Vaccination – 5 Things to Consider Before Vaccinating Your Children

One of the most important decisions you will make
One of the most important decisions you will make that will affect the health of your children is whether or not to vaccinate them. Since many medical authorities say vaccination is safe, most parents go ahead with vaccination, completely unaware of the potential dangers and unable to recognize serious reactions when they occur. I am a huge believer in parenting without regrets and I am writing this article to spur you to do some research on your own, especially since the information that you will be presented with (if any) by your pediatrician is not sufficient for you to make a truly informed choice. Regardless of whether you decide to vaccinate your children or not, you should at least be making a conscious and fully informed choice. The following is critical for you to consider before vaccinating

Vaccinations are not necessarily safe – YOU need to be the judge for your family
The majority of pediatricians will tell you that vaccines are safe and that the number of children that experience adverse reactions is very low. In addition, they will lead you believe that the few negative reactions are carefully tracked and monitored. However, if you take the time to dig deeper you will find that these assertions are not evidence based and lack solid scientific backing. For example, there has never been a long term study that compares the health and welfare of vaccinated children to unvaccinated children. Seeing as cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for children under 15 years of age, wouldn’t it be interesting to know if the cancer rate for vaccinated kids was much higher than for unvaccinated kids?

Might that change our view on the safety and wisdom of vaccination? There has been some analysis into the issue, but both of the studies have been discounted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). One study was of the Pennsylvania Amish, who don’t vaccinate their children for religious reasons. When it was found that they have virtually no incidence of autism (nor of asthma, allergies or ADHD) the CDC responded by saying that the Amish have a “genetic connectivity” that protects them. (Reference 1) A second study, this one of a home-schooling organization of 35,000 children in the Chicago area, found that in this unvaccinated group there were no recorded cases of autism and that the incidence of asthma, allergies and ADHD was extremely low as well. (Reference 2) This was also discounted.

Vaccines are not thoroughly tested before, nor adequately tracked after, being released
Vaccinations are not rigorously tested before being released to the public. Typically, a new vaccine is tested by comparing short term side effects of a new vaccine against an already existing vaccine. The definition of what constitutes a side effect is narrowly defined so that many side effects are determined to be coincidence – not related to the vaccination. It is also important to know that the pharmaceutical companies have been absolved of liability for vaccine injuries since congress enacted the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. This leaves them with very little incentive to do thorough testing. For example, when a manufacturer’s representative was asked in a 1997 Illinois Board of Health hearing to show evidence that the hepatitis B vaccine is safe for newborns, the representative stated, “We have none, our studies were done on 5 and 10 year-olds.” (Reference 3) This is concerning because your children are scheduled to receive three doses of Hep B before they are a year old, with the first dose being administered before you and your baby leave the hospital.

Since there is so little testing prior to release, one would hope that there would be careful tracking and follow-up after the vaccine has been released to the public so that if there were issues, they could be evaluated and the vaccine would be pulled from the market if necessary. Not so! It is true that when a vaccine is released into the market, post-marketing surveillance is supposed to track any negative reactions. However the adverse reporting system is entirely voluntary and according to David Kessler, (the head of the FDA for most of the 1990s), 90 to 99 percent of all adverse reactions are never reported. (Reference 4)

The combination of vaccinations currently required as part of the Recommended Immunization Schedule are overwhelming for the immune systems of many children
Not only are individual vaccines not rigorously tested, but the combination of vaccines prescribed in the Centers for Disease Control “Recommended Immunization Schedule 2009” are not studied in combination to prove that giving multiple viral and bacterial vaccinations at one time is safe. Over the past twenty years, the number of vaccinations children are given has almost quadrupled. In 1983 children were given 5 shots during their first 6 months of life and 8 shots by the age of two. By 2007 that number increased 74% to 19 shots by the age of 6 months and a whooping 27 by the time they are two years old. This is especially concerning when you realize that children are born with immature immune systems as well as an inability to effectively metabolize heavy metals.

