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Archive for the ‘Vaccines’ Category

Aluminum is an ingredient in many of the infant/ childhood vaccines. Aluminum can be found naturally in our food, water, soil, and air. So what is all the hype over putting aluminum in our children’s vaccines? Should you be concerned? I hope to shed some light on this situation. It is always better to be informed about what we choose to inject into our children’s bodies.

I first learned about the possible dangers of aluminum in vaccines when I read The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears. He did a long write up in his book about the potential risks large amount of aluminum pose to our young babies. Here is some information I learned from the book:

A group called the ASPEN (The American Society for Parenteral and Enternal Nutritionists) published a study in 2004. In the study they looked at newborns that received IVs (which contain aluminum) for prolonged periods. They reported that aluminum can build up in the body tissue of newborns. It should also be noted that the IV packaging places a warning that states, “This product contains aluminum that may be toxic.” The packaging also warns that premature babies should be limited to 5 micrograms per  kilogram of body weight per day. But most of the vaccines contain way more than 5 micrograms. Below is a list of vaccines that contain aluminum and their amounts.

  • HIB- 225 micrograms
  • PC- 125 micrograms
  • DTaP- 170- 625 micrograms
  • Hep B- 250 micrograms
  • Hep A- 250 micrograms
  • HPV- 225 micrograms
  • Pentacel (DTaP, HIB, Polio) 330 micrograms
  • Pediarix (DTaP, HIB, Polio) 850 micrograms

As you can see this is way more than 5 micrograms of aluminum per shot. A study done in 1997 looked at the neurological development of premature babies who were given a standard IV feeding solution that contained aluminum and compare it to premature babies who were given the same IV feeding solution but with the aluminum almost filtered out. The babies who received the IV with aluminum in it showed “impaired neurological and mental development at eighteen months compared the infants who had the IV with hardly any aluminum in it. Those who got aluminum received an average of about 500 micrograms spread out over an average of 10 days, or about 50 micrograms per day. The babies who got the solution with aluminum filtered out received about 10 micrograms daily, or 4 to 5 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day. ” (p.197 )

There have been no studies that tests the amounts of aluminum in vaccines to date. The studies with the premature babies is enough to bring on some concern. So if aluminum can be toxic, why are they keeping it in the vaccines? Aluminum helps the vaccines to work better by helping our immune systems recognize the vaccine better. There are some vaccines that do not have any aluminum in them and they work just fine. It would cost the drug companies a lot of money to reconfigure their vaccines to contain no aluminum in them. So until there is a major study that shows that aluminum in vaccines can be toxic to young babies and children, I believe there will be no change.

What can we do?

  • Choose the do the Alternate Vaccine Schedule outlined by Dr. Sears. This schedule has spaced out the vaccines so that your child does not receive more than one aluminum contain vaccine at a time. See my post on the Alternate Vaccine Schedule http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/alternate-vaccine-schedule/
  • Ask doctor for the HIB vaccine that does not contain aluminum and the DTaP that has a reduced amount of aluminum in it
  • try not to give your child combination vaccines (more than one vaccine) that has more aluminum than the individual shots

Other Resources

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So a couple of people made a comment on my post “Vaccine Alternate Schedule” that the MMR shot is not longer avaliable separated. I visited Dr. Sears website to learn more about this. I will most likely wait until Cooper enters preschool or the age of 4 until I give him the MMR vaccine. The reason I am choosing to do this is because of a family history of bad reactions to vaccines. If there was no adverse reaction to vaccines in my family, I would just have Cooper receive the normally scheduled administration of the vaccine.

I have include a link to Dr. Sear’s website if you are interested in reading about it. http://www.askdrsears.com/thevaccinebook/

I have also pasted what I think is important information if you are trying to make a decision about the MMR vaccine:

CHILDREN WHO HAVE NEVER HAD ANY MMR COMPONENTS
– Parents who feel confident in the safety of the MMR vaccine should go ahead and vaccinate at the recommended age of 1 and 5 years.


