Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Vaccine Debate

originally posted as a journal on cafemom Feb 25, 2008 at 3:24 PM

Disclaimer: I do not believe that there is a "right" answer for every family. Feel free to use the following information how you like. This does not substitute for research, either, but is a sample of a lot of research put into one article. That said, this article is far from neutral and has a clear bias against routine vaccination.

The simplest arguments for & against that I have seen to date.


For

The incidence of many childhood diseases have declined due to the widespread use of vaccines.

Against

  • The morbidity and mortality from childhood diseases had declined by up to 90% prior to the mass use of vaccines due to improved hygiene (eg. public sanitation, purified drinking water), reduced crowding and better nutrition. The decline in incidence continued at much the same rate after immunisation was introduced.

  • Diseases like bubonic plague and scarlet fever all but disappeared without any vaccination program at all.

  • Countries that do not vaccinate against whooping cough have a similar incidence of the disease when compared with countries with almost complete pertussis vaccination cover.

  • Diseases may have natural cycles.

  • Credit given to vaccinations for our current disease incidence has been grossly exaggerated

For

The diseases of the 19th century that had the highest fatality rates were smallpox, measles, TB, typhoid, diphtheria and influenza. The diseases for which vaccinations are given today can cause illness, injury or death in susceptible, less healthy infants and children.

Against

  • The vast majority of the time, childhood infectious diseases are benign and self-limiting and give life-long immunity.

  • Some of the childhood diseases, if postponed until adulthood, can become much more serious illnesses.

For

Infectious diseases are seen only as disadvantageous to society and allopathic medicine has the goal of eradicating infectious diseases.

Against

Infectious diseases play an important role in the maturation of the immune system of children, as described in The Hygiene Hypothesis. The immune system must be challenged and primed so that it can protect individuals against severe diseases such as auto-immune disease and cancer. Allopathy also tends to suppress natural healing processes such as fever. This tends to drive the disease-state deeper.

For

Vaccines provide artificial immunity to an infectious disease by introducing a small amount of the viral or bacterial antigen or toxin into the body. Specific antibodies or antitoxins are developed by the immune system to provide protection from that disease.

Against

  • Vaccines via injection use an unnatural route of antigen presentation. The normal route of entry of antigens is via the mucous membranes of the GIT, respiratory and genitourinary systems where IgA initiates the natural immune response. The mucous membranes is where 80% of our immune system resides.

  • The effectiveness of vaccines, as assessed by allopathic medicine, centres around the production of antibodies, especially IgG. However, this represents only one part of our very complex immune system. For example, nasal antibody plays a significantly more important role than serum antibody in prevention of influenza.

  • Natural immunity cannot be completely replicated by artificial stimulation of antibodies.

For

Vaccines are effective in preventing contraction of the specific disease.

Against

  • Vaccines offer only short-term protection. Natural immunity is achieved by contracting the disease and this immunity is lifelong.

  • In epidemic situations, both vaccinated children and unvaccinated children contract the disease. In some reported outbreaks of smallpox, diphtheria, whooping cough, measles and polio, significantly more vaccinated than non-vaccinated people contracted the diseases.

  • In South Australia in 1997 there were 1,094 cases of whooping cough – 89% were fully vaccinated.

  • The Hib vaccination used prior to 1993 in Australia was withdrawn as it was ineffective.

  • Mass vaccinations for diphtheria between 1932 – 1940 resulted in unprecedented diphtheria epidemics in fully vaccinated subjects.

  • Jonas Salk, the developer of the oral polio vaccine testified in the US Senate that nearly all cases of polio since 1961, apart from those contracted in Third World countries, were caused by the vaccine itself.

  • During vaccine trials, many children contracted the diseases against which they were vaccinated.

  • In 1979, Sweden ceased vaccination with whole-cell whooping cough due to its ineffectiveness (84% of children with pertussis had been fully vaccinated) and adverse events which far exceeded the disease itself.

For

Vaccinated individuals who still contract the disease have less severe cases.

Against

  • A particularly virulent and severe form of measles, called atypical measles, has a considerable mortality rate (12-15%) and only affects vaccinated children.

  • Whooping cough has become a more mild disease in countries that do not vaccinate eg. Sweden, West Germany, Italy.

For

In comparison to the risks of the infectious illnesses, it is commonly believed that vaccines are relatively harmless and pose very little risk. Adverse reactions are extremely rare, with the benefits outweighing the risks.

