July 30, 2010 (5:04 pm)

DTaP Vaccine and Whooping Cough Epidemic – What to Do?

topics: Vaccines
by Kristen Suzanne

What do you think about vaccinations, or DTaP in particular with whooping cough (Pertussis) seeing a resurgence? Share your story below.

I stated reading about vaccines even before I became pregnant. It’s not an easy topic, neither the science nor the emotions. So I wanted to have a handle on it before pregnancy. Well, funny thing… I’m learning that with children, you can think you have it all figured out but it can change pretty quickly once your precious little baby is in your arms.

(I’m not a doctor so I’m not prescribing a plan for you in this post. I ALWAYS recommend doing your own research as well as discussing this with your child’s pediatrician so you can make an informed decision.)

The first thing I came to realize is that not all vaccines are the same. Some carry more risk than others. Some protect against diseases with different risks than others. For instance, take Polio… super unlikely but a terrible disease. And then there’s the joke of the vaccine world, Rotavirus… everyone gets this bug when they’re a kid but, LOL, it’s just plain old diarrhea. (The risk is if you get too dehydrated and are a hundred miles from an IV drip, like in Africa.) And some vaccines are simply more effective than others at offering protection. I quickly came to see that, while vaccines have polarized a lot of people (“pro” vs. “anti” vaccine), the reality is just not black-and-white. It’s more complicated.

Most complex of all.. nobody really knows the cumulative risk of loading up on so many vaccines at such an early age. The science is weak here. The current CDC vaccine schedule calls for a lot more vaccines than we adults had when we were kids (and, despite this, I don’t recall many terrible epidemics as a kid).  It also calls for more vaccinations than many other industrialized nations, such as Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. These countries schedule far fewer vaccines… also seemingly without zombie hordes of infected people taking over their little Nordic utopia. And call me cynical, but when the CDC’s advisory committee that writes the schedule has members who are the ones selling the vaccines… well, that’s just dumb.

This brings me to today… there is an outbreak of whooping cough in California. Read More »

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Kristen Suzanne is a Raw food chef and author who blogs about all things green and mommy-related! More...

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