So, You’re Going to Get a Vaccine: things to consider while weighing the pros and cons of vaccination

MamacitaA hot topic for many, vaccines discussions can make or break a conversation.  Like mamcitathumbpolitics and religion, to vaccinate or not is a personal choice.  Increasingly though, the push to get vaccines seems to be gaining more public attention.  So are people’s opinions about them.

Many say that the vaccine topic is controversial.  I can agree with that.  Getting a vaccine isn’t what’s controversial.  The fact that the many people opting for vaccines who later walk away not feeling that they were fully informed about them is.  As more people realize that vaccines are a product or merchandise, the ability to decipher information, including what is controversy, hyped-up advertising, fact or opinion, can certainly help the process of deciding to get them or not.

Since only some states mandate vaccinations, and because vaccine exemptions exist in almost every state, the majority of people have the privilege to say yea or nay to them.  So, when a medical provider says someone should get one, you’d hope that before administering a vaccine, they’d carefully explain all there is to know about the product and the procedure.  I know medical staff who do do that, but more often than not, some valuable information has been left out.  Because of that unfortunate fact, here is a list of some tips for those who are consider choosing to vaccinate.

  1. Read the label.  Well, read the package insert.  Most package inserts are 20+ pages in length and are not typically offered to the patient, but just like grocery store items have labels, each vaccine has its own package insert.  This document, published by the vaccine manufacturer, and which is can be easily found on the internet for those who would like to search on their own, is rather lengthy.  It offers such information as the ingredients, if it contains a live or attenuated virus, if the vaccine sheds (including how long it sheds and whom you should avoid for the duration of the shedding process) as well as the recommended dosage(s).  Some of the vaccine safety study/studies that were conducted prior to the vaccine being made available to the public, including the cohorts who participated in those studies, the documented adverse reactions from the vaccine and whom the vaccine is being recommended, is also listed in a package insert.  Patients may see the Vaccine Information Sheet (VIS) when vaccines are brought up in medical appointments, which is a one- to two-sided very abbreviated version of the vaccine’s information, but the VIS is missing a great amount of information that could help someone come to a more informed decision.

The Gardasil VIS above, at two sparse pages, versus the link of the 29 pages of the Gardasil vaccine package insert:

2.Choose wisely.  Vaccines aren’t for everyone.  Yes, vaccines are offered every day to the young and old alike with multiple vaccines being offered at one time.  But, not everyone gains benefits from them and, not everyone fits the one-size-fits-all recommended vaccine schedule.  This has been proven with how much money has been granted to those who have fallen ill or died from their vaccines.  Information on these grave results can be found in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program’s website.

Being sick, getting over an illness, or having other medical issues that are contradictory to receiving vaccines, can negate getting one.  Not only that, but factoring in your extended family’s medical history is important to consider as well.  If your father had a vaccine reaction when he was vaccinated, or if Grandma had history of an autoimmune disease, those issues can and should be weighed in the decision.  After gathered the information, and if it brings you closer to a yes decision to vaccinate, your provider may suggest taking supplements before and after vaccinations.  They would suggest this in preparation for the body to be ready for the toxic load that come with vaccines, or to aid the body in detoxing from the vaccine ingredients that affect the neurological and gastrointestinal systems, the immune system and other systems of the body known to be affected.  Something else that can be done prior to vaccinating is to review the helpful list, Ask8 that the National Vaccine Information Center has posted on their website.  Then, if feeling fully prepared and informed, once the decision has been made and a vaccine administered, the next step after receiving it is to watch for side effects.

3. Recognize the side effects.  All vaccines list reported side effects in their package insert.  That’s because someone somewhere, during the safety study period, had a negative reaction from that vaccine.  Reactions can happen right away, within hours of getting the vaccine or can take weeks to occur.  They are important to document so appropriate treatment can be started.  Important to note is that secondary illness are not an unusual event post vaccination either.  From the mild, like swelling at the site of injection, to the moderate, like body aches, to the severe, including rashes, seizures, loss of consciousness, autism and death, reactions are not just a coincidence and should be taken seriously.

