I have been watching with interest as governmental officials and parents clash over the issue of vaccination. I thought I should share some thoughts and try to add some rational thinking to this debate.
I was trained, as all medical professionals are, to believe that vaccinations are good and that all children (and adults) should get them. I ordered them for my patients and, in some cases, tracked how many children were up-to-date on them. Like many other healthcare providers, I never read the inserts that come with the vaccines. That is, until I was writing my book, "Living in our Toxic World". The research that I did for the book opened my eyes to the fact that vaccines were not as safe and effective as I had been told they were.
Vaccines are used to protect us from viruses and we are told that deaths from viral infections have decreased due to vaccination. This is not the entire story. Vaccines naturally become less virulent over time. If a virus kills everyone who becomes infected with it, it is killing the host that it uses to reproduce itself and it probably won't be around long. For a virus to be successful in making more copies of itself, its host needs to be sick but not so sick as to die rapidly. The host has to be healthy enough to spread the disease to others. So when a virus first appears in a population, a lot of people die but over time, the number of deaths decreases.
In the case of measles, which we hear so much about today, the death rate had already dropped before the vaccine was introduced. The vaccine did not cause the decrease. Furthermore, when people have had measles, they then have lifetime immunity so there are less cases. Usually only children would get it because all of the adults had already had it and were immune. This was the case when I was a child. We all got measles and then had lifetime immunity. No one was afraid of it. It wasn't considered "deadly". It was just one of the childhood illnesses that we all got and it was rare for anyone to have any lingering problems.
When someone is vaccinated against measles, they are injected with a weakened form of a live measles virus. This is intended to activate the immune system so it will kill any measles virus that the person is exposed to in the future. This is not nearly as effective as actually getting measles so the vaccine has additives, such as adjuvents, designed to trigger a bigger response plus preservatives and other substances that are toxins. As a result, the vaccines can cause side effects that can be worse than the disease would. This is why parents are up in arms. Many children are injured by vaccines and there are now more deaths due to vaccines than from the diseases themselves.
Vaccine manufacturers have been shielded from any liability since Congress passed a National Child Injury Act in 1986. Since that time the number of vaccines has increased dramatically. This law was a great win for the vaccine manufacturers who are making lots of money and cannot be sued if their vaccines cause injury or death. The vaccines do not give lifetime immunity like the disease itself did so a person has to get multiple doses or "booster" shots. Some people do not have an effective response to the vaccine so may not be protected. This is why we see so many cases of people who were vaccinated getting the diseases they were vaccinated against Furthermore, when someone is injected with a live virus like measles, they can shed the virus for weeks afterward. This means that they can give measles to others. Instead of being afraid of healthy, unvaccinated people, maybe we need to be more concerned about the recently vaccinated.
Now we are seeing some people calling for mandatory vaccination. This is a truly horrible idea. We have always had the freedom to refuse medical procedures that we don't want. If vaccines are effective, an unvaccinated person is not going to give you the disease. They may be at risk to get it themselves but they are not a risk to the vaccinated person...unless the vaccines aren't really working. Then there is the fact that all vaccines have risks. There is no way to tell in advance who may have a reaction to the vaccine. Do we really want the government telling us that we have to do something that has risks? If they can do this, what will be next? Mandatory sterilization for people with some conditions, mandatory abortion or mandatory organ donation could also happen.
I believe that our medical freedom is important. I don't want the government telling me what I need to do medically. What we really need is better informed consent. The CDC handouts are not adequate. Parents need to know all the potential risks and benefits of vaccination so they can make good decisions and then they and their healthcare providers can come up with a vaccination schedule that could be no vaccinations or the complete list that the CDC recommends or something in between. And we need to stop the fear mongering that somehow an unvaccinated child is going to be responsible for killing other children with a disease that used to be a normal part of childhood.
Janet L Black, RN, FNP,