Most parents never question their pediatrician’s firm recommendation to vaccinate their child. But as with any other medical procedure there are risks as well as benefits associated with vaccinations.

As stated by the National Vaccine Information Center, “Vaccination is a medical procedure that carries a risk of injury or death. As a parent, it is your responsibility to become educated about the benefits and risks of vaccines in order to make the most informed, responsible vaccination decisions.” Recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices are often transformed into mandates by state health departments and legislatures, and in turn, by school districts. Informed consent is required for ethical medical treatment; however, mandatory vaccination programs deny that. There is increasing concern regarding both the safety and the effectiveness of many childhood vaccinations, which makes vaccinating a personal decision rather than a mandate.

In 2010, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommended that all children receive the following immunizations:
Hepatitis B
Hemophilus influenza type b (HIb)
Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (usually given together as DTP)
Measles-Mumps-Rubella (given together as MMR)
Varicella (chickenpox)
Hepatitis A (in some areas)

Are Vaccines Really Safe?

Some of the documented side effects of vaccines are as follows:

The DPT shot has caused fever, irritability, encephalopathy, brain damage and even death on rare occasions.

The oral polio vaccine causes polio in about 10 people each year (even in previously vaccinated people), in fact, since 1979 the vaccine itself has caused the only U.S. cases of polio.

Polio vaccines in the past have contained a virus (SV40) that can cause cancer in humans and an immunodeficiency virus (SIV) similar to HIV.

Polio vaccines today may contain another virus (SVMV) that may cause neurological disorders.

Several vaccines, including polio, measles, rubella, HIB, hepatitis B and tetanus are associated with neurological disorders such as Guillain-Barre syndrome.

The MMR vaccine has caused psychosis, encephalitis and deafness.

The measles vaccine may cause Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease.

The mumps vaccine has caused meningitis.

The hepatitis B vaccine has caused loss of hair.

Some studies have suggested an increased risk of SIDS with some vaccines.