Am I A “Parasite”?

Yesterday I read an article in Cookie Magazine (August 2008) about Amanda Peet. Among many topics mentioned in the article she spoke out for vaccinations and expressed that she is concerned by the growing number of un-vaccinated children who are benefiting from the “shield” created by the inoculated. In the article she is quoted as having said, “Frankly, I feel that parents who don’t vaccinate their children are parasites.”

Now, Ray and I have been called a lot of negative things due to the fact that we have six kids…. Selfish, ignorant, irresponsible, arrogant. But, before yesterday had we never been called “parasites.” Now, I’m really not taking it too personally. After all, Amanda Peet doesn’t know me from Eve. It did, however, strike a nerve.

Ray and I made the decision many years ago not to inoculate any of our babies. While we do believe some vaccines are helpful and necessary, we will not expose our infants’ bodies to live viruses or poisonous and otherwise harmful chemicals. We have decided that we will begin their immunizations at age 3, when their immune systems are better developed, and risk of infection and other side effects are much lower. And even then we only consent to the polio, measles-mumps-rubella, and diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccinations.

I feel that Amanda Peet’s name calling was childish and unnecessary. But, I guess she has become quite the expert, so maybe she’s entitled. After all, she was taught about the “value and importance” of vaccinations by none other than Paul Offit, M.D. – Chief of Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Co-Inventor of the Rotavirus Vaccine. In the above mentioned article, she bashes the “unproven” link between certain vaccines and autism, and spoke out about the “safety” of Thimerosal (a mercury-based preservative), and the “myth” that a high number of shots kids receive today overwhelm their young immune systems. Because of her strong beliefs on this topic, she is scheduled to appear in public service announcements for Every Child By Two.

I haven’t discussed the fact that we don’t inoculate our babies with many. I have spoken plenty about it with friends who are open to hear our reasons, but I never pushed my beliefs on anyone or criticized them for vaccinating their babies. That’s not my goal here, either. I simply would like to caution you not to make any decision based on what an actress in Hollywood says (unless it’s Jenny McCarthy*), or even by what your doctor says. Research this very important topic for yourself. Please.

Our family has never been directly effected by the negative consequences of infant inoculations, nor do I pretend to understand what it’s like. The research my husband and I did on this subject took place over 7 years ago, and honestly I’m not even sure where to find all of the articles and references that helped us to come to our decision. I do know that is was through much research, prayer, and consideration that we made our decision.

But, the subject of vaccinations is one that hit the Precourt family hard. The Needle and The Damage Done gives you a glimpse into their story. Stephanie Precourt writes at Adventures in Babywearing and in a post entitled Stirring the Pot urges her readers to read this article that exposes the links between autism and mercury poisoning. Here are just a few facts from the article that I would like share here:

Mounting evidence suggests that Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative in children’s vaccines, may be responsible for the exponential growth of autism, attention deficit disorder, speech delays, and other childhood neurological disorders now epidemic in the United States.

Mercury is a known brain poison, and autism rates began rising dramatically in children who were administered the new vaccine regimens. A decade ago the American Academy of Pediatrics estimated the autism rate among American children to be 1 in 2,500. Today, the CDC places the rate at 1 in 166, or 1 in 80 boys. Additionally, one in six children is now diagnosed with a related neurological disorder.

Prior to 1989, American infants generally received only three vaccinations (polio, measles-mumps-rubella, and diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis). In 1985, children were vaccinated for seven diseases. Now, that number is 16. That means children now endure about 37 separate vaccination encounters.

This article was not yet published when we did our initial research, however these facts certainly do play a small part in to the reasoning behind following through with our initial decision. I have also found some other great great information along the way… When doing your research, be sure to also visit these sites and read these articles:

The National Vaccine Information Center –
Ingredients in Vaccines – Fact Sheet – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Unlocking Autism –
Generation Rescue –

Are Vaccinations Safe For Your Kids? –
Vaccines That Kill Children? – World Net Daily,
Vaccines: It’s Your Child, Your Choice – Age of Autism

*Of course I was kidding with my remark about Jenny McCarthy.However, she did recently share her story on Oprah – She even answered questions regarding the link between vaccines and autism. You can read her story, and others, here.


