The focus of this article is on childhood vaccinations. In general vaccinating young children is a positive step toward preventing some very nasty diseases. Just consider the good that came from the discovery of the polio vaccine and how many countless lives were saved. The smallpox vaccine is another one that has all but eradicated smallpox off the face of the earth.
The "however" comes from the fact that vaccines are highly profitable for the drug companies and they just can't seem to control themselves when it comes to getting governments at all levels to mandate that children recieve numerous vaccinations at periodic intervals.
Why is there a vaccination controversy given the past successes of vaccinations in controlling or even eradicating some very serious diseases? The short answer is probably that we are experiencing too much of a good thing but first a little background is in order.
Vaccinations work by introducing a dead or weakened virus, bacteria, allergen or other antigen into the body. The immune system recognizes the antigen as an intruder and goes to work creating antibodies to combat it. If the antibody is correctly constructed, it will dock with the antigen thus preventing it from joining with other cells in the body and spreading the infection.
It also marks the antigen for destruction by other immune system
components. If necessary, now would be a good time to revisit the
workings of our immune system.
The practice of infecting someone on purpose in order to prevent a future occurance of the disease has always been plagued by one vaccination controversy or another.
Childhood vaccinations are not new by
any means and did not start with Dr. Edward Jenners development of the
smallpox vaccine in 1976. There is ample documentation that the Chinese
were using a smallpox vaccine as early as 1000 AD.
However, in the ensuing years following Jenner's success, similar successes were seen with diptheria (1890), yellow fever (1936), whooping cough, aka pertussis (1939), Salk and Sabin's polio vaccine (1952, 1960), rabies (1961), rubella, aka German measles (1962) and many more. None of these developments happened overnight but were the result of research and experimentation by numerous immunology pioneers spanning many years and building on the work of their predecessors.
Another very informative site on vaccinations is from the CDC. Bear in mind that the CDC is in the business of pushing vaccinations on everyone but, keeping an open mind, there is still a wealth of data here. You can see what the CDC is telling providers and professionals regarding vaccinations.
The indisputable success of childhood vaccinations is seen in the drop of infant and childhood mortality. About 100 years ago, 20% of infants and another 20% of children under five succummed to diseases that are rare or nonexistent today, thanks to advances in vaccine development. In the early days, children died after receiving vaccinations but it was mainly due to contaminated vaccines and poor quality control.
Now with the overwhelming number of vaccinations given to children and apparent side effects and interactions, the controversy over childhood vaccinations has been driven to new heights. Foremost is the perceived link between vaccinations and the rise of autism.
According to the CDC, the vaccination schedule for infants and children calls for:
This is not all of the vaccines by any means. If the recommended schedule of childhood vaccinations followed, a child will receive 69 doses of 16 different vaccines and 15 of them are mandated by different state laws.
At first glance, that looks like a lot of vaccinations and it is. So the natural question is whether or not the child's immune system is developed enough to handle all those innoculants. Let's take a look.
The experts tell us that the human immune system begins to form very early in its embryonic stage; about 5 weeks to be exact when stem cells kick in to start the immune development process. At birth the baby has a fully functional immune system which is activated in about six days in response to the host of new germs to which it is exposed.
At this point the infant is already immune to many diseases that it acquired from its mother while still in fetal development. This is the passive immune system.
If the baby is being breast fed, it will acquire an immunity to even more disease from the antibodies it its mother's milk. The downside is that this passive immunity is fairly short lived. The upside is that the infants immune system is still growing and at its one-year mark, will have an immunity to many diseases equivalent to that of an adult.
Thus the question is, at 2 or 4 months of age is the baby's immune system up to the challenge of being hit with eight new antigens all at once without causing some serious side effects? After years and years of giving infants these innoculations, it would seem so. Yet as childhood vaccinations continue to increase so does the the vaccination controversy.
Here is where the controversy arises. With all these preventive
childhood vaccinations being injected into our children, why are American children
among the sickest in the developed world? Barbara Loe Fisher is the
co-founder and president of the non-profit National Vaccine Information
Center and we will hearing a lot from her in the following videos.
For now, she has some very pointed questions that demand answers. For starters, statistics show that in the U.S., "one child in six has learning disabilities, 1 in 10 is asthmatic and 1 in 50 is autistic (which used to be 1 in 10,000). With 95% of U.S. children being fully vaccinated, highly educated parents and healthcare professionals want to know why so many highly vacccinated children are so sick."
These same parents and healthcare providers are "examining the
vaccine science shortfalls and wondering why Americans are coerced and
punished for declining to use every government-recommended vaccine while
citizens of Canada, Japan and the European Union are free to make
Ms. Fisher also notes that vaccines carry both a risk of harm and a risk that they will fail to prevent disease.
