I can’t tell you how many times a week I am asked this question! As a naturopathic doctor, many people have misconceptions around MY beliefs about vaccines. Some think I hate vaccines, some think I force vaccines on patients, and then there’s every possible misconception between those two extremes. So, I’ll tell you what I think about vaccines…
I’ve watched the pendulum of public opinion swing this past year, after a measles outbreak began at Disneyland in California. The news media, along with social media, crucified parents who had made the choice not to vaccinate their kids, particularly not to vaccinate with the MMR vaccine, the vaccine that is considered by modern medicine to be the best public health tool we have to prevent measles, mumps and rubella, all diseases that can have serious health consequences. We heard and read a lot about “anti-vaxxers,” those parents who had decided that vaccines were not going to be administered to their kids. These parents were blamed for the cases of measles, blamed for deaths (though there weren’t any deaths from the cases that began after exposure at Disneyland), and told that legislative efforts would soon take away their choice to decline vaccines for their kids.
While I believe vaccines are public health tools for prevention of many serious diseases, I also understand the concerns of the many parents who seek my guidance on the number and timing of vaccines for their babies and kids. They worry that the number of vaccines are too many, that the schedule looks very crowded compared to when we were kids. And they are right. The number and frequency of vaccines have greatly increased in the last 20 years. And the number of serious chronic diseases, autism spectrum disorders, and other health issues in our kids has also increased dramatically. We continually hear the reassurance that vaccines don’t cause autism, yet we see that autism and other severe health issues continue to climb. Of course parents are worried!
I like to base my decisions on science, and while we have some studies on vaccines, I am not satisfied with how long the side effects of vaccines are monitored, how much we know about the combinations of vaccines being given, and how mucking with the immune system might change our overall health in the future. Now, please don’t misunderstand – I am NOT anti-vaccine, but I AM pro-choice when it comes to vaccines. I believe that vaccines can be used as tools for health and prevention. But I also believe that parents must have the right to choose when vaccines are given. Right now, our legislatures are responding to fear rather than science. If they were responding to science, they would be focusing on poverty, handguns, smoking, accidents, junk food – these are the things that kill and sicken thousands of children each year.
In my medical practice, I work with parents to help them decided on a vaccine plan that feels right for their family. There is no one-size-fits all answer. Once parents have a plan, then we institute a supplement and diet plan that will allow the child to process their vaccines optimally – reducing the risk of side effects or reaction. There are so many ways we can minimize risk of vaccine reactions, and unfortunately this is not common knowledge. I am working to change that! In the upcoming months, you’ll receive information about my first online educational program. We’ll be focusing on preventing vaccine reactions, and I can guarantee this will be information that every parent should have. I’m hard at work creating the best program possible, and you’ll be the first to know when it’s available. If you have friends or family who would benefit from this information, please share this blog with them and have them register their email so that they get this essential information.
Preventing Vaccine Reactions
Preventing vaccine reactions starts with healthy processing and detoxification in the body. This means facilitating digestion, respiration, urination, and sweating – the four methods our body uses to get rid of toxins. With all the research on the health benefits of probiotics, there is no doubt that good flora helps support our organs of elimination – digestive and urinary tracts, lungs, and skin. Choosing a probiotic that has been properly prepared and stored is very important, as the flora can easily die if not processed and stored properly. This is why good probiotics are expensive – but the health benefits are worth it! Eating live cultured foods, ideally along with taking a daily probiotic, also promotes good health. Probiotics are a cornerstone of preventing vaccine reactions, but they are also a cornerstone of everyday health! A dose of 25 billion colony-forming units is a good guideline – check out these great options from a company I trust to bring you the highest quality probiotics.