More research please
I’m often asked if I think vaccines caused my son’s autism. He received his first vaccination at two weeks old and his last shots at six months of age. I’ve asked myself this question many times and at this moment I don’t have an emphatic answer either way. For now, I remain open to the possibility that the vaccines he received contributed to his immune system and neurological dysfunction. For me, there are just too many unanswered questions. For example, he received his first Hepatitis B vaccine at two weeks of age. Is it possible his immune system wasn’t mature enough to handle multiple vaccines at such an early age? Why NOT consider delaying the vaccine schedule? Are there chemicals in the vaccines that trigger a negative result to either the neurological system or immune system? I’m not only asking about Thimerosol, there are many other ingredients in vaccines that I question. Is there a genetic factor involved that predisposes a child to susceptibility for vaccine injury?
As a result of not having clear, accurate answers to the above questions, my husband and I chose not to vaccinate our second child. He’s now five years old and developing beautifully. We were not willing to take the risk that the vaccines could cause damage.
Please don’t mistake my personal choices concerning vaccines as a recommendation for anyone else not to vaccinate. I invite parents to investigate, do their own research, ask lots of questions and decide for themselves what decision feels right for them and their child. Vaccinating a child is a VERY personal decision. As a parent I want more accurate information and less politics, posturing and blaming. Do I believe there is a public health risk if more and more parents choose not to vaccinate their child or alternatively slow the schedule way down? Yes. But, perhaps this is what is necessary to motivate the makers of vaccines to conduct ethically sound research that validates the safety of vaccines and if the research shows they are not safe then please clean them up!!
Pharmaceutical companies fund many research studies, which I believe introduces a potential conflict of interest. Please tell me where I’m wrong. Cleaning up vaccines is expensive. I question the motivation and validity of a study funded by a company that relies on revenue from the very product that would be affected. Then there are studies that are funded by anti-vaccine interest groups; the same could be said about their attachment to the outcome. I often see the debate quickly turning ugly when new study results are released to the public. There is intense energy spent on finger pointing, accusations, attacks on reputations, defending the old school system, control struggles and protecting egos. Fierce resistance on both sides ensues. Where does that lead? From my perspective resistance leads to more resistance not solutions. So, is it possible for the two sides of this conundrum to respectfully collaborate and address the problem with creativity and no attachment to the outcome except finding the truth? I’d like to believe it’s possible. It takes leadership that leads without force and ignites the desire for truth.
I recognize the controversy gets hot in many communities and conversations with pediatricians can get tricky. I want credible, independent, scientific research studies funded by institutions that do not have any attachment to the outcome and will not benefit financially either way from the research results. Is that possible? When I say this to friends and family I get the look saying, “Are you delusional? Do you not understand how political this issue is?” Why does it have to be about politics rather than finding the truth to make sure the vaccines are safe for kids? Maybe I am delusional; I never claimed not to be. But that’s not the issue I’m discussing here.
Am I passionate about this issue? You bet. Do I have hope there will be a solution? Yes, there is a path to the truth. Do I know how to get there? Not yet, but I’m thinking, I’m thinking. I have a hunch it won’t be with all the negative energy I’ve observed from both sides. Perhaps if that negative energy could be turned towards collaboration and the quest for truth, then the answers would rise to the surface. Hmmmm, perhaps I am a bit delusional but I’m not giving up on the dream that the truth can be found. The answers reveal themselves when we keep digging and digging with the questions.
I’d love to hear your comments and ideas.