Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Vaccine Book

My wife and I had our first baby a little over a year ago. Trying to be responsible parents, we decided not to follow the flock and read about vaccines before jumping in the suggested vaccines schedule offered. We then read a lot of books. A lot, really, from different sources and of different stance. And most were unsatisfactory to me, being clearly pro or anti vaccines, not providing a balanced and neutral analysis of the topic, or not reducing the confusion that surrounds information about vaccination.

But, the last book I read on vaccines was a book I can confidently recommend. Written by a pediatrician, it is surprisingly balanced and pretty informative. For every vaccine, its history, the commonness and its seriousness are discussed, the content of the shot, the potential side-effects, etc. Whether you choose to vaccine totally, partially or not at all your child, Dr. Sears' The Vaccine Book is a great ressource. Vaccination may be a delicate topic, it has been for us, and it's important to know what's at stake, where lies the uncertainties of science, what are the pros and the cons for the child, the parents and society. Some vaccines are clearly not imperatives nowadays, others may be worth considering the risks of the associated disease. For some vaccines, it's possible to wait until the child is a teenager and at that time verify if a natural immunization (better) has been developed, otherwise, go on with vaccination at that moment. Well, many possibilities, and to learn what's best and responsible to do, this book has helped me a great deal.
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