Many parents scratch their head at me when I announce proudly that my children are at home with the chicken pox, or when someone says “Oh I hope your little one doesn’t get it from the big one” and I respond with “No, I really want her to get it.”
I partially vaccinated my children. My vaccine choices were based on thorough research of conventional and alternative information, evidence-based perspectives on health, disease, and immunizations, and my intuition as a mother. But what it came down to was this one question for each vaccine: “What is worse, if my child gets the disease or gets the vaccine?” When it came to chicken pox I saw absolutely no reason to give the vaccine— I remember not only having the chicken pox but all my friends around me getting it too. We all survived. And I now believe our immunity to other viruses was strengthened by that 7 day itchy-scratchy stay-at-home challenge. And somehow, we as children all innately knew this too, because what a triumph it was to have it and than not to have it! Ever again! Many of my friends in other countries, some of them in the third world, recount similar experiences with the measles, pertussis, rubella, and mumps, all of which I had been vaccinated for as a young American kid and have no personal memory of.
Now, with two children at home for 2 weeks (so far) with the chicken pox I do NOT at all regret my decision not to vaccinate for the chicken pox. And here’s why…
Why do I want them to get childhood diseases like the chicken pox, mumps, measles, and rubella? Well the answer is simple, because my children are healthy (al7amdulillah/Thank God) and the diseases are much safer and better promoters of long-term health than the vaccines— that is, if they get the diseases now in their young age. I do not want to go into an extensive literature review outlining all the pro and anti-vaccine research, there is already plenty out there. But here are my reasons why I chose chicken pox the disease over the vaccine: (I will reserve my explanation to chicken pox only for the sake of time, and because I really don’t want to write that literature review — but it is important to note that the reasons I mention here are some of the same for why I did not vaccinate for measles, mumps, and rubella):
1) For full-proof immunity.
Unlike the vaccine, acquiring the chicken pox and allowing it to run its course naturally ensures lifetime immunity! This is especially important in females, with whom chicken pox can be very dangerous during pregnancy. I would rather my daughter be completely immune starting now at 3 years old than put her unborn child at risk, which may be the case if she is ‘immunized’ with a semi-effective vaccine and is unknowingly exposed during pregnancy.
People who have had chicken pox as children and are then exposed to it again through their own children are less likely to develop shingles as adults. Yup, that’s right I just had a natural booster and I am now protected against the shingles– a dangerous virus, with the potential of causing nerve damage in elderly populations.. Thank you my babies for the immunity boost!
Hence, full-proof/life-long immunity can only come from the actual disease! I have linked some articles on the partial efficacy of the vaccine below—because I will be damned to write a literature review.
2) To train the body to fight infectious diseases.
When we are born, we are immediately and forever exposed to millions of microorganisms via our skin and mucus membranes. And our body is lined with immune responsive abilities at our airways, intestines, and skin, which systematically protect us from the outside world.
“Those immune systems that are intricately and specifically located in the linings are very important to create memory and protection to the organisms that they continue to breathe, eat, and touch. That immune system response then has a domino effect on creating other memory and immune responses that give your body antibodies and protection. That’s a very important step for how the immune system matures in our children. From the linings, the immune system receives information, sends out signals to all other parts of the immune system, and creates an immune response, memory, and antibodies.” Dr. Larry Palevsky, Board Certified Pediatrician
But by injecting a microorganism into the body we bypass this ‘primary line of defense.’ and thus weaken our body’s ability to respond to infectious agents. So, though many parents say they do not want their children to suffer and be ill, (what sane parents don’t want that?), our culture’s desperate need to urgently stamp out any kind of pain is counter-productive. In order to know how to fight disease, we sometimes have to get sick and exposure to the virus through the vaccine alone does not allow our bodies the complete disease process of acquiring the illness and naturally healing from it. With the vaccine, the body does not create the total memory to fight disease. I would much rather my children get sick from manageable and self-limiting diseases than serious ones. Also, as I had written before in Suppressive Therapies, Homeopathy, and the State of Mankind, suppressive therapies drive disease deeper into the organism, making us sick on more vital levels.
3) It is much safer to get the disease as a child than as an adult.
“For 99.9 percent of healthy children, chickenpox is a mild disease without complications. However, up to 20 percent of adults who get chickenpox develop severe complications such as pneumonia, secondary bacterial infections, and brain inflammation (which is reported in less than one percent of children who get chickenpox). Most children and adults who develop these serious complications have compromised immune systems or other health problems.”
Though, one is at greater risk if immune compromised and exposed to the disease we also know from our own experiences and collective memory that chicken pox is more difficult for adults. Some of us have known people who got the chicken pox as adults and even though they did not develop complications it was much rougher for them than it was for us as kids.
Again, the same is true for measles, mumps, and rubella– they can be more serious in adults. Measles and rubella can be dangerous to pregnant women and mumps can be dangerous to boys that have started puberty. So, if my children do not get these three diseases by the time they pose a true risk, I will reconsider the vaccines. By waiting, I am also hoping that they too will be able to participate in the vaccine discussion and begin a life-long path to health empowerment by learning to make informed decisions about their health. After all, aren’t we supposed to model and practice informed consent and informed refusal?
Now, I am sure there are plenty out there that will still say “I still don’t want my children to get the chicken pox” and the biggest accusation of I’ve heard thus far from fellow parents is: “your infected children pose a threat to the rest of the community and perhaps even the world.” And to these claims I have only this to say:
1) I have been more than diligent in isolating my children so that no one is exposed, please don’t worry.
