One Pediatrician’s Perspective

Thoughts on the Flu Vaccine and Vaccines in General

I have come to realize, since finishing my pediatric training, that you can find evidence to support your decision to vaccinate or not to vaccinate.  When I started my pediatric practice fresh out of residency, I was a primary care physician and offered vaccinations to those families who chose to vaccinate their children.  I actually gave the children the vaccines myself (I’m so glad I no longer do that – I truly disliked that part of my job!).  I was also one of the parents who chose to vaccinate my child.  I did educate myself about the pros and cons of vaccines, and felt I still needed to vaccinate Kaitlin (my oldest), but selectively vaccinate and on an alternative schedule (1 vaccine per month).  After the 5th vaccine, her eczema continued to worsen.  I started to have the uncomfortable feeling of having to step further away from what the standard medical community recommended, on behalf of the health of my child. I made the connection that Kaitlin’s eczema would improve if I stopped stimulating her immune system with the vaccines.  In addition to supplementing her with cod liver oil and probiotics daily, I also stopped the vaccinations.  Her eczema resolved and has never returned.  My second child, Elle, has never been vaccinated.

I am often asked my opinions on vaccinations – do I recommend them or not?  Every time I answer with the story above.  There are pros and cons to vaccinations.  As my training in holistic medicine continues, I rest easier NOT vaccinating my children.  My concerns lie beyond the ingredients found in vaccines.  My largest concern is HOW we are stimulating the immune system through subcutaneous and intramuscular injections of vaccines.  Our bodies have built in barriers to defend ourselves from “invaders” protecting us from infection, which are bypassed with vaccine injections.  Let’s look at some of these built in barriers.  Our skin is a mechanical barrier, a first line of defense against infection.  Coughing and sneezing are also mechanical barriers, ejecting pathogens from the respiratory tract.  Our tears and urine flush out intruders, and mucus in our respiratory and gastrointestinal tract traps these microorganisms.  Antibacterial proteins are found in saliva, tears, breast milk, and in secretions from the skin, respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.  Don’t forget about all the healthy bacteria in our intestines – they also defend us by competing with non-beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms for food and space.  Remember to take your daily probiotics! (Source)

There has been a lot of focus on the importance of the annual flu vaccine and in particular this year with the possibility of a swine flu vaccine.  As you can read in myswine flu blog, I have never received a flu vaccine as a medical professional EVER!  Again, for reasons stated above I am choosing NOT to vaccinate.  The flu vaccine, of all the vaccines, is the least effective at preventing its intended disease.  See Dr. Tenpenny’s article for the research that supports this statement.

We have A LOT of decisions as parents to make on behalf of our children.  Please educate yourself when making this decision for your child; see Angelle’s article for lots of helpful websites to get you started.

Regardless of your decision to vaccinate or not to vaccinate, support a healthy immune system for your child.  Supplement with Arctic-D Cod Liver Oil (essential fatty acids with vitamin D3) and probiotics daily.  Be sure to educate yourself about Mucococcinum, the homeopathic way for flu prevention and treatment.



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