Edited to add: I wrote this back in 2007. I have since come a long way regarding vaccinations. Therefore, I feel it’s my duty to link to this update. I am now militantly pro-vaccine. I find Jenny McCarthy to be dangerous and awful for what she has done. I went on to have three children, ALL of whom have been vaccinated. If I had my way, I’d make it mandatory. There you have it.
Jenny McCarthy has been popping up everywhere lately. I have seen her on several talk shows and then this week she was on Larry King Live promoting her new book Louder Than Words. The book is about her son’s autism and how she basically put it into remission.
I know what some people are going to think after reading this post. Some folks are going to think, “Oh great, Michele has gone off the deep end. She’s become a full blown freak, willing to put her son’s health at risk over a bunch of speculation.” I say, why stop now? I love getting hate mail! No, seriously, I’m not making irrational decisions or doing anything over-the-top at all. I’m merely thinking about my options at this point because the whole vaccination situation has me concerned. For example, right now, I’m very wary of injecting my son with any vaccination containing thermisol or any other potentially damaging preservative commonly found in vaccinations. Hell, I’m even frightened to inject him with a virus as minute as it may be. I worked my ass off during my entire pregnancy to make sure he didn’t come in contact with anything that could potentially harm him. And I don’t intend to throw that all away now. Perhaps, had I given birth to a daughter, I wouldn’t be as concerned. (Males are three times more likely to be diagnosed with autism. Folks who believe vaccinations are the culprit think that’s because estrogen protects a child better than testosterone.)
(From CDC Web site).
“Currently, CDC recommends vaccination against 12 vaccine-preventable diseases. Because some of these vaccines have to be administered more than once, a child may receive up to 23 shots by the time he or she is 2 years of age. Depending on the timing, a child might receive up to six shots during one visit to the doctor.”
That’s a lot of vaccinations/boosters to administer to our most vulnerable.
I am left with a hundred questions. Is a 2-year-old’s immune system able to handle that many vaccinations? And when they combine them, can that bring out unforeseen side effects? Who’s to say what happens to a child’s immune system when confronted with a combined vaccination or a single one for that matter? Can we safely say that each vaccination is going to affect every child the same way? Because until they can absolutely guarantee that, I will question the governments requests.
Statistics show that most vaccinations are perfectly safe for most children. And I realize that vaccinations are there to protect our children from life-threatening illnesses. I’m not saying that we won’t vaccinate Emory. But I want to ask my pediatrician the right questions when and if that time comes for us. I don’t want to walk blindly into this, agree to everything just because our government says I should. (A week ago, that’s exactly what I would have done.) Also, just because it’s statistically safe for most children doesn’t mean that it’s going to be safe for mine.
Tobyjoe and I aren’t stupid. We won’t deprive Emory from what he needs. But the United States vaccination process has me concerned. We just want what’s best for our child. We want to make the correct decisions for him. And, if for some reason they do eventually link autism (or any other neurological deficit) to vaccinations, I will never, ever be able to forgive myself.
And so it begins. Tobyjoe and I have exactly one year to research the living hell out of the vaccination situation. And I can only hope that before our time comes things will feel safer. And people like Jenny McCarthy are helping this along. Perhaps by the time we have to face the inevitable, they’ll have figured out why autism is so prevalent in our culture today. (Currently, 1 in every 150 children have autism in the United States. That sounds like an epidemic to me.)
And who knows, maybe by then they’ll have a vaccination for autism.