Friday, January 7, 2011

Why I'm concerned about vaccinations

Last night I heard the end of an NPR (yes, NPR) program about the advances of science and a discussion on vaccines. I was infuriated to hear an MD (I presume) say things like: rates of polio decreased as a direct connection to the vaccine, vaccines are completely safe, it's selfish for parents to be risking society for their child by not vaccinating them, etc etc.

A) the decrease in polio was decreasing BEFORE the vaccine
B) when parents notice an immediate change in their child AFTER they are vaccinated - how is that not connected?!!? To add to the frustration, it is reported that often pediatricians do not take parents concerns seriously or will state that the change in behavior is coincidental.
C) Society ISN'T safer due to vaccines alone and I WISH my children COULD contract illnesses naturally for life long immunity (chicken pox, rubella...) Vaccines contain toxins - (following list found here)
• Formaldehyde – an embalming agent for the dead
• Thimersol- 49% mercury
• Aluminum – detrimental to brain tissue
• Phenol – extremely toxic
• Glycerin, tri-atomic alcohol – extremely damaging to organs
One doctor on the program said that some children DO have negative reactions but it's the risk we take as a society to protect the greater good. I'm wondering how that MD would feel if it was HIS kid who was affected.

No, it's not fun to have a sick kid - but I'd prefer to take my chances with the illness than a vaccine. And statistically speaking my kids are more likely to be injured and/or die in a car crash than from one of these diseases that vaccines are claiming to protect against. Doesn't mean we don't drive in the car.

Will we ever vaccinate? I always think we will at some point. Ark Boy was vaccinated up to 12mos so he's set for a while and Farm Girl has had no vaccines. I wanted to wait until she was two so her body had time to develop enough in order to process the vaccines most effectively.
Then she turned two and it seemed to early still. I heard about serious side effects to the claimed cervical cancer vaccine (as a side note it really irks me that they call it a "cervical cancer vaccine" - it isn't. It's a vaccine against a small number of the strains of hpv, an std, that increases the risk of cervical cancer).
I heard about the vaccine injury process. At first it seemed promising - vaccine companies are taking responsibility for injuries. Actually... no. What happens is when a person has a vaccine a couple of dollars paid for the vaccine goes into a pool to support the vaccine injury compensation fund. The government oversees the vaccine injury process. The companies MAKING the vaccine are not held responsible.
I get that presumably those companies working on vaccines are doing this with the idea that they are helping society at large. But they are FOR profit companies. They are in it to make PROFIT. Again, this doesn't mean individual employees don't have their heart in a good place - just that the whole picture leads to not necessarily safe vaccines. It doesn't mean unsafe for all - but unsafe for some is too much for me. The studies done are not extensive enough (subject pools are too small, studies are too short term).
In 1983 (the year I was born) the recommendation was 9 vaccines between birth and six years. Now it is twice that.
Here are some other interesting statistics I found here

1) A 1992 study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases showed that children who received the DPT vaccine were significantly more likely to contract paralytic polio than children who were not vaccinated with DPT.

2) The New England Journal of Medicine stated that in 1993, during a highly publicized Pertussis outbreak in Cincinnati, 82 percent of children stricken with the disease had received regular doses of the vaccine.

3) A 1992 study in Clinical Infectious Diseases concluded that every case of polio in the United States since 1980 was caused by the polio vaccine.

4) A 1995 Lancet study found that those who received the measles vaccine were 3 times more likely to develop Crohn’s disease and more than twice as likely to develop ulcerative colitis.

A great article for further reading is here.

This comes back to my deep anger and frustration over the medical system. I am not necessarily anti-vaccine - I AM concerned, however. BUT if I didn't seek out additional information I would be told that vaccines are safe and necessary in childhood with additional boosters into adulthood.
I am happy for families and individuals to decide to vaccinate or make any other medical decision that I wouldn't choose for myself or my family - as long as they are INFORMED! There's a little thing called informed consent and in my experience it doesn't happen. Informed consent is not: "we're just going to take him to get his hepb" which is what was said before Ark Boy was whisked away from me for the first time before we left the hospital after his birth. I had no idea what "hepb" was!
Informed consent -ha!

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