Vaccinators vs. Non-Vaccinators: Deciding When (and If) to Immunize Your Child

Limit or Refuse Vaccines?

Before she gave birth to her son, Jagger, in 2003, Kellie Herring wasn't sure how she felt about vaccinations. She and her husband declined vaccines in the hospital but eventually started to vaccinate their son.

Herring, however, couldn't stop thinking that there was something wrong with her newborn.

"I knew around six weeks that something was not quite right with Jagger," said Herring, who lives in Florida. "He was just different than most babies his age. I never thought about the vaccine playing a part of that."

As time went on, however, they realized something was wrong with their only child. Doctors diagnosed him with an autism spectrum disorder in 2005. Right around that time, Herring became concerned with the ingredients in the vaccines.

"My husband and I agreed to not do any 'all-in-ones' and to break [the vaccines] up," she said. "We refused chickenpox and the flu vaccine. The flu was what I was seriously concerned about. The adult vaccine contains thimerosal [also known as thiomersal, an organic mercury compound thought to possibly contribute to or cause neurodevelopmental disorders in children] and the child vaccine contains a lesser amount, but it is still there. I also have issues with fetal tissue being used in vaccines and still do to this day. I am for the most part pro-life, so this issue has caused an internal struggle."

She still isn't sure what caused her son's autism, but has decided not to vaccinate Jagger anymore. She and her husband have not decided if they will vaccinate any future children. For Herring, it is an issue of seeking out the truth.

"I don't believe anyone can say 'Yes, vaccines cause autism or no, they don't,'" she said. "There is way too much evidence that can support both sides. Not to mention, vaccines are big business here in the States and kickbacks are outstanding. Does that play a part? I believe, in some cases, it does."

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