2) If you want to vaccinate your child, go for it! It’s your choice. But if the vaccine fails that’s not my problem… it was your choice!
3) It has been made clear by honest investigation and analysis that in the third world where simple childhood diseases like chicken pox and measles can be life-threatening, that vaccination is not the answer. The answer is pulling these children out of third world conditions by giving them access to good nutrition, clean water, sanitation, good hygiene, and sustainable food practices; in other words, granting these children their natural human rights.
I refuse to be the scape-goat, the person blamed for the 150,000 children who die annually from the measles alone. The reason why those children die is because most of ‘them’ are poor black and brown children and as our racist capitalist world has proven time and again, children of color don’t really matter. Rather than pumping billions into the vaccine and pharmaceutical industry to mass immunize these populations, that money could be far better spent by helping poor children to live in more humane conditions. By ensuring basic fundamental human rights and the most essential of social justice– access to true health– we CAN fix the problem of unnecessary fatalities or disease injury from simple diseases like amoebic dysentery and measles in vulnerable populations. Even the WHO, one of the world’s largest organizations and a staunch proponent of mass immunizations states in their fact sheet that: “more than 95% of measles deaths occur in low-income countries with weak health infrastructures.” And if its the children’s lives that matter what is the world doing about the estimated 2.9 million African and Asian newborns that die every year, most of them in their first day of life from preventable causes? Where are the billions for those children? And of course, facilitating access to basic health infrastructure would also save the lives of these babies in addition to solving many other public health problems in developing countries. Mass immunizations only mask symptoms of poverty, they do NOT fix poverty!
The anti-vax witch-hunt that has sprouted in recent years is yet another corporate attempt to distract from the real needs of children around the world. In developed countries where healthy children have nutritious diets and basic infrastructure, chicken pox, measles, mumps, and rubella are mild diseases. Isn’t it time we give ‘other’ children these basic foundations to health? How is introducing unsafe, ineffective, and lest we forget morbific agents in the form of vaccines into already at-risk populations with major public health crises better for ‘them’ than providing basic health infrastructure and ensuring human rights?
As for the remaining 5% that we can assume are dying in developed countries from these mild diseases, it is a true shame as vaccines may have saved them. But how do we know this? There are also an equal if not greater number of children who suffer severe vaccine injury or death. How do we know if the vaccine or the disease will aversely affect a child? Well, usually immune compromised children get complications from these diseases that may or may not result in death, and it is usually children with previous health problems (not always) who have severe reactions to vaccines. So what do parents of these children do?
There are also unpredictable reactions to both vaccines and diseases in healthy children and in these cases, we just don’t know. It is a risk each parent takes; but, yet another reason why I would prefer to take my chances with typically innocuous diseases in which the overwhelming majority of healthy children in developed countries experience with no complications rather than potentially dangerous vaccines with questionable efficacy.
Just for the record, I am not anti-vaccine but I am not pro-vaccine either. I believe in health freedom and that everyone has a right to informed consent and informed refusal in regards to one’s health and one’s lifestyle. As a mother, I made a decision based on what I found, thought, and felt was best for my children and I am sure all mothers try to do the same. I am grateful that I had the sight to make the right decision for them.
*The chicken pox were a piece of cake and totally manageable with homeopathy. Both children were instantly relieved with rhus-t 30c. My 5 year old who had the strongest reaction never had any uncontrollable scratching fits and slept 14-hour nights. His energy remained normal 90% of the time and he felt tired with a mild fever only once and only until he took his homeopathic remedy rhus-t 30c again. My 3-year old barely got 4-5 pox around her body and no other signs or symptoms. They have both been sicker from different strains of the flu and strep throat than from the chicken pox.
**My personal shout out: It is from seeing the action of homeopathic remedies on my babies and my pregnant self that first inspired me to become a homeopath. This recent experience with homeopathy and the chicken pox has deepened my profound appreciation for this divinely inspired science and art. I LOVE homeopathy and I thank God that He has shown it to us.
Sukuun Holistics offers Homeoprophyalxis to educate the immune system against infectious diseases and Homeopathic Vaccine Detox for those of you who choose to vaccinate.
 I am fully aware that it is a privilege to be able to stay at home with my children for this time and I do not take it for granted. It is a luxury that came with my career and that most parents do not have as they are committed to at least one job, often times more than one, in order to make ends meet and to survive in this ‘dog eat dog’ system. I also understand and do not judge parents (nor do I judge any parents) who need to vaccinate because they do not have the luxury of staying at home with their children when they fall ill with these childhood diseases. It is my dream that our medical and economic systems would allow parents the opportunity to raise healthy children, which always means giving them time and often means staying at home with them to nurture and nurse them into proper health.
 Plus, I am a full time mama with my own business– “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” But I am more than happy to provide you with some alternative resources to the mainstream medical approach to vaccines as it is not easy to find.
 The vaccine is a live strain of the varicella virus and therefore potentially carrying other stronger and more dangerous viruses. Also, side effects like encephalitis, shock, and in rare cases death have been reported with the varicella vaccine.
 There is also evidence of a correlation between the increase of the varicella vaccine and the incidence of shingles in the elderly. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/11/02/chicken-pox-vaccine-creates-shingles-epidemic.aspx
 Measles, mumps, croup, whooping cough and other childhood diseases are also manageable with homeopathy.