There is a very compelling “other side” to the vaccine story. I’ll have another book recommendation for you shortly (one that I am reading), and a multi-part blog series on the topic.
The most helpful book I read as a young mom, making tough decisions, was Randall Neustadter’s The Vaccine Guide. I like it because it goes through each vaccine and covers what is known about its ingredients and risks. It covers research you won’t get from JAMA or any APA-endorsed publication, including studies in other first-world countries where vaccine protocols are more fluid and very different from ours. Countries where medical practice is more sensitive to whether those protocols are actually working.
I am MOST concerned about the DPT shot. I’d throw myself on the railroad tracks over that one, to avoid my infant or small child getting it. (My children were not in day care, also minimizing risk.) DPT has legion complaints to the Vaccine Administration (and of course, the VA doesn’t even accept your complaint if it happened more than 48 hours after the shot was administered, even if it’s infant death). DPT’s risks are frightening, especially for a kid with an auto-immune problem (like asthma).
I am LEAST concerned about a tetanus shot (if you can get it alone, without thimerosol), since it actually works and doesn’t have lots of fatal or debilitating side effects documented. Of course, only 50 people die of tetanus annually, and virtually all of them are over 50 years of age. So I’m not racing to the pediatrician’s office to get it, either.
The way babies are immunized today is not the only true path to disease prevention. Children are being given more shots, earlier, than ever before. I am entirely unconvinced that this is in the best interests of our babies’ health.