4. Remember, convenience doesn’t always beget safety.  Because of how serious side effects can be, another important factor to contemplate is where to go to receive the shots.  From drive-thru locations to flu shot clinics at your local Walmart Shopping Center, as well as in the halls of an elementary school, bizarre locations instead of licensed medical facilities are just as ready to host vaccine clinics.  What might be overlooked, though, is if these other locations are adequately prepared to provide medical care post-vaccination, especially for those who have an immediate reaction.  If you faint, begin to seize or go into cardiac arrest soon after receiving a vaccine, falling or convulsing on the tile floor of a Walmart store may not be the safest place for you.  Consider instead going to a medical center if you opt to vaccinate.  You’ll likely to be surrounded by medical staff, staff who must document the reactions that occurred, and will hopefully be treated by trained providers who can respond to an adverse event quickly.



5. Report the side effects.  When a product fails, the manufacture usually wants to know.  Not to beat their head into a wall at the failure, but to fix the mistake and make the product better.  Even with so many adverse reactions reported for many vaccines on the market, we haven’t seen many changes to the way the vaccine is manufactured to include the removal of the harsh ingredients causing some of the problems.  But consumers, those who agree to get a vaccine, should know that it’s required by law that vaccines that result in adverse events and reactions must be reported.  This information is entered into the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).  That data, which is accessible to the public, has been collected for decades now, and can be searched by anyone, not just medical staff, to cross reference mild, moderate, severe and fatal vaccine reactions.

6. Stay informed.  Read the news and long-term studies of the vaccines you’ve gotten long after you’ve received them. Safety studies have never been done to test how one vaccine interacts with another when administered together, or if how many vaccines given in one day is beneficial or harmful, so keep abreast with vaccine news should those studies are ever conducted.  Track reported data of the vaccine(s) you’ve gotten and pay attention to what, if any, secondary illness, have been discovered and reported by others.  Listen to what other people are saying after they got their shots too.  Anecdotal stories can be helpful and sometimes have had more bearing.  The best way to truly stay fully informed about vaccines is to learn about them and to continue to read about them.  Above all, know that you can vaccinate at almost any time.  You just can’t unvaccinate once the vaccine has been administered.


Vaccines themselves come with quite a history.  Those invested in the vaccine product wish to repeat that history.  Others, like myself, who see vaccines in a much different light, hope that their safety and efficacy are weighed very carefully.  For those new to researching all there is to know about vaccines, remember this.  It may feel like a one-time event when the needle goes in, but the effects, and primarily the negative ones, have been known to last for some time.

~ Mamacita

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16 Responses to So, You’re Going to Get a Vaccine: things to consider while weighing the pros and cons of vaccination

  1. Sunflower says:

    Excellent checklist Mamacita! It’s all about “Informed Consent”. Something that sadly Dr.’s do not disclose. It’s your choice but before making that choice if you knew the ingredients, adverse reactions, and all the things you mentioned, you will think twice.

  2. cg says:

    Trying getting a waiver in ny especially nyc
    All medical waivers are being rejected and they put you though hell trying to get one.
    They put you though a witch hunt on the religious waiver. Like where’s my constitutional rights– oh yea no body gets off the duff to fight for ’em.
    They’re trying to kick my kid out
    Little Mary Check was kicked out. Where’s the support from the other moms for my kid—– nowhere This movement(vaccine choice movement is a joke)

  3. Laura Hayes says:

    To Melissa D:
    I have read that if one gets the shingles, mega doses of intravenous Vitamin C is an amazing and fairly immediate cure (it’s called IAA…intravenous ascorbic acid). Perhaps if your mom knew there was a successful treatment should she contract shingles, she’d feel less inclined to get the vaccine. I’m sure others will chime in with good info re. the shingles vaccine. I read about the IAA on Health Sciences Institute recently, by the way. Hope this helps 🙂

    • MelissaD says:

      Thanks so much! I will pass that along to her. I would never have thought about IV AA and plan to look that up when I get a chance. And after seeing the research that the vaccine is only about 50% effective she decided against it. Yeah! I really appreciate your help.

  4. Laura Hayes says:

    So well written! Great for the uninitiated, those who don’t yet know the havoc that vaccines can and do wreak, due to the massive cover up by all those profiting from the unbelievable numbers of vaccines now administered beginning in utero right up until one is on his/her deathbed. You have nailed the important things to be considered. Wish I’d had this article 22 years ago. Wish my parents had had this article 50 years ago! Thanks, Mamacita…you rock!

    • Mamacita says:

      Well, thank you! I tried to include as many ‘I wish I’d known’ ideas as I could I this piece. Thanks for reading!


