To Vaccinate, or not to Vaccinate
That is today’s question.
I was brought up in a strict fundamentalist christian sect that taught “no vaccinations” on account that one should rely on God for their healing, not on man’s medicine. Now, however, being out of that, and having just had a Son (welcome to the world, Bryce!), I’m facing this question: to vaccinate, or not to vaccinate?
This question has nothing to do with religious teachings, but on the basis of current popular Vaccination Skepticism; there are many stories about vaccines killing children, and stories (including my own) of people who were never vaccinated and never got sick. Are vaccines dangerous? Are they necessary? Are they some form of Big Brother-ly control mechanism?
Vaccinations are injections of weakened viruses, or sometimes just the parts of the virus that can trigger an immune reaction. The idea is to give you a small amount of a weakened version of the disease (smallpox, polio, chicken pox, etc) so your body can start creating an immune response to the threat–kind of like training for the army.
It seems like a good idea; however, there are so many anti-vaccination advocates out there that I decided to see what they had to say and why.
Those against vaccinations, from what I’ve read, vary in their reasons. Some claim that the very idea of injecting bits of virus into your body is a bad idea, while others balk at the ingredients in the vaccine solution. Some deny the germ theory of disease entirely and claim that, instead, symptoms of “measles” or “chicken pox” are actually just evidence of the body’s mechanisms for self-cleansing. I would wonder, though, why children are in greater need of cleansing than adults (as these are usually termed “childhood diseases”). Some even claim that vaccines are part of an overall plan to reduce world population–because they don’t actually make people healthier, but rather suppress their immune systems.
I won’t spend much time on the idea that the Germ Theory of disease is bunk–things like hand-washing, clean water, sewer and sanitation, well-cooked (and well-stored) foods, etc., appear to be supporting the idea well enough. Further, the rate of world population growth–thanks to a whole host of reasons–is such that, if vaccines are part of a New World Order plot, we can rest comfortably knowing they are failing miserably.
However, as a more realistic concern, are the Ingredients in vaccines. Commonly, vaccine solutions contain aluminum, antibiotics, formaldehyde, MSG, and thimerosal.
Aluminum: Natural News warns us about the health affects of aluminum in vaccines, saying it causes dementia and Alzheimer’s. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, however, doesn’t seem as worried. Their site notes that aluminum is the 3rd most abundant element in the earth’s crust and that we eat and drink rather a lot of it every day–about 7-9mg per day–whereas none of the vaccines even come up to 1mg per dose. Of course, if you follow the CDC’s vaccination schedule, you could receive up to 5mg in a day, which scares some terribly
. If you’re really worried about aluminum in your diet, be sure not to take any antacids, as they contain 100-200mg per dose! However, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, we needn’t suffer the inconvenience of only buying our beer in glass bottles; and one would expect that if the aluminum-alzheimer’s link were proven and serious, that they, the Alzheimer’s Association, would be the first to tell us to dispense with our aluminum cookware.
Antibiotics: Natural News is also worried about the antibiotics in many vaccines, for they are “chemicals that promote superbugs, which are deadly antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that are killing tens of thousands of Americans every year”. Well, no, not at all, actually. Saying that antibiotics are chemicals that promote superbugs is the same as saying Police are agents of the state that promote Super-Villains. Of course abuse or misuse of antibiotics leads to the development of superbugs, but even the Mayo Clinic will tell you that. But it is important to point out that the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria as a result of improper antibiotic usage is a very, very different thing from antibiotics being agents that promote superbugs. The phrase seems disingenuous at best…
Formaldehyde: The good people over at VacTruth are worried enough about formaldehyde in vaccines that they are urging people to call their senators and demand action! Why? Formaldehyde is a carcinogen! But again, the people at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia are unconcerned. They say that a baby may be exposed to as much as 0.2mg of formaldehyde as part of the vaccination schedule, but that an average 2-month-old will already have 1.1mg of the substance already coursing through their veins as a natural part of the metabolic process. In high concentrations, of course, formaldehyde is a carcinogen, so be sure to stay away from automobile emissions, cigarette smoke, new carpet, plywood (and I guess new homes in general, for they’re full of new carpet and plywood), new cars, as well as the professions of Lab Technician and Mortician.
Monosodium Glutamate: There are numerous sources of alarm concerning this ingredient; this site tells how different versions of the glumatic acid are hidden in vaccines. Maybe when it was written the CDC didn’t have MSG clearly listed as a vaccine ingredient like they do now, for it certainly isn’t hidden. This site claims a link between MSG and Autism, or at least a link between MSG and Epilepsy. The Canadians, in one of their “Vaccination Components” pamphlets, tell us that “when large quantities are eaten, MSG can cause nerve damage and can affect brain functioning”. They explain that the substance is used in vaccines as a “stabilizer”. So, how much is too much? Apparently quite a lot–it occurs naturally; for example, there appears to be over 900x more of the stuff in a cup of breast milk as there is in the vaccine FluMist. Furthermore, it seems that studies upon the relation of MSG to “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” have been inconclusive. I guess that’s why Yale Scientific isn’t much worried about it.
