Should We Vaccinate Our Kids?

Youíve all heard the rumors — that childhood vaccines may cause autism and might actually cause more harm than good. This kind of rumor didnít exist back when I was a kid. People were so grateful to actually HAVE vaccines, since my motherís generation lost loved ones or witnessed devastating disability because of diseases like polio, tetanus, and small pox. But things have changed. When I went to vaccinate my baby, other Mommy & Me mothers raised eyebrows. Youíd have thought I was needling my daughter with poison.

Who Started the Autism/Vaccine Rumors?

Where did these rumors come from? Well, they got ignited by an article by Dr. Andrew Wakefield in the well-respected British medical journal Lancet in 1998, which linked the MMR vaccine and autism. Since this article was published, vaccination rates have fallen sharply — in Great Britain they were down to 80 percent in 2004, as reported by CNN.† As a result, measles cases have been on the rise for the first time in many years.

Because of this, many people have taken the leap to think that if one vaccine could cause autism, maybe all of them do. Since then, many have speculated that thimerosal, an additive in many vaccines, may be responsible.

Next: What should parents do?

In Marin County, where I live, choosing not to vaccinate your kids is so common that those of us who do choose to vaccinate may be viewed with skepticism — even derision, even by doctors. (Donít get me started on the lecture I got from an integrative pediatrician about how crazy I am for advocating vaccination and putting own daughter “at risk.” I swear. It’s like I was giving my daughter crack.)

So whatís a mother to do? Well, ignore the rumors, ladies.

It’s All A Hoax

The British Medical Journal just reported that Dr. Andrew Wakefield basically fictionalized the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases informed the 1998 study — and that he did it on purpose. Apparently, the dude was in cahoots with a lawyer who was going to file a high dollar class action suit against vaccine manufacturers, if only he could get some medical proof that they were harmful.

Shame on you, doc.

Shining a light on his dirty laundry may help clear up the controversy, but the crime is that it will probably take decades to undo the damage. Even though Lancet has since retracted the article, and the study co-authors have taken their names off it — the damage is done. There are many who firmly believe that the MMR vaccine caused their childís autism — or that the MMR might harm their child if they got it.

What Does The CDC Say?

Hereís what the Center For Disease Controlís website summarizes:

Recent estimates from the CDCís Autism Developmental Disabilities Monitoring network found that about 1 in 150 children have ASD. This estimate is higher than estimates from the early 1990s. Some people believe increased exposure to thimerosal (from the addition of important new vaccines recommended for children) explains the higher prevalence in recent years. However, evidence from several studies examining trends in vaccine use and changes in autism frequency does not support such an association. Furthermore, a scientific review (LINK to ) by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that “the evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines an autism.” CDC supports the IOM conclusion.

What I Believe

Personally, I vaccinate my daughter. God forbid she was ever to be hospitalized — or even worse, disabled or killed — by an infectious disease that would likely have been prevented by vaccination. I could never live with myself if that happened. This comes as a surprise to many because I spent the past two years practicing as an integrative medicine physician, emphasizing natural and preventative solutions to whole health. When people found out I vaccinated my daughter, many were shocked because itís ďunnatural.Ē Well, getting infectious diseases is natural. Dying is natural. But I sure as hell donít want to watch my daughter go through that natural process.

Do You Vaccinate Your Kids?

What about you? What do you believe? Do you keep your kids on the schedule the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends? Or are you choosing to skip certain vaccines or avoid them altogether? What are your concerns? What are your thoughts about this? Iíd love to hear them!

Related Links:
To Vaccinate Your Teenager, Or Not?
Do Toxins Cause Autism?


Arunee A.
Arunee A.4 years ago

Based on my research, I have arrived at the inevitable conclusion that vaccination is an organised criminal enterprise dressed up as disease prevention. There is NO WAY I would let anyone with a vaccine come near me or any child of mine.

Check out the Vaccination Information Network (VINE) on Facebook for more information.

