Thus far, I have avoided the topic of vaccinations on Eco Child’s Play for several reasons. I am not a doctor, nor would I ever want to pretend that I know more than someone who has gone to medical school. Also, much of the information I know about vaccinations is outdated (like the presence of thimerosal in all of the childhood vaccines). Lastly, my family’s choices have changed over time, from being staunchly opposed to any vaccinations to picking and choosing protection for our children based upon our son’s congenital heart defect. Finally, I feel like there is a straightforward, quality resource for parents in Dr. Sears’ The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child. I wish I would have had this book six years ago, when my first child was born.
The Vaccine Book is divided into 19 chapters. The first 12 chapters are devoted to a different vaccine. Within each vaccine chapter, Dr. Sears discusses:
- What the disease is
- When the vaccine is given
- How the vaccine is made
- What ingredients are in the vaccine
- What are the side effects of the vaccine
- Should you give your baby the vaccine (including both reasons for and against, as well as travel considerations)
- The way Dr. Sears sees it
The last section of each chapter is my favorite, as it cuts to the chase of what I am wanting to know as a parent. “The Way I See It” describes the public and personal health reasons why a parent should or should not consider a vaccine. For example, Dr. Sears writes about the polio vaccine:
Since polio was eradicated from the United States more than twenty years ago and isn’t even found on this half of the planet, it is safe to say that we don’t give this vaccine in order to protect each individual child from catching polio…I consider this vaccine very important from a public health viewpoint. Until the whole world is polio free, ongoing vaccination will help keep our nation protected “from sea to shining sea.”
The remaining chapters of The Vaccine Book discusses combination vaccines, safety research, side effects, ingredients, myths and questions, information for parents who chose to delay or decline vaccines (including Dr. Sears’ selective vaccination schedule), and “What Should You Do Now?” I am very pleased to see that Dr. Sears’ selective vaccination closely matches my family’s choices, with the exception of rotavirus. His advice has matched those of my own pediatrician and doctors, and it is reassuring to have this resource when considering any vaccine for your child.Dr. Robert (Bob) W. Sears is the son of the infamous Dr. William (Bill) Sears, best known for promoting Attachment Parenting. To visit Dr. Bob’s vaccine blog, click here. This blog is updated with recent vaccine news, such as the Merck recall, as well as resources for doctors and families seeking “vaccine-friendly” doctors. There are so many issues involving vaccinations, such as state requirements and the use of animal/human tissue, that Dr. Sears does an amazing job covering the subject. As a friend of mine who is a pediatric nurse practitioner explained to me, “Your child will probably be fine if you vaccinate; your child will probably be fine if you don’t vaccinate.” Of course, this statement applies to children in the United States.