– Parents who were planning to do it separately because they have some worry about side effects should wait until a later age to get the full MMR. I suggest waiting until a child is either 4 years of age or enters school, whichever comes first. The reason for the 4-year recommendation is two-fold: 1. Many kids don’t enter school until age 4, so their risk of catching measles, mumps, or rubella is very low, and the risk that they would expose other kids if they got sick is very low, and 2. Most states only require one dose of mumps and rubella if that one dose is given at age 4 or older, because the vaccine works much better for older kids like this. Some states do require a second dose of measles, however. See the State Requirements section below.

- Parents who don’t feel comfortable leaving their children susceptible to these three diseases until age four, but want to delay it for at least a little while, can get the MMR at whatever age you feel most comfortable. If your toddler or young child is entering early preschool at age 2 or 3, you may want him to have the disease protection. If you get the MMR before age 4, your child would need a second dose around age 5 according to the regular vaccine schedule. This second dose is given because a small percentage of kids lose their immunity from the first dose and need a booster. From a health care cost perspective, it isn’t economical to test every child’s blood at age 5 to see which kids need a booster, then only give those kids a booster. So, the routine practice is to just give the two doses to everybody. If you don’t want to simply follow this routine 2-dose schedule, and instead want to try to get by with just one dose, you can do the one dose at any age, then get a blood test around age 5 to check immunity, then repeat the MMR if needed.

- When you do get the MMR, I would suggest getting it alone, without any other shots. You can pick any time in the vaccine schedule to do it. There is no exact time that I would place it into my Alternative Vaccine Schedule. It’s an individual choice for each parent. If you get the shot at 1, 2, or 3 years of age, you can then either get the booster at 5, or do blood testing to confirm immunity and skip the booster if your child is still immune to all 3 diseases. There is also the possibility that in a few years we will have separate M, M, R component vaccines again, and you can give a booster shot for only those diseases your child needs a booster for, based on the blood immunity results. If the separate shots are not available, and 1 or 2 parts of the first shot (but not all three) have worn off, it’s okay to get the full MMR again. Or, you could just leave your child susceptible to a disease. The choice is yours.

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What is HIB?

  • HIB ( Haemophilus Influenza Type B) is a bacterium
  • can cause serious illness such as: meningitis, blood infections, bone infections, and pneumonia
  • transmitted like a cold through an infect person’s cough, mucus, or saliva
  • usually remain only in the nose, ears, or throat and only cause some minor cold symptoms
  • serious side effects could be: fever, lethargy, vomiting, and poor appetite
  • diagnosed through spinal tap or blood test
  • if infected, does not give you life long immunity

Dose your child run a risk for contracting HIB?

  • Only 25 reported cases a year (thanks to the HIB vaccine), most in children under the age of 3
  • It is serious. 5% die and 25% will have brain damage of some sort
  • Most parents don’t take their child to the doctor until they have been ill for a while and test results can take up to two days- this is too late if the illness is very advanced

What is in the Vaccine? (There are 2 possible HIB vaccines)

  • Both vaccines contain only certain portions of the disease germ. There is no way to catch the actual infection from this vaccine.
  • ActHIB: sugar, tetanus toxoid complex, saline solution
  • PedVaxHIB: sugar, saline solution, Neisseria protein complex, aluminum (225 micrograms) I will write a post either later today or tomorrow about aluminum in vaccines.

Side Effects

  • Less that 5% of babies may have: fever, fussiness, redness, and swelling
  • serious side effects that have been reported are: Guillain-Barre Syndrome and serious HIB infection (this is extremely rare)

Reasons to Get Vaccine

  • meningitis and blood infections can be very serious
  • continue HIB vaccines keep the virus from growing and the number of people from becoming ill from the HIB
  • safest side effect profile of all vaccines
  • ingredients are very pure compared to other vaccines
  • if you travel outside the country, HIB is more common in other countries

Reasons some people might choose to not give the HIB vaccine to their child

  • HIB disease remains very low (25 cased/year)
  • breastfeed and do not attend day care help reduce the risk of contracting this illness

What did I decide?

I decide to go with the alternate vaccine schedule, which included giving this vaccine. I felt that because this vaccine has a low risk of side effects and a minimum amount of aluminum, that it was safe to give Cooper. He received his first does was when he was 3 months old. He did not have any side effects at all.

