Welcome to my thoughts on vaccinations!
What are my short and sweet thoughts? I have a healthy skepticism of immunizations. They raise more questions than I have seen answers for. Here are just a few off the top of my head.
- Why are so many Americans suspicious of vaccines? Surely this mass doubt is worth investigating further to find the root of the issues we have with immunizations, like if they really are not as safe and necessary as the CDC and vaccine manufacturers want us to believe.
- What are the real risks and benefits to vaccines and where are the long term studies on our national health? How is it acceptable, per the study recommended by the CDC to parents reading the current vaccination schedule, that the “current surveillance systems are not designed to measure the burden of chronic disease” and “no attempt” has been “made to compile the rare but serious adverse events that have been causally associated with some vaccines or to weigh the risks and benefits of vaccination” .
- What are the vaccine and disease rates in countries similar to ours, with similar standards of living? What are their vaccine recommendations and schedules? How do the citizens feel about vaccines?
- How many outbreaks and deaths are actually going on in the US right now and are there really vaccine preventable deaths?
- How many injuries and deaths are actually caused by the vaccines themselves each year? How many are caused by the unimmunized?
- What is the cost comparison between the current model of mass immunizations and just treating infected patients with those “vaccine-preventable” diseases on a case by case basis? Which method of care is better for our citizens?
- Where is a master list of all the vaccine studies ever done so someone like myself can just go through them all, one by one, to make the most informed decision? Sure, there are many studies available online but most of them cost quite a bit of money. Why place an additional financial burden on individuals or families who just want to know the facts before choosing to be immunized? Why hasn’t the government purchased the rights to every single one and made them available for free to the public alongside information on the vaccines and diseases?
Apparently this growing concern is pretty widespread.
Thomson Reuters-NPR Health Poll Finds One in Four Americans Believe Vaccines are Unsafe - PRNewswire
In the latest survey in the series, 26.6 percent of respondents expressed concern over the safety of vaccines. Households with children under the age of 18 demonstrated the greatest level of concern (30.8%). The lowest level of concern (18.5%) was found in respondents 65 years old and up.
Among those with concerns, 47.3 percent attributed their fear of vaccines to future long-term impact on health and 46.0 percent said they were worried about side effects.
Nearly one in five said they have questioned or refused a vaccine for themselves or their children — with a higher rate among those under 35 (28.1 percent) and a lower rate among those 65 and older (12.7 percent).
When asked about specific safety concerns, 21.4 percent of respondents said they believe vaccines can cause of autism, 9.2 percent said they believe vaccines can be linked to cancer, 6.9 percent believe they play a role in diabetes, and 5.9 percent cite a connection between vaccines and heart disease.
Overall, 24 percent of respondents said their opinions of vaccines have changed in the past five years. Of those, 59 percent say their views on vaccines have become less favorable.
Click here for the full PDF NPR Report.
I must tell you that before I met my husband, I didn’t think twice about vaccines. I believed in the pharmaceutical paradigm and herd immunity seemed to make sense. If my doctor told me to get a shot, I got it. And no, I didn’t read the package insert. I was vaccinated as a child though I found out later that my mother was also against them but she was threatened by other family members who said they would call Child Protective Services on her so she conceded. (How terrible is that??) When I was pregnant with my first child, we began to look into the standard vaccines like the flu shot that were recommended for gestating mothers. The known side effects and possible related fetal abortions seemed to be enough for us to pause and reflect. Did I think the risk of getting the flu and the flu’s effects on my fetus was greater or less than the vaccine’s effects on my fetus and the unknown long term effects? I opted against the flu shot.
By the birth of our first child, we had made our personal family decision regarding vaccines. What we decided is up to us but I can say that I do not agree with the recommended schedule. In this age of abundance of information where Google knows where outbreaks are happening before the CDC, how hard would it be to make specific vaccine recommendations for each person, each family based on their own needs and risks, based on their family history, standard of living, location, etc? I think that the current model of one size fits all cannot be right for everyone. The questions we have about vaccines need to be answered truthfully, with as many unbiased studies as possible to back them up, and without the standard lip service.
I am not alone.
The percentage of people in our nation concerned with the negative aspects of vaccines is rising, especially with parents. Why? People are investigating vaccines before blindly accepting them for themselves and their children as necessary, reading the official approved information in package inserts, researching what is actually in the vaccines (official information about animal tissue ingredients), reading studies on the vaccinations, researching the diseases that they supposedly need protection from. Frankly, it only takes one look at the recommended vaccination schedule to wonder if all those shots are 100% necessary for all of our children.
How many vaccines do children get? They can receive as many as 26 inoculations by 2 years of age and up to five shots at one time! By the age of 6, the blanket recommendation is 49 doses of 14 vaccines for all children.
Are they all really necessary?
