A universal truth is that parents want what's best for their children. Today more and more parents are rejecting mandatory vaccination for their children as reports abound on the possible connection of vaccines and autism, ADD/ADHD, various other neurological injuries, crib death or SIDS, chronic disease and even a possible link to cancer. I believe that parents are right to question whether mandatory vaccines are necessary, helpful or even possibly harmful. This month I begin the list of questions all parents should ask before initiating the modern vaccine schedule and some answers to those questions.
Though I don't usually list references as a part of this column, (to save space), I think you'll be surprised by many of the references that I will include this month. Chiropractors, Naturopaths, Homeopaths and other natural healing professionals are not the only ones questioning vaccine validity. The number of medical doctors and medical organizations taking a new stance on this subject has been growing for a long time now.
The late Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, MD was a very outspoken physician who wrote a fabulous book referenced here. He had this to say;
"There is no convincing scientific evidence that mass inoculations can be credited with eliminating any childhood disease…I urge you to reject all inoculations for your child." Mendelsohn R. How to raise a healthy child...in spite of your doctor. Chicago: Contemporary Books. 1984:210.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons calls for an end to mandatory childhood vaccines.
"Our children face the possibility of death or serious long-term adverse effects from mandated vaccines that aren't necessary or that have very limited benefits." Jane M. Orient, MD, AAPS Executive Director. Nov. 2, 2000. www.aapsonline.org
And so, to kick things off we ask the most basic question of all;
- Are vaccinated children healthier than non-vaccinated children?
Although parents have their kids vaccinated so they'll be "protected" from disease, what they really want is for their children to be healthy. The fact is there is simply no proof that vaccinated children are healthier than non-vaccinated children. That's because no government agency or drug company has ever completed a study that compared the health of vaccinated children to non-vaccinated children! That's right, it's never been done.
The studies that have been done compare groups of vaccinated children. One group, (the control group), has been vaccinated with an already approved vaccine. The next group, (the experimental group), is vaccinated with the new vaccine. If both groups of children have a similar amount of neurological disorders, seizures, shock and deaths then the experimental vaccine is approved, after all, it's no worse than what's already been approved!
It seems that when we look into the details of this question, we find that even the peer-reviewed medical literature suggests that it's the vaccinated children who demonstrate a tendency to be less "healthy". Here I quote from a study published in the medical journal Epidemiology (1997;8:678-680) entitled Is Infant Immunization a Risk Factor for Childhood Asthma or Allergy?
Immunized children: 23.1% had asthma, 30% had other allergic illnesses.
Non-immunized children: 0% had asthma or other allergic illness.
Another study published in the medical journal Thorax (2002; 57: Supplement III) entitled Does Vaccination Increase the Risk of Developing Allergic Disease? found the following:
Children vaccinated with DPPT (or MMR) had 14 times more asthma and 9.4 times more eczema than non-vaccinated children.
It looks as though the question can be answered this way. When you vaccinate your kids, you are taking a chance that they may be "less healthy" than the kids who have not been vaccinated. This leads us into the next question begging to be answered.
- Do the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks?
This is the most important question we can ask. The justification for vaccination, in spite of all the damage it is known to cause, is that the damage is miniscule: "one in a million." Whenever vaccination criticism surfaces, the media will interview some health department official or MD who will repeat the mantra: 'Sure vaccines have some slight chance of causing damage, but (repeat after me) the benefits far outweigh the risks.' The only problem with that statement is that it has never been proven.
In order to do a risk/benefit analysis we need to know how many children are being hurt. The problem lies in the underreporting of adverse vaccine reactions. The pediatricians who administer the vaccines are charged with reporting any and all adverse reactions. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a "passive" reporting system. This can lead to the underreporting that takes place.
Adverse reactions can include swelling, redness, pain or a hardened lump at the site of the injection, fever, inconsolable crying, restlessness, inability to sleep, lethargy or changes in nursing/feeding patterns. Many parents are told that these reactions are "normal" when in fact they should be reported as adverse events.
At an Institute of Medicine conference in Washington, DC. a representative of Connaught Labs (a major vaccine producer) said this. "Only one in 50 damaged children was ever reported."
An English study found; "Japanese research indicates that adverse reactions to MMR vaccine are 78 times as frequent as the UK's Chief Medical Officer of Health has admitted. If those figures are correct, then the vaccine is more dangerous than the illness." Richard Barr, Alexander Harris, Mumps, Measles and Rubella (MMR) Vaccines and Measles Rubella (MR) Dawbars (UK) 1997
An analysis of the CDC's own data demonstrates that the number of actual injuries from the rotavirus vaccine could be as much as 500 times the injuries reported to VAERS!
As a result of the injuries that were reported, Congress had to pass laws protecting the drug companies producing vaccines. In the early 1980's the drug companies were settling so many lawsuits out of court they threatened that if they didn't have protection from liability they would stop making vaccines. So the government created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.More than 1,500 people have been paid in excess of $1.18 billion since the inception of the program in 1988!
The evidence clearly indicates that there is a substantial risk associated with vaccinating your children. Is it one you are willing to take for the so-called benefits?
Stay tuned to this column as we continue to explore Questions All Parents Should Ask About Childhood Vaccinations.