General Vaccine Information:
We get a lot of questions about vaccines. Vaccines are one of the most important ways you can protect your children from illness. Most of the illnesses that we have vaccines for are making a comeback and some, like pertussis (whooping cough) and measles, are commonplace now. There was a time nearly a decade ago when a single, now debunked, study with fewer than 20 children showed a potential link between vaccines and autism. That study struck fear in the hearts of parents and the medical community alike. Since then the author of that study was found to have made up his data and later had both the study retracted and his license to practice medicine revoked. Since that study, over 30 scientific studies have been done with literally hundreds of thousands of children which completely refuted that association. No one knows what causes autism and it is unlikely to be only one thing but vaccination does not appear to be the culprit.
Other concerns about immune system ‘overload’ have been raised but in actuality, a breastfed infant gets more exposure to foreign antigens breastfeeding every day than in one set of vaccines. Indeed infants who receive their vaccines in groups together have improved immune response compared to infants who receive them one or two at a time and have no significant difference in mild side effects like lumps on the leg, fussiness after vaccination, or mild fever.
Lastly vaccines do not contain ‘poisons’ or ‘toxins’. No longer do vaccines contain thimerosal, a mercury derivative (although it is not one that accumulated in the body like the mercury found in fish). Your body creates more formaldehyde as a natural byproduct of biological processes every day than you will get in a whole series of vaccinations.
One thing we do know is that the diseases that the vaccines prevent are here in the community and can cause significant, severe illness, complications, hospitalizations and rarely death. Vaccines are the safest, most effective means of protecting your child. No vaccine is 100% effective and any vaccine can cause mild side effects like fussiness, fever, or soreness where the shot is given but those side effects are infrequent. Clearly the benefit of vaccination outweighs these minor risks and for these reasons we strongly recommend vaccination of all children of all ages, on the recommended schedule.
We have more information about vaccines in our Wellness Links section.
For specific questions about how our practice handles other vaccine related issues visit our FAQs section.