Intro to Childhood Vaccines
So many parents are overwhelmed!
What is the Naturopathic profession’s position on vaccines?
Safer, more effective vaccinations should be developed, and more research should be conducted on possible short- and long-term adverse effects of vaccines currently in use.
All physicians should obtain from parents signed informed consent for vaccination by providing 1. printed information describing the risks of the infectious diseases, 2. the risks and benefits of childhood vaccinations and 3. other options. Consent forms describing such information should be provided in a form and manner which allows responsible parents to make informed decisions regarding the vaccination of their children.
All physicians and institutions providing care for children should respect the responsibility and freedom of parents and guardians to decide within the range of options provided by state law whether or not their children should receive vaccinations.
What is a vaccine?
A vaccine uses a small dose of a safer (?) substance to kickstart immunity and immune memory so that if/when you are exposed to the infection naturally you should be protected.
What are (some of) the vaccine pros?
Your child is less likely to get sick?
- Therefore you are less likely to have to deal with the inconvenience, worry, and trauma of you or your child getting sick.
- There is less possibility of infecting other more susceptible people (grandparents, neighbors, etc).
Many of the “vaccine-preventable diseases” have more risks associated with them if contracted in adulthood, thus it might be helpful to develop immunity during childhood and it is harder to get natural immunity (that is by getting the illness).
Some of the “vaccine-preventable diseases” have serious sequelae if contracted during pregnancy and passed to the fetus/infant, thus it might be helpful to vaccinate children who will be around pregnant people.
Public health. By limiting our own contagious period, we protect those around us who are more susceptible to infection.
Do you want to know more?
If you prefer learning in person:
Every other month, I lead a two hour research-based workshop that empowers parents to make vaccine choices that are right for their own family. Working hard to remain balanced, I maintain a moderate approach to vaccination. The workshop includes an introduction to the immune system, a review of each vaccine and related infection and includes tips about making your child less susceptible to infection.
If you prefer learning at home via webinar:
My colleague Dr Erika created Vaccines Demystified, an online course for parents and professionals explaining infant vaccines and special topics in immunizations. Vaccines Demystified is unique in that it provides information on immunizations without bias.
Disclaimer:Unfortunately the state of Pennsylvania doesn’t yet recognize Naturopathic Doctors as primary care providers, so I can’t function as a pediatrician. I can’t order labwork or do physical exams, and a pediatrician should do certain standard lab tests and physical exams to confirm that things are going well. I do work with families when their children have specific concerns, often around skin or gut issues as a natural health specialist. I specialize in chronic illnesses and treat using diet and supplements.