Vaccinations in Santa Rosa - Waivers and Exemptions
Vaccination is a subject that provokes heated debate regarding efficacy, necessity, societal obligation, safety and reliability. The debate over vaccination tends to be steeped in rhetoric, dogma and exaggeration. It is undeniable that vaccination can help prevent potentially life threatening illnesses. On the other hand, many serious side-effects have been linked to the process of vaccination.
Based upon the current body of evidence, neither the extreme pro nor anti-immunization position is completely defensible. Because adequate research has never been completed, the effects and side effects of compulsory childhood vaccination remain largely unknown. The vaccination decision is difficult and complex. To make an informed decision, you will need a balanced view of the available information. Your local department of health can provide literature in favor of vaccination. The information presented here should help balance your knowledge of the subject.
Objective of Childhood Vaccination
Vaccines are designed to artificially stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies against specific bacteria and viruses. Antibodies are small proteins that aid in the destruction of invading organisms. Ideally the process would prevent some serious diseases of childhood, provide lifetime immunity from these diseases, and produce no side effects.
Clearly vaccines can prevent childhood illness. Unfortunately, no vaccine can provide 100% lifetime immunity, and no vaccine is entirely safe. Adequate research to assess the long term hazards of injecting foreign proteins into the bodies of young children does not currently exist. The question then becomes, how well do vaccines accomplish the intended long range objectives and at what cost to the recipient?
Public Health vs. The Right of the Individual
Those promoting compulsory childhood vaccination cite the concept of heard immunity as the overriding benefit. When high levels of immunity to a specific disease exist within a population, that disease cannot spread uncontrollably throughout the members of a population. If everyone in society receives the recommended vaccinations, a critical mass of individuals may become immune and the population acquires heard immunity to the disease in question. According to public health philosophy, the moral obligation of receiving vaccinations is implicit within the social contract of living in a society. The risks associated with vaccination are deemed acceptable in light of this greater good. However, when pressed many people in the field of public health acknowledge that the safest scenario is an un-immunized person in a fully immunized society.
In regard to immunization, the perspective of the individual is in opposition to that of society. As a parent in the middle of the immunization decision, your main concern is what’s best for your child. An inherent conflict exists between any implied social contract of those living within a society and the individual’s right to refuse medical treatment based upon informed consent.
An Integrative Doctor's Perspective
It is obvious that viruses and bacteria contribute to the development of disease, and that vaccines can generate protective levels of immunity to certain diseases. However, the infectious agents are not the only factors to consider. The individual’s health and constitution as well as his/her social and physical environment are also crucial determinants. In other words, a strong and healthy body is not fertile ground for the spread of infection and disease.
The Naturopathic medical community does not have one unified position on the topic of vaccinations. This is why our doctors are dedicated to the process of educating each patient and other physicians as well as the public - through seminars, lectures ongoing research. Our doctors are leaders in the field of alternative approaches to vaccinations for children.
The final decision rests with responsible parents. We recognizes the complexity of the decision, and encourage parents to carefully consider many factors in the light of existing knowledge. There are several criteria to assess prior to making any decision.
1. What is the risk (or probability) of this child contacting the causative agent of the disease in question?
2. What are the consequences of the natural infection?
3. Is there a safe vaccine available?
4. Is the immunity conferred by the vaccine solid and long-lasting?
5. Is the route of vaccine administration compatible with the route of natural infection, and are the appropriate elements of the immune system stimulated?
6. What is the particular child’s health history?
7. What is the child’s current health status?
8. Are alternatives available, and if so, are they safe and effective?
To learn more about our vaccination seminars and classes, or to learn more about childhood vaccines, waivers, exemptions and more - please contact:
TRU HEALTH Medicine at 707-292-8882.
We are located in Santa Rosa.
Naturopathic health care with compassionate integrative doctors who understand your unique medical needs.