Considering that “95% of American parents sacrifice their young children to the vaccine industry”, as Natural News put it, I would expect that if the health risks of vaccine solution ingredients were as real as they are presented to be, then the entire nation should have pretty much collapsed due to the vast majority of the population being deathly ill.
This ingredient gets special attention, for it is the focal point for the most serious allegations. This substance is a Methyl Mercury compound. “Mercury is highly toxic to the brain. You should never touch, swallow, or inject mercury at any dose! There is no safe dose of mercury!” The website Age of Autism is there to show us “how mercury triggered the age of Autism”.
Well, I called thimerosal a “methylmercury” compound, because that is what Natural News called it. However, the Wikipedia article and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) say it is ethylmercury. Ethylmercury appears to be rather a bit safer than methylmercury, as it is eliminated from the body much quicker–and it is the build-up of tiny amounts into toxic amounts that is the problem.
So, now that the explanatory detour is over…
From what I have read in studying up enough to write this (as medical issues are not quite my forte), the current skepticism concerning the safety of vaccines arose in the 1990’s; cases of autism went up at the same time the vaccination schedule (in the U.S.) increased. “Correlation does not imply causation”, but many thought it clearly suggested. At the same time came Andrew Wakefield and his paper in the British medical journal, the Lancet, about a possible link between the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine and autism.
Numerous studies have been done, though apparently without success in replicating the findings–and for a scientific hypothesis to be proven, the results must be replicable. Furthermore, on account of the initial scare about “mercury in vaccines”, thimerosal was removed from almost all vaccines in 1999 or 2000. However, oddly enough, the increase in the numbers of Autism cases has not slowed; and it decidedly should have been slowing over the last 100 years considering that we are eliminating more and more sources of mercury from our lives–no more “mad hatters disease“, no more mercury in dental fillings, etc.
Hopefully, the people who fear the Mercury-Autism link are staying well away from fish.
I am not saying that medicine, or science, in its present state is perfect. People have been practicing medicine as long as they’ve had the cognitive ability to do so, and that’s all we’re doing now. The almost total elimination of all the old “childhood diseases” that used to kill thousands a year, however, seems a good testimony to the accuracy of our collective Learning as it is applied to medicine. Yes, people make mistakes–sometimes innocent errors, and sometimes errors due to some form of self-interest–but those mistakes are nearly always found out and rectified. And yes, as has been mentioned in many sites critical of vaccines, the importance of personal health is not to be under-rated–if you are not a healthy person to begin with, the odds of you catching some disease or other are much increased. Cleanliness and Good Diet are essential.
Skepticism is good, but when skepticism becomes its own dogma, it loses its value. Every “vaccine skepticism” site I visited made reference in some form to Big Pharma or to some larger World Control hypothesis. So, all the information I’ve cited that appears to be sufficient evidence that vaccines are safe and effective? Just part of the BigPharma lie. Sadly, this kind of reasoning reminds me of religious belief–“we already believe that vaccines cause autism or other illnesses and nothing you can say will change that!” One previous link in this post was from an article
responding to the removal of thimerosal from vaccines: “what did they put in place of the Mercury? Something even more toxic–Aluminum!” Yes, big, highly profitable companies and industries (including the Pharmaceutical Industry) push through products that have not been adequately tested for safety concerns in the interests of higher profits; we know this because there are big scandals about it every now and then. But to have the Pharmaceutical Industry secretly running half the world is about as believable as “the Jews” doing it (which is what used to be the common World Control hypothesis), or the Masons or the Illuminati (unless the leaders in the Pharmaceutical Industry are all Masonic Illuminati Jews).
There is a tremendous amount of information about all of this, and especially as medical topics are not my forte, I advise you to do some research of your own as I feel unable to cover it all as well as I should like. There are some additional links below to get you started if you wish…
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/05/28/vaccine-risk-denialism.aspx#_edn2 – “It did not matter that the risky and notoriously ineffective influenza vaccine turned out to be almost useless in preventing infection with the most prevalent influenza strains circulating in the US this year.” That’s not true. The effectiveness was 56%-62% for most of the population. It was found, however, to be less effective than expected for people 65 and over, with a dismal 9% efficacy rate. Perhaps it is that number that they are referencing, but to simply declare that the vaccine is “almost useless” is disingenuous at best.
http://www.ivillage.com.au/why-the-vaccination-debate-over/160022 “More Mercury from a can of tuna than a vaccine”