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If you have been following for a while you know I have, up to this point avoided the vaccine debate, even though this is a blog focused on natural health and parenting. Were you wondering why? Because I am not completely sure how I feel about the subject. In my journey to learn more I asked my friend Terrie to give some advice about why she chose not to vaccinate her children, and how she handles this with school “requirements” to vaccinate.

As parents we strive for what is best for our children. This varies from family to family. What may be best for a family who chooses not to vaccinate may not be best for another family who chooses to vaccinate. This is ok. We are all coming from a place of love and respect.

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Hello parenting friends. My name is Terrie Cichos, have been married for close to 18 years, and have 9 beautiful children (2 sweet infants in Heaven).

We made the choice to walk away from scheduled vaccines 13 years ago. We believe strongly that parents have the rights to raise their children accordingly to their beliefs and opinions. We believe in consistency and confidence in parenting choices, what ever those choices may be. Our children are happy and healthy and we have reaped the fruits of our labor, and I wish that for all parents.

As a parent, for the last 17 years, the biggest lesson learned is as parents we have the right to make decisions for our children, these decisions are personal and private. One of the biggest controversial decisions is whether we as parents choose to vaccinate. Some parents may choose to follow the vaccine schedule as prescribed by our trusted doctors, or we have the right to limit the schedule, and we also have the right to deny the vaccines if it be our choice without ramifications from the schools. But a person needs to know their rights and how exactly to enforce their rights.

I’ve been told by well-meaning nurses “it’s the law” and yes it is the law, however the law has exceptions. All 50 states have an exemption of some sort ,whether medical, religious, or personal. Medical is the most difficult as to prove one has a medical reason to not keep on schedule, however both religious and personal cannot be mandated. A parent can use either of these. Not all states allow the personal exemption, but I have found, they will not question your religious exemption, by stating its your view is all that is necessary.

There are many links a parent can lean upon to give them the information they need. Typically and in all the cases I have experienced, what is asked is a waiver. Usually the school or doctor will have this available but in cases they do not, you can get a waiver, either from the health department or off the internet. By signing the waiver you are declaring your reason for your choice. The waiver needs your reason (my reason is, “At this time, we do not believe the benefits of vaccines outweigh the risks”) and then your signature, and file it with the school. It is wise to have the school initial that they received your form, and the school will file it with the state. If there is ever an outbreak of a certain illness you will be asked to take your children home. And that is completely acceptable. In my 17 years of parenting that has never occurred for me.

My suggestion is to study, read, read some more, make your decision and then remain confident. Personal exemptions can be anything from belief the risks are not worth the benefits, or any other reason you may have, whether you feel the schedule is too risky, you have decided to spread them out or not vaccinate at all. Religious exemptions can be anything similar to the personal, but commonly people take issue with the vaccines containing fetal material.

A few links that may be helpful in avoiding vaccines and their schedule are many. To list a few to start you on your way would be Dr. Mercola is a great tool.
http://www.nvic.org/vaccine-laws/state-vaccine-requirements.aspx
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/02/09/6-principles-you-should-know-before-making-an-informed-swine-flu-vaccine-decision.aspx
http://www.vaccineinfo.net/index.shtml
http://www.informedchoice.info/cocktail.html
http://www.gval.com/exempt.htm

Happy Research and Happy Parenting,
Terrie Cichos, mom of 17 years and counting…

Did you choose to vaccinate your family? Why or why not?

*I know I don’t have to remind my wonderful readers to be respectful and not attack others parenting choices, and for that I am eternally grateful.*

This post shared on: Homestead Barn Hop, Homesteader Blog CarnivalAnti-Procrastination TuesdayHearth and SoulHealthy2Day,  Frugal Days Sustainable WaysWildcrafting Wednesday,  Green Article and Give Away Link UpNatural Living Link UpYour Green Resource

About Amanda

Amanda is a mother of two amazing toddlers. She is an herbalist, natural living guru, and real food, gluten free eating pro. She loves to help educate others on how to take control of their own health through natural living, real food, herbs, essential oils, and most of all - a positive mind set. Her other business Natural Herbal Living Magazine is all about helping people learn about how to use one herb a month on a deep and profound level.
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24 Responses to Vaccination is a choice

  1. Kristie says:

    This bothers me on an intense level. Ultimately, choosing not to vaccinate your children (unless you have a valid medical reason, like a documented *actual* allergy) puts both your own and other peoples’ children at risk. Think newborns who are too young to be vaccinated, for example. Or immune-suppressed kids. To choose not to vaccinate based on faulty, easily-disproven studies is a selfish, ignorant choice. Due to these faulty studies, and internet “experts” who don’t actually understand science whatsoever, we’ve seen the rise of previously exterminated diseases in the United States. That’s horrific. Diseases like measles and whooping cough are breaking out in larger and larger numbers, and babies are dying as a result. To do anything OTHER than vaccinate, without a valid medical allergy, documented by a board-certified allergist, or another pediatric immunity disorder, documented by a pediatric immunologist, is irresponsible and hurtful to the community at large.

