Moms Circle–Vaccines


Instead of our usual format, our moms circle invited a guest speaker today.  Doctor Holly Johantgen is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, an Acupuncture Physician and a Primary Care Physician in Clearwater Florida, as well as a mother of two young children.  She fielded questions about vaccines, and we snuck some other questions in, too, while we had her.

What I took away from her talk was that there are prevalent assumptions about vaccines that should be questioned.

  • Vaccines may not protect your child from disease.  Some people feel that getting the whooping cough vaccine will not necessarily keep your child from getting the whooping cough.  If it doesn’t work, this simplifies the whole decision-making process–so it’s worth doing your own research into the subject.
  • The benefits may not outweigh the risks.  Vaccines carry known risks, a fact well illustrated by the existence of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Trust Fund.  Each vaccine could be examined individually as to the risks, and the risks of the relevant disease should also be investigated.  If a vaccine does effectively prevent a disease, it may still have side effects or risks that are worse (or likelier) than the threat of catching the disease naturally.
  • Some vaccines may not be necessary for every individual.  Investigate each one individually to decide whether your children need to be protected from Hepatitis B, polio, chicken pox, tetanus.  Consider that some vaccines can be administered later if and when they are deemed necessary (ie when you are ready to take your child overseas or when your child steps on a dirty nail).
  • The standard recommended vaccine schedule may not be best.  Vaccinating infants does, without a doubt, compromise their otherwise (hopefully) healthy immune systems.  Many doctors recommend delayed vaccinations.  Doctor Holly recommended waiting until your child is at least two years old, but said that according to oriental medicine, a person’s body would be better able to handle vaccinations between five and seven years old.

If you are worried about a particular disease outbreak, ask whether the kids contracting the disease have been vaccinated or not.  If they are vaccinated, there is no reason to sabotage your child’s immune system at this critical time with a vaccine that does not work!

If you are unsure about vaccinations, Doctor Holly’s advice is to WAIT.  Don’t vaccinate until you are sure, because it is a decision that cannot be undone, and which has lifelong ramifications.  You can always decide to vaccinate, but once done you cannot become un-vaccinated.

If you do choose to vaccinate your children, do everything you can to support their immune health before and after the vaccines are administered.  Nutrition is the biggest contributor to your child’s health. Leading up to a vaccination, keep your child’s diet free of sugar and as packed with nutrition as you can!  You can also visit with a Doctor of Oriental Medicine for herbs or supplements that might assist your child’s body in handling the vaccine.  If you do choose to vaccinate, read ingredients, insist on thermisol-free vaccines, and record the batch number.

If you choose not to vaccinate your child, it is also important to support their immune health.  Again, nutrition is the best thing to tweak.  In fact, I could just say that if you are a parent–regardless of whether your child is vaccinated–look to a good diet to keep your children healthy!





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