Vaccines remain a very hot topic. On one side we have public health, pediatricians and school officials making parents feel inadequate at best and abusive at worst for failing to follow recommended schedules. The other side contends that vaccines cause death and autism and should be avoided at all costs.
This article takes the bird’s eye view on countries with the highest infant vaccination rates and infant mortality. The results aren’t favorable. But more on this later…
From the public health side, there are valid arguments that vaccination has been partly responsible for declining rates of diseases like polio and smallpox. Good arguments also support general increases in hygiene and sanitation as helping the situation (and indeed–death rates from third world countries remain high for diseases that are largely non-existant here in the US anymore). “Experts” state that we forget the times when childhood diseases were killing off and disabling children.
Let’s look at the concept of vaccination from a bird’s eye view. We are attempting to thwart Mother Nature by eradicating communicable diseases. Just the mere thought that we can do this suggests an arrogance that has no place in medicine. Evidence exists that she reminds us of her power from time to time. The Prevnar-7 pneumococcal vaccine protected against 7 strains of the bacteria. Fast forward several years and we certainly saw a decrease in these 7 strains. But, there was an increase in other strains and the infections were more severe. But riding in on a white horse was Prevnar-14, so bring in all your children for MORE vaccinations. Expect the same with Gardasil.
There is no doubt in anyone with common sense that we have taken things too far. The idea that we can and need to eradicate things like chicken pox, measles, rotavirus or influenza is ludicrous at best, harmful at worst. I think that the assult on the immune system, the amount of mercury our kids are exposed to and the complete absence of recommendations to support immune function to lower the risk and impact of childhood diseases is abhorable.
To me, the biggest concern is one that is rarely addressed. There is a very clear cut shift in the immune system (from Th-1 to a Th-2 cytokine profile) towards allergies and asthma with vaccination. Couple this with antibiotic use and destruction of normal flora and you’ve got a recipe for immune dysfunction. Asthma, allergies, skin problems, gut problems (to include scary things like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis) and certainly inflamed nervous systems are the cost. We are trading childhood diseases for long term chronic diseases. Talk about making money for the drug companies! They are making money on both ends of the spectrum.
Then we see studies like this one, finding a link between high vaccination rates and infant mortality rates. This alone does not prove causality, but when there are mechanisms in place that can lead to this outcome (increased atopy, asthma, autoimmune conditions, secondary infections, etc..) one has to question the wisdom of continuing to increase the barrage of vaccinations our little ones get.
Make your own decisions. NEVER let a pediatrician or school official bully you into doing something that you do not feel is right for your child. Keep in mind that most states have some type of exemption available. However, here in AZ, if there is an outbreak of measles in the school and your child is not vaccinated you will have pull your child out of school. Good thing this has NEVER happened!
And take every single vaccination into account. Hep B in a newborn? Is someone in the family that will be in contact with the child Hep B positive? Will the child be doing IV drugs or unprotected sex anytime soon? No? Then get a GOOD explaination why he or she should be given a vaccination that will begin to wane by 10 years of age.