I bet you freaked out just a little bit when you read the title right? Megan? Leaving the anti-vaccination movement? Sorry to disappoint you. Someone would have to prove to me that God does not exist, I would have to switch religions, and someone would have to conduct a study showing vaccines are safe, effective, and do not have adverse reactions. To be perfectly honest though, I really don’t like these labels. I don’t vaccinate, but I respect your right to do otherwise. Is there a pro-parental rights movement? If so, sign me up for that one.
Needless to say there’s a new blogger on the scene who’s written a fairly popular post about why she left the anti-vaccination movement. Surprisingly, I found her tone of voice refreshing. She seems nice and she’s super cute too. She’s wearing a red dress on her home page and it made me want to go out and get a hot picture of myself in a red dress too. Alas’ I am a mom and the last time I wore a red dress was a Christmas nightgown I got from my Grandma when I was seven. She’s dead and so is that nightgown.
Regardless, I’d really like to be her friend (I wonder if she has friends who don’t vaccinate). However, I think all friendships should start off on the right foot, which is why I feel like we need to talk about this post.
As a mother, I haven’t given vaccinations to thousands of children, let alone my own. My mom is a nurse. My sister is an educator who is rocking the “stay at home mama movement” like me. My other sister is a chiropractor with a degree in biology. My husband is a physician with a degree in biology and a minor in chemistry. I just have a law degree. Nothing special. Just a little something I picked up to help me read, write, research, and think critically. Although my mom vaccinated us on what was a much smaller schedule when I was younger, she regrets that decision and refuses to give vaccinations now. To be perfectly honest, no one in our family vaccinates. We can’t…now that we know what we know.
I have no idea what pediatric nurse practitioners learn in school. What I do know is that physicians learn next to nothing about vaccines. They are told to give them and shown a picture of a child in an iron lung or a kid with measles in a third-world country. They take immunology of course, but that is not the same as vaccinology. Despite their training, doctors (and scientists) know very little about the immune system which is why there is no medical cure for any chronic autoimmune disease. This should comfort us all.
Pediatricians of course, learn how to give vaccinations. They have to order these expensive vaccines with expiration dates and if you don’t vaccinate, they’re out money…lots and lots of money. They’re also out state excise taxes and insurance reimbursements. They are not trained to acknowledge or recognize vaccine injuries nor could they give you any drug to cure your child should they experience an adverse reaction. They didn’t learn any of this in their immunology class nor did they learn how any of the ingredients vaccines contain affect the immune system. To your surprise, they didn’t pour through the clinical trials or post-licensure studies. Very few have even read the package inserts because vaccines are presumed safe right?
Nurses are excellent at giving vaccinations. Seriously, they have a great technique (minus that one nurse who accidentally permanently injured my mom’s shoulder with a flu shot jab). They know how to store, prepare, and administer them. Most of the time this is done correctly, but I have never met a nurse who has had more training on vaccinations than a physician. Have you?
In Kid Nurse’s post she basically states that she took a pro-vaccine stance because there was no evidence to support that vaccines cause autism or shattered immune systems, because the small pox vaccine eradicated small pox, because a measles outbreak occurred in her area, she has a great uncle who is in a wheelchair because of polio, and she watched a 1-month old baby fight for its life from pertussis.
All of these are perfectly valid emotional reasons not to vaccinate. However, I think if you’re going to get on your camel and make a journey to the “other side, “of the desert, you should probably do so on accurate assumption. And, since I miss taking tests, let’s do this true/false style:
Small pox was eradicated by the vaccine. False. Small pox had greatly declined before the vaccine, increased after the vaccine in westernized countries, and was effectively eradicated in third-world countries due to the surveillance and containment quarantine program. The small pox vaccine was actually flawed, deadly, and ineffective, killing many and inflicting even more with serious adverse reactions. Small pox eventually exterminated itself when people had access to clean water, good food, clean living conditions, and proper hygiene. (For a very well-referenced book on the history of small pox, read this. Check out the package insert for the small pox vaccine here.)
Immunizations and vaccinations are interchangeable terms. False. Guys, we have got to stop throwing around the terms “immunization” and vaccination as if they’re synonymous. Immunization is the process by which a person becomes immune to a disease. Vaccination does not guarantee immunity and any immunity given is temporary.