  5. Toosweet says:

    Very good advice. I am a medical professional and it has mandated that every employee who works in a clinical setting take the flu vaccine this year or you must wear a flimsy surgical mask from December 1 to April 1. I have asked, who is the mask suppose to protect and what? Are visitors going to be required wear masks? Or are we going to screen them and push the vaccine on them? Also everyone knows about HIPPA which protects patient information. Now with the new mandate of wearing a mask for 12 hours it will be evident that I didn’t get the vaccine so I feel my HIPPA is violated. Or MAYBE this will be a talking point for my patients and families. This will give me free reign to say why I’m wearing a mask. So, actually, I’m glad for this opportunity and I assure you I will take FULL advantage of it!
    By the way, even getting vaccinated in a clinical setting, does not guarantee that the personnel will know what to do or even recommend the proper steps of appropriate treatment or advice. I know someone who had a reaction last year to the flu vaccine. She took again this year and had an anaphylactic reaction. When she reported this to employee health, she was told that her reaction was unrelated to her vaccine. And the employee health nurse offered no medical advice or reporting on VAERS.
    She knows now. But now could have been too late for her.

    • Mamacita says:

      I would call that chance to talk about your mask a scratch ticket moment (see TMR’s Luv Bug story called ‘Jackpot!’ for that reference). Go, you!

      And, ooof! I assumed too much in that a clinic setting may be safer. I guess I would be foolish to think that everyone has other people’s best interest, especially their health, in mind when it comes to responding to an adverse reaction.


      • Toosweet says:

        Thank you! I did read Jackpot. I know that I will be 1 of very few who declined the vaccine. My reasons and convictions weigh heavy on my heart and different from the other 2 people who have declined in my department. I also believe that God gave us an immune system and we should trust that he will provide what we need in time of illness, such as the flu. There is a time and place for medicine, but to just keep insulting the immune system repeatedly in the name of prevention is crazy to me. We are to have faith, the Bible says, without it we can not please God. I believe next year I, as a nurse of 23 years, will no longer be given an option to decline the vaccine and wear a mask. I believe it will be mandated, therefore, I will not have a job December 1, 2014. So I guess another new chapter of my life will unfold!

  6. Prima says:

    Awesome Checklist, Thank you Mamacita!!!

  7. Taximom5 says:

    Excellent post!

    I’m confused by one thing, though– VAERS is a voluntary reporting system, but it’s required by law to report a vaccine reaction to VAERS? That doesn’t seem to add up…

  8. MelissaD says:

    I have a question I hope someone can help with. My beloved parents who are aware and supportive of my child with vaccine induced autism continue to get flu shots and now my mom is considering the shingles vaccine. My dad has leukemia and my mom has major medical issues, so they both see multiple doctors who try to bully them into the shots at every visit. They also believe that they are “too old” to have vaccine reactions like my son did as a baby. They do get single dose vial flu shots at my request. I am extremely worried about the shingles vaccine for my mom. I have a son who is partially vaxed, a nephew who is partially vaxed and a 2 year old nephew who has not received any vaccines. I worry about them being exposed to my mom if she receives the shingles shot and I worry about what might happen to her if she gets it. I was going to ask her to get a copy of the package insert at her next visit, without getting the shot. Do any of you have any good sources I can show her on the cons/pros of shingles vaccine? Thanks!

    • Mamacita says:

      I went straight to the shingles vaccine package insert when I was looking for more information about this one a few weeks ago. I read some of the fine print in a magazine advertisement and did a double take: “Zostavax (Herpes Zoster Vaccine), the Shingles vaccine, does not prevent shingles.” I thought, Um….that’s not what the rest of your advertisement is claiming.

      So, here’s the package insert that you and your mom might want to peek at to hopefully find some more accurate information:

      Table 5 might be of interest for your mom so she can check the vaccine efficacy in her age group. It doesn’t look like it’s that effective in too many age groups according to their data (and personally, for me, effective should be as close to 100% as possible).

      As far as exposure to the little ones, the shingles vaccine is made from a live virus vaccine (which means it can shed, which means that the virus can be exposed to others). That piece, and the fact that other sources have included rash, chickenpox and …shingles being listed as a side effect of the shingles vaccines would make me want to really weigh the pros and cons very carefully before agreeing to it.

      Hope this helps, Mamacita

      • MelissaD says:

        Thanks so much for the additional info and the great article. I forwarded her the nvic info that I linked to from above, and some other links I found. When she saw the efficacy was only about 50% she decided against it. Hurrah! I am so grateful for everything all of you at TMR do.

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