"Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table." -William Shakespeare

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Few More Tidbits on Vaccines

Ok, well, I should have known I was openeing a can of worms just by typing the words "childhood vaccines."

PLEASE, dear readers, let me reiterate that I AM A MOM trying to make the best decisions for my family, NOT A HEALCARE PROFESSIONAL nor an INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT!!!  My info is not always the MOSTest up-to-date-est stuff out there, because I do not spend evenings pouring over medical journals.  Well, not every evening.

Anyhoo, all my books are loaned out, but I would like to quote from a few online articles.  Feel free to take them with a grain- or 2 or 12- of salt.  And I wish you the best on your journey as a parent and health-care consumer :).

"Dr. Walter Orenstein, Director, CDC National Immunization Program, who will have a great deal to say about recommending chicken pox vaccine for all children, described being kept up for several nights with his five-year-old during a bout of chicken pox, admitting, "It's that kind of problem that the vaccine would eliminate rather than serious disease (6)."

"Dr. Arthur Lavin, Department of Pediatrics, St. Luke's Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio wrote in The Lancet (17) of "three concerns ... (he) believe(s) argue strongly against die licensure of varicella vaccine for healthy children."

  • chicken pox "is not major in the sense of disease mortality or morbidity. In childhood, mortality is very low, and morbidity is usually minor ... Therefore, if healthy children were fully vaccinated it is unclear in what significant way the health of the children or the economic health of their families would be improved."
  • Routine chicken pox vaccination in healthy children might pose a "grave danger of advancing the age of onset of chicken pox into adulthood." After bemoaning adults' poor compliance with vaccine recommendations, e.g., influenzae vaccine, Dr. Lavin asks, "What makes the proponents of universal varicella immunization believe that adults who may be susceptible to varicella as a result of their efforts would protect themselves with a booster dose (of chicken pox vaccine)?"
  • Dr. Lavin has deep concerns "about injecting millions of young children with a mutant strain of herpes virus. As is well known, herpes viral DNA insinuates itself into the human genome for the lifetime of a host .... Although the risk of a deleterious effect on the human genome from an injected mutant herpetic viral genome is remote, the application of this risk to hundreds of millions of hosts increases the chance that we will see some adverse effect".
Dr. Lavin concludes:
"Humanity has been well served through efforts that have eliminated smallpox and nearly eradicated poliomyelitis and measles. However, not all infections demand these interventions (emphasis added). The Varicella immunization Program may be too much of a good thing. Until we actually know the duration of immunity and the risks involved in injecting mutated hepatic DNA into the host genome, I argue strongly against licensing this vaccine for use in all children."

"It appears that chicken pox vaccine will be mandated by law, not to benefit healthy children, but to save time and money for their parents with jobs outside the home, to protect children with cancer from catching chicken pox from other children, or for parental convenience so that parents will not have to stay up for two or three nights caring for their children with chicken pox
But, as Dr. Lavin states above (17), what price might society pay for this convenience?
By Kristine M. Severyn, R.Ph., Ph.D. "


"Flu seasons are unpredictable and can be severe. It is estimated that, on average, approximately 5% to 20% of U.S. residents get the flu, and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized for flu-related complications each year. Over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people."
Um, how many people died of varicella in 1994 (before the vaccine)? About 100-105.
On a side note, do you know that vomiting is called the flu, but usually isn't?  The flu is that awful, shakey, weak thing you get, maybe with a cough. 
"The decline in protective antibody against the flu that occurs after vaccination or after flu infection may be influenced by several factors, including a person’s age, the antigen used in the vaccine, and the person’s health situation (for example, chronic health conditions that weaken the immune system may have an impact).
This decline in protective antibody has the potential to leave some people more vulnerable to infection, illness and possibly serious complications from the same influenza viruses a year after being vaccinated or infected."
Get the vaccine and be sure your immunity to the same flu strain will be lower later- or 'risk' getting (OR NOT GETTING) it that year.  It truly is your decision.  You get to choose the risk with which you feel more comfortable.  For now.  Until yearly flu shots are mandated by the federal government.  Enjoy your freedom while you've got it, folks.
Innocent until proven guilty?
Works for people, but did you know your government extends this concept even to synthetic drugs?
That's the American way when it comes to pharmeceuticals, and it creates a BIG cloud of confusion and doubt around vaccines.  Is this method really in the best interest of children whose organs and bosy systems are growing so fast?  In the U.S., drugs- do I even need to list exaples?- do not need to be proven safe before being administered to thousands, even millions of people, and won't be pulled from the shelves until LOTS of people have been hurt by them. 
Eli Lilly's August 1993 Prozac 20 Consumer Product Information pamphlet:

"There can be no such thing as absolute safety with prescription medicines. Individual patients sometimes react differently to the same dose of the same medicine and it is possible that some unwanted side effects will not be known until a medicine has been widely prescribed for a number of years."

(Editing to note, I never intended to publish this post with mercury info.  A draft of this post accidentally went live.  While some shots do contain mercury, they are very few now.  Aluminum is a far greater concern at this point than mercury.  You can learn more about mercury in vaccines at http://www.askdrsears.com/ and at http://www.mothering.com/.)
And because I've received enough questions on this to make me dread opening my inbox, let me state for the record that we'd like to keep our family's medical choices a private affair.  I'm not out to scare anyone, or sway anyone's opinions on their healthcare choices, but to ENCOURAGE INFORMED DECISIONS for families.  Because the way childhood vaccines are presented by many family practice doctors and pediatricians is, we feel, enethical.  And if your doctor has ever threatened to 'fire' you (or actually done so), PLEASE educate them on the policy of the AAP and the AAFP; both organizations discourage pediatricians and family practice doctors from "kicking out" patients who choose not to vaccinate, to delay vaccinations, or who wish to create their own schedules or who wish to use only single-disease vaccines.  (Go to the websites of the AAP or the AAFP to read about their policies.)

AND ANOTHER SIDE NOTE:  I find it really ironic how the medical community wants to turn Dr. Bob Sears into a villain!  Do you know that Dr. Bob and the other Dr.s Sears ARE PRO-VACCINE?  I've had a personal conversation with him and I've heard him speak on the subject in person.  He advocates a different schedule of immunization, but he advocates immunization!  He wants vaccines given one-by-one so- gasp- you could actually figure out which one caused a reaction, should your child experience one!  Inconvenient for pediatricians?  Yes.  Villainous?  No. 

How many vaccines are recommended at 12 months?  Your child could potentially receive 9 different vaccines at 12 months of age, looking at the CDC schedule.  If your child has a reaction, how will you know which vaccine caused it?  You won't.

That darned doctor telling those darned parents they can make informed decisions about their children's healthcare!  How dare he inconvenience us like that!  That's how all the attacks on Dr. Bob come across to me! 
"I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol."  ~Author Unknown
(My version:  "We eat way to much McD's to worry about vaccine safety!")
Think about your constitutional rights:
More on working with doctors who want to 'fire' you :):

1 comment:

  1. Our Ped straight up refused to work with me on a delayed vaccination schedule, and made me feel like a completely incompetent parent for even bringing it up. I was unprepared for his response and felt like I didn't handle it well, but I think I will end up finding another doctor anyway. Thank you so much for sharing all of this info - keep it coming! :)