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Should Parents Vaccinate?

by Joe Lawrence December 24th, 2013 | Children's Health
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babyEditor’s note: Andrew Wakefield lost his license to practice medicine, as his research on vaccines was determined to be fraudulent.  Please note this article reflects the opinion of the author and not of medical professionals.

In 1998 Dr. Andrew Wakefield suggested a link between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism (Rope, 2010). His study sparked a major conflict centered on the idea of whether vaccinations for children were safe or not. There is not enough research to definitively discount either case, but it is clear both sides have the best intentions of protecting the children.

Dr. Wakefield noticed a correlation between his case studies who received the MMR vaccine and the diagnosis of autism. He came to the conclusion that the MMR weakened the intestines and created an immune deficiency allowing autism to get its footing in the child (Rope, 2010). Research has not conclusively linked MMR to autism. However, experts agree the MMR could trigger autism with certain genetic predispositions and environmental factors (Sears, 2007). Concerned parents took great interest in this debate and many have chosen to avoid vaccines.

It has been argued that introducing a vaccine into the body actually weakens the immune system. This is why children often get ear infections, fevers, or rashes after their shot. Those at Immunize.org admit “some vaccinations that protect children from serious diseases also can cause discomfort for a while (2013).” Dr. Paul Offit states an infant’s immune system has the “capacity to respond to about 10,000 vaccines at any one time (2002, p. 126).”

Dr. Offit’s statement is dangerously misleading as many of the excipients (additives) like formaldehyde, aluminum sulfate, and mercury are questionable (CDC, 2012). Formaldehyde is an embalming fluid and studies have revealed aluminum to be a neurotoxin and linked it to Gulf War Syndrome, autism, and others (Bystrianyk, 2009). And mercury is extremely toxic at high levels and medical companies now mask it as the ingredient Thimerosal used to preserve multi-dose vials (CDC, 2012).

Injecting a child with these ingredients is a scary thought for many parents, especially when many of the diseases vaccinated against were in decline prior to the vaccine being developed. For example, measles and pertusis death rates were virtually zero prior to the vaccine (Bystrianyk, 2010) thanks to major improvements in sanitation and hygiene (Sears, 2007). Not to mention vaccines are not guaranteed to prevent the disease. Merck admits that the rotavirus vaccine does not prevent the disease in 26% of those vaccinated (2010).

Parents should weigh the odds of getting the virus (which many are non-lethal, like rotavirus or chickenpox) against the possibility their child has a predisposition for something worse triggered by the vaccine. It may appear they are working to control the diseases, but many were in serious decline prior to the development of said vaccine. Parents should demand more research prior to sticking their children. “When the tide is receding from the beach it is easy to have the illusion that one can empty the ocean by removing the water with a pail (Dubos, 1959, p. 23).”

References
Bystrianyk, R. (2009, September). Study clearly demonstrates that aluminum found in vaccines can cause neurologic damage. Retrieved from http://www.healthsentinel.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2598:study-clearly-demonstrates-that-aluminum-found-in-vaccines-can-cause-neurologic-damage&catid=5:original&Itemid=24

Bystrianyk, R. (2010, April). The vaccine war: A forgotten history. Retrieved from http://www.healthsentinel.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2752:the-vaccine-war-a-forgotten-history&catid=5:original&Itemid=24

Center for Disease Control (CDC) (2012, February). Vaccine excipient & media summary. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/B/excipient-table-2.pdf

Dubos, R. (1959). Mirage of health. New York, NY: Harper and Row.

Immunize.org (2013). After the shots… Retrieved from http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4015.pdf

National Vaccine Information Center (2010). Rotavirus and rotavirus vaccine. Retrieved from http://www.nvic.org/vaccines-and-diseases/Rotavirus.aspx

Offit, P., Quarles, J., Gerber, M., et al. (2002). Addressing parents’ concerns: Do multiple vaccines overwhelm or weaken the infant’s immune system? Pediatrics, 109(1), pp. 124-129. DOI: 10.1524/peds.109.1.124

Rope, K. (2010, September). The end of the autism/vaccine debate? Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/09/07/p.autism.vaccine.debate/

Sears, R. (2007). The vaccine book: Making the right decision for your child. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

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