Against

Only the risks to society are considered, not the risks to individuals. It is assumed that all individuals will react the same to a vaccine, regardless of race, culture, diet etc. A full medical assessment is not undertaken before vaccines are administered.

Bias in the data collection
  • There is almost certain under-reporting of adverse reactions to vaccines. In America, the FDA has estimated that only about 10% of adverse reactions are reported. Prior to 1990, doctors in America were not required to report adverse events.

  • Reporting of adverse events are subject to the biases and beliefs of individual doctors. There is immense pressure on doctors to be pro-vaccination with a tendency to downplay the risks of vaccinations and deny connections of adverse reactions to vaccines.

  • In Australia, there are two systems for reporting adverse events, run by the Commonwealth Health Department. The data collected is not integrated or coordinated. Reporting relies on voluntary notification by parents and doctors. This is not an active system and cannot truly give an accurate representation of the risks of vaccinations.

  • The solvents, containing potentially toxic chemicals, are often used as “placebo” in vaccine trials. Consequently, there will be less likelihood of a significant difference in adverse events between the active and placebo groups.

  • Reactions that occur more than 72 hours post-vaccination are generally not included in the adverse reactions statistics. They are merely considered coincidental rather than a causal relationship.

  • Symptoms such as irritability, excessive drowsiness, fever and screaming in pain may in an adult be described as encephalitis or encephalopathy, but the same set of symptoms in a baby, who is unable to speak, tends to be dismissed and remain unreported.

  • Many adverse events are ignored or diagnosed as other diseases (eg. SIDS)

  • The long-term effects of vaccines are not known.

  • No double-blind placebo controlled studies have been done on vaccinations in babies.

  • No studies have been conducted on vaccines for carcinogenic or mutagenic effects or effects on fertility.

  • There has been little or no research on the adverse effects of combined vaccinations versus single vaccines.

Components of Vaccines
  • The main antigenic component can be live, attenuated or killed, yet even killed micro-organisms contain foreign DNA and RNA which can incorporate itself into the host’s cells. The risk of this recombination of genetic material increases with the number of vaccinations administered. This constant source of antigenic material may over-stimulate and provoke the immune system, weakening it over time. Production of anti-DNA antibodies may result in autoimmune disease. The vaccine does not eradicate the disease, but provides a chronic source of infestation, driving the disease deeper.

Many vaccinations contain (or did contain) potentially toxic chemicals such as:

  • Aluminium hydroxide & aluminium phosphate are known carcinogens. Aluminium is implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and seizures.

  • Formaldehyde (Schedule 6 Poison) – a known carcinogen. According to toxicologists there is no safe level of formaldehyde when injected into the body.

  • Phenol (carbolic acid) – corrosive & toxic substance that affects the CNS and can cause liver and kidney damage.

There is a risk of contamination of vaccines that are derived from animal cell cultures.

  • Polio vaccines obtained from monkey kidneys have been contaminated with Simian Virus 40 (SV40), Simian Immuno-deficiency Virus (SIV) and bovine retrovirus. These are AIDS-related viruses and were widely used by the WHO in eradication programs in Africa. Immune incompetence or immuno-suppression has also developed in babies receiving these vaccines. The chimpanzee coryza virus causes persistent upper and lower respiratory tract diseases in babies.

  • Vaccines from chicken embryos (eg. MMR) have been contaminated with avian leukosis virus (ALV).

  • Treatment with formaldehyde does not kill all of the micro-organisms.

Adverse Effects
  • Vaccinations can lead to a non-infectious inflammatory reaction involving the nervous system.

  • Many researches believe that the massive increase in incidence of allergic disease, asthma, behavioural and learning disorders, and autoimmune disease can be directly linked to widespread immunisation programs.

  • 1995 JAMA (Journal of American Medical association) paper stated causal links with:

    • DT vaccine; oral polio vaccine Guillain-Barre syndrome

    • MMR; DT; Tetanus Anaphylaxis

    • Measles (MMR) Thrombocytopenia

    • Polio oral vaccine Polio

  • Possible link between MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and autism.
  • Association of MMR with Crohn’s Disease.
  • Febrile seizures following DTP or MMR vaccines
  • Possible link of hepatitis B vaccine and DTP with SIDS

(There has been a virtual disappearance of SIDS and infantile convulsions in Japan since they increased the minimum age for vaccinations to two years).

  • The manufacturer of the MMR-II vaccine claims that women who receive this vaccine have a 23% risk of developing arthralgia and/or arthritis.

