The Vaccine Debate: Let’s Get Serious

Image by USACE Europe District

Chances are, you’re aware of the vaccine debate.  Who isn’t, these days?  I know there are those of you who are completely against any vaccination, ever.  There are those of you who are following the CDC schedule and wouldn’t have it any other way.  There are those of you who are choosing a delayed and selective schedule.  And there are those of you who haven’t really looked into the issue very much yet (maybe you don’t have kids yet).  There’s every point of view represented out there.

The very unfortunate part about the debate is that it is so polarized and stressful.  Both sides are constantly attacking the other side, pointing to “poor or no science” and using names like “woo, quackery, stupidity” and other negative terms.

This does nothing to alleviate parents’ concerns, nor to “win” anyone over to either side.  It’s absolutely ridiculous that this attitude is acceptable, from either side!

Enough already.  Let’s get serious and bring a little maturity and honest information to the debate.

No Junk Allowed

I‘m starting a series that will take a closer look at many areas of the vaccine debate.  I’ll be looking at herd immunity, how scientific studies are conducted, faulty lines of reasoning, and most importantly, risk-benefit analyses for each vaccine.  I’ll be drawing on well-designed scientific studies, the VAERS database, and other reputable sources for these posts.

At no point will I rely on, or allow scare tactics.  Every single person can name someone who’s died from a vaccine, or from one of these diseases (or suffered permanent damage from either).  Individual stories don’t tell us anything.  Even if the chances of harm are one in a million, someone’s going to be that one.  We won’t be parading these stories around in hopes of convincing parents either way through fear mongering.  I truly believe this tactic is disgusting and wrong.

(By the way — and I’m sorry to even have to say this, as my followers are usually so awesome — I’m not going to allow any comments through, either, that rely on fear mongering.  So if you want to call people names or tell me a story about “this one person who was permanently injured because of other parents making X decision” and try to tug on peoples’ heart strings, I’m not going to post it.  That sort of thing just isn’t what this debate is about.)

Questions We’ll Be Answering

Are you curious what information I’m seeking to provide?

  • What is herd immunity and what does it have to do with vaccines?  What evidence is there for it?
  • How are scientific studies on vaccines conducted?  Length of time, placebos (yes/no/what), study size, is any data eliminated (and if so, what and why), conflicts of interest?
  • What are the symptoms of each disease?  What is the normal course?  What are serious complications, and how often do they occur?  What increases the likelihood of these complications?
  • What are the ingredients of each vaccine?  What is the efficacy?  What are the possible side effects, and how often do they occur?

If there are any other questions that you would like answer, please feel free to ask below!

Are you ready to join me on a propaganda-free look into vaccines?  It’s going to be long, thorough, and indepth, so that parents can make the decision with which they are most comfortable.  I have no agenda here.

What’s your biggest question or concern about vaccines?


  1. mommac says

    Honestly, I will be looking forward to this. With our 2 children I followed what the state requires as far as vaccines. I did so because I myself did not get most of my childhood vaccines due to being sickly as a child. I was told that was why I was sickly, however, I now know that it was something totally different:). Looking at my children, I am tentatively blaming my son’s allergies (non food thankfully) on the vaccines and my daughter’s sometimes odd behavior on them as well. In hoping for another precious bundle I am trying to find all the info out there to make a thoroughly informed desicion on vaccines should we have another baby.

  2. says

    This looks to be my favorite series yet! I fall into the fourth set of people you describe, and I’m going to be glad to read a good, in-depth look into each vaccine that you discuss. I don’t have kids yet, but when I do, my healthcare will be provided (most likely) through my husband’s job with the government, which is big into vaccinate on time, always, no questions…throw medicine at any ailment, etc. While I would theoretically have a choice, I would also (now, before I’m in that situation) like to have the information to be able to make an informed decision based on fact, not just the CDC’s opinion.

      • KT says

        Those CDC “facts” are often based on drug-company sponsored trials, which are cherry-picked to exclude anything negative. That’s also how the FDA gets data for approving prescription drugs. Pharmaceutical companies “police” themselves.

  3. Krista says

    Just made the decision 2 weeks ago to stop vaccinating my 10 month old son until I get more information–so I’m really looking forward to this! (He was already on a delayed schedule so he’s only had a few as it is.) My couple of questions: 1. I understand why “herd immunity” is debated and the question of “If vaccines are so effective, why are you concerned about my kid giving your kid a virus?” BUT, what about little babies who have not had the chance to be vaccinated if their parents choose to do so–are they truly more vulnerable because I don’t vax? Maybe I make the choice not to vax, but how fair is it of me to risk exposure for that baby if their parents believe it’s the best thing for their child? That’s one I truly struggle with. 2. We live in an area of the country (and in a city) with a higher rate of immigrants who tend to have outbreaks in their community. Typically many of the playdates, grocery stores, etc. that I frequent are in those areas. Should I take any special precautions if I’m in an area with a higher population of people who may increase my kids exposure to viruses? Obviously at this point I’ve weighed risks vs. benefits and have decided that the vaccines are too risky, but those are 2 questions that I’m not 100% sure about at this point. Thanks, I can’t wait to start reading!

