Monday, March 21, 2011

The Vaccine Book

In my spare time (ha!) I volunteer as an administrator on the Natural Parents Network's Facebook Page. Lately, to vaccinate or not to vaccinate has been a hot discussion topic over there. Making an informed decision on whether to vaccinate, which vaccines to give, and when to give them can be a challenge, given the amount of information available that is biased one way or the other.

The single resource that helped the most in determining Delilah's vaccination schedule (we vaccinate selectively and on an alternative schedule) was The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears. The Vaccine Book gives detailed information on the risks and benefits associated with each vaccine on the current CDC child immunization schedule. It includes information on the diseases and viruses that vaccines are meant to protect against, including their prevalence and severity, and also discusses how vaccines are made and tested, how they function, and explains the potential side effects associated with ingredients commonly found in vaccines.

In addition to the comprehensive information provided, Dr. Sears's writing style makes this book stand out. He provides the facts in an un-biased manner, explaining medical terms to ensure that the information is clear and easy to understand. He withholds judgement on whether or not to vaccinate, seeking instead to provide all of the information so that parents can make educated and informed decisions about what is best for their children. He offers several suggestions for alternative, delayed, and selective vaccination schedules, including rationale for his suggestions. He weighs the risks and benefits of each vaccine against the severity and prevalence of the disease it is meant to guard against.

Whether you are pro-vaccine, anti-vaccine, or undecided, I recommend this as one of the must-have books in every parent's library.

--This is an un-solicited review for which I received no compensation. 
The views and opinions expressed herein are my own. Your results may vary.

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