Vaccines are either:
There are many questions to think about when choosing a vaccine.
q How many vaccines are recommended?
q Are there risks with vaccination?
q Are vaccines effective?
q How do vaccinations alter the immune system?
q May vaccinations be immunosuppressive?
q Do I have to vaccinate my child?
q What should I do if I don’t vaccinate my child?
q What exemptions does my state allow?
q What about the flu vaccine during pregnancy?
I will try to answer many of the questions listed above. However, many of the questions will need to be answered by your Doctor. It is good to go into this conversation with your Doctor as an informed individual.
In 2008 the CDC recommended that each individual have 68 vaccines before the age of 18. This is in stark contrast to the recommendations given in 2003, when the recommendation was 40. By the time you read this the CDC may be recommending more.
The reason for vaccinations lies in the fact that vaccines work! Another reason vaccinations are so effective comes from something called the “herd effect.” The herd effect states that when most members of a population are immunized, un-immunized members in the population are indirectly protected from infection, because the disease can’t thrive in the immunized population.
Here are a few simple questions to ask your doctor or other healthcare provider before you vaccinate your child.
n Is my child sick right now?
n Is my child at risk?
n Is there a history of vaccine reactions or health problems in my family?
n What are the adverse reactions to the vaccines given to my child?
n What is the manufacturer and lot number of the vaccine?
n How do I report an adverse reaction?
Although vaccines work extremely well, there are side effects which can occur from being injected with either a live/attenuated or killed virus! There are also many preservatives and fillers that are injected along with the virus. Some of these fillers have been known to cause hypersensitivity reactions including gelatin, neomycin, and egg protein which can be found in DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis), MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), and Varicella (chicken pox) vaccines. There are also some toxic substances which can be found in the DTaP vaccine including aluminum, and formaldehyde. Other toxic substances are found in the MMR and Varicella vaccines including human serum albumin, and antibiotics. In short-term studies these additives have not been found to be harmful.
Some of the signs and symptoms of reactions to vaccines are as follows:
q High Fever
q Skin (hives, rashes, swelling)
q High pitched screaming
q Excessive Sleepiness
q Brain Inflammation
q Behavior changes
q Mental/physical regression
***Courtesy of National Vaccine Information Center*** http://www.NVIC.org
It is important to know that the number of cases of disease infection has dropped dramatically since vaccination. The following are examples.
n Cases / yr in U.S.
n 1960s: 503,000
n 2005: 66
n 1960s: 152,000
n 2005: 314
n 1960s: 48,000
n 2005: 11
n 1920s: 176,000
n 2005: 0
q Pertussis (whooping cough)
n 1920s: 147,000
n 2005: 26,000
q Tetanus (lockjaw)
n 1920s: 1,300
n 2005: 27
Some of the side-effects to these vaccines include:
n Joint Pain and Stiffness (1 in 4)
n Fever (1 in 6)
n Rash (1 in 20)
n Febrile Seizure (1 in 3000)
n Deafness, Coma, and Brain Damage are extremely rare side effects
q Chicken Pox
n Fever (1 in 10)
n Rash ( in 25)
n Seizure/Pneumonia/and Brain Damage are extremely rare
n Fever (1 in 4)
n Tiredness and poor appetite (1 in 10)
n Vomiting (1 in 50)
n Seizure (1 in 14,000)
n High Fever (1 in 16,000)
n Prolonged Seizure, Coma, and Permanent Brain Damage are extremely rare side effects
Another hot-topic is to receive or not to receive a flu shot during pregnancy. The flu shot vaccine is a killed virus form of vaccination. The vaccine contains thimerosal which is a mercury based preservative. The preservative contain nearly 50% mercury by weight. The preservative has been linked to many neurodevelopmental disorders, and can readily cross lipid cell membranes including the placenta and brain. Some alarming statements have been made by drug manufacturing companies about thimerosal. Eli Lilly Manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) states that“exposure in-utero can cause mild to severe mental retardation and motor coordination impairment.”The National Toxicology Program (NPS) goes on too say “thimerosol is poison by ingestion, subcutaneous, intravenous, and possibly other routes. Childhood exposures result in mental retardation, loss of coordination in speech, writing, gait, stupor, and irritability, and bad temper progressing to mania.”
Flu-vaccines during pregnancy may expose the fetus to 200X above the EPA’s (environmental protection agency) allowable daily reference dose.
The manufacturers of the vaccines own statements include that “Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Influenza Virus Vaccine. It is not known whether Influenza Virus Vaccine can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. Influenza Virus Vaccine should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.” (Fluzone)
“Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with FLUARIX. It is not known whether FLUARIX can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. FLUARIX should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.” (Fluarix)
With this information you should certainly ask your doctor to be clear on the side effects and safety of the flu-vaccine if recommended during pregnancy. If you are going to get the vaccine ask for a preservative free form of the vaccine!
A federal program (The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program) has been created to help pay in the rare event you or a child has had a serious reaction to a vaccine. For details call 1-800-338-2382 or visit the programs website at www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation.
Here in Texas you are exempt from having your child vaccinated if you have a medical, philosophical, or religious reason not to be vaccinated. The state of Texas allows for the same or more exemption qualifications than any other state.
This information was not posted to scare you. It is only posted to increase your knowledge on the subject of vaccinations.
Vaccinations work and should be used. However, remember that every vaccine may not be necessary, and the side effects may cause you personally more risks than benefit. Make your own decision on whether or not to have your children vaccinated; now you are armed with some of the facts. Take care, and try to improve your health and wellness through proper nutrition and exercise every day.
A special thanks to Doctors Larissa Froese D.C., Dannon Homer D.C., Andrea Mangi D.C., and Chad Richards D.C. for their hard work, and knowledge. Most of the information presented is from their presentation entitled “Vaccinations.”
n Ayoub, David M.D. & Yazbak, Edward M.D. Influenza Vaccination During Pregnancy: A Critical Assessment of the Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Vol. 11, Number 2, Summer 2006.
n CBC News. (2005). U.S. chickenpox deaths plunge after vaccine introduced: http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2005/02/02/chicken-pox-050102.html.
n Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccines & immunizations: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/default.htm. Vaccine information statements: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/default.htm.
n Dicker RC. (2008). Principles of immunization. St. George’s University School of Medicine. Public Health 501.
n Effect of Breastfeeding on Infant and Child Mortality Due to Infectious Diseases in Less Developed Countries: a Pooled Analysis. Lancet 2000 (Feb. 5); 355 (9202): 451-455
n John TJ & Samuel R. (2000). Herd immunity and herd effect: new insights and definitions. European Journal of Epidemiology, 16, 601-6.
n Kidd, Parris, PhD. Th1/Th2 Balance: The Hypothesis, its Limitations, and Implications for Health and Disease. Alternative Medicine Review, Volume 8, Number 3, Pg. 223-246. 2003
n Influenza Virus Vaccine Insert: FLUARIX®, 2007-2008 Formula.
n Influenza Virus Vaccine: Fluzone® 2007, 2008 Formula
n Marini, Stephen, M.S., D.C., Ph.D (2008). Neuroimmunology: A Pattern of Interference. ICPA Module V: Neuroimmunology: Patterns of Immune Interference – Concepts and Controversies.
n Neustaedter, Randall OMD, Lac, CCH. “Alternatives to Vaccination”,http://www.hpakids.org
n Offit PA & Jew RK. (2003). Addressing parents’ concerns: do vaccines contain harmful preservatives, adjuvants, additives, or residuals? Pediatrics, 112, 1394-7.
n http://www.NVIC.org National Vaccine Information Center