The Let’s Talk About Vaccines event held at National Integrated Health Associates was educational, engaging and enlightening. I had the privilege of sharing my experience at this event with students, trainees and colleagues in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at Howard University’s College of Medicine. My focus for that talk was the Holistic Pediatrician’s Management of Vaccine Refusal. Your stories, the information shared and the discussed research by Dr. Suzanne Humphries, Barbara Loe Fisher and the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) served as an incredible background for teaching empathy to current and future providers and promoted the perspective and need for more personalized and precision medical approaches to keeping our children healthy and protected.
Take home points that I want to share from the NIHA Vaccine Event:We have to use our voices.
- I was so impressed with the powerful testimonies shared about individual’s experiences with vaccine injury, refusal and hesitancy.
- We need continued advocacy on behalf of safer regulation, improved inform consent, and better screening and indication for vaccine administration
- Speaking up for exemptions to “mandated” vaccination and exploring policies that put children that are at risk in a precarious situation.
- I applaud Barbara Loe Fisher and Dr. Humphries for sharing their knowledge and strong advocacy to policy makers and the community at large.
- Independent research that is unbiased needs continued funding and should be broadly published to advance the science and lead to better guidelines for vaccine safety and administration.
- Retrospective studies in patient populations and families that have declined vaccinations can serve as a good cohort to examine in a more “ethical” manner.
- We need to incorporate the genetics, environment, toxin exposure, immunology, overall risk (based on age and outbreaks), and even the family and birth history of a child into the decision to integrate vaccination as a part of protecting the child against vaccine-preventable illnesses.
- I’m so grateful for practices like NIHA and our Holistic Providers that are dedicated to helping families navigate pathways to keeping our children healthy and protected.
- We are here to promote health and prevent disease. Vaccines are just ONE of the tools that are used to do both, but may not be indicated in ALL patient populations. We are at an exciting time where a paradigm shift is occurring in helping keep our patients healthy and protected through personalized, precision, complementary, holistic and integrative modalities.
Lorelle Bradley, MD, FAAP is Board Certified in Pediatrics and Holistic and Integrative Medicine, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has over seventeen years experience as a pediatrician, and has made an ongoing commitment to lifelong learning and advocacy for children. She believes that children are barometers of family dynamics and sees the vital role of genetics, environment, nutrition, and toxic exposures as contributing factors to the overall health of a child.