(NaturalNews) The number of middle-class parents refusing to vaccinate their children according to U.K. government guidelines is on the rise, the Daily Mail has reported.
Among these parents are Paul and Karen Sullivan, who stopped vaccinating their son Max at the age of six months after reading reports of meningitis-like symptoms and hospitalizations resulting from the government's recommended meningitis C vaccine. Also concerned about reports that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine had been linked to autism, the Sullivans chose to stop vaccinating their son and build up his immune system through healthy living instead.
Parents' concerns also include mercury and aluminum used in some vaccines, and research linking early vaccination to increased rates of allergies such as asthma and eczema. One study found that just a two month delay at the age in which vaccines are given cut asthma rates by 50 percent.
"We'd rather take our chances with the diseases than potentially damage our son for the rest of his life," Paul Sullivan said. "I had measles as a child and my sister had rubella. We're both O.K. We're trying to give Max a healthy diet so he's got a good immune system. If Max did get measles I'd give him a boost with Vitamin C and Vitamin A from cod liver oil."
An estimated 3,000 parents in the United Kingdom are now members of anti-vaccination support groups such as Jabs, The Informed Parent and Arnica. According to Arnica founder Anna Watson, overuse of vaccines and antibiotics actually weakens the immune system
Richard Halvorsen, a London doctor and author of The Truth About Vaccines, says that children are exposed to far too many potentially dangerous drugs at a young, vulnerable age. Parents who follow the United Kingdom's vaccination schedule, he said, are exposing their children to 25 drug doses by the age of 15 months.
"When the diphtheria vaccine was introduced and when the vaccination trials for whooping cough began, those diseases were killing thousands of children every year and it made sense to look at something quite radical to prevent them," Halvorsen said. "What I'm saying is, hang on, let's just stop and think."