  • Provocation poliomyelitis is a well-known phenomenon which may follow any vaccine, but in particular, DPT, due to lowered resistance in the vaccinated individual. The majority of paralysis occurs in the inoculated limb.

For

Current vaccines are screened for viruses.

Against

They can only screen for known pathogens. Pathogens currently unknown to science still have the potential for contaminating vaccines.

For

The scientific and medical community and Government can be trusted to always place health above all other concerns

Over the years there has been withdrawal of quite a few ‘approved’ vaccines or constituents used in them. This puts into doubt the trust in the medical establishment with regards to safety of vaccines. For example:

  • thimerosal has recently been removed in Australia.

  • live attenuated polio vaccine can cause paralysis and has been withdrawn. It has been replaced with an inactivated polio vaccine.

  • a vaccine against rotavirus (RotaShield) was withdrawn a year after its introduction due to numerous reports of obstructed and twisted bowel in infants, with two deaths, following vaccination. Pre-market trials had shown the increased risk of this condition, yet it still went on to the market.

  • In 1992 the MMR vaccine was withdrawn as it was unsal

For

The timing of exposure to the disease agent can be controlled as parents can choose to vaccinate at a time when their child is healthy. In contrast, virile disease tends to strike when the immune system is compromised.

Against

  • Babies and infants have immature nervous and immune systems, yet despite their vulnerability, are bombarded with a massive toxic load from multiple vaccines. The number of vaccines that are routinely used is ever-increasing. There are a projected 200 vaccines waiting to come on the medical market in the next decade. Many of these will be for infants and children.

  • A two-month old baby is given the same dose as a five-year old. No other medications ignore the importance of dose.

  • Severely ill, malnourished and immuno-compromised children tend to have more side effects and less benefit from vaccines. It is recommended that the vaccinations be delayed or avoided in these cases, especially in those with prior vaccination reactions.

Against

As mothers are not contracting childhood diseases, natural immunity is decreasing with each successive generation. Consequently, passive immunity in babies is declining as fewer and fewer mothers are able to pass on antibodies via breast milk. This results in an increased risk of contracting childhood diseases.

Against

The allopathic approach to vaccinations is to treat all children with a standardised protocol without due concern for the child’s current health status, medical history and likelihood of contracting the disease. For example, the Hep-B vaccines is given to all newborn babies even though the route of infection is via intravenous injection or unprotected sex.

Conclusion

There is a profound lack of knowledge of the complex nature of human health and disease and how vaccinations impact on human physiology, yet pharmaceutical companies have immense influence over medical institutions and Government alike.

However, as vaccines are unlikely to be phased out, it is important that there be further research into:

  • the use of non-toxic preservatives

  • administration of vaccines orally, intra-nasally or transdermally.

  • cultures being derived from synthetic sources

  • a better understanding of why a certain proportion of children who receive vaccines have serious side-effects.

  • An honest and truly scientific appraisal of adverse effects of vaccines, including the long-term consequences.

The choice made by parents on whether to vaccinate their children should be a personal decision based on informed consent. However, currently, only one side of the debate is presented to parents and there is enormous pressure, both emotional and financial, to fully vaccinate their children. There is also fear amongst scientists and doctors as they can be harassed and ostracised by their peers for questioning immunisation. The subject of immunisations is very emotive. Debate in society is very stifled with those choosing not to vaccinate being criticised and vilified, resulting in a divided society. To achieve the best health outcomes for our children what is required is a neutral forum where openness and honesty are the priority.

References:

  1. Scheibner, V., Vaccination, Australian Print Group, Victoria, 1993

  2. Australian Vaccination Network, Vaccination Roulette, Australian Vaccination Network, NSW, 1998

  3. Ada, G., Isaacs, D., Vaccination – the Facts, the Fears, the Future, Allen & Unwin, NSW, 2000

  4. www.bcna.ca/articles/article-vaccinations.htm, BCNA, 2003

  5. http://babiestoday.com/resources/articles/vaccines.htm, Dr E. Rosick, 2004


I edited this to remove thmerisol from the list of toxic ingredients, though it's a myth that it's been totally removed from vaccines. The flu vaccine, for instance, still typically contains this form of mercury, though there are a few, most notably the live virus vaccine, that do not. Also, small amounts remain in most of the remaining vaccines to date, though they're no longer considered a cause for concern, though none is allowed in animal vaccinations, indicating that dogs are more important than children.

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Please keep it civil and remember that my blog is not for debate. I have friends in all walks of life, so don't assume anything from individual posts! I do enjoy hearing from you, though :)