Friday, July 3, 2009

Book Review -- The Vaccine Book

Today I will review The Vaccine Book by Robert W. Sears, M.D., F.A.A.P.

Let me start off by saying I'm not anti-vaccine. I'm not pro-vaccine either. Beanie is fully vaccinated, save MMR and chicken pox. She'll be getting the MMR shot soon and we're still deciding about the varicella vax. I know whether or not to vaccinate your child is a controversial and very personal decision, so let me say this. I don't really care whether or not you vaccinate your child; that is your decision. I do think that every parent should be informed about vaccinations instead of just going along with them because their pediatrician told them to. That's where I stand. I *wish* I had known more about vaccinations before signing off that Beanie would have the Hep B shot at birth, not because I definitely wouldn't have given it to her (although likely I would've delayed it a little) but because something was being injected into my daughter and I knew pretty much nothing about it. Knowledge is power. So, yea, that's where I stand so on to the book review...

While arguably Dr. Sears leans towards the anti-vaccine front (or at least pro delayed vaccine front), he does an excellent job of providing non-biased information in this book. He starts out with the AAP recommended schedule for vaccinations and then each chapter discusses a vaccine, from HiB to the new HPV vaccine. Each chapter describes the illness and whether it is common, serious and treatable. He then discusses when the vaccine is given and how the vaccine is made. He talks about the ingredients used to make the vaccine and whether or not any of them are considered controversial. There is a section titled Should you give your baby the x vaccine, but Dr. Sears never tells you yes or no; he states the reasons people choose to (or choose not to) get the vaccine and tells you the way he sees it. This thorough discussion ensues for every vaccine he goes over.

The last few chapters go over vaccine research, the ingredients, myths & questions about vaccines, and more. Sears also provides his own alternative vaccine schedule, which does result in full vaccination of your child but splits the combination vaccines up and spreads them out over a much longer period of time.

All in all, I think its a must read for every parent. He discusses vaccines in a manner anyone can understand and, like I said, knowledge is power. At the least, you should know what is recommended medically for your child before you go along with it. Just my two cents.

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