More information about the HIB vaccine

Please leave a comment and share with me what you decide to do for your child concerning the HIB vaccine. If you have any other information about the vaccine that I have not shared, please leave a comment! The more we are informed about each vaccine the better choices we can make for our children!

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There is so much controversy surrounding vaccines. Links to autism, seizures  disorders, and other immune difficulties have been thought to be linked to the effects of infant vaccinations. In my family, I have a cousin who is a non-verbal autistic. She had serious seizures that were linked to some of the vaccinations she was given as a tiny infant. She is twenty-one now, and I know that vaccines have changed, but it makes me very leery of giving vaccines to my son. I did some research before Cooper was born and stumbled across a book called The Vaccine Book. Between the information that was presented in the book, discussing vaccines with my step-sister (who is a doctor), and some research on-line, I decided to do an alternate vaccine schedule with Cooper (with some modifications of my own).
There are many reasons why we chose to go with an alternate vaccine schedule rather than the recommended schedule by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Here are just a few:

  • Family history of reactions could mean that Cooper could also have an adverse reaction
  • Giving sometimes 5 vaccines in one visit seems a little much for such a young infant
  • Aluminum in vaccines can cause nervous system toxicity because infants kidneys are not able to handle the amounts given in some vaccines or combination of vaccines. (I will write a post just on this topic at a later date)
  • There are just some vaccines that I don’t feel he needs because they don’t propose such a high risk to Cooper, for example the Chicken Pox vaccine. I had the chicken pox naturally and did just fine!
  • I wanted him to still have some vaccines as I felt they posed enough risk that I did not want to chance not giving them to him.
  • He is also not in daycare and I am breastfeeding him (all help to reduce the risk of serious illness) so I felt like it was okay to space out the vaccines rather than cram them in to one visit.
  • Mercury in vaccines is linked to autism (many of the vaccines have removed this so consult your doctors about the ingredients in each vaccine before giving it to your child).

I plan on writing a review about each vaccine that children in America are recommend to have by the American Academy of Pediatrics in separate posts. Below is the Recommended Vaccine Schedule outline by the AAP and the Alternate Vaccine Schedule outline by Dr. Sears. Please leave comments  how your family has decided to handle vaccines and why. I would love to start up a good dialogue about what everyone had decided to do with their children. I think that every family needs to evaluate their situation and choose what is right for them!

American Academy of Pediatrics Vaccine Schedule

  • Birth Hep B
  • 1 month Heb B
  • 2 months HIB, Pc, DTaP, Rotavirus, Polio
  • 4 months HIB, Pc, DTaP, Rotavirus, Polio
  • 6 months HIB, Pc, DTaP, Rotavirus, Hep B, Flu
  • 1 year MMR, Chickenpox, Hep A
  • 18 months DTaP, Polio, Hep A, Flu
  • 2 years Flu
  • 3 years Flu
  • 4 years Flu
  • 5 years DTap, Polio, MMR, Flu, Chickenpox
  • 12 years Tdap, Menigococcal, HPV (3 doses, girls only)

Dr. Sear’s Alternate Vaccine Schedule (p.236-237 The Vaccine Book) Vaccines in red, I choose to not give to Cooper

MMR is no longer avaliable in a seporated shot, as Dr. Sear’s has advised, Cooper will receive the combined MMR shot at age 4

  • 2 months DTaP, Rotavirus
  • 3 months Pc, HIB
  • 4 months DTaP, Rotavirus
  • 5 months PC, HIB
  • 6 months DTaP, Rotavirus
  • 7 months Pc, HIB
  • 9 months Polio, Flu (2 Doses)
  • 12 months  Polio
  • 15 months Pc, HIB
  • 18 months DTaP, Chickenpox
  • 21 months Flu
  • 2 years  Polio
  • 2 years, 6 months Hep B, Hep A
  • 3 years Heb B,  Flu
  • 3 years, 6 months Hep B, Hep A
  • 4 years DTaP, Polio, Flu, MMR
  • 5 years Flu
  • 6 years Chickenpox
  • 12 years Tdap, HPV (girls only)
  • 12 years, 2 months HPV (girls only)
  • 13 years HPV (girls only), Meningococcal

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