For the most part, mercury (Thimerosol) has been removed from vaccines. This doesn’t mean that there are not other ingredients in vaccines that cause concern. One of these ingredients is aluminum which is added to vaccinations to increase their efficacy (help them work better). Why is aluminum a concern? Well, aluminum is eliminated primarily through the kidneys, when babies can’t eliminate it effectively it accumulates and causes impaired neurologic and mental development that doesn’t show up until around 18 months of age. Infant kidney function is low at birth and doesn’t reach full capacity until 1-2 years of age. (Reference 5) As a result, the cumulative exposure babies have to aluminum (in the process of receiving up to 37 doses of vaccination delivered in 27 shots during their first two years of life) can cause numerous problems. For example, children typically receive eight vaccinations (Hepatitis B, Rotavirus, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Haemophilus Influenza Type B, Pneumococcal and Inactivated Poliovirus) on the same day when they are 2 months old.

The total amount of aluminum they are injected with is between 295 and 1225 micrograms, depending on which brands of vaccination are used. Meanwhile, the FDA requires that all injectable solutions have a 25 microgram limit. (Reference 6) Not only is the maximum aluminum exceeded at two months, but they are injected with nearly the same amount of aluminum at 4 months and again at 6 months, long before their kidneys are fully functioning and can eliminate the aluminum effectively. The combined amount of aluminum that builds up in their system will be dependent on their health and genetics, and is likely many, many times the recommended limit. More to the point, nobody knows what the repercussions are for the millions of children that are being vaccinated as part of the recommended schedule.

Parents, not the government or pharmaceutical companies, take full responsibility for vaccine damage
If your child is injured by vaccination, you cannot sue the pharmaceutical company(s) that produced the vaccine(s). They have been protected from lawsuits by the US government. Instead, you must submit your case to the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). To date, approximately 60 percent of the claims have been rejected. The problem with winning compensation is proving that the vaccine, not an unknown genetic problem or coincidence, caused the injury. Because your baby’s immune system is complex, it is easy for them to say that it was something other than the vaccine that caused the problem. The whole process takes a long time, meaning that if your child is injured, you will likely wait years before you are awarded any money to defray the costs of raising a child with serious medical and caretaking needs. It is estimated that the lifetime cost of caring for one autistic child is more than $4.5M. VICP has awarded more than $1.1 billion for vaccine injuries since 1988. If your child is injured, no amount of money can truly compensate you for losing the bright, happy, healthy child you once had.

In Summary
Vaccination is not mandatory. Exemptions are allowed in all states for medical, religious and/or philosophical reasons. As parents, you are the one who is ultimately responsible for making decisions for your children. You are also the one who has to live with the repercussions of these decisions, not your family pediatrician, nor the government. Fortunately, there are many choices when it comes to vaccination. First, there is the choice to vaccinate or not. If you do choose to vaccinate, you should carefully consider how many vaccinations you want your child to be given and at what ages.

Recommended Books and DVD’s:
“Vaccines: Are they Really Safe & Effective?”, by Neil Z. Miller, 2002.
“The Vaccine Guide”, by Randall Neustaedter, 2002.
“What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children’s Vaccines “, by Stephanie Cave M.D., with Deborah Mitchell, 2001.
“Vaccine Illusion”, by Tetyana Obukhanych
“The Vaccine Book”, by Robert Sears
“Vaccines – What CDC Documents and Science Reveal”, DVD, by Dr. Sherri J. Tenpenny
“Vaccines: The Risks, The Benefits, The Choices”, DVD, by Dr. Sherri J. Tenpenny

References:
(1) Healing the new Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies by Kenneth Bock, M.D., and Cameron Stauth, 2007, Ballantine Books, New York.
(2) Healing the new Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies by Kenneth Bock, M.D., and Cameron Stauth, 2007, Ballantine Books, New York.
(3) The Congressional Quarterly, August 25, 2000, pg. 647
(4) David Kessler, Introducing MedWatch: A new approach to reporting medication and device adverse effect and product problems,Journal of American Medical Association, July 2, 1993, 269(21): 2765-68.
(5) Zatta PF, Alfrey AC. (Eds) Aluminum Toxicity in Infants’ Health and Disease. 1997, World Scientific Publishing.
(6) www.fda.gov search for “alumninum toxicity”

Copyright 2009 Julie Fagan