Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dr. Wazny: The Immunization Talk

Dr. Wazny is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor, with a practice in Scottsdale, Arizona. Today, he paid a visit to my mommy's group at the Babymoon Inn in order to conduct an open forum question/answer session. Over twenty moms gathered to ask questions, mostly about immunizations & Vitamin D.

I cannot quote Dr. Wazny verbatim, but here's the gist of what I gathered:

On Immunizations:

Every child & family situation is different. For instance, babies/children in households with 5-8+ members, smokers, or healthcare/ teaching professionals, have a higher risk for diseases like pertussis & it's recommended they are vaccinated.

But, on the other hand, babies that are exclusively breastfed have a very low risk for diseases in their first year because they have antibodies being delivered to them through the milk.

In their first year of life, babies' immune systems will change significantly, which is why DTAP has to be offered multiple times in order to be fully effective.

If your baby is breastfed & does not meet the above three situations (i.e. large household, smokers, etc.), you may consider waiting until their systems are stronger before vaccinating, around two years of age.

One mom asked a very good question in regards to waiting until a child is two. She pointed out that some vaccines are given to babies under a year to specifically protect them at that age. If you wait until two, and that time has passed, why vaccinate for that specific vaccine at all?

Personal preference then comes into play, it seems.

One suggestion, from Dr. Wazny, I may implement with my own is the idea of a blood test. Before giving a child a specific vaccine, you can have their blood tested to see if they already have an immunity build up. Why vaccinate if it's already there?

The downside, however, is that a blood test must be done for each individual vaccine & it's pricy if you don't have insurance, or insurance doesn't cover it.

Some vaccines, Dr. Wazny explained, are newer, like the HPV vaccine for girls, and our generation is the "guinea pig" per say. Yes, the vaccine can prevent cervical cancer but, what if, the vaccine causes different issues, or other cancers, we are unaware of yet?

Newer vaccines, from what I gathered, aren't as "tried and true" as their older counterparts, and are probably best to avoid until further research is done.

To support this point of view, Dr. Wazny cited a story regarding military men in the 70's that were given a new version of a vaccine, which was later pulled off the market because it caused neurological problems.

Why Vaccinate?

The "herd" mentality leaves us to ponder the question, " If we all stopped vaccinating because we were nervous about the side effects of vaccines for our own child(ren), will diseases, like polio, become prevalent again among the masses because we didn't do our social duty to protect these masses?"

Another mom begged the question, "Would you feel more guilty if your child died of a disease you could've prevented, or because the vaccine you gave them caused side effects you didn't know existed?"

That being said, there are plenty of opinions on vaccines. Some are carefully researched, others are not. Dr. Wazny believes you should look at each child case by case.

I personally recommend the book by Dr. Sears on vaccinating, called The Vaccine Book: Making The Right Decision For Your Child. In the book, Dr. Sears outlines an alternative vaccine schedule you can follow.

My son goes to Dr. Argawal of Agave Peds. The entire practice allows alternative vaccine schedules and even do mercury free shots only. They have two locations- one in downtown Scottsdale and one at Desert Ridge. Highly recommend this practice if you are following an alternative schedule, or choosing not to vaccinate at all.

In conclusion, it can all be overwhelming & I believe you have to do what's right for your family, whether that be vaccinating or not.

1 comment:

  1. Great advice. I would also recommend Dr. Sears book and we also go to Dr. Argawal. We usually see Diane there and love her!