Just yesterday, I had yet another conversation with a mother concerned about vaccines. She is about to have her first and she really doesn't think the Hepatitis B shot is necessary for a newborn. She didn't know that she could sign a waiver to opt out (which can also be done for the eye drops given right after birth). Anyhow, as a special ed. teacher, she is also worried about the wide gammit of side effects and syndromes that can occur from the typical vaccination schedule.
The best resource I have found on the matter is 'The Vaccine Book' by Robert Sears. It seems like a very thorough treatment of the topic that includes manufacturing information (ingredients), alternate brand available, possible side effects, CDC reported cases of the disease in question, potential side effects, etc...
While Dr. Sears encourages parents to consider getting at least some of the vaccinations, he seems to understand many parents' desire to forgo all or some. He gives an alternate vaccination schedule that splits up and delays them so that aluminum exposure is limited and side effects can be tracked more effectively.
Personally, I am mixed on it all. It seems like the biggest concern is for illness within the first year (more likely to seriously trouble an infant) and then of course there is the use of fetal cells within some (Chicken Pox Vaccine and MMR most common). Also, the ingredient list on many of the vaccines looks like a witches potion if you ask me...sucrose, live virus, cow blood serum, monkey cells, chick embryo...
For a child who is breastfeeding and doesn't attend day care, exposure rates are VERY low and really, one has to consider if the risks (known and unknown) of the shot are better than the risks of the illness. I tend to think most of the common vaccines (and certainly the jam packed shot schedule) are not necessary for our kids but I'm planning to do a delayed shot schedule for Michael that includes Rotavirus, DTaP, and probably Pc.
I'm interested in your thoughts!