaccinate.
1) We, in our society, tend to think of the medical establishment as a group who does research and has the answers about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. This is not always the case. In the best scenario the research has been done, and over a long period of time the vaccine has been shown to be “safe.” This means it hasn’t caused obvious dire side effects and not too many kids were harmed. Lately, this has not been the case. Pharmaceutical companies are rushing to come out with new vaccines all the time. These vaccines have been studied for only a very short period and we don’t yet know how the receivers react. Sometimes, we find out the hard way. There is much controversy, even in the medical establishment, of recent vaccines such as the H1N1, Gardasil, influenza, etc. There have been countries that have banned them due to the danger they pose.
2) Whereas when I was a kid there were a handful of inoculations that we received, by now children are being overloaded with them. They start when the children are barely a day old (Hep B) and keep pummeling their small bodies with foreign substances that end up compromising their immune systems. They need to become accustomed to all kinds of germs naturally to strengthen their systems. And let’s not forget about all the additives that are put in with the vaccine. Mercury (at lease that’s been mostly removed), aluminum, formaldehyde… the list goes on.
3) Many of the diseases the doctors try to prevent are not as dangerous as they are made out to be. You mentioned a statistic about children who die from the chicken pox. I am not arguing about the numbers, but one must keep in mind that often those who died of the disease were immunodeficient to begin with. Read, with an open mind, about all those children who have been harmed by the vaccines. How can we justify that? In addition, years later, the doctors discovered that those who have not been naturally protected against chicken pox by actually getting it are much more at risk for shingles, another “scary” disease. (In answer to this, they have come out with a vaccine against shingles…)
There is much more to be said about this, including my views on the matter from the perspective of a homeopath-in-training, but this is not the place. Let’s just say for now that there is much, much more to the subject than what we can imagine, and we need to keep an open mind.
Thank you for taking the time to express your opinion and to elucidate your stance on the controversial issue of immunization. Indeed, the debate on the subject of immunizing our children is an ongoing one, the pros and cons of which would fill many pages. As I had indicated in my response (to which you refer), parents should consult with their physicians about any concerns they may have and we welcome reader opinion.
Notwithstanding your admission (that you’d say the same of those who are pro vaccination), perhaps “misguided” was too critical a term to have been used in the context of this discussion, at least in this forum. Certainly, no offense was meant to anyone who may hold a different view.
Readers can avail themselves of the wide-ranging research and study info on this topic by visiting vaccines.procon.org (a nonprofit organization with no government affiliation).
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About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to email@example.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.
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