    –I’m kind of a hippie. We eat organics. We backyard chicken. We compost. And we vaccinate
    –I’m married to a board certified allergist, immunologist, and internist.
    –I live near Boulder, CO, which has far lowered rates of vaccination based on crunchy lifestyle, and as a result has had outbreaks of eradicated diseases.

    • Beth says:

      We do not vaccinate. We have done our research and made an educated choice. This post is well written about a parents rights to make that choice – not if they should or should not vaccinate.

      @Kristie – Studies are showing that the majority of whooping cough outbreaks are in children who HAVE been given the vaccine – because it isn’t working. You seem to believe it is irresponsible to not vaccinate – but I believe it would be more irresponsible for me to inject my child with something that I KNOW is harmful. Read a vaccine package insert or check out the CDC’s information. There is a great deal of science that proves vaccines are harmful. Ignorance is making an un-educated choice in the matter. As the articles states parents have the choice – and informed parents make the choice that is best for their family.

    • Jasmine says:

      Wow, Kristie took the words right out of my mouth! Couldn’t agree more and I wish more people would be aware of the affects it could have on other kids, not just their own!

  2. I am a doctor who specializes in prenatal and pediatric care. I teach vaccination workshops in my practice attended by parents and doctors alike. I have studied this issue for thousands of hours and am considered by many parents in my community to be the expert source for vaccine info. Our family has chosen not to vaccinate. This decision came after much research and clinical experience. I always let parents know, it should be their choice whether or not to vaccinate their children. The fear tactics and rhetoric that I see about putting other children at risk is unfounded and untrue. Unfortunately many people base their opinions on limited &/or biased information. My passion is to educate more parents in my community so that they can make the right decision for their family.

    • Jessica says:

      I agree with the posts by Jasmine and Kristie. It is much more dangerous NOT to vaccinate. Dr Perez will tell you not to vaccinate–he is a chiropractor and not an allergist, internist, or immunologist. We all need to educate ourselves from recognized experts in the field of study relevant to the topic. I find the ignorance related to vaccines and mis-information propagation to be shocking.

      • L00KING closer says:

        Jessica, with all due respect, it doesn’t take an immunologist, internist, or ‘allergist’ to analyse scientific data or papers. I suggest that you thoroughly research the topic before attempting to refute the thousands of hours of research a medical professional has completed, using your learned propaganda reponse. Show me your references proving that vaccines are safe, that parenteral administration of aluminium adjuvants is completely safe for neonates, that formaldehyde in vaccines does not cause cancer in the long term, that it is safe to vaccinate all infants with 26 vaccines in their first 2 years of life, that concomitant administration of multiple vaccines on one day is safe. Your biased response only proves the following point: “Condemnation without [thorough] investigation is the height of ignorance”. Parents who have thoroughly researched the risks and the benefits have the right to refuse vaccines if they feel that the current vaccine components, or the large schedule, is unsafe.

        • Amy says:

          I have been attempting to research vaccinations for some time now, like Amanda, I am not sure how exactly I feel on the issue. I am a nurse, my husband is a board certified pediatrician, we have vaccinated our children thus far. I am attempting to keep an open mind especially when it comes to friends who have decided not to vaccinate. I have a hard time navigating through all of the websites dedicated to this and I am not totally trusting of our government. I don’t understand why some of these anti vaccinations websites chose names that are trying to sound like a government sanctioned or funded group. I do not understand why a chiropractor would go on NPR and proclaim to be an expert on vaccinations without listing his credentials or post a comment on this website stating that he is a doctor who specializes in prenatal and pediatric care without divulging that he is indeed a chiropractor, not a medical doctor or a doctor of osteopathy. I am in no way saying that you aren’t qualified, sir. I am merely stating that by not being upfront about these things, it appears that you are trying to purposely mislead people. It makes me not trust your opinion, which is a shame, because you have a plethora of information that has been published on the internet. I am sure that I am not the only skeptic. The sad thing is there are many people who do not realize that just because someone posts something on the internet does not mean it is true. As Looking Closer pointed out, anyone can analyze scientific document or papers, it doesn’t mean that they will come to the logical, true conclusion. Why all the mudslinging between the Anti and Pro vaccination sides? Why can we not merely state the facts followed up with evidence that can be read and understood by the lay person?

          • Amanda says:

            I think it would be wonderful to have non-biased information, but I don’t think it exists. I have done so much reading on the subject and it is one or the other. Thankfully I do have a background in human anatomy, physiology, biology and chemistry and am educated enough to read the research and come to my own conclusions, but most aren’t and all this seemingly contradictory information makes understanding these things so difficult. The other confusing thing is there ARE doctors who SPECIALIZE in vaccine research who say it is or is not safe. You find very few doctors who are published saying “some are ok some are not”, although that is what you will find most often in real life.

