The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of excitement in many parenting communities. I belong to several “natural” parenting groups who believe that when it comes to vaccination – mom calls the shots. I personally believe that a selective, delayed schedule is the way to go, which I write all about here. However, this schedule was carefully considered by three doctors and seemed appropriate for me and my family at the time. Every parent needs to talk to their doctor when it comes to vaccines, and decide what’s appropriate for their own family.
Sadly, a senate bill was introduced a few weeks ago that would take away this parental right. SB277 would require all children to be fully vaccinated on schedule in order to attend school and daycare. The bill is being called “draconian”, far reaching and just plain over reaching. There is even a section in the bill that states, “Any other disease deemed appropriate by the department,” which means not only would your child have to be up-to-date on vaccines but also would have to get any new vaccines coming down the pipeline. I will break down the potential problems I see happening if this bill passes, which could be as soon as January 2016. Mostly I’ll focus on the infants, because that’s the area I am most concerned with.
When it came to my babies “well baby” visits, I went to all of them – right on time. At one day, three days, two month, four months, six months, nine months, twelve months, fifteen months and finally two years! That’s nine visits to the doctor in just a little over their first year of life. Not counting the “sick” visits when you call your nurse hot-line freaking out because there are black worms in your babies diaper (aka banana strings) or he has a deadly “cold”! The first year of life you practically live at your doctor’s office. I was extremely fortunate that I could openly discuss my concerns about vaccinations with our doctor. He was ok when I told him I wanted to wait until at least six months before any shots so that our babies had a fully developed blood brain barrier.
Our doctor was the beloved pediatrician in La Jolla, California, Dr. Richard Walls. He sadly passed away recently of a heart attack. Though he left this world early – in his early sixties, he was actually a cancer survivor of over thirty years. He attributed his remission to pursuing holistic, alternative treatments. So when we brought up eastern medicine regarding vaccines and “blood brain barriers” he immediately started talking acupuncture and chi flow. We were so lucky to have logged in so many hours with him during all those visits.
|Bently died on April 10th, 2012 after getting 13 vaccines.|
Here is a very different story I came across recently. A young mother brought her six month old son to the doctor for the first time. She was reluctant to bring him in for any “well baby” visits prior to that because she wanted to delay vaccines until he was a little older and she was afraid that her doctor would pressure her into getting them sooner. Her doctor was immediately put on the defense by this “six-month-old-unvaccinated-infant” and began a plan of action to get him fully-up-to-date on his vaccines. The mother never questioned the doctors plan, which included giving double doses of DTaP, a three-in-one vaccine combo, during their first visit. Tragically, her baby died five days after receiving 13 vaccines. I highly recommended that you read the full story here, because this is something that I see happening all over the country if this senate bill 277 passes.
This is a very complex issue simply because the sheer volume of vaccines on the CDC schedule today. In the 1980’s when I was a baby, there were only three shots. Look at the chart below to see how many there are today. Too many to even count. I actually feel bad for the doctor in the story above. When you are a doctor and you are working with the assumption that vaccines are perfectly safe, it would be a logical conclusion to double up on a few in order to catch up a child. I foresee parents actually demanding this of their doctors if this law passes, simply to ensure that their child will be enrolled in school. Sadly, these children will become real-time experiments of what happens when you start demanding more and more vaccines.
|1983 and 2015 CDC immunization schedules|
I also see the opposite reaction occurring. I see super crunchy moms refusing to take their children to the doctor ever again, denying that child potentially necessary medical care. I happen to know several moms who are so afraid to even bring up vaccines to their child’s doctor that they haven’t been to any check-ups in years. I don’t blame them, either.
Here is the closest to what we did in our family. I say closest because my doctor was ok with me doing a delayed schedule as well as a selective schedule, and Dr. Bob’s selective schedule is pretty close to that. Notice how Polio is not on here (shocker, right?) Neither is chickenpox. Or measles. Certain shots were omitted on the basis of being either benign childhood illnesses or not common in our country.
SB277 throws all this out the window. All the hours I have spent with three pediatricians. All the hours of reading about vaccinations. All the hours of thinking and wondering if I have made the right decisions regarding vaccinations. All these hours are mine. They are special to me. They are my right as a parent to keep. My right as a parent and what I have decided is an essential part of my parenting philosophy. I refuse to let anything or anyone take that away from me. I vote no on SB277. I hope you will vote no too.
For more info on how to stop this bill, visit