Check out this poster from the National Vaccine Information Center:
(Poster PDF Link for download.)
Check out this poster by Proud Parents of Unvaccinated Children with the changes in vaccine recommendations over the years.
How accurate is this poster? Check out the history of vaccine schedule versus the CDC’s current schedule (PDF).
Many are concerned with the questionable ingredients in vaccines. From the bottom of the NVIC poster: “Vaccine excipients or ingredients in trace or larger amounts depending on speciﬁc vaccine (partial list): lab altered viruses and bacteria; aluminum; mercury; formaldehyde; phenoxyethanol; gluteraldehyde; sodium borate; sodium chloride; sodium acetate; monosodium glutamate (MSG); hydrochloric acid; hydrogen peroxide; lactose; gelatin; yeast protein; egg albumin; bovine and human serum albumin; antibiotics; unidentiﬁed contaminants.”
What about the mercury levels in vaccines? How much mercury is in the flu shot? Significantly higher amounts than what the EPA considers poison.
Interesting, right? What about the mercury free vaccines? The “Mercury-free” shot is quite possibly not really free of mercury as explained in this letter from a senator to the FDA.
What are the side effects of vaccines?
Do you think vaccines are harmless? Think again. They have side effects listed on the packaging, the CDC has issued a warning about the risks of seizures. Direct from the CDC to providers, available on their website here:
Note to Providers: Febrile Seizures Associated with TIV & PCV13
The 2011-2012 inactivated influenza vaccine VIS states that, “young children who get inactivated flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine (PCV13) at the same time appear to be at increased risk for seizures caused by fever.”
ACIP chose to include this statement on the VIS to inform parents of this potential risk.
Increased rates of febrile seizures have been reported among children, especially those 12 through 23 months of age, who received simultaneous vaccination with TIV and PCV13, compared with children who received these vaccines separately.
For more information, see http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Concerns/FebrileSeizures.html.
Many people who are quick to criticize anyone who suggests vaccines may not be safe as the vaccine companies claim doesn’t generally know about The 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.
As part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Health Resources and Services Act, the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was passed by Congress to compensate families for vaccine-related injuries or deaths. Seriously. It tallies up the injuries and deaths and the public can view this information at any time. Seriously. It legitimizes the fact that there are real health risks associated with vaccines, but unfortunately, getting compensated for harm is a lengthy process full of red-tape, and since the money comes from our tax dollars, it protects the pharmaceutical industry from being sued directly.
Direct from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Health Resources and Services Act (HRSA), the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act’s page:
“On October 1, 1988, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-660) created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The VICP was established to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines, stabilize vaccine costs, and establish and maintain an accessible and efficient forum for individuals found to be injured by certain vaccines.”
“Since the first Vaccine Injury Compensation claims were made in 1989, 2,883 compensation payments have been made, $2,226,677,761.05 disbursed to petitioners and $84,970,763.88 paid to cover attorney’s fees and other legal costs.”
Since 1988, these are the numbers of injuries and deaths filed:
Why is giving kids febrile seizures, anaphylactic shock, chronic arthritis, acute encephalopathy, and paralytic polio okay? Why are the side effects swept under the rug, the deaths ignored?
It seems to me that there are some lines that are being crossed willingly in order to “protect” the masses, like trying to mandate vaccinations across the board, eliminating certain exemptions, and making it harder to opt out. There are many people who have contraindications to vaccines, many that have natural immunity to the diseases, and it is proven that vaccines are not effective in a significant percentage of the people that take them anyway.
I am critical of the vaccines themselves, the companies that manufacture and distribute them, our government’s regulatory agencies, and the lack of studies on the long-term effects of vaccines. Vaccines themselves are in no way near perfect creations, are not immune to human error, only based on the science available to us now, and this imperfection and margin for error during creation and processing and administration makes me wary. Our government needs to do a better job with regulation, ensuring that vaccines are properly scrutinized and the margin for human error is minimized. No one wants their child to die because of tainted batches but it has happened. Even the AAP says vaccines are not tested and studied enough. They have said that drug surveillance would benefit from mimicking the vaccine catchment systems like Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and the Vaccine Safety Datalink Project.
Why do I question the necessity and safety of vaccines for myself and my family?
I feel there is too much that we don’t know about vaccines for me personally to trust them one hundred percent without reservations. There must be a reason more and more people are feeling hesitant about vaccines. I realize that there has been a time and place for vaccines, that they have played a role in preventing deaths worldwide, that perhaps they are still a viable life-saving tool for some areas of the world, but I have an innate trust in the human immune system. Surely it hasn’t evolved to need a mandated man-made virus protectant. And if vaccines are necessary, is recommending blanket vaccinations for our newborns and small children the best way to prevent deaths? To protect them? What do the studies say about the efficiency of protecting communities from illness when vaccines are only given to adolescents and adults? Do all children, even those that are given the best chance at a healthy start, need to be obsessively vaccinated to develop a fully functioning immune system that is able to process fungal, bacterial and viral infections efficiently. I highly doubt it. Why?
