If your just tuning in, we’re talking about vaccinations this week. And I’ve even postponed our usual “Waste-Free Wednesday” post so that I can continue focusing on the pros and cons of vaccination. Yesterday, we took a long look at the reasons to consider vaccination.
In today’s post, I’d like to take a look at the flip side of the argument…the many risks associated with vaccinations. Reader Amanda McNabb sent me an amazingly concise and well thought out response about why she chose not to vaccinate her children. Each of the points that she mentioned were brought up time and again in the research I conducted on vaccines, so I thought I would use her email as a starting point for discussion. Here are the reasons why Amanda chose not to vaccinate her children.
The diseases that we vaccinate for rarely kill anybody in areas with good sanitation, good personal hygiene, and proper nutrition.
→I have to interject and point out a few of the points brought up yesterday. For starters, many of the deadly diseases that vaccines are created to counter are no longer around BECAUSE so many people vaccinate their children. Also, this point is not entirely accurate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still lists several deaths each year that are attributable to measles. And in 2005, an outbreak of polio broke out in an Amish community amongst unvaccinated children.
Many of the diseases we vaccinate for are not even things that my child is likely to come into contact with. For example; polio is not found in the “wild” in the US. Hep B is transmitted the same way as AIDS. Tetanus is found in the feces of animals and would have to be on the item that breaks the skin, at which point they will give a tetanus shot even if you’d had one the day before.
→Polio is rare, but it is still found in the wild in the U.S. Hep B is a sexually transmitted disease, but it is also transmitted via any type of bodily fluid transfer…sharing a toothbrush, drinking from the same glass, etc. This is unlike AIDS that can only be transmitted via sexual or blood contact. As for tetanus, it is caused by a toxin produced by a type of bacteria found worldwide in soil and most surfaces. It is not limited to animal feces and the item does not have to break the skin in order to cause an infection, it can also be ingested. Take a minute to think about how much a new baby spends crawling around on the ground both indoors and out, and you can see why a tetanus shot is recommended.
Vaccination causes a false immunity, which does not last. Hence never ending boosters.
→This is a great point. As is the case with the flu shot, there is no guarantee that vaccines will keep your baby free from disease.
The way that you activate the immune system is by exposing it at all levels to the bug. By skipping the mucous linings along the gut and putting it straight into the blood, you are not actually stimulating the immune system.
→I don’t really understand this point and would welcome further discussion. As far as I know, any time a person get sick, the illness enters the body via the same means as a vaccine would. So how would the immune response be different for vaccines than it would for the actual disease?
I would think that being exposed to multiple diseases in one shot would tend to create a mutant response.
This is another excellent point! As Robyn Chittister of Antioch, CA pointed out, “So, I can’t give my 2 month old cow’s milk, but I can inject him with 7 different diseases, including viruses and bacteria, antibiotics, aluminum, and all the rest? “ I couldn’t agree more. A babies developing immune system is a fragile thing, and it seems ridiculous to inject them with several potentially life threatening illnesses at the same time in an effort to keep them healthy.
You have to look at the preservatives. Mercury is bad, and even thought they say they don’t use it anymore, I was on the FDA’s website about a month ago and they listed the ingredients. If you don’t want mercury, you have to make sure you are very specific in which brand and what year it was manufactured.
→According to the CDC website, “since 2001, with the exception of some influenza (flu) vaccines, thimerosal is not used as a preservative in routinely recommended childhood vaccines.” That’s comforting, however, I couldn’t find any information about how many vaccines created before 2001 were still in circulation today. So if you do choose to vaccinate your child, ask your health care provider about the year the vaccination was produced or ask to see the package insert that came with the product to verify that it is thimerosal-free yourself.
And even without the thimerosal, there is good reason to question the safety of the ingredients used to create vaccines. According to Healthy Child, “In light of all the other types of pollution our bodies are assaulted with in our everyday lives, some of us have to ask ourselves if it is wise to inject vaccines containing known carcinogens and toxins (including mercury, formaldehyde and aluminum) into our children’s bodies when so little is known about the possible side effects. It appears that we may be trading one set of diseases for another that is chronic and debilitating.”
Vaccines are exempt from prosecution. If something goes wrong, the company has NO accountability. Yes I know about VAERS and the government money set aside.
→The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) receives 11,000 reports of vaccine reactions each year. The government has funds set aside to compensate patients that have had adverse reactions to a vaccine. But if vaccines are so safe then why be afraid of lawsuits, and why have money set aside to buy off people?
In addition, the FDA acknowledges that the number of cases reported to VAERS actually represents less than 10% of actual vaccine reactions. TEN PERCENT! In other words, the data produced by the FDA and CDC regarding the safety of vaccines is based on what they realized is an under-reporting of the actual side effects caused by vaccines.
In most cases, this under-reporting is caused by a doctors disbelief that a vaccine could cause a certain reaction. For instance, consider this example given on the FDA website:
“A mother recently called FDA because her child’s hair had fallen out each time the child received a dose of the hepatitis B vaccine. The mother said she asked the pediatrician whether the vaccine could have caused the hair loss, but the pediatrician was sure that couldn’t be the case. In fact, after the second dose of the vaccine and subsequent hair loss, the doctor was preparing to do a scalp biopsy to determine the cause.
A search of the VAERS database found 45 cases of hair loss after hepatitis B vaccination. Of those, 15 cases were like this one, in which hair loss happened after each of two doses of the vaccine.”
This was a common thread that I found among the HUNDREDS of responses I received from parents who choose not to vaccinate their children. One email after the next told about horrible reactions that their own child, or a friend’s child had to a vaccine…reactions that were discounted by medical professionals who simply could not believe that a vaccine could cause such a reaction. According to the FDA, doctors shouldn’t try to make that judgment, they should just report it.
I personally believe that a lot of the research on the safety of vaccines is junk science. It is unethical for companies to test things on people that they think will make them worse. As soon as it becomes undeniable that a drug makes people sick, the trial is stopped. It would be unethical to do otherwise. Therefore, any research showing a bad outcome from a drug or vaccine is stopped before the final results are in. Therefore all research will say that it works, has no effect, or is inconclusive.
→This isn’t entirely accurate. If a drug were making people sick, the trial would be stopped, but if the trial were stopped for any reason, the drug would have to be discontinued. Of greater concern is the number of reactions that go unreported, both during these safety trials and once the drug has been released to the wider population. As mentioned above, the medical community as a whole grossly under reports vaccine side effects, both large and small. This renders much of the data on vaccine safety meaningless.
Some of the vaccines are cultured in aborted fetal tissue.
→According to the CDC, the vaccines for MMR and varicella are grown, in part, in aborted fetal tissue. This presents an ethical dilemma for parents who are pro-life and against the use of aborted fetuses for medical testing.
Thanks so much to Amanda for so clearly articulating many of the reasons that parents choose not to vaccinate their children. You may have noticed that this post did NOT discuss one the major reasons that many parents choose not to vaccinate…the potential links between vaccination and autism and other serious diseases. That is because that topic was way to large to fit into one or two paragraphs. Check back tomorrow when the day’s post will look at all of the information regarding vaccines and autism.
Photo by Julie Oliver