To Vaccinate or Not?

Stacy Matson | Celebrity Health
To Vaccinate or Not?

image by: Mahanga

It seems there are a lot of celebrities that are speaking outwardly about whether they are for or against vaccinations. Probably the most outspoken and well known celebrities are Jenny McCarthy, against and Amanda Peet, for

I hate vaccines! I don’t believe in them. It took me a long time to get there but I finally feel confident enough to say it out loud! I HATE VACCINES! I’m not the first person to have an opinion against vaccinating. The controversy surrounding this issue has been going on for years.

I started questioning my daughter’s pediatrician about the need to vaccinate her 15 years ago. I vaccinated her until she was 2 and I regret doing that. I started opting out when she would get horribly sick following her shots; fevers, throwing up, lethargic, and grouchy.  It seemed like every time I took her in to the doctor they were informing me of the vaccines she would get that day and what she needed next.  At first I played coy and brushed them off.  Eventually I just said no to the doctors and after a while they stopped asking me about vaccines because they knew I wouldn’t do it.  Years later, I knew we dodged a bullet when the Autism debate started and she turned out fine. 

However, I had an experience recently at the vet with my dog that made me determined to never vaccinate my family or my dog again. The only reason I vaccinate my dog is because it is required by law and by his boarding facility. I have an 8 year old black lab, who is the greatest dog on the planet by the way, that I took to get his Rabies, DHPP, and Bordatella booster shots, the same shots he’d been getting for the past 8 years. 

While at the vet we were told that the vaccine manufacturers added another vaccine to the DHPP combination. That combination almost killed my dog.  After he got his series of shots we came home. For about a half hour he was pretty lethargic. Then all of a sudden he got incredibly agitated.  He couldn’t stay still.  He ran around the house as if he was searching for something and started scratching like crazy.  He kept running up to me as if he was asking for help; I didn’t know what to do.  Then his lips and nose started to swell. 

We rushed him back to the vet. On the way there he was lying on my lap looking in my eyes, panting heavily, and then he broke out in hives.  His entire body was covered with quarter sized bumps.  We got him to the vet and they gave him an injection of epinephrine and another of Benadryl.  We had to wake him up every hour all night long to make sure he was still breathing.  That was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.  It is required by law, for me to do this to him again next year, but I’m not going to.

Jenny McCarthy is convinced that her son’s autism is a result of too many vaccines too quickly. He was a normal two year old until he had his final series of shots, suffered a major seizure, and then shut down.  Ever since, she’s been on a mission to find a solution for her son, and has done incredible work through her foundation, Generation Rescue.

Generation Rescue is working diligently to pass legislation forcing vaccine manufacturers to remove the Mercury, Formaldehyde, Aluminum and other such toxins found in their products. Additionally, she’s trying to get Doctors to lengthen the time span between vaccinations.  Jenny McCarthy works tirelessly promoting the Autism/vaccination connection and creating a safe world for her son.

Amanda Peet’s mission to promote vaccinations came after much thought and research on her part. As a parent, she felt conflicted by the information she was hearing from her Hollywood friends who were either not vaccinating or were staggering them. Peet decided to consult with family members in the medical field and after speaking with them she decided that vaccines are “safe”, there is no “grand conspiracy”, and that celebrities have no business recommending things they don’t fully understand. 

Pretty ironic because she continues with, “Please don't listen to me. Don't listen to actors. Go to the experts".  She feels that the media too often gives celebrities more attention and credibility on this issue than they give doctors. She says, “We live in a celebrity culture, and we tend to believe what celebrities tell us".

Through her organization, Every Child By Two, Amanda Peet, is pushing for legislation that requires all children to be vaccinated by the age of two. However, her message might not be as effective as Jenny McCarthy’s because of some insensitive comments she made about parents who choose to not vaccinate their children. 

In the July issue of the parenting magazine, Cookie, she said, "Frankly, I feel that parents who don't vaccinate their children are parasites".  She later apologized for her statement but said she has not changed her stance on vaccinations, “I do in no way, shape or form retract my position or the meaning behind the use of the word and I completely understand why it offended some parents.  In particular, parents of children with autism feel that vaccines caused their illness. For this, I am truly sorry”.

No one doubts that both mothers love their children desperately and want to protect them, but they’re fighting different demons; one is protecting an injured child and one is trying to protect her child from injury. My question to Amanda Peet is: If your child is vaccinated and mine is not, what do you have to worry about?  I’m the one making the choice and taking the risk.  Your child should be just fine, right?  She is vaccinated after all.

In 1983, the Centers for Disease Control recommended a total of 10 vaccines for children but by 2008, the CDC recommended 36 vaccines, a 260% increase. Vaccinations used to end around the age of 2 ½ they now recommend them until the age of 18.  In my opinion, putting all of these foreign substances in one’s body is bound to have the same negative effect on a child as it did on my dog.

And no one really knows what the consequences are, either way, however, we have to pick a side. We’ve all heard about the horrors of Polio.  My friend’s mother survived Polio; I saw how she suffered. We hear about Mumps and Measles making a comeback, but something as serious as “To vaccinate or not " cannot be decided without doing your own research. To help you make a decision check out To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate.

Stacy Matson is a health enthusiast from Southern California and regularly blogs on Celebrity Health for A Healthier World, as well as contributing to the Best of the Best.

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