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Vaccines

vaccines

It is, and always has been, very easy for me to go against the conventional wisdom that society has to offer. The “question authority” button that was very popular when I was in high school (I didn’t wear one) appealed to me greatly.  I have most often taken the road less travelled in a relaxed and peaceful way.

When it came time to be an adult and get married, my wife and I got hitched at a drive through wedding chapel in Las Vegas. We also had two beautiful home births that produced Ida and Reggie, my ridiculously cute and amusing children. Choosing a home birth was a no brainer for us. We had good emotional support and were on the same page all the way.

When we started reading more about birth and the medical process we were startled by the recommendations for vaccination. I am not exactly sure how many vaccines I received when I was born in 1963 but here is the current protocol.

The Center for Disease Control recommends 26 doses of 9 vaccines by the first birthday, 48 doses of 14 vaccines by age 6, and 70 doses of 16 vaccines by age 18. Most kids are vaccinated within 12 hours of leaving the womb.

At birth a baby is immediately given a goop in the eye that protects against a sexually transmitted disease that the mother has likely been tested for during the course of pregnancy. A shot is administered in the thigh that acts as a clotting agent as the body doesn’t naturally begin clotting for a week, and boys are routinely circumcised before leaving the hospital. And it is suggested that parents administer the first of three doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine before checking out.

I am not sitting in judgment of the decisions people make when it comes to their health and the health of their family. I respect whatever choice someone needs to make but I often wonder how informed many of our choices are.

As far as I know I have never had the flu. I have also never had a flu shot. I can’t imagine that I will ever have one. I don’t become ill much and don’t consider it a terrible thing to get sick. When I do get a cold I don’t take anything for it. I let the process play out and am healed in due time.

I am not going to go through the vaccine schedule one by one but I will simply point out the second vaccine following Hepatitis B, is for rotavirus.

Here is a description of its effects:

In some cases severe dehydration and (rarely) death can occur. Some infants (especially under 3 months) with rotavirus infection may not show any symptoms. Symptoms usually appear between 1 and 3 days (commonly 2 days) after being exposed to the virus. The majority of otherwise healthy people infected with rotavirus, experience illness for 4 to 6 days and recover fully. Rotavirus infections occur more commonly in winter.

This is a disease the affects developing countries more than developed countries and it is rarely fatal. If a child were to get the disease, which I wouldn’t wish on anyone, they would most likely heal and then have a natural immunization for life that would never need a booster. Maybe this is a vaccine that is more necessary than I realize but I can objectively say that it seems like a risk worth taking based on a not very scientific observation.

Call me crazy but I fear disease prevention more than I fear disease. Thirty years from now I think we will be an over-vaccinated society with compromised immune systems that were not forced to work to develop strength. But what do I know? My problem is an intuitive one since I go with my gut way more than anything else and something tells me that the motives for all of these vaccines are misplaced.

Change Your Shoes Often
Sunday Morning Music: Roxy Music

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