      • Kate says:

        I did not realize he was not an Medical Doctor and is a Chiropractor. My pediatrician is very pro immunization. I am just recovering from Whooping Cough now, and as an adult, I cannot even imagine a baby contracting this. We have 5 kids. All have been immunized. My son got a very mild case of whooping cough this summer, because I was a year over his 5 year vaccine. I on the other hand, hsve never been so ill. Have not had a vaccine since 7th grade. No one else in our family had caught it
        Just my experience. Every family is different. I feel like I am in good hands with a doc that knows his field well. Kate

  3. Thanks so much for this! I completely agree. We all have a choice of what to inject in our children, and I choose not to inject toxic chemicals into my kids the “might” prevent disease.

    If vaccines worked, that other people wouldn’t have to worry about my unvaccinated children “endangering” theirs. Most outbreaks of “vaccine treatable diseases” are in at least 90% vaccinated populations.

    I wrote about options for vaccinations and why they are NOT required for school here: http://naturalfamilytoday.com/health/vaccinations-not-required-for-school-enrollment/

  4. All families deserve a choice. Vaccines are not without serious side effects, up to and including death. You cannot compel any family to take any medication (a decision that should be between doctor and parent anyway, without government involvement) that may kill their child, however slight the chance. Each family must choose which risks they are comfortable taking.

    The vast majority of the evidence out there says that VACCINATED children are the ones who are currently getting sick, not unvaccinated children. So the theory that all those unvaccinated children are spreading around disease is just plain false.

    http://www.fourteenstudies.org — for anyone who says there are “no studies” out there, I invite you to look at this website thoroughly. You’ll find quite a few published, peer-reviewed journal articles that call into question the safety of vaccination.

    Read the real research, read it thoroughly, and make the decision that is right for your family. Vaccines are a medical product, not a miracle.

  5. Gemma says:

    Thank you for a wonderful article. As parents we do have a choice whether or not to vaccinate our children. I would particularly like to thank Dr Tyson Perez – the doctor who chooses not to vaccinate. What a refreshing response. Blessings to you all.

  6. Martina says:

    I wish we did not vaccinate, but we got talked into, my youngest got vaccinated against RV and our whole family had it for over a month. The Pediatric NP thankfully refused to give him the second dose, because she didn’t want him to loose any more weight.

    Also i wished the would’t gave my son and me all kinds of med and vaccinations on the day he was born, it ruined his thyroid and now has thyroid cancer at age 2.

    I understand that vaccination can be a good thing, but only because people lost there common sense, you just simply do not send a sick child to preschool or school.

  7. Lana says:

    We have a great family doc in our area who allows parents to make their own choice and I am very thankful that he is our grandson’s doc. He freely admits that the patients who are not immunized are rarely ever sick and he rarely sees them in his office just because they are healthier than his immunized patients.

    • Amanda says:

      It is so great to have doctors who accept that 1. parents choose not to vaccinate and 2. kids who are not vaccinated are more healthy !

  8. After much research, reading, and discussion with health care practitioners whose opinions we trusted, we have chosen not to vaccinate our children.

    Interestingly, early vaccination is a largley Western/American vogue. Many nations, such as the country of Japan, do not advocate vaccines on children under the age of 3 years old.

    Parents are wise to think for themselves, do their homework, and make a decision based on facts, not popular opinion or fear.

    Great article! Thank you for sharing.

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you for stopping by! Thanks for pointing that out. I never really thought to look at WHEN other countries vaccinate. I know the thought of immunizing a new born is terrifying/stupid to me but I never thought to see when they do it internationally. Thanks so much for that.

  9. Katie says:

    I vaccinated my children until my oldest was 2, and youngest was 6 months. The younger had a reaction that the pediatrician laughed off as unrelated, and I began researching for myself. The most shocking thing I found in my research, is that the vaccine insert for DTaP says that autism and SIDS have been documented! And the doctors all have this info at their fingertips, but how many have read it and share with their patients? We no longer vaccinate. Here is an article about it. http://www.livingcrunchy.com/2012/08/dtap-vaccine-adverse-reactions/

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks for sharing! It is amazing what doctors push off as nothing. I wonder if it is willful ignorance or if they are just standing by what AAP says, safety be damned?

  10. We have also chosen not to vaccinate our kids, after many hours of research, prayer, and soul-searching. We just can’t justify injecting our precious babies with any of the nasty ingredients listed right on the CDC’s website, or dismissing all of the warnings and info on the package inserts. The first thing that set me off was the Hep B shot which is offered on baby’s first day of life?!? We obviously declined that and decided that we would take each vaccine as it came, and decide at that point. Well, needless to say, we haven’t done any vaccines, and our son is a happy, healthy 15 month old. And well-baby visits? Once you’re not vaccinating, those visits just become overpriced weighing and measuring visits, so we don’t have a pediatrician either. We do see a naturopath from time to time, and will see an MD if we absolutely need to, but other than that, our family’s health care is in our own hands, right where it belongs.

    Thanks for sharing this great piece! 🙂

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