Vaccines – General: Vaccination Choices
Updated November 2011
By Becky Estepp
First and foremost, I am not a doctor. This cannot be considered medical advice. I am a mom who believes that her son’s condition was due to the vaccines he received as an infant.
The choice to vaccinate, delay vaccination, or not vaccinate is very personal. It is a decision you should not make lightly. Research the evidence. Come to a decision that is right for your family. Here are three options you can choose regarding vaccination:
- Vaccinate according to the American Academy of Pediatrics Schedule. Many people in the autism community feel that the current schedule requires children to receive too many vaccines too soon. The current schedule requires thirty-six vaccines by the time a child is 6 years old. The majority of these vaccines are given to children by the age of fifteen months. In comparison, in 1983 children received ten vaccines in the same time frame. Personally, I think we are over vaccinating children and that their immune system is being “shut down” at an early age causing a whole host of problems from autism to allergies to ADHD.
- Spread out or delay vaccine schedule. It is important to point out that TACA is not anti-vaccine. We are for safe vaccinations. One way to make vaccines safer is to spread out them out over time. Don't overwhelm your child's immune system by giving several vaccines in one day. Read our Vaccination Choices for Families With Autism page. (put a link when page is up.)
- Not vaccinate. This is your choice as a parent. And this is not a choice to be taken lightly. However, if you are from a family that is already dealing with autism, this might be an option to consider. Forty-eight out of the 50 states have vaccine exemptions, which means your child can attend public school without being vaccinated. Read out about your state’s exemptions. Many school districts will make you believe that an unvaccinated child can not attend public school, but that is simply untrue in most cases. There is a waiver for parents to sign in order for an unvaccinated child to attend public school. If there is an outbreak of a disease your child is not vaccinated for, your child will be asked to stay home until the outbreak is over. My husband and I decided not to vaccinate our youngest son. His older brother was diagnosed with autism when he was an infant. After reading the evidence between autism and vaccines, we decided not to risk his health by vaccinating him. After all, we rather deal with the worst case of mumps or chicken pox than autism.
There are three great books that are published regarding this subject. Please consider reading Dr. Stephanie Cave’s book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Your Children’s Vaccinations, David Kirby’s Evidence of Harm, or Dr. Bob Sears’ The Vaccine Book.
Here are my two last thoughts. If your family has autoimmune issues (asthma, allergies, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, etc.) please be careful. This may be the genetic susceptibility that puts your child at risk for a vaccine reaction. A good analogy is “genes load the gun but the environment (vaccines?) pulls the trigger.” And lastly, if your pediatric practice threatens to kick you out because you are not following the vaccine schedule, it is time to find a new practice.