“Because we know that sometimes, an essential oil is better than science,” Sara Petty doesn’t waste time finding “the best vaccination alternatives already on the market”:
There aren’t any.
Vaccinate your children.
Are there any alternatives to getting vaccinated?
Sure. You can read about them all day long from holistic “experts” and on anti-vaccine websites.
Are there any good alternatives to getting vaccinated?
No. At least not if you want to be truly protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Some people look for alternatives to vaccination for an important reason: A medical condition prevents them from receiving them. That’s called a medical contraindication. Not many people actually have a contraindication to one or more vaccines but when they do, they are entitled to seek a medical exemption from their doctors. The most common examples might be patients who are immunocompromised from a medical condition or being treated with immunosuppressive drugs such as chemotherapy. In those cases, receipt of live vaccines such as MMR, chickenpox vaccine, oral rotavirus vaccine, and the intranasal influenza vaccine (LAIV) would be contraindicated, though most others might be permitted. Another contraindication which is extremely rare would be a history of a severe, anaphylactic reaction from a vaccine or any of its components.
People who have true medical contraindications can receive post-exposure prophylaxis — another acceptable alternative to vaccines — in the form of intravenous immune globulin or antibiotics if they know they’ve been exposed to some vaccine-preventable diseases. One problem, however, is that they may not know they have been exposed. Another is that post-exposure prophylaxis is expensive, invasive (an IV is required for immune globulin), and potentially dangerous due to side effects.
Those who have true medical contraindications rely on herd immunity — perhaps the only safe and reliable “alternative” to vaccines that requires everyone else who can receive vaccines to get them completely, on time, and according to schedule.
Dr. Iannelli reviews the science behind “bogus alternatives to getting vaccinated [which] are pushed by those opposed to vaccines as ways to boost your immunity,” including homeopathic vaccines (too diluted to be of much use), herbs, probiotics, and chiropractic adjustments. And what about those essential oils?
They sometimes smell nice, but they aren’t going to boost your child’s immune system.
Finally, natural immunity results from actually contracting and getting sick from a vaccine-preventable illness. People who recover may acquire life-long immunity from the illness they just suffered from, just as good as the immunity one gets from receiving vaccines. But you will be hard-pressed to find any physician who lets you skip vaccines by subscribing to the idea that “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” That, in a nutshell, is natural immunity.
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