There is supposedly no “causal” connection between vaccines and autism. True. There’s just a whole bunch of studies where children who were vaccinated got autism; a vaccine package insert that listed autism as a potential adverse reaction; court cases won by children who developed autism post-vaccination; studies that link seizures, brain encephalopathy, and gut disorders to vaccines and studies that link seizures, gut disorders, and brain encephalopathy to autism; a vaccine removed from the market because it caused brain damage in children (i.e. autism & DPT), studies on the ingredients in vaccines that cause autism, and a whole bunch of empirical data that is super important unless…it pertains to autism.
The best way to protect a baby from pertussis is to vaccinate. False. Many people decide to vaccinate after they see a child injured from pertussis. Many people decide not to vaccinate because they have seen a child injured from the pertussis vaccine. These are both emotional arguments. The truth of the matter is that babies would be protected from many diseases if mothers acquired lifetime immunity via natural exposure and subsequently passed protective antibodies to their babies. Vaccines destroy this passive immunity and put our infants at risk. However, since neither the vaccine nor pertussis give lifetime immunity we now give ineffective, untested, dangerous, “Category C” Tdap vaccines to pregnant women.
That aside, as reported in 2012 by every major news outlet and confirmed by the CDC, the Dtap vaccine is ineffective and wanes over time which is why we see pertussis outbreaks occurring in almost exclusively vaccinated populations, why those vaccinated are becoming asymptomatic carriers for the disease, and why “the number of reported pertussis cases have been steadily increasing since the 1980s.” Other news sources have reported that the pertussis bacteria is becoming resistant to the vaccine and that B. parapertussis might actually be to blame for some of the outbreaks. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, even after five doses of Dtap a person’s chance of acquiring pertussis increases by 42% each year.
So, a vaccine gives us temporary (if any) immunity, with junk ingredients, and a chance of adverse reactions like eczema, bronchitis, respiratory infections, encephalopathy, cough (which I find ironic), and SIDS. No thanks. There are better way to protect ourselves and our children from pertussis.
Polio is scary. False…unless you actually had polio. Believe it or not, polio is asymptomatic in 95% of people who actually get it; and prior to polio vaccine licensure, anything with paralysis lasting longer than 24 hours would have yielded a polio diagnosis. Aseptic and viral meningitis, Coxsackie virus, hand foot mouth, transverse myelitis, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, Syphilis, DDT, arsenic, and lead poisoning etc. were all diagnosed as polio prior to the vaccine. Seriously, you could play dead and get a polio diagnosis.
After vaccine licensure, diagnostic criteria changed to make the vaccine look more effective. The 220, 365 cases of non-paralytic polio that occurred between 1960 and 1992 were now labeled “aseptic meningitis.” This is just one of many examples. Not to mention that the only cases of polio recorded between 1973 and 2000 were caused by the vaccine. So we should all ask ourselves, did our dear friend, neighbor, or relative with polio actually have polio? If they did have polio, was it caused by the vaccine? Are they in a wheel-chair? If so, was it due to the barbaric methods used by the medical profession to treat polio? While we’re at it, does our dear friend, neighbor, or relative have cancer? If so, was it caused by the polio vaccine?
True/false aside, here are some really good reasons to leave the “anti-vaccination movement:”
Double-blind, inert/saline placebo-controlled clinical trials show vaccines are safe. None have been done to date.
Studies show that vaccinated children are healthier than unvaccinated children. No large-scale study in the United States has been done to date.
Studies show vaccines do not have adverse reactions. Currently, all vaccines have possible adverse reactions.
Studies show vaccines do not cause any health conditions, including the ones they’re designed to prevent.
All vaccines can and have caused the very diseases they’re designed to prevent. Studies show the herd immunity applies to vaccinations. It’s been presumed that herd immunity applies to vaccines.
Studies show vaccines actually prevent disease. Currently, not a single study to date has proven this. This hypothesis is dependent upon the assumption that every single person would have gotten the disease if they weren’t vaccinated and that vaccinations are the only way to prevent disease.
Vaccines gives lifetime immunity. Currently, not a single vaccine offers lifetime immunity.
And my favorite…science proves vaccines do a better job at preventing disease than my God-given immune system. If you don’t believe in God, “studies show biology missed something when it gave every man and animal on the planet an immune system.”
Clearly, I’m not taking a journey any time soon. Vaccines or not, I hope we can be friends. I’ve found this red dress I’m just dying to try on.