    • cia parker says

      Newborn babies should be kept in quarantine at home for at least the first four or five months. The pertussis vaccine is completely ineffective when given at two months, and not very effective at four. And often it’s completely ineffective when given at any age. My daughter got the DTaP at 2, 4, and 6 months, and still caught pertussis at a La Leche League meeting at 8 months old, and gave it to me. Most adults have not gotten any vaccines in many years (and I don’t think it would be wise for them to do so). That means that a young baby is at risk of catching pertussis from both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, and it can be dangerous and even fatal when caught in the first four or five months. It is very rarely dangerous in anyone older than that, because their breathing passages have developed enough to effectively cough up the mucus.

  4. says

    Looking forward to this! My main concern as far as vaccinations is knowing how to handle them when going on a mission trip and/or moving to another country for ministry. We have not given our daughter any vaccinations, but haven’t decided on how to handle the issue for times outside of the USA….

  5. says

    I’m looking forward to this! When I had my 1st daughter, I knew there were differing opinions out there about vaccines, so I didn’t get any shots for her in the hospital and waited to see my doctor. He didn’t really have any different information beyond “this is what the schedule is” and we did keep to the schedule after all. This time, 10 years later, I’ve read a whole lot more and have a whole lot more questions. I’m looking forward to seeing a straight-forward discussion of both risks and rewards so we can make a better informed decision this time.


  6. Tawny says

    Looking forward to this series! We use a very delayed schedule and have been very selective about the few vaccines we will give them. I would be interested in any info about combo vaccines (3 in 1) versus single vaccines (I get asked often why I don’t give combo vaccines and would like any additional research you have on the matter). We only give our kids single vaccines but it seems more and more vaccines are moving towards combo…. Also, my family isn’t quite there yet but I often get questions about where to purchase separated vaccines for the commonly offered combos (mmr)…

  7. Jessica K says

    I’m looking forward to this series. We used a delayed schedule with my son (now almost 3) and since we are expecting another baby in the summer my husband and I are discussing what we will do about vaccinations for this child. We are also considering delaying any further vaccines for my son until he is school age or just selectively picking which ones he would get. I can’t wait for some research! Thanks.

  8. Elisabeth says

    I think it would also be interesting to include the vaccines given to our generation as children compared what is given to today’s children.

  9. Nancy Mosley says

    Thank you for your willingness to research and share with your readers what you find. I appreciate the question already mentioned about what to do when you go outside this country for mission trips or vacations, etc.? That also leads me to a question— what about college. And is there a way to find out what would happen if we stopped them altogether — would we be back to facing the horrible ramifications of these diseases in our country? If you chose to do some vaccines but exempt from others – which would those be and why?

    Just like with all medications that we take – it is wise to read and look at the side effects. This is a controversial issue but I appreciate how you plan to handle it. I will not state as to what our family chose to do simply to not put pressure on anyone. These are just a few of my questions that I’ve had over the years but kind of put them aside and haven’t thought about them in a while.


  10. Lindsay says

    Really looking forward to it! While we have not vaccinated our 3 year old, and I am due in a month with our second, and don’t plan at this point to vaccinate him, this topic is something I want to continue to research. Thank you also for setting some ground-rules for the discussion! Fear-mongering can be extremely influential for all the wrong reasons!

  11. Heather says

    I too am looking forward to this discussion. I have an almost 3 year old which I have not continued to vaccinate due to an adverse reaction at her 2mo shots. I do worry sometimes if we are doing the right thing(due to pressure and such by doctors and friends) and more info will be great! Thanks for setting some parameters on the comments. None of us want to be scared into anything!!

  12. Jill says

    Thank you for doing this research and posting your findings. I wish that when my kids were babies I had that type of info readily available! You are providing an invaluable service!

