I certainly don't! I have crawled through book after book, and I still have no clue. I am frightened by the prospect of hurting my child either way. If I vaccinate, will I give my child permanent damage? Will she be one of the casualties? But what if I don't vaccinate? Will she get some terrible illness that I could have prevented? Will she make others ill if she contracts something? Is that bad? What does one do?
One book I have really enjoyed is "Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parents Guide." It seems very unbiased and really goes into detail about the diseases, the vaccinations, and thoughts on both side.
Some interesting things to consider from that book:
Are we becoming dependent on vaccinations for our immunity and do vaccinations really create immunity? The thought is that if we actually acquire the diseases, we will get lifelong immunity, and each time the disease comes around it will be lessened. What were once terrible diseases are now lessened illnesses that most healthy children seem to get over, with little medical intervention. Additionally, it seems that a huge percentage of vaccinated children still get the diseases they were vaccinated for! So are these risks really worth it? Are we really doing any good anymore? Some doctors and scientists wonder.
I'm not necessarily a black and white thinker. I'm thinking at this point that partial vaccinations may be the way to go. Some vaccinations may be important and some may just be non-essential.
My child is already almost 2. I chose not to vaccinate her until she turned 2, if even then, because I'd read repeatedly that by then their brain development is mostly done (80%) and that the chances of doing damage to your child are significantly reduced.
But my child also has a lot of allergies! And I have things in my family line that concern me. And vaccines are designed for healthy people with healthy immune systems.
Additionally... why do we give so many vaccinations!!!! We give enough for an adult-sized person, not an infant. And not an infant whose immune system is immature. All of these things worry me so much.
I will continue to ponder on all of this.... and I will continue to write about my findings. I have no answers yet... but I am searching for what is best for my child.
Here are some good links to check out in the meantime: