Vaccines vs. Antibiotics: which is worse?

Get well soon!

Get well soon!

I’ve posted about our decision to vaccinate Frances on an alternative vaccination schedule, and I’m still very interested about the vaccine debate, especially with the recent news about outbreaks of measles due to the lack of herd immunity in communities such as Brooklyn.

I usually just skim the titles, but one article recently caught my eye that is worth a read: Growing Up Unvaccinated. The author was not vaccinated as a child, but has chosen to vaccinate her own children. When faced between letting her child suffer through the measles and the consequences (such as infertility or the use of antibiotics) and vaccinating, it’s a no-brainer. I tend to agree with the author. A very sick child is heartbreaking, and is no fun for the parent either.

After learning about how long it takes the body to get back to normal after a round of antibiotics, I try and avoid them at all costs. If I’m sick a few days longer, it’s worth it to keep my digestive track healthy.

So if I have to chose between vaccines and antibiotics for Franci, I’m sticking with the vaccines. What about you?


  1. My daughter is also on a different vaccination schedule than most children. At 9 months she had a reaction to a vaccine that put her in the hospital. Her body had a severe reaction to the 4 vaccines that were given to her at once as an infant. After that we researched a new schedule.

    I have vaccinated her and started with the schedule for diseases that could maim or kill her. So she got vaccinated for Polio first, then measles, and then Tetanus. We are slowly working on the other diseases, but we focused on those first. She can easily get exposed to those diseases and they will harm her.

    I have not vaccinated her for chicken pox because at a young age, it is good for the immune system to have that response. Yes, chicken pox causes complications later in life and can cause sterility if obtained as an adult. The issue I have with the vaccine is that it is a temporary vaccine, just like tetanus, you could still get it as an adult, therefore, better to attempt to get it as a child. When she is in puberty, I will be changing my mind and get her the vaccine if she has not had it yet.

    I don’t give her the flu vaccine, mostly due to her limitations on the vaccines. I have to watch how many vaccines she gets at a given time during the year, since she still has reactions, even after just one.

    It’s a give and take. Having Polio, Hepatitis, Tetanus, Measles; those diseases are harmful and potentially life threatening. I agree with the CDC to ensure population safety in obtaining these vaccines for all, but not all vaccines are equal and you have to take care.

    I know my personal experience is not normal for all. However, I do attempt to share the opinion when possible that vaccines are helpful, but there’s a time and place. I could go on and on and the debate will never end. All I know is, yes, it is a difficult situation and a difficult decision.

  2. Laura, I think you’ve picked a good middle ground. Focusing on vaccinating against diseases that could maim or kill makes a lot of sense.

    I’ve been thinking more and more about the chicken pox vaccine. I was under the impression that if you’ve had chicken pox, you’re protected for life against chicken pox and shingles. However, more and more elderly are getting shingles these days, enough that almost all of the grandparents I know are getting the shingles vaccine. Since it appears that contracting chicken pox results in temporary immunity, just as the vaccine is temporary, I’m back to square one in whether or not Frances will be getting the chicken pox vaccine.

  3. fyi, this is sort of tangential info, but the article you referenced about a woman who supposedly grew up unvaccinated and seemingly suffered through every disease for which a vaccine exists, has been called out as a propagandized fictional piece by someone who works at the CDC. Again, according to the internt, so hard to be positive – I personally follow pretty close to the Dr. Sears alternative schedule basically – I do see the public health benefits of herd immunity, and agree you just have to weigh costs/benefits of each vaccine individually – it’s not all or none for me….I just wish people were trusted to make logical decisions instead of being thrown scare tactics like that article – it’s like the CDC thinks we’re all such idiots that if they acknowledge that vaccines carry any risk at all we’ll all run screaming in the other direction – just give us the whole truth please 🙂

  4. Melissa, I hadn’t heard that piece of information, but I wouldn’t be too surprise. Propaganda is about as common as real facts these days!

    We’re still happy with our decision to follow Dr. Sears’ alternative schedule, and we’ve never gotten flu shots. Since half the people we know who got this year’s flu shot still got the flu, we’re feeling extra justified this time around.

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