Please see my previously published post on the South African laws on vaccinations / immunizations, here, and my guest post over at I Thought I Knew Mama on Homeopathic Immunizations as Opposed to Orthodox Vaccinations here.
Back when Jesse was just a dream and I was still single, young and naive I read Mary-Anne Shearers book Healthy Kids, The Natural Way and the section on vaccinations made perfect sense to me. For the life of me I cannot find my copy of the book, but I strongly recommend you try and get your hands on a copy (they have only just come back into print) as it is a fantastic read.
Vaccinations are one of the biggest first decisions you need to make with your newborn. If you have a hospital birth, most of the time they do not even consult you on whether you are immunizing your baby or not, they merely administer them whilst they are in the nursery. Even though I highlighted it on every form I filled out, and told every nurse I saw, Jesse was *almost* vaccinated before we could leave the hospital. Vaccinations are unfortunately the norm in hospitals here, and when the nurse brought her box of injections in (after all my insistence that he wouldn't be vaccinated) and I once again replied no thank you, the look on her face was of pure confusion.
Vaccines are not legally required in South Africa, and yet most parents are clueless that they even have a choice. Not only do parents have a choice on whether to vaccinate at all, but they have a choice on whether to delay vaccinations, or on whether to partially vaccinate... only administer vaccinations for a few diseases as they see fit. Most parents have absolutely no idea what is being injected into their newborn babies, as package inserts or lists of ingredients are had to come by. If indeed, you manage to get a glimpse as to what and how vaccinations are made, you will feel sick to your stomach, and more than likely decide to never vaccinate again. If, however this doesn't put you off, and you cannot decide what to do you can always choose to just not vaccinate for today and give yourself some time to make this important decision.
|Illustrating the shocking number of immunizations administered nowadays.|
The biggest factor in my decision is that I do not trust the medical community, just over 100 years ago heroine was offered as a treatment to suppress coughs - now I understand that medical science has developed in leaps and bounds since then, but I believe that any side effects are simply unacceptable when glowing health is achievable through diet, fresh air and exercise.
THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE
“Doctor, I have an ear ache”
2000 BC Here, eat this root
1000 BC That root is heathen, here say this prayer
1805 AD That prayer is superstition, here drink this potion
1940 AD That potion is snake oil, here swallow this pill
1985 AD That pill is ineffective, here take this antibiotic
2012 AD That antibiotic doesn’t work anymore, here eat this root…
It does not sit well with me that vaccinations are fear based, I don’t like how it is a societal norm to try and prevent something that my son hasn’t even been exposed to yet, and may never be exposed to. There are always potential side effects, you never know how your child’s body will react to any foreign bodies it is introduced to. Believe me, I was told many times before leaving the hospital with Jesse, that I my son would die because of my decision to not vaccinate. If the medical community cannot change your mind with farce facts backed by multimillion dollar vaccine producing companies, then they will try and strike fear into a new mothers heart with tales of scary diseases most of which were eradicated before vaccines for them were even discovered.
I understand our governments wishes and need for herd immunity. I understand how much easier it is to manage a health care system based upon preventatives rather than cure, however I do not believe that my family is the target market for vaccinations. We can afford sanitation, clean running water and good pure food. My son is on medical aid and we can afford the best medical care should he ever get sick. Jesse also does not go to daycare which rules out the number one method of contracting childhood diseases, and I intend for him to stay at home with me as long as possible. This has not been an easy decision, especially since I am a single mother, but my family has been supportive and literally supported me enough to remain at home with him.
I wish I could say that I looked at each vaccine individually and considered Jesse's risk of the disease, the vaccines actual ability to prevent it and the risks of the vaccines itself, but I rather looked at them as a whole. I weighed up the pros and cons of vaccinations as a whole and decided that I believe in prevention; by remaining extremely healthy is by far a better alternative than injecting a cocktail of chemicals into my son on a routine basis with the hope that a) he will not suffer from any adverse reactions to them, and b) he will gain some sort of immunity and be better off.
Plus, and a very big plus it is, my son is breastfed. Children who are breastfed do not have difficulties when exposed to the various childhood illnesses and in fact develop stronger immune systems as a result.
We, as parents, are in full control of our children's health. We should not see vaccinations as a free pass that our children will not catch dread diseases, (vaccinations are not 100% foolproof, if at all). There is no reason at all that your child cannot be in impeccable health with a strong immune system designed to fight bugs and viruses with amazing capabilities.
I would love to hear your thoughts on vaccinations, which side of the fence do you stand, or are you somewhere in between, choosing to partially vaccinate?