Five Quick Vaccine Tips
If you're brand new to this issue and don't know where to begin, consider these five steps first:
Take the quiz HERE. It's short... just ten true false or multiple choice questions. How did you do? If you were surprised or troubled by any of the answers, it might provide some guidance on where to explore next.
Second, what shots does your child have in his future? If your doctor insists on adhering to the recommended schedule put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), then you'll want to check out one of these three schedules:
As you get started, there are many excellent resources on the internet. Here are some of my favorites:
The first three sites offer a context of overall wellness and parenting information, as well as excellent vaccine-specific articles. Just type "vaccines" in the search box and you'll be on your way. As "America's vaccine safety watchdog," NVIC's website is the most balanced and comprehensive. Bookmark it. You'll return to it, time and again. Generation Rescue connects the dots for parents who link vaccines to their children's chronic illness and neurological impairments. GR offers, in equal measure, scientific scrutiny, a national parent support network, and the celebrity clout and wattage of Team Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey. If you can follow the technical lingo, Inside Vaccines will probably scare your socks off. Start with the individual vaccine write-ups and some of the recent posts. Think Twice Global Vaccine Institute's website is clean, clear and thoughtful. I suggest you begin with their Frequently Asked Questions.
Gary Null and Manette Loudon's film is as much about vaccines as it is about autism. You will hear from the world's leading vaccine safety experts, both professionals and activists. But you'll get a view that's unlike anything you have seen before. It's intimate and unflinching. You will also follow the autism saga through the eyes of affected families, from diagnosis to recovery. This is arguably the leading controversy of our time. You do not have to believe that vaccines cause autism to find it gripping and compelling. Watch it.
DPT Vaccine Roulette is an Emmy-award winning documentary by reporter Lea Thompson filmed in April 1982. Yup... it's a 27-year old program. After you see it, you'll understand why it's on my list. This is when Americans were first told, on national TV, that vaccines could kill or permanently brain injure their children. The debate, the tragedy, the rancor, the controversy and the confusion are still with us nearly three decades later.
If you collected good vaccine books, your pile would reach from floor to ceiling. Their purchase would represent the best of intentions, but trust me, you'll never read them all. The following four books are worth buying and having in your library. You'll read some of the chapters now and you'll use the books as reference guides in the future.
If you want to hear from a pediatrician's pediatrician, read the words of Robert Mendelsohn, MD. He practiced for over thirty years. He was, among his many other honors and awards, hand-selected by President Lyndon Johnson to be the national director of Project Head Start. Mendelsohn appeared on over five hundred television and radio talk shows to tell parents that, coupled with encouragement and very basic medical advice, their intuition would serve them better than most doctors. He called himself a medical heretic.
Aviva Jill Romm, MD was not a medical doctor when she wrote her vaccine book in 2001. She was a certified professional midwife and practicing herbalist. She felt that her voice was not being heard, so she went to medical school!
Neil Z. Miller is an American medical research journalist and a natural health advocate. Miller is the director of Think Twice Global Vaccine Institute and has be writing about vaccines for over fifteen years. His latest book was published in 2008.
Harris Coulter, MD and Barbara Loe Fisher are an indomitable pair. Their iconic book is about the pertussis vaccine and it's still as relevant today as it was when it was published in 1986. While you're reading the book, mentally substitute nearly any vaccine on the childhood schedule and you wouldn't be far off the mark. This book tells the story of every vaccine given to our children today.
A final tip
Don't expect to understand everything right away. Take in the big picture details. It gets easier. After you've had a chance to digest this material, you'll be ready for our More Support page on how to think about your vaccination choices.