Our doctor, however, pooh-poohed our inquiries about potential side effects. He seemed to have no idea what those risks were and no interest in finding out. He was also incredibly condescending: "95 percent of what you read on the Internet" is unreliable, he sermonized, as if we were too dumb to separate scientific fact from fraud.
In the end, we concluded that some of the vaccines were more worth the risks than others. At my son's two-month checkup, the pediatrician expected him to receive a triple-combination shot called "Pediarix" (consisting of Hep B, inactivated polio, and DTaP, which covers diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis), as well as HiB (for certain bacterial infections) and Prevnar (for meningitis and blood infections). I reiterated my refusal of Hep B, accepted DTaP and HiB, and asked to put off polio and Prevnar. In response, I received a threat: Get all the vaccines or get out of our practice.
"Informed consent"? Ha. This was uninformed coercion.
We're leaving for another practice, a little bitter but wiser. The strong-arm tactics of the medical establishment mustn't intimidate parents from challenging the universal vaccine orthodoxy. When it comes to protecting our children's health, skepticism is the best medicine.