17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Friday, May 23, 2008

From the Tales Inbox: Green for Vaccines

As new parents we are fortunate to have most of the Mercury/Thimerosal removed from our children's routine vaccinations. Has anyone thought about the high levels of aluminum? At birth my son was given the "routine" Hep B vaccine. I consented after many hours of labor not really thinking twice. There are two types of Hep B vaccine on the market- Merck or GlaxoSmithKline. Both are similar in there aluminum content- 250 micrograms per dose. Doesn't sound like much- right?

"The FDA has determined that babies should not get more than about 25 to 50 micrograms of aluminum in any one day," Dr. Sears says in the The Vaccine Book. "If too much aluminum is injected all at once, it can find its way into the brain, bones and body organs and cause damage. This was discovered many years ago in hospitalized patients who were receiving IV solutions containing too much aluminum. That's why the FDA put a limit on it."

This is where you can find the information- page 2 section 3a.

For a tiny newborn this toxic dose would be 10 to 20 micrograms per day, and for an adult it would be about 350 micrograms per day. Tissue loading may even occur at even lower rates of administration the FDA states.

Ok...are you kidding? I gave my baby 250 micrograms in Hep B the first day he was born and he was 2 weeks early.

The article also states; "Aluminum toxicity is difficult to identify in infants because few reliable techniques are available to evaluate bone metabolism in...infants. Although aluminum toxicity is not commonly detected clinically, it can be serious in selected patient populations, such as neonates, and may be more common than is recognized."

Dr. Sears points out that the FDA requires an aluminum warning label on all other injectable medications, other than vaccines. Vaccines have some sort of exemption. What about full term healthy babies? Have there been done any test on how many micrograms a full-term, 2 month, or 4 month baby can handle? Up to this point no. If anyone can find any real evidence-please send it my way. I am sure even a conservative estimate will be less than the 250 micrograms given to full-term babies at birth.

Just a few other shots and there aluminum amounts:

1. HIB- 225 micrograms per shot (PedVaxHib brand only)
2. Pc- 125 micrograms per shot
3. Hep A- 250 micrograms per shot
4. Pediarix- 850 micrograms per shot
5. Pentacel- 300 micrograms per shot

Talk to your doc and try to pick the brand with the lowest dosages of aluminum. Or seperate shots out a few at a time if you are concerned about the lack of data like I am.

So at my son's 2 month appointment- he weighed 10 pounds and recieved a grand total of 1225 micrograms of aluminum in one day.... ONE DAY!!! unfortunately our doctor had the higher level brands. I wish I would have known about this then.

I guess the FDA just assumes that all kidneys of healthy infants are able excrete this aluminum rapidy before it can circulate through the body, accumulate in the brain and cause toxic effects. I guess all I can do at this point is pray that his little body pee'd it all out. Great!

I am in no way anti-vaccine. I just want the safest drugs on the market. Why can't the vaccine companies spend a little more time and money on legitimate current testing that applies to the ingredients used today over a 10-20 year period versus 2-3 year period. I know it would cost too much money and waste too much time. Well like I said earlier- my son is not going to be the latest science experiment of what aluminum overload will do 10 years down the road. Until they do testing for 7-9 shots at one time- he will be getting 1-2 at a time (which is how the vaccine companies test the vaccines- individually).

Dr. Sears expects doctors to choose aluminum-free brands as much as possible, and space out the shots to only give one aluminum vaccine at a time. He also expects vaccine manufacturers to begin looking for alternatives that are safer.

So I guess I sum up my take on vaccines as "Green our Vaccines" (909shot.com). It is the idea of taking out the toxins currently in the vaccines (ie: Ingredients: mercury, aluminum, antifreeze, formaldehyde, aborted human fetus cells, chick embryos, monkey kidney cells, fetal bovine serum, etc.) And replacing them with safer/less toxic ingredients. This includes the vaccines for adults. If you watched the Today Show last week- a doctor talked about 10 vaccines adults should be renewing. How many of us are actually running to the doctor to get these shots. And just so you know- "They will save adult lives also". I would like safer vaccines for myself and children. It seems very significant and important to all folks. Check it out online if you are interested.

