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The Anti-Vaccine Movement

As more and more cases of H1N1 (aka The Swine Flu) are being reported, my timing for completing my four part vaccine series with the anti-vaccine movement does seem a bit odd. Or does it? I guess it depends on which side of this argument you stand. During the last several weeks, I have been hosting a conversation on Twitter Moms titled, "Swine Flu --How Worried Are You?" The responses have been enlightening. Moms on both sides of the argument have been weighing in, along with concerned and confused moms just looking for more information.

What is the Anti-Vaccine Movement?

The anti-vaccination movement (AVM) purports the following:

  1. Denies a causal connection between vaccines and the eradication or significant reduction of diseases like smallpox, polio, measles, and rubella.
  2. Perceives vaccines as causing diseases, e.g., it claims that the MMR (mumps-measles-rubella) vaccine causes autism. Either way, the AVM proponents oppose vaccination against disease.

Is the AVM anti-vaccine?

Not totally, many in the AVM believe that homeopathic vaccines are safer and are looking to the government to test vaccines for safety to ensure any potentially harmful substances (like Mercury for instance) are removed. Another camp believes in Nosodes, which is a homeopathic preparation made from matter from a sick animal or person. Substances such as respiratory discharges or diseased tissues are used to make the vaccine.

What are the core beliefs of the AVM?

Some of the core beliefs behind the anti-vaccine movements range from:

* It's a government conspiracy to keep the public misinformed about the harmful side effects of vaccines
* The pharmaceutical companies are using fear mongering to make a profit off vaccines
* Our bodies can naturally produce the anti-bodies to ward off disease
* And finally, our doctors push vaccines for a profit.

Are there any actual MDs against vaccines?

Yes, Dr. Mendelsohn. He wrote a book titled Confessions of a Medical Heretic and he has been anti-vaccine since 1983. Dr. Mendelsohn has also written many papers on mumps, measles, rubella, whopping cough, diphtheria, chicken pox, tuberculous, and sudden infant death syndrome. You can visit his website for more information.

Still want more info?

If you want more information on the anti-vaccine movement, you can visit the following websites:

* The National and International Anti-Vaccination League
* The Echo Foundation

And finally...

In conclusion, I wanted to present to you a 360 degree view of vaccines. Honestly, by far, this has been the most controversial of all my posts (that includes even the poop and sex blogs)!!! I have received interesting email from both sides. My goal was to be as objective as possible and just provide the information and let  readers decide.

I have procrastinated writing this last post because quite frankly I am having a difficult time biting my tongue -- about this particular post especially. But as I said in past posts, I am not a doctor, I am a mommy blogger and it is ultimately up to you to make the right decisions for your family. All I will say is that my entire family has had our seasonal flu shots. Now that Swine Flu shot, the jury is still out on that one!