What You Should Know About Vaccinations

We all want the very best for our children and, in these modern times, parents are faced with daunting social issues and health concerns for their little ones. One of these very important yet controversial concerns surrounds immunization. With August bringing revisited attention to the subject as “National Immunization Awareness Month,” it is important to know the facts before making the decision that is best for your family.

Until about 1989, pre-school children received only three vaccines (polio, DPT and MMR). By 1999, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommended a total of 22 vaccines to be given before children reach the first grade — including Hepatitis B, which is given to newborns within the first 24 hours of birth. Many of these vaccines, however, contained a mercury-derived preservative called thimerosal, and in the 1990s approximately 40 million children were injected with mercury-containing vaccines.

The cumulative amount of mercury being given to children in this number of vaccines would be an amount that is 187 times the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) daily exposure limit. In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics and U.S. Public Health Service recommended the removal of mercury-derived thimerosal from most childhood vaccines as a precautionary measure. According to one research study, this change has had a huge impact.

An article in the March 10, 2006 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons shows that since mercury was removed from childhood vaccines, the alarming increase in reported rates of autism and other neurological disorders in children not only stopped, but actually dropped sharply by as much as 35 percent. This is promising news — but it only covers half of the potential dangers posed by current vaccination practices.

As a society, we seem to be concerned about non-compliant families, and thus every newborn is bombarded with vaccines for concerns that pose little risk for the majority. Giving the Hepatitis B vaccine to newborns, for example, is recommended by our health care system which operates based on the general and not specific need. In reality, a mother who is not a Hepatitis B carrier or an intravenous drug user and breastfeeding poses little risk to her newborn for Hepatitis B. The newborn’s first real exposure won’t take place until much later in life. Beyond a blood transfusion, such a risk is really non-existent until his or her later lifestyle places them at risk. Yet, this vaccine is still included as part of a standard immunization schedule, without full knowledge as to the potential long-term effects.

Clearly, more needs to be done to provide education and empowerment to parents, so that they can ascertain the particular needs of their newborn and make educated decisions as to what their particular family requires. They need to be aware that they are the final decision maker in regards to their child’s health and that their child is counting on them to be their advocate when they cannot make informed decisions for themselves.

Parents should know that they need to be informed on the current information and that they have choices such as live virus strains over dead as in the polio vaccine or that they do not have to group vaccinations together. They can request delayed or separate immunizations. It really is up to them and their personal philosophy.

For parents who wish to take a proactive approach in building the health and immunity of their child early and naturally, a combination of Modified Citrus Pectin and modified alginates is a viable alternative. Not only does it qualify as a safe food supplement, but published research has revealed dramatic results in cases of heavy metal toxicity in both children and adults.

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