Green Mom


  • I have always hear mercury, mercury, mercury, when it comes to vaccines, but I have never heard anything about aluminum. I am curious to see if anyone else has.

    Also, does anyone know why the vaccines have these toxins in them anyway? I am pretty clueless.

    On another note, I appreciated that our hospital asked us if we wanted the baby to get the Hep B vaccine this time - instead of just handing us the paper to sign giving us the impression that we had no choice. We have decided to hold off for a while.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 5/23/2008 06:29:00 PM  

  • We've decided against vaccinating our babies (I don't want to start a debate though because I think what is right for one person might not work for another, just like there have been adverse reactions to vaccines in some families and not in others. It's all personal). Really these toxins scare me more than what they are vaccinating against (which oftentimes are diseases that are either non-existant or rare, and if they were to fall victim, the diseases are still treatable).
    We've been fortunate to have friends let us borrow books and magazines, and we've done our own research into learning more about what is in vaccines and which ones really do help. In fact, there was an article by Dr. Sears' son (another Dr. Sears) in a recent Motherhood magazine about the aluminum in vaccines. I was shocked too. The only reason I'd ever heard for these toxins is their use as preservatives, but why? It's so confusing, and I'm glad you shared that site about "green for vaccines" because if the developers of those vaccines took the time to make something safer, maybe so many people wouldn't be having adverse reactions to them. Thanks for this post!
    posted by Blogger Team Chilton at 5/24/2008 12:00:00 AM  

  • This is a hard one...All of my older children recieved their Vaccinations on schedule because I was told to. I never knew there were options. I always thought you either do it or go cold turkey and become totally anti-vaccine.

    As I gather more information though I feel more comfortable delaying or spreading out the administration of routine Vaccines.

    Still I would like more info and more testing. When I told my Pediatrician I was delaying he gave me qutie a hard time yet he was not able to answer my questions regarding the ingrdients and possible side effects. He simply said "vaccines save lives". That is the same reply I have gotten from other Dr.'s such as my Dad, brothers, and goodfriend from high school.

    I believe vaccines will save lives but do we have to be so aggressive in the administration of them?

    I too have read Dr. Sears Vaccine book and liked his practical advice in boosting the immune system before vaccines in order to prevent or minimize side effects. Breastfeed, minimize sugar and junk food, minimize other chemical exposures, Omega-3 oil supplements, probiotics, fruits/veggies, Vitamin A, & Vitamin C.

    Carrie- I read about Aluminum pg 203 of the Vaccine book and it says Aluminum is an adjuvant - it helps the vaccine work better. It is would not be easy to take it out. It was a lot easier to take out Mercury because the vaccines did not need to be reformulalted.

    Green Mom- What else can we do to help this cause? I'm not in a position to March in DC next week. I suppose we could write letters to our local gov't leaders. Any other ideas?
    posted by Blogger alibop at 5/24/2008 08:10:00 AM  

  • Seriously?????? This is so dang confusing. I have no helpful comment, but I just feel completely overwhelmed when I read posts like this. I guess I need to do my own research and talk to professionals as well. At least my pediatrician is able to answer my questions re: vaccines, and she doesn't push parents if they don't want to vaccinate or want to slow down the process. I appreciate that, although so far I've chosen to vaccinate on schedule. But really, why can parents have peace of mind when it comes to the health care of their kids!
    posted by Blogger Adam at 5/24/2008 11:03:00 AM  

  • That last comment was me, but under DH's name.... oops.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 5/24/2008 06:05:00 PM  

  • It is true that most of the diseases that our children receive vaccinations for are rare, however, we recently had an outbreak of Rubella here in Switzerland--not third world--high vaccination rate--that was spreading somewhat rapidly in the schools because lots of people decide not to give their children the MMR vaccine. If you research Rubella I am pretty sure you will decide you really don't want your child to get it.

