Lynn M. Johnson
When it comes to
childhood immunizations, parents are often confused and concerned about their
safety. In light of the on-going debates surrounding many adverse reactions
linked to vaccines, their worries are understandable.
To address the
concerns, Stephanie Cave, M.D., F.A.A.F.P, "an expert on pediatric
vaccinations," and Deborah Mitchell, a medical writer and journalist
specializing in complementary medicine and nutrition topics, have written an
exceptional new resource entitled, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About
Children's Vaccinations. This book is a real eye-opener for those who
hold blind faith in childhood immunizations, and it provides some sound
advice for parents who want to play an active role in reducing the risk of
vaccine injury to their children.
Nearly 20 years after the first indication that the
pertussis portion of the DPT vaccine was causing brain inflamation and
damage, a safer vaccine, DTaP, was put on the market.
As an introduction,
Cave covers the history of vaccines, how vaccines are developed and what
types of adverse reactions can possibly occur from vaccinations. For
instance, potential dangers of Mercury and Thermosal-containing vaccines are
detailed, and Cave suggests that parents should ask their pediatricians for
mercury-free vaccines, as many mercury-containing vaccines are still on the
market. This book offers compelling discussion on the possible links between
immunizations and autism, ADD, juvenile diabetes, asthma, allergies,
gastrointestinal disorders, arthritis and SIDS, which may leave even the most
skeptical contemplating the possibilities.
Given that most
children are subject to about thirty-three doses of 10 different vaccines by
they time they reach age five, the issue of over-vaccinating concerns many
parents. Interestingly, Cave talks about titers, "the measurement
of the amount or concentration of a substance in a solution," as a means
of determining whether or not a booster may be needed.
says Cave, "doctor's don't usually check a person's titers before giving
a (vaccine) booster. If the practice of checking titers were put into place,
we would probably be able to eliminate some of the boosters now being given
to our children, and thus reduce the risk of adverse effects." She
suggests that parents consider requesting their child's titers be checked
before getting a booster.
On the other end of the
dosage spectrum, is the practice of multiple-dosing, which commonly occurs
when missed vaccinations are combined and given in one sitting. Cave believes
this practice may cause serious problems for children. She also expresses
concerns shared among many critics of multiple-dosing about the current
research and development of more combination vaccines.
No one, including Cave,
"is suggesting that we stop all vaccinations and return to the days when
the United States was plagued with smallpox, polio, diphtheria and whooping
cough." However, she, "along with a growing number of doctors,
researchers and medical professionals, believe we cannot turn a blind eye to
the rise in chronic childhood medical conditions that parallel the increase
in mandated vaccinations," which are ultimately increasing vaccination
To clarify current
recommendations, this book holds a concise guide to each of the recommended
vaccines, including scheduling and known adverse reactions. Cave also gives
the reader a look at some future vaccines, dozens of which will soon emerge,
making it even more important that we, "watch how these new vaccines
develop and be mindful of the ethical guidelines that need to develop along
with them," says Cave.
For easy reference, a
long list of related medical associations and organizations is included,
along with details of parent's rights, immunization laws and steps that
parents can take to reduce vaccine injury to their children.
The bottom line is that
parents be informed. Cave suggests, "Learn all you can about the risks
and benefits of any vaccine you are considering. Do not be satisfied with
information from only one side of the issue." Reading this book is
certainly one very postive step toward that end.
What Your Doctor May
Not Tell You About Children's Vaccinations, by Stephanie Cave, M.D., F. A.A.F.P. and
Deborah Mitchell, Warner Books, 2001. ISBN: 0446677078 $13.95/U.S.
$19.95/CAN, 512 pages
Cave, M.D., F. A.A.F.P.
Read a chapter
2001, Lynn M. Johnson