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I'm sure she is lovely and funny, but...yes, I am going to comment on the whole vaccination thing. I don't really care how other people choose to make / feed / deliver their babies, I am extremely into freedom of choice in ALL aspects of these things and I don't ever judge anyone for their choices (why do people get so hectic about whether other people breastfeed or have C-sections? I just don't get it). BUT I do feel very strongly about the vaccination thing for a bunch of reasons:
- People who choose not to vaccinate their children are riding on the backs of the herd that has been vaccinated. I vaccinate my child, you vaccinate your child etc, so that she doesn't have to because, hey, the risk of those diseases is so low! WHY is the risk low? Because all of OUR kids have been vaccinated!!
- It is a social and moral crime not to vaccinate your children because you endanger the lives of ALL children (not just your own). Children may be too young to have been vaccinated. Also, the protection against a disease is only as strong as the population's immunity. The more people don't get vaccinated, the more likely that diseases will recur (look at measles outbreaks in UK). If vaccinations are only, say 98% effective (such as the measles vaccination), when fewer people are vaccinated, the overall immunity of the population decreases, diseases make a come-back and everyone's risk increases (even those who have had vaccinations). It's the strength of the GROUP that counts
- No person who has actually SEEN someone die of tetanus would be okay with the risk of their child dying like that
- If granola's child actually did get a horrible disease (God forbid) like measles or tetanus, I wonder where she will rush her children for treatment: the homeopath, the herbalist, the support group that she buddies with, the doula who delivered her baby by water birth, OR the ER at a hospital so that they can administer real antibiotics and the very medication that she shunned in the first place? It's all very well to hate Western medicine until you actually need it. (Maybe I'm wrong; maybe she'll just let nature take its course and figure that it's what's meant to be. I don't know)

Okay, deep breath. Sorry about the rant. It just makes me so mad that intelligent educated influential people are able to give such advice. Final word: maybe you can get away with not vaccinating in States. But in Africa? No way. Surely?

I have to comment. I read this objection about vaccination all over the place in relation to Jennifer Margulis' book, but she does not advocate that we not vaccinate. She does question the vaccination schedule and the efficacy of giving so many vaccinations to children under one, and with good cause:

"The US childhood immunization schedule specifies 26 vaccine doses for infants aged less than 1 year—the most in the world—yet 33 nations have lower IMRs. Using linear regression, the immunization schedules of these 34 nations were examined and a correlation coefficient of r = 0.70 (p < 0.0001) was found between IMRs and the number of vaccine doses routinely given to infants." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3170075/

In other words, there is a correlation between the high number of vaccines given to infants under 1 year in the USA and infant mortality. That, I think, is something worthy of intelligent discussion, not a knee jerk reaction to anyone who questions any aspect of the current vaccination regime.

She also questions the use of vaccines for non-life-threatening diseases, like Chicken Pox. In very rare circumstances, Chicken Pox can be a problem, but for the most part it is a fairly innocuous childhood disease. Remove it from the child population, and there is mounting evidence that we are removing the "re-inoculation" adults require to prevent them from developing Shingles, also caused by the Chicken Pox virus. Shingles is very very painful. Big-pharma's response is to develop another vaccine for older people. However, is the answer really to start vaccinating adults, when nature, left unassisted, was doing a fine job controlling this virus?

Regardless of your personal feelings about vaccination, there needs to be a more adult, reasoned, fact based discussion about the pros and CONS of vaccination, and, in particular, the high number and concentration of vaccines to babies. http://www.fourteenstudies.org/ourstudies.html

Oh Nicky thanks for that. Thats exactly how I feel (a mother of 4), you put it so well.
What sort of person risks any illness that is preventable?

As your granola sister who squeezes her babies out her vagina and pops then on her boob before mashing home cooked veggies for lunch, I would just like to know why some of the non granolas are so defensive and aggressive. The granola peace loving bunch like Jennifer do not attack other mothers and get their guns out and blast them for their choices and beliefs.
To each their own but if you are passionate and knowledgeable about something you should be allowed to express your opinion. Use it, don't use it but don't get nasty, mothering is hard enough.

Love and totally agree with Sister Mel's comment above. Each to their own and do not shoot down anyone else's choices. It's supposed to be a free world where choice is allowed.
Love, the other Granola BFF :) xx

Some of the defensiveness comes from the fact that some choices you make may actually impact our children. I'm a breastfeeding co-sleeper, but both my kids are fully vaccinated and I think it's irresponsible not to vaccinate children. If it only impacted your child, well that's your choice, but it doesn't. Herd immunity is important.

I just finished the book today and have to say I limited vaccinations for my own two children. Breastfed both and they are lovely, intelligent people who are rarely sick. I don't believe that not vaccinating is irresponsible, most outbreaks of infections, like pertussis, occur in vaccinated populations because of vaccine failure. Starting most vaccinations when a child has matured beyond a year is a strategy that makes sense.

Yeah, I'm sure she's a lovely person to know, but advocating against vaccination is NOT informative or responsible. I'm all for letting people have home births, think attachment parenting is great, loved breastfeeding once I got the hang of it... but vaccination is not like any of those things. I have a relative who survived polio but still has health problems from the disease that afflicted her when she was three (she's in her mid-60s now), I know people with impaired immune systems, and surely we all know people with babies younger than six months. These people are dependent on herd immunity - that is, everybody else getting their vaccinations - to stay healthy (or even alive)

Some decisions you make only affect you and your family. By not vaccinating, though, you're making the decision for other people that they don't need protection from serious diseases - one they might not know you're making.

To address a couple of inaccurate claims earlier:

1) The "too many vaccines!!!" complaint is addressed well here:

"How many bacterial or viral proteins is a child exposed to?
Thirty years ago, a fully vaccinated child would have been exposed to over 3,000 germ particle (antigens) during the course of their seven vaccinations. Now, children receive more than triple the number of shots, but are exposed to only 150 germ proteins. They are now exposed to only 5% of what the number of antigens that they used to be exposed to in vaccines. Scientific advances have allowed researchers and manufacturers to create vaccines that are just as effective as before, but more pure and easier on the immune system.

While that number may seem high, it needs to be taken in context with what the baby is exposed to on a daily basis. An infant is exposed to thousands of bacteria at birth and thousands more germs each day. Babies are born with a fully functional immune system at birth to deal with the germy world around them. In fact, their immune systems are better able to handle all the germs than an older child or adult could. The 150 immunological particles that they are exposed to in vaccines over the course of two years is miniscule in comparison to what they are exposed to each day of their lives."


2) The claimed link between vaccination and infant mortality is nonexistent. (And surely you all can think of some other reasons why U.S. infant survival rates are not as good as they should be, like our messed-up healthcare system and huge gap between the rich and the poor?)


Not interested at all in the book, but I love the sentence "My children are vaccinated, formula-fed, C-sectioned, IVF-conceived, TV-watching, gadget-addicted, McDonalds-eating, MSG-loving little capitalists", and it pretty much fits my kids to a T.

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