    Additionally, we have a friend who got chickenpox while pregnant with twins and faced some seriously dangerous complications for her and the babies---and she likely got it from someone else's child while out shopping or something because she doesn't have any other children at home to be exposed to.

    I am not trying to be pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine because I totally agree it is a personal decision and what is right for one isn't necessary right for another. I just think you should consider that your decision affects the lives of your children (which I am sure you have well considered), but also the lives of those around you---so be informed, do your research, and make sure it is the best decision for all involved.
    posted by Blogger Penny at 5/25/2008 12:50:00 AM  

  • Penny - You are right that it is so important to stay informed.

    Here is a site for info on diseases around the world.


    Rubella does not look seem as risky for children as it does for pregnant women. Which brings us back to your friend's experience with chickenpox.

    It is interesting how the vaccine debate focuses so much on children and there is not a lot of talk about adults in need of boosters. It is especially important for women of childbearing age as it protects not just them but also their unborn child.

    I cannot remember my healthcare provider asking me if I was up to date on my immunizations. Yet everytime we visit the pediatrician it becomes a discussion.
    posted by Blogger alibop at 5/25/2008 10:53:00 AM  

  • Those who don't vaccinate. Please remember that there are babies who have not been vaccinated yet, and you increase their risk. There are the small percentage of people who vaccines don't work for, and you increase their risk.

    Thanks for the heads up. My son's 2 month appt. is Tuesday. He's my fourth. It looks like they've changed some of the immunization dates. I don't remember 5 being the normal number. I had been thinking about spreading it out and going in a week later. My copay is $30 and going to the doctor is a pain!!! But I've got
    kids crying, gotta go
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 5/25/2008 08:30:00 PM  

  • We chose to vaccinate - I think it is not only important to protect my own children but also to protect other children from these terrible diseases. IMHO it is the socially responsible thing to do. By not vaccinating people put not only their children, but other children at risk.

    I am not saying that vaccinating is not scary - it is. But there are ways to ease the anxiety - a delayed schedule being one of them. We have chosen to delay a few of the vaccines - including MMR - DD just got hers at 17 months.
    posted by Blogger Ellen at 5/26/2008 06:13:00 PM  

  • re: delaying

    when we were spreading out and delaying many vaccines, this was my simple Dr-friendly, vaccine-friendly technique:

    1) research for yourself the vaccine risks and disease risks, and pick what yo want your kid to get.

    2) ask the Dr "if she only got one today, which would you want that to be?"

    3) listen, discuss, choose one, make a plan to get the others.

    we moved a lot when #2 was small. every doctor responded well to this question, everybody was satisfied we got "the most important one" and most interestingly, the Drs told us which ones on the schedule were not actually important for this individual child, in their opinion.

    also FYI, when we came back between Dr appointments to get the rest of the shots spread out and one at a time, we simply popped in and saw the nurse, there was no copay.
    posted by Blogger cchrissyy at 5/31/2008 12:42:00 PM  

  • we delay/separate vaccinations. every doctor we've had has told us to skip hepb and chicken pox. our pediatrician for the last two years has been dr. bill sears (the dad) and he is very supportive of our decisions and encourages great dialogue. he frequently reminds us that a typical breastfed baby who is not in daycare is fine without vaxes for two years. (and carrie, you're totally close enough to use him, if you're ever ped-shopping and he's SO worth it!)
    posted by Anonymous makakona at 6/09/2008 10:08:00 PM  

  • oh, and as for the schedule being beefed up for babies, i once watched a program on cnn health where the cdc spokesperson flat out said that the main reason for the altered schedule is because they found that parents are more vigilant about medical care the younger the child is. i also don't doubt that there is heavy lobbying, politicking, and covering of backsides going on when it comes to immunizations in america.

    i've always held to the belief that it is not appropriate to have my children on the same vax schedule as the children of the heroin-addicted prostitute my husband arrested last week. i won't allow my childrens' medical care to assume them as being the lowest common denominator, which is what the current vax schedule does.
    posted by Anonymous makakona at 6/09/2008 10:17:00 PM  

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