Arunee A.
Arunee A.4 years ago

Based on my research, I have arrived at the inevitable conclusion that vaccination is an organised criminal enterprise dressed up as disease prevention. There is NO WAY I would let anyone with a vaccine come near me or any child of mine.

Check out the Vaccination Information Network (VINE) on Facebook for more information.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

Thanks for the info

Maggie Obrien
Maggie Obrien4 years ago


Ss L.
sheila l.5 years ago

I think it is necessary but vaccinate them over a length of time; not all at once. It can be a shock to the system.

colleen prinssen
colleen p.5 years ago

there are people who don't vaccinate for religious reasons. some of how you make them violate hygine codes, cause suffering of other beings. and are made out of nasty icky things
and are used to replace faith.

people want freedom of choise and religion
people want health and safety

wait? what about breeding sickness resistant humans? now we will breed ourselves into failure.

Aza D.
Aza Dinca5 years ago

shame on YOU, dr Rankin.
I have always loved your articles, your open-mimdednes, your tolerance, I even devoured your book, which I would make compulsory reading in schools. But I was si disappointed by your stand on the vaccine issue, in particular on Dr Wakefield's case. How could you actually judge him before your knew all the details. I strongly urge you to read his just published book "The Callous Disregard | Autism and Vaccines - The Truth Behind a Tragedy". Then please make uo your own mind.
Firstly, most people have no idea that Dr Wakefield was NOT agaisnt vaccines,but pro SAFE vaccines. This was carefully kept unknown by a well-orchestared defamation campaign against him. It was not juust big pharma, it was political.
People, wake up, political and financial agendas are more important to governments than you children's safet. How well they knew, oh so many times, that certain vaccinmes were not safe, that not enough tests had been carried out, and they callously agreed to mass experimentation on our kids. Just read a history of 20th century vacination in western countries, and you will see. Why do you think the US government actually compensates vaccine-dmaged chilndren?
It is not a metter of pro or con vaccines, but rather a matter of SAFETY of certain vaccines and protocols. Had you known the actual reasons for choosing certain vaccines or protocols, you wouldn't be able to sleep at night.
Do question the frightening and brain washing official campaings.

jane richmond
jane richmond5 years ago

Each must choose their own way

Barbara L.
Barbara L.5 years ago

I have just read more about the deaths of children in California from Pertussis. Any parent has the right to NOT have their child vaccinated. Should that right lead to the deaths of other children, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Not all children in today's AIDS crisis can be immunized. They depend on herd immunity. Condemning them to death , should be punished in the same way as if someone knowingly fired a gun. Newborns are not always protected. THEY depend on herd immunity.Also, treatment for recovery is expensive. Making the decision NOT to vaccinate, should mean automatic refusal to treat if infected. I am 65. As a child I had friends infected with, and crippled by polio. My younger sister was born with multiple handicaps because my mom contracted German Measles early in her pregnancy. She is now 60. Living with the same lack of quality of life as she has always had. She has an aging family and none to care for her. Why would any sane person wish this on their child? Again, people who make this decision are free to do so. They should sign an informed consent form and be willing to take and suffer the consequences.

Mit W.
Mit Wes5 years ago

Sorry Sharon. The over 200 year history of vaccines is full of case histories, from smallpox on, of vaccines being the agent of regional eradication (and, in the case of smallpox, planetary eradication), of their targeted diseases. And, as proof from the control side of the scientific method, unwittingly provided by anti-caccination groups themselves, when vaccine usage declined in a region, such as England, Oregon, Nigera, Pakistan, the targeted diseases upsurged, to the detriment and deaths of the children involved.

Dr. Shiva Chopra touches upon the disgust factor of the materials used to make vaccines (others have used terms such as filthy, unnatural, etc). No one denies that these materials are used. But disgust and actually harmful in the quantities administered are two quite different things. Also, it's really hard to culture some of these pathogens outside the human body and to do so in a medium that will not produce actual harm in the quantities to be administered and do so in the quantities of the pathogen itself that will be needed on a production basis. So if a material fits the above bill, disgusting or not, so be it.