This morning we had an appointment with our pediatrician to have school paperwork filled out as Valentina will be started preschool three half days a week in the fall. One of the things that we wanted to discuss was her vaccine exemption. Dave has very bad allergies and severe asthma, I have an autoimmune thyroid condition. We have chosen not to vaccinate Valentina because of the potential risk to her health, and we’re very happy and comfortable with that decision.
The recent laws passed in California could change everything for us and millions of other families. According to those laws, there would be very strict criteria for getting a medical exemption – parent’s health alone would not qualify. She would have to have already had a severe negative reaction to a vaccine, or an immune deficiency condition that would render the vaccines ineffective (there may be others but those were the ones cited by the pediatrician this morning). Personal, religious and philosophical exemptions are a thing of the past once that law goes into effect.
Our pediatrician signed our personal exemption form, which will get her into preschool in October without needing to have any vaccines. Next year it might be a different story, but we’re hoping that the law is amended or overturned before then. Certainly there has been a huge outcry about it.
Here’s my overall opinion as a mother, and a doctor who has worked for years treating autistic-spectrum disorders:
I am not going to say what’s right and what’s wrong for any given family (other than my own of course!) – as with most things in life, there are pros and cons to everything. I will admit that vaccines have helped reduce the incidence of certain illnesses such as polio, and that from a public health perspective; they appear to be of benefit to the “herd”.
Like I said, one of my specialties in naturopathic medicine is working with autistic-spectrum disorders. In many years of doing that work, I have heard numerous parents tell me, “doc, our child was developing perfectly normally, and then he had his MMR vaccine and he changed overnight; we lost our child as we knew him”. And from that day, their child exhibited symptoms of autism. Healthy neurotypical children went from happy, affection, verbal kids – to no eye contact, not wanting to be touched, losing all their language, stimming behaviors, and many other signs and symptoms. Other kids don’t have that overnight regression, but many will have hit developmental milestones in their first year, and gradually backslid after that, often correlating with vaccine dates. It is heartbreaking for the families.
For that reason alone, no one can tell me that there is no correlation and no connection at all between vaccines and autism. I’ve been there, I’ve seen it, I’ve treated those kids – so I absolutely do not agree that they are completely unrelated. Do I think all autism is caused by vaccines? No, I don’t. I think autism is a multi-faceted problem, starting with a genetic mutation in the genes that drive methylation, poor nutrient status and food quality, food sensitivities, abundance of toxins in the body, dysbiosis in the gut usually involving Candida and/ or Clostridia overgrowth. There are a lot, a lot, of different factors.
But I can say this with conviction. There have been many kids with autism that I’ve treated, where chelating their heavy metals has made a significant difference. Where do those metals come from? Vaccines. And potentially from their mothers in utero who may have high levels themselves due to amalgam fillings, seafood intake etc. Even as they take mercury out of vaccines (a known neurotoxin), there are still other toxic elements such as aluminum. These function as fillers and preservatives in vaccines.
Could vaccines be safer? If they cleaned up all the other “stuff” in them such as the aluminum, mercury and formaldehyde, yes. If they allowed the vaccines to be given individually and not in batches, yes. The MMR is the one vaccine that I’ve seen cause the most unraveling of kids, and yet it’s near impossible to find separately – measles, mumps and rubella have to be given together, and that’s quite a whammy for a little immune system. If they could offer me single vaccines, preservative free, that I could space out, I wouldn’t feel nearly as concerned about them. I’m not opposed to the concept of vaccination – give the immune system a little bit of a pathogen, so that it mounts a response to it, creating memory cells that would help it to fight better if it encountered that pathogen in the future. I get it, and I see the benefit in that. My issue is all the other toxins that come along with the vaccines, as fillers, preservatives and adjuvants.
At this point, we have chosen not to vaccinate our children. Especially if we have a boy, since boys are four times more likely to have autistic-spectrum disorders than girls. But even with Valentina, I just don’t feel that I can take the risk. We eat clean, organic food, filtered water, unscented cleaning and laundry products – why would I inject known neurotoxins into her?
Law-wise, we’ll see how it plays out next year. It seems insane to me that the government can mandate that I vaccinate my child, or else she will be denied entry into school and denied an education. We want her in preschool and then a local private school. I’m not in a position to homeschool, and as much as I respect home-schooling parents, I don’t want to do it myself. That’s just not where my gifting lies.
I do feel strongly though that the choice to vaccinate or not should stay in the hands of parents and caregivers, not governments. This latest law has really irked me because it’s a sign of increased governmental control in the health care arena. As a mama bear I feel that it’s my responsibility to protect my cub, and it’s my right to make decisions for her health and health care. To hold her education hostage for the government and pharmaceutical companies to get their way just seems wrong to me. What happened to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? What happened to personal freedoms and the right to choose? I guess time will tell.