  1. Familia Alba says

    Probably where you live there are not hundreds of people arriving every day from Africa or South America, with different diseases for which our well-rooted-in-developed-countries bodies are not inmunized. I do also think it is kind of selfish, and dangerous too, to take advantage from what others are doing taking a minimum risk unto themseleves or their children to help new or foreing diseases not appear or reappear among us…

  2. Adventures In Babywearing says

    I heard about her comment, and think that like so many other parents- whether you are a celebrity or not- she is just uninformed and must not know someone that has had a child damaged by vaccines. Are those parents parasites for not further vaccinating their child? How ridiculous would that be to vaccinate again after knowing your child reacted negatively and could possibly have a worse outcome the next time?

    These doctors and parents aren’t thinking about my child, they are thinking about “the greater good.” My responsibility is to take care of MY child.

    I do not vaccinate but I would NEVER criticize those that do and call them horrible names. I am so glad we have a choice and I hope everyone is making an absolutely informed choice- one made on their own and not *only* with the help and instruction of their doctor.

    I also am not convinced that any vaccine is good, so in my mind, there is no way I am “taking advantage” of those that are vaccinated.

    This is obviously a very sensitive topic! I do hope someday that parents will at least pause and recognize that there ARE some of us that do not vaccinate for very good reasons- not selfish ones in any way. We made this choice because it is without a doubt the best decision for our children’s well-being. We deserve respect for that. We are not parasites. We are loving parents only doing the best we can, like everyone else.


  3. Familia Alba says

    Well, we are all loving and careful parents!! It’s just that if nowadays we have the choice to vaccinate or not is bacause there are diseases that have been eradicated thanks to vaccines in the past.
    Now I wonder, would we choose not to vaccinate our children amid an epidemic? And if there are no epidemics is because the rest are being vaccinated. Althoug I insist in the risk we have in some countries where inmigration can be a problem in that sense in short time.
    Of course I would choose not to vaccinate if I had had any case of autism produced by vaccines in my family, and I understand the fears of those affected by it, who try to protect their little ones!!

  4. Misty says

    I have respect for Amanda Peet simply because she stays in the public eye and manages to maintain a decent public image of herself.
    HOWEVER- I am a FIRM believer in education. I am a creationist, for example. But I would never have considered myself an expert until I knew and understood all of the other theories before coming to my conclusion.

    I have taken a lot of time to examine not only vaccines, but many of our “necessary medications” and am a it’s ALL a problem. And it’s sad because there isn’t a voice to be heard for this side of the spectrum.

    Sure, people talk. And Blog. But the majority will always gain the public opinion and despite celebrity spokesman, the main reason is money…

  5. Marshamlow says

    We vaccinate our children, but I understand and respect your choice as well. Since mine are vaccinated you really don’t pose any threat to the health or safety of my kids. I don’t agree that vaccination should be mandatory for school either. It is a chance either way and parents should be allowed to make the choice. I feel that being vaccinated is the best choice for my kids because I have been to third world countries and feel blessed that we are living in a place where protection is a possibility and that my children will most likely live a long and healthy life.

  6. Jenny says

    I think it is pretty ignorant for her to call us “parasites.” There’s basically NO chance my unvaxed kid is going to infect a vaccinated child.

    1) Suzi isn’t going to daycare or anywhere else to interface with a large quantity of kids. I hope to homeschool her later as well.

    2) The people we do see, although their children are unvaxed, would warn us if their kids were sick and we wouldn’t bring Suzi around them.

    3) On the off chance Suzi DID have a disease to spread, if the vaccines work so wonderfully, the kids who are playing “host” to our “parasite” should be pretty safe, right?