Send me your vaccine qustions!

Given ongoing interest in this post:, and based on several people’s suggestions to me, I’m going to put together a FAQ on the subject of vaccine myths/misconceptions. I will be pulling questions from the comment section of the University of Google post (and other places), but I would like to ask for your participation.  What questions do you or your friends have about vaccines? What are some vaccine myths have you heard that you’d like to have addressed? What kinds of information would you find helpful for sharing with family members when talking about vaccine issues? Parents, I’m *especially* interested in questions that come up repeatedly on parenting forums and messageboards.

Please leave me any questions/suggestions/links in the comments below, or email me privately at jenniferraff (at) utexas (dot) edu

Thanks, as always, to everyone for reading, commenting, and sharing.


8 thoughts on “Send me your vaccine qustions!

  1. Rachel R. October 18, 2013 / 9:26 am

    As a parent of three vaccinated children, my oldest having Autism, I have been asked and attacked by many people on this subject. One thing I have always wanted to know more about and to be able to give a decent response to is the pros and cons (if there are any) of having more than one vaccine done at the same time (having more than one type of vaccine in a syringe) Some people say this mixing of vaccines is one of the leading causes of problems such as the growing number of children being diagnosed with autism and other disorders. I do not agree with these people but it is something I am asked about repeatedly.

  2. Jennifer Raff October 18, 2013 / 9:30 am

    Thanks, Rachel. That’s a great idea. Separate topic: In reading through comments on the University of Google post, I was really fascinated/moved by the stories from autistic people and their families. I think these are important voices that we need to hear more from. Would you (and other people who have experiences of autism in the family/being autistic) be interested in a post that shares your experiences and stories? I would love to put something together if the interest is there.

    • Rachel R October 19, 2013 / 9:50 am

      I would be interested.

  3. mwashburnart October 18, 2013 / 1:12 pm

    I would be interested to hear more on the “ok, well, older vaccines like MMR may be fairly safe but the newer ones like Varicella and Gardasil (for HPV) haven’t been around long enough for us to really know” opinion. I’ve heard so many horror stories about the Gardasil vaccine in particular, but would love some real data.

  4. shalydav December 30, 2013 / 12:29 am

    I am in the third group you mentioned in the UG post. I have a couple of questions:

    1) I think it’s unfortunate that the majorityof anti-vax refutations focus on autism/Wakefield; that is not the core concern for most of the anti-vaxxers that I know. Some others are: toxic substances:body weight of infants and todllers (comparing dosages to what they would be in an adult), use of aborted fetuses as a growth medium, lack of actual testing done on vaccine safety, the reality of deaths caused by vaccines rushed to market (rotavirus vaccine is one that always comes up here), inability to hold vaccine manufacturers responsible for damages caused by vaccine since the inception of the vaccine damages court. There are others, but that is all I can think of off the top of my head.

    2) It seems like the concept of anti-vaxxers being responsible for declining herd immunity is flawed, since for herd immunity to work, the majority of the herd must be immune, not just the young of the herd; i.e., decreasing immunity in previously vaxxed adults seems like it would be a proportionally greater problem than the relatively smaller population of unvaxxed children.

    Thanks for offering a thoughtful forum for this discussion.

    (On my phone – please forgive any typos)

  5. Ryan March 31, 2014 / 10:16 am

    we have decided to push out vaccination for our children over a longer period of time in an attempt to limit mercury, aluminum and other additives as much as possible) and are still questioning the ability of the flu vaccine to protect children. It was fount that antibacterial soaps are actually bad for our immune systems. Feels like we’re going in that direction with vaccines. There are outbreaks of these virus, but is it really unvaccinated people causing them, or those of us who have been vaccinated whose bodies are creating “superbugs” by forcing the microbes to change form and mutate into stronger forms of the virus we are trying to prevent. How do vaccines relate to gm seeds and other industries using science to better our lifestyles. our job as parents is to guide our children down the right path with as few wrong turns as possible (we all know they they are inevitable).

  6. Suzanne Alexander April 14, 2014 / 7:12 pm

    I’d love to see the statement “all of these illnesses were eradicated before vaccines were readily available” refuted with historical data. And the “these diseases really weren’t that bad” one – that one enrages me.

    I have three children, all of whom have been vaccinated. My middle child is ASD. Ironically, I blame the lack of a vaccine for her dysfunction; I was hyperthermic with the flu during my second trimester of pregnancy. If the vaccine had been available, I’d have taken it. It wasn’t, and that haunts me to this day.

    Thank you for all of this.

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