This post will be just an intro to the miserable lose-lose of the vaccine controversy. Partly because it is an overwhelmingly broad topic and partly because I don't have access to most of my saved links on the subject since my computer is currently not working.
So, as I am sure my sisters are at least vaguely aware, the sides fall approximately thus: mainstream medicine claims all legally available vaccines (FDA approved, etc) are safe, worthy, and effective; the alternative view would naturally be that that is not the case. The concerns include everything from autism to asthma to the possibility of incorrectly programming our immune systems. However, most people, I would venture to say, don't believe it is as simple as all or nothing.
Sadly, this issue is even more inflammatory than any other controversial issue I have looked into (which really is saying a lot since the internet is full of angry and hateful words directed at people who disagree with them). Perhaps this is because it is perceived to be a decision that may have a uniquely direct effect on other people's children. I can certainly understand how frightening and frustrating it would feel to think that just anybody could make decisions that might put my baby at risk. And, it turns out that both sides of this debate have that concern. The Healthy Home Economist explains how the government has set up the debate to pit parent against parent in THIS insightful post.
I don't want to make it seem like I am trying to argue on behalf of one side of this debate because I believe that there is no simple one-size-fits-all answer to this decision, and I truly do believe in parental rights and parental decisions. I really do think that only a child's parents should decide what is right for that child at that time. As is usually the case, that doesn't mean that they always make the right decision, but it is still theirs to make. Of course parents are most likely to make the right decision for their child if they get as much information as they can ahead of time, since reading one or two articles will hardly make you "well-informed.". Unfortunately educating yourself on tough decisions doesn't always make them less intimidating or more obvious- you can read every study, article, and opinion on the internet and find yourself more confused than ever, and that is why I am finding that as a parent especially, I have more need than ever to be guided by the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Much of the information I share will be about concerns for the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, but let me explain why. Your pediatrician, the prominent news outlets, and the government entities such as the CDC and FDA, will all be happy to share will you their arguments and anecdotes on behalf of vaccine safety and effectiveness. That information is easy to find. But the opposing information can be harder to find, sift though, and determine merit. I am trying to bring together some of that information that I have found intriguing.
Disclaimer: Of course I am not going to be able to find and share only websites that I agree with entirely; there will be statements and theories in most articles, videos, and websites I share that that I disagree with, or have not yet decided whether I agree or not. My main criteria for what I share is that the information was interesting, somewhat well-explained, and not mainstream.
One of the first sites I want to share is National Vaccine Information Center because it is a non profit organization that stands for informed consent, which is something I very enthusiastically support. Here is a video from the president of NVIC, Barbara Loe Fisher. They also have a page called "If you vaccinate, ask 8" with a checklist to go through before the vaccine appointment.
Vaccine Illusion: Herd Immunity this is a much more in-depth explanation than I have read anywhere else, and parts of it are a bit different than most of the "herd immunity does not apply" arguments I have read.
The Gianelloni Family Blog also has a lot of information on herd immunity theory and practical information. There are several posts from their blog that touch on this subject, but there is a great deal of overlap information in them.
The Myth of Herd Immunity
Exposing Myths...Herd Immunity
Why All The Measles Outbreaks...
Some other videos