Pertussis outbreaks are a perfect example. The outbreaks are not from failure to vaccinate but failure of the vaccine to confer long-lasting immunity. Given that and the fact that doctors cannot predict who will be harmed by a vaccine and cannot guarantee that those who have been vaccinated won't get infected or transmit an infection, it would seem logical that the "ethical principle of informed consent becomes a civil, human and parental right that must be safeguarded in U.S. law."
The sad fact is that our government views parental opt-outs as being selfish and uninformed. In many locales across the country, children have been removed from their parents care for refusing to follow the scheduled childhood vaccinations.
Our pets get more intelligent care than our children when it comes to vaccinations. It is well known among veterinarians that an animals mother's milk will interfere with the body's antibody response to vaccines so before they are vaccinated, a blood test called a titer is given to the dog or cat to determine their degree of existing protection to a list of common animal diseases.
This allows the vet to determine if the vaccination or booster is really needed. The problem is that you have to ask the vet to do the titer, otherwise they will charge forward and inject the animal. After all they have to make those Mercedes payments.
So the curious thing is that we titer pets but not children and just assume that a one-size-fits-all vaccination policy is just fine.
Parental fear of giving the recommended or mandated childhood vaccinatons to their babies is well grounded. Consider the following documented issues.
Abuses by the pharmaceutical industry in the
interests of profits abound. The industry has engaged in questionable
marketing tactics such as creating a crisis or exaggerating an outbreak
to crisis proportions. A good example was the non-existent swine flu
pandemic. Well, it sold a lot of Tamiflu.
Another example was Merck lying about effectiveness of mumps, chicken pox and autism vaccines. Even worse is the faking of test data or hiding adverse data which seems to be not all that uncommon in the industry.
Closely related is knowingly marketing ineffective vaccines such as the innoculation for whooping cough. It was nowhere near as effective as advertised. In addition to ineffective vaccines, we have those that actually contribute to collateral diseases.
A few examples are a pneumonia vaccine that increases bacterial infections and a flu vaccine that actually increases the risk of pandemic flu.
Then we have outright corruption. Pharmaceutical companies routinely provide funding to doctors and medical schools, ostensibly to help with their operations. What an unbiased observer would call it is bribing of doctors and med schools. The expected payback for such largess is that the doctors or med schools will tout the drugs of the company making the payments.
In addition, a common result is doctors demonizing patients who chose not to vaccinate or questioning families positions on vaccination choices, especially when it comes to childhood vaccinations. In fact all types of new technologies have been developed solely to persuade you to vaccinate.
Closely related is mandated childhood vaccinations by various levels of government. Forcing Gardisil on young girls and now also targeting boys is unconsionable. Couple this with the elimination of vaccine exemptions for religious or other personal reasons. This is the result of lobbyist money flowing to congressmen and legislators, also bribery by any other name.
Then we have problems with the vaccines themselves such as contamination by aluminum and mercury. Mutated vaccines have been found and fabricated antigens have been found to be different from the natural antigens. How about genetically modified vaccines with the blessing of the FDA.
Child abuse by vaccination of psychotrophic drugs for ADHD and depression is rampant. If your child is energetic, easily distracted, mind tends to wander, or cuts up in class, the drug pushers have a shot or a pill for that, after all the child must have a learning disorder.
Side effects, real or imagined, are another concern for parents.
The controversy linking autism with childhood vaccinations is still growing. Flu vaccines are suspected of causing narcolepsy and muscle weakness. Gardisil and Cervarix have caused blood clots in women.
Deaths have occurred from the MMR vaccine.
That is a pretty scary list but the government and pharmaceutical industry is guilty of everyone of them. Is it any wonder that there is a large degree of distrust and skepticism from parents facing a barrage of childhood vaccinations for their babies.
No one would advocate doing away with childhood vaccinations. The good has been amply demonstrated and the risks of no vaccinations are extremely high.
A few suggested steps are to remove the abuses from the system, ensure that parents have free choice in the health of their children, ban pharmaceutical industry funding of medical schools and "donations" to doctors, remove the "direct-to-consumer" drug commercials from the popular media, support Barbara Loe Fisher's work on educating consumers on the hazards of over-vaccination and obtaining legislation to compensate parents whose children are damaged by innoculants, spread the frequency of childhood vaccinations over longer time periods and do not bombard a child's immune system with so many antigens all at once.
Finally we must pay attention to those cases in which it appears that an innoculation caused a problem and research it until the mechanism is fully understood. It is time to realize that children are not all created equal and not all react the same way to the onslaught of vaccinations in their early life. No child's health should ever be put at risk by vaccinating in the name of the "common good". Opting out of a vaccination is not a selfish act, it can be very prudent if there is some indication that children have been harmed by a particular vaccine. Gardisil is a perfect example.
Children are precious so do your own research and never take the medical community's or the pharmaceutical industry's word on blind faith.