We have been planning on writing a few articles about some of our choices relating to our daughter’s alternative vaccination schedule, but we were hit with the news that the New York City Board of Health had approved a vote to make the flu vaccination of mandatory for children under 6 as of December 31, 2014, so I had to voice my concerns about it.
One of the things that upsets me the most about this mandate, is that it is yet one more mandatory vaccination that not only takes away my rights as a parent to make that decision for my child, but also works under the assumption that vaccinations are without risks. NYC children under 5 take in average 35-40 shots for different diseases before entering Kindergarten. Most of those ( about 30) are taken during their first 24 months of life
Being fully aware of the dangers of the flu itself, and why one would want to protect their child from it, it is also important to take into consideration the dangers of the flu vaccine which is, under the best of circumstances, only effective in about 30% to 50% of the cases anyway.
- As of November 2013, there have been more than 93,000 reports of reactions, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths following influenza vaccinations made to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), including 1,080 related deaths, 8,888 hospitalizations, 1,801 related disabilities and over 1,700 cases of GBS. In 2013 the Federal Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines (ACCV) voted to add GBS to the Vaccine Injury Table within the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).
- Side effects of the vaccine are usually mild to moderate, such as fever, fatigue, dry eyes, seizures and headache, but there is a small chance of serious side effects such as a severe allergic reaction (known medically as anaphylaxis) which can cause difficulty breathing, sudden weakness, hives, paleness and elevated heart rate.
Another rare but serious side effect of the flu vaccine is Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a disease in which the body attacks its own nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and in some cases, paralysis.