I’m going to start by telling you about my typical client.  The type of person who typically comes to see me is incredibly educated, has done a lot of research, and usually is already eating an organic, whole foods diet, and living a clean lifestyle.

So today I visited with good friends that embody my typical client, but wanted to talk to me about vaccinations for their beautiful baby girl.  As I said, my clients are educated and do a lot of research, and this couple was no exception.  They had scheduled their first appointment for the 2-month vaccinations, were in the car getting ready to go when they suddenly had doubts.  They decided to listen to their gut instinct, went back inside and cancelled their appointment.

Why did they have doubts?  They had doubts because in doing their research they got caught up in the web of controversy over vaccinations.  The controversy is there for good reason, as any controversy is.  Do the benefits of vaccinations outweigh the risks?  The benefits include immunization to life-threatening illnesses.  The risks involve injury and sometimes death.  The website  outlines the risks of vaccines and contraindications.  It’s important to know the contraindications, because there are infants who should never be receiving vaccinations.  Most doctors will tell you the risks associated with vaccines are rare, but what if it’s your child that happens to be that rare individual?  Is the risk of death, epilepsy or neurological problems worth it?

As usual, I look at things through a Gut-biased lens, so the question for me is how do vaccinations tie in to gut health?   Researchers have considered the relationship between the microbiome and vaccinations, but from the opposite angle that I’m interested in.  Research has focused on how effective vaccinations are in populations with healthy microbiomes verses populations with unhealthy microbiomes.  I want to know if the vaccinations are altering our microbiomes. Since the health of the microbiome is instrumental to the development of an infant’s immune system, we need to be asking ourselves if vaccinating our children before the microbiome is fully established is wise. 

To date there is little research available.  One study demonstrates that oral rotavirus vaccination did not change the microbiome, but the sample size of the study was 3 infants (Source), which is too small to be conclusive.  Other people are asking the same question though (Source), so hopefully in time more researchers will delve into this area.

So what advice did I give these new parents that want the best for their amazing little baby girl?  I had to tell them the choice is theirs.  It’s important for people to realize this.  Vaccination isn’t mandatory.  I suggested they delay vaccinations until their daughter’s immune and detoxification systems are more mature, around age 2, but again, the choice is theirs.  If they begin vaccinations, then they should separate them as much as possible, and allow 6 months between vaccinations to allow their daughter’s body to detoxify the additives (aluminum and formaldehyde) that are in the vaccines.

In the end I’m not sure I added any new information to the research this couple had done, but they found comfort in being able to discuss their concerns.  The comforting went both ways.  While I’ll never know if vaccinations were a contributing factor for my adopted son, I do know what it’s like to live with a child that suffers from severe neurological problems, so I get a bit emotional when discussing the possible neurological risks associated with vaccinations.

I’d like to be able to end this post with something more conclusive about whether or not vaccines affect our microbiome, but the information isn’t available yet.

All I can suggest is be like my typical clients:  do your research, delve into your family history, look at the contraindications and risks, and make the best choice for your child.

Happy, Healthy Researching!