Since finishing my pediatric training, I have come to realize 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 (one vaccine per month). 
After the 5th vaccine, her eczema continued to worsen. 

I started to have the uncomfortable feeling of having to step outside the lines of what the standard medical community recommended, on behalf of the health of my child. 

I have always been a rule follower, so naturally stepping outside 'the standard of care' was very uncomfortable for me - especially as a physician going against 'my tribe'. But…

I am a mother first and a pediatrician second. This I have never forgotten.

I cannot parent in ways that make me uncomfortable, to make others comfortable. 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 vaccinations.  Her eczema resolved and has never returned.  

I chose as a mom and a pediatrician to stop vaccinating Kaitlin, and never to vaccinate Elle or Addison. These are my decisions. Are there risks?  Sure there are risks. There are risks with EVERYTHING. That's life. All three girls had whooping cough - not fun. Could I have prevented those 2 months of relentless coughing with vaccines? Maybe, maybe not. The family that spread it to our family was fully vaccinated against pertussis.

 

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!

There has been a lot of focus on the importance of the annual flu vaccine. 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 To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate for the research and resources that supports this statement.

We have A LOT of decisions as parents to make on behalf of our children.  Please Make an Informed Vaccine Decision. I understand how public policy has chosen vaccines for public health; but when it comes to inpidual health it falls short in many many ways, because REAL health is beyond the absence of disease. I am not pro or anti-vaccine, I am pro INFORMED choice. Think again - Watch the movie The Greater Good to hear a rational scientific discussion from leading experts. This documentary weaves together the stories of three families whose lives have been forever changed by vaccination. Hear the vaccine debate reframed beyond fear, hype and politics. 
 


 




Resources:

 

Make an Informed Vaccine Decision by Mayer Eisenstein, MD, JD, MPH with Neil Z. Miller

 

 

 


Susan McCreadie, MD is a Holistic Pediatrician and co-founder of get REAL for kids™. She shows parents how to find REAL health for their child, so they can stop treating their child's symptoms and instead find solutions that help their child heal from the inside out. 


 

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