  13. says

    Hi. I’m looking forward to this too inshallah. I have yet to vaccinate my kids, my dd is going to be five at the end of August and my ds will be turning 2 towards the end of May.
    So far they are just fine and any immunization I may still do for them will be more because the school requires them and I don’t want the hassle of parent-teacher meetings, than because I truly think my children need them.
    I am interested in finding out the things you have outlined above, as well as learning about any studies that may have been done that look at the children/families that dont vaccinate and what is their story like.
    Meaning how often do the children get the childhood diseases, what is the recovery rate, how is that rate related to access to timely medical care, any use of “herbal” or “holistic” means to treat or help alleviate at the onstrike of the disease, etc.
    Thank you so much. I look forward to reading and learning inshallah. Have a blessed and peaceful day:)

  14. says

    Hi again, I thought I’d add some details after reading the other comments:)
    I said “Meaning how often do the children get the childhood diseases, what is the recovery rate, how is that rate related to access to timely medical care, any use of “herbal” or “holistic” means to treat or help alleviate at the onstrike of the disease, etc”
    I’d like to provide my information regarding these questions as your starting point inshallah:) I hope its beneficial. So far, and this is all due to the Grace of God and nothing better or worse that I have done myself, neither of my children have gotten any of the regular children’s diseases. No measles, chicken pox, etc. The only thing that has bothered them has been regular colds, about 5 or 6 year, and that was more in the 1st year of life for my dd when we lived in the UK (London) which is generally very damp. My ds was born and raised here and he’s had maybe 5 colds total.
    Both of them have had croup. This was the most serious thing that happened to them and I’m so thankful for emergency care available because they really were in a bad way. Croup is when a thick mucus/swelling happens in the throat, usually viral, and the onset is within minutes, maybe 20 to 40 from what I’ve observed with my children. They were both rushed to the ER and administered Oxygen and a medicine (Its usually oral but ds was barely 6 months so they did his IV).
    No other incidents or diseases, of which all Thanks and Praise belong only to God Almighty.
    So that’s it. We eat normal foods and I’m not too particular. I hope this is insightful for someone.
    With that said, I still look forward to hearing about vaccinations. I’m much more likely to trust a mother with no agenda than I am to trust a government official with everything to gain.
    Thanks. Rahilya

  15. says

    Thank you Kate! I have been reading your blog for a while and I really appreciate the information you provide. I’m so glad you are doing a series like this. I’ve chosen the selective vaccination approach so far for our 2 kids, but I am always learning and reading and changing our ways as I learn. I’m looking forward to going deeper into some of these topics. Thanks!

  16. Shaina says

    I’m very excited that you are doing this! With our first we followed the CDC schedule for the most part, holding out on a few vaccines. With our second we started out on the Sear’s schedule and then stopped vaccinating altogether when she was 18 months. We haven’t revisited the subject yet so I’m excited to hear what you have to say about all this!

  17. says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is just what I need! So far, I’ve only encountered either information that claims vaccines are super safe and the diseases are deadly or that vaccines are so horrible and no one should get them. By far, the closest to an “in between” argument I’ve seen is Dr. Sears’ “The Vaccine Book”. I started out following his alternative vaccine schedule and gave my baby the HiB, PC, Rotavirus and DtaP shots. Then I read a totally anti-vaccine book and decided I would wait until I did more research in order to decide whether or not continue with vaccines. I am having baby #2 in April and now I need to decide whether he’ll even get the shots his brother had. This is all so confusing and the information is so hard to understand. Especially when people are using scare tactics and name calling to try to convince people either way. Your series should bring some much needed balance to this debate and I’m definitely looking forward to it!

  18. Jennifer says

    My first baby is due in September. We’ve decided not to vaccinate mainly because of all the toxic ingredients in the vaccines. I personally believe in building a strong immune system through healthy living. I just can’t believe that vaccines are 100% safe. I also think the amount of vaccines recommended is extremely scary! The risks, to us, outweigh the potential benefits. I am very excited you are doing this though!! I am always looking for more information. I wish to continue to educate myself and my family with unbiased information (: Thank you for doing this series!

    • stacee says

      Good for you, I can tell you as parent of a severely disabled child that was once normal prior to vaccination, if I could do it again I would not vaccinate. The risks do not out weight the “benefits”.

  19. TANSTAAFL says

    +1 on looking forward to this. I did some research into the studies that doctors oft cite, removing the link of Autism and Thimerosal/MMR. The main thing I gathered were almost all of these were epidemiological studies, and also, that they only really looked at the Ethylmercury as the potential problem. The fact that there aren’t, to my knowledge, any hard scientific studies as to what effects all the other chemicals in these vaccines have is very disconcerting. Also would recommend watching The Greater Good. I definitely did not agree with a lot of what both sides had to say, but good points still drifted through.

  20. Jennifer Roberts says

    Thank you! I appreciate your effort and reasoning behind this debate. Thank you for prohibiting any type of name calling and propaganda. This debate is exactly what the ‘vaccine war’ needs! :) Again, THANK YOU!

  21. says

    I am very excited to make my way through this series. We fully vaccinated our first two and have not vaccinated our last three with plans to delay until we feel necessary. Thanks for pulling all this info together. We are always looking for unbiased reporting on the subject.

  22. says

    This isn’t really related to the post, but it would be helpful for people looking through them if there were links to future posts in the earlier ones. Otherwise you have to get to the last one and then open the beginning ones through that if you want to read them in order. 😀


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