Vaccination. It is a word that evokes strong emotions in millions of parents around the world. From relief and gratefulness for the disease protection vaccines promise to fear of possible injury or other negative side effects to frustration over lack of access, the topic of vaccination is one of the most widely and intensely debated parenting issues families face today.
August is “National Immunization Awareness Month” and many U.S. parents have found ourselves rushing our kids to Doctors’ offices across the nation to get state-mandated vaccinations before the first day of school. Since the 1990s, all 50 U.S. states have required students to receive certain immunizations, and most states require them in daycare centers and Head Start programs as well.
However, you don’t have to look far to find medical professionals and scientists, parents and organizations raising concerns over adverse reactions and the potential long-term negative consequences of injecting so many doses of vaccines into a young child’s body. According to the schedule released in June 2011, 49 doses of vaccines to prevent 14 diseases are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by age six and well over 50 doses by age 18. Many parents have become concerned that some of these recommended vaccines contain potentially harmful chemicals and other ingredients of concern like mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde and thimerosal. Additionally, families may have religious or ethical objections such as the use of human tissue cells to create vaccines, the belief that the body is sacred and should be healed by natural means, or concern over vaccination testing procedures.
Despite objections like these, Dr. Robert W. Sears, son of Dr.’s William and Martha Sears, and author of The Vaccine Book, says “vaccines are very important, diseases can be severe, and I’d say the benefits of the vaccines outweigh the risks, but you need to be aware that there is a very small risk of a severe vaccine reaction” (source: “Vaccine Debate”, Mothering Magazine, July-August 2009).
My own family’s Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.) agrees with Dr. Sears and references his book regularly during vaccination counseling sessions with concerned parents like me. We have chosen to vaccinate on an alternative schedule, with our primary concern being our children’s immune systems’ ability to handle multiple vaccines at the same time. But with formaldehyde officially recognized as a known carcinogen in 2011, thousands of parents with autistic children speaking out about their experiences with vaccination and autism, and the lack of specific scientific evidence demonstrating the long-term safety vs health risks of preservatives and other additives in today’s vaccines, I still find myself nervous and weighing the costs and benefits each time one of my kids gets ready to receive another vaccine.
We take steps to naturally boost immunity, like drinking lots of water, taking vitamins and eating a healthy organic diet, but I always feel like there is more we could be doing to help our kids handle and effectively process vaccinations. So I was thrilled to recently meet Dr. Catherine Clinton, a mom and Naturopathic Physician (N.D.) in Eugene, OR, who has developed a product called VacciShield for infants and children to help support healthy brain, gastrointestinal and detoxification function during vaccinations, while at the same time boosting the body’s immune response to vaccination*. With both of my kids’ next scheduled vaccinations on the horizon, I was excited to show this product to my family’s N.D. for a 2nd opinion. She studied the ingredients carefully and encouraged me to use it with both my 2 year old and 4 year old, stating that all of the vitamins, probiotics, etc. she recommends to boost kids’ systems for vaccination are included, with her only recommendation being an additional supplement of vitamin A for some kids (note: Dr. Clinton purposely excluded Vitamin A from the formula to ensure the product would be safe for kids with autoimmune deficiencies or diseases. Please consult with your family pracitioner or pediatrition before adding any supplements to your child’s immunization preparation routine).
While of course I know that VacciShield is not a magic potion that will guarantee my kids never experience any side effects or injuries from vaccination, I do believe that it will provide their growing bodies with additional and natural support their bodies need to process the vaccines. For me, the easy-to-use powdered supplement with no artificial flavoring, coloring or preservatives is easily worth the $26.99 (+free shipping!) price tag for the healthy brain, immune, gastrointestinal and detoxification support it will provide my kids. I’m thankful to Dr. Clinton for investing countless hours of her time researching and creating this product. Knowing my kids will have this extra support makes me feel a lot more comfortable about the choice to vaccinate my kids.
Here’s how to enter the giveaway: There are 10 ways to enter! Please complete each of the following entries and add a separate comment below for each entry once completed. Entries will be accepted thru Midnight PST on August 31, 2011. Winner will be selected via Random.org and notified via email.
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Related articles & Additional Resources
- You can purchase VacciShield here: http://vaccishield.com
- Vaccishield FAQ
- VacciShield research
- Mothering Magazine
- Holistic Moms Network
- National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC)
- 2011 CDC Recommended Immunization schedule for children age birth-6 years
- 2011 CDC Recommended Immunization schedule for children age 7-18 years
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
FTC disclosure: I received a bottle of Vaccishield for purposes of review. I am not a medical professional. All opinions expressed are my own.