Let’s start with my thoughts on breastfeeding. Breastfeeding aids in development of our children’s immune systems and provides protection against pathogenic bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Human immune systems do not fully develop until around the age of five or six. Exclusively breastfed infants and full-term breastfeeding children are significantly less likely to develop the illnesses that their formula fed counterparts are or babies who were weaned before the age of two (AAFP 2008). ”The current recommendations of the World Health Organization and UNICEF are for all mothers to breastfeed until age 2 or beyond. Studies have shown that the antibodies and immunities in a mother’s milk are more concentrated the longer she nurses, to make up for the fact that the child does not nurse as often” . Another study says that breastfeeding toddlers between the ages of one and three have been found to have fewer illnesses, illnesses of shorter duration, and lower mortality rates (Mølbak 1994, van den Bogaard 1991, Gulick 1986). It makes sense right? According to study that was done in Brazil, infants who were not breast fed were 17 times more likely than those receiving breast milk alone to be admitted for pneumonia . Does that mean formula fed infants should get the pneumococcal vaccine or should their mothers just be encouraged to breastfeed or give them donor milk? The more natural option seems to make sense to me. Per the World Health Organization, “breastfeeding plays an essential and sometimes underestimated role in the treatment and prevention of childhood illness” and “a modest increase in breastfeeding rates could prevent up to 10% of all deaths of children under five.” I am just speculating here but perhaps the average US baby that is weaned at 3 months and the formula fed infants who miss years of important immune system development from maternal antibodies would actually benefit from donor milk or wet nursing instead of going straight to vaccines for “protection” because they are not getting the proper passive immunity from breast milk.
What about my thoughts on each individual vaccine and the disease they are supposed to protect against? I can’t possibly go through all of the vaccinations in this one post (but maybe soon in a new post) but it seems to me, most of the viruses and diseases are mild and contracting them naturally has it’s benefits, like lifelong immunity. If the illness isn’t mild, seeking medical care isn’t that hard.
Research and decide what is best for you and your family. My opinions here are not legal or medical advice. I am just a mom. If you choose to vaccinate there are many factors to consider, like if you are currently sick, if you or your family has a history of adverse reactions, history of illnesses, allergies, and neurological disorders, whether or not they were formula fed babies or breastfed and for how long, etc. If you’re looking into delaying vaccinations or following a slightly altered version of the standard recommended schedule, that is perfectly acceptable as well (unless you’re the CDC, then you don’t think alternative schedules are acceptable). There are many doctors that recommend a middle ground, offering schedules for delaying and separating the massive amounts of vaccinations that are given to babies in their first two years. What is the truth about vaccines and the best route to take? I am still trying to find that out. Maybe I will find it when I reach the end of the internet.
What are your thoughts on vaccinations? What is right decision for you and your family?
If you choose to vaccinate, check out this second poster from Poster from the National Vaccine Information Center to learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of vaccine reactions.
Can you read the poster? It says on the right side:
An epidemic of chronic disease and disability is plaguing America. Our children are the most highly vaccinated children in the world and they are among the most chronically ill and disabled.
Today, the Centers for Disease Control admits that 1 child in 6 in America is developmentally delayed. During the past quarter century, the number of children with learning disabilities, ADHD, asthma and diabetes has more than tripled.
During the past quarter century, the number of doses of vaccines that pediatricians give babies and children under age 6 has more than doubled. More than twice as many children have chronic brain and immune system dysfunction today than did in the 1970’s when half as many vaccines were given to children
Outstanding Question: Is the atypical manipulation of the immune system with more and more vaccines in early life setting some children up for chronic disease and disability? Is less better?
State Vaccination Exemptions Poster from the National Vaccine Information Center. Be sure to visit their Vaccine Law page, which provides and overview of exemptions, the difference between required vs. recommended vaccines,
 Historical Comparisons of Morbidity and Mortality for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in the United States by Sandra W. Roush, MT, MPH; Trudy V. Murphy, MD; and the Vaccine-Preventable Disease Table Working Group. Author Affiliations JAMA. 2007;298(18):2155-2163. doi:10.1001/jama.298.18.2155. @http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=209448#REF-JOC70121-98 on 11.25.2012
 Extended Breastfeeding and the Law, by Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., 2001, stating last edited in 2007 @http://llli.org/ba/Feb01.html on 11.22.2012
 Impact of breast feeding on admission for pneumonia during postneonatal period in Brazil: nested case-control study, BMJ. 1999 May 15; 318(7194): 1316–1320. PMCID: PMC27